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The Autumn Castle: Europa Suite: 1 (GOLLANCZ S.F.) [Hardcover]

Kim Wilkins
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

17 Jun 2004 GOLLANCZ S.F.

Berlin in autumn: Christine Starlight is living in an artists' colony sponsored by the art philanthropist Immanuel Z, himself a sculptor, in the crumbling urban shadows of the old east. Her lover Jude is a painter; his beauty and patience help her bear the chronic pain that is a legacy of the car crash that crippled her and killed her beloved parents.

Out of the blue comes a crimson-haired beauty, who presides over a land where a witch dwells in a well, a wolf is the queen's counsellor and fate turns on the fall of an autumn leaf. For a brief span, while the lands of faery and mortal man march hand in hand, Queen Mayfridh has taken the chance to seek out Christine, her childhood friend.

But dealings with faeryland are never simple: as Christine yearns for Mayfridfh's world, where mortals feel no pain, so Mayfridh in turn is becoming addicted to Christine's, where there are tastes and textures and the danger of forbidden love.

And as secrets and jealousies and betrayals begin to unpick the threads that bind their lives, so yet another danger stalks them: the cruel and brilliant billionaire Immanuel Z. He too has faery blood, but he has a different use for Mayfridh and her kind: he is hunting faery bones for the grandest sculpture of them all . . .


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz; First Edition & First Printing edition (17 Jun 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575075732
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575075733
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 4.5 x 24.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,455,630 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Book Description

A dazzling fantasy breakout book as the worlds of faery and mortal man march hand in hand

About the Author

Kim Wilkins is a horror and supernatural thriiler author whose first novel, The Infernal, won two 1997 Aurealis Awards, for best horror and best fantasy novel. She lives in Australia. You can learn more about her at fantasticthoughts.wordpress.com.

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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeously grotesque... 23 July 2004
Format:Paperback
The first in a unique suite of novels based upon ancient European mythology, The Autumn Castle is a luscious fairytale fantasy penned by Kim Wilkins, the writer who has been named 'Australia's new queen of the supernatural'.
In this beautifully crafted tale, Wilkins skilfully weaves together modern-day Berlin and the world of Christine Starlight - the daughter of a celebrity couple who died in the same car accident which left Christine in chronic pain - with the Germanic Brothers Grimm-esque faeryland of Ewigkreis, ruled over by the changeling princess Mayfridh.
Then Mayfridh's kingdom - along with her counsellor Eisengrimm, a shapeshifter transformed by a curse, and the obstreperous witch and royal magic-weaver Hexebart, collides with Christine's life in a Berlin artist's colony with her painter boyfriend Jude. The two women each find themselves spellbound by the much-craved opportunities the other's world offers; Christine by the potential freedom from pain and traumatic memories that Ewigkreis can provide, and Mayfridh by the sight of a world in which her senses are heightened; with more vibrant colours and delicious tasting foods.
In the middle of all this lurks the deranged billionaire Immanuel Zweigler, whose diaries form sections of the book and reveal his grand project - a sculpture formed from the bones of the species he despises most of all...faeries.
There are no other writers quite like Kim Wilkins, and certainly none who can so effortlessly interlink the modern art world and human existence with the world of the old folk tales, and in such a compelling and addictive manner (just try assuring yourself that you'll just read one chapter before going to sleep, and see how well you can stick to it!).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I was spellbound to the end... 4 Feb 2009
Format:Paperback
I found this book in a sale bin in supermarket. I have always had a nack for getting gems.
This is the first novel by Kim Wilkins that has come my way, but I am already looking to read all of them!
I was spellbound from the very first page...
I would recommend this to anyone who wants to spend a couple of days away from reality...fantasy interwoven with mild horror and a love story thrown into the mix...perfect for a busy mum in need of a relaxing break...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful modern fairy tale 6 Feb 2011
Format:Paperback
Kim Wilkins is rapidly becoming my new favourite author. The Autumn Castle is the first in her Europa Suite - a trilogy of novels based on European myth and it is sublime.

Christine Starlight lives with her artist boyfriend in Berlin, tormented both physically and mentally by the memory of the car accident that killed her parents thirteen years earlier, as well as by the disappearance of her childhood friend May Frith. She finds out that Mayfrith has been living as Queen in the faery realm of Ewikgreis and for a short period until Ewikgreis moves into Winter, both Mayfrith and Christine are able to visit each other's worlds - Mayfrith to experience the excitement of the modern world, Christine to enjoy freedom from her pain. But unaware to both of them, they are being watched by a man who hunts faeries for their bones - and he wants Mayfrith's.

This book shouldn't work. Anything referring to "faeryland" seems twee and childish, particularly nowadays with the proliferation of the genre. But Wilkins has created wonderful worlds, inspired by Germanic myths, and skillfully blends the real and fantastic. Hexebart, the crazy witch imprisoned in a well, and Eisengrimm, shapeshifter and long-suffering counsel to Queen Mayfrith are two of my favourite characters, but not all of her creations are likeable. Queen Mayfrith, arguably the heroine, is spoiled and selfish and doesn't change from this throughout the novel. But that's one of the things I like most about Wilkins' writing - her characters are fallable and real. I never warmed to Mayfrith, but likewise, I did not want her to suffer the horrible fate that the faery hunter, Mandy Z, plans for her. Mandy Z is a psychopath, but in parts, Wilkins even manages to make you feel a little sorry for him.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MAGICAL 8 May 2009
Format:Paperback
This is the first book I ever read by Kim Wilkins and I loved it so much I read my way through the rest of her books. Even got my other half (who isn't a great reader) to read her books and he loves them too! Her characters are believeable and her books are well written, absolute pageturners.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another winner from Kim Wilkins 16 May 2014
By booksy
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I first discovered Kim Wilkins 14 years ago when I was touring Australia. Without fail, she always deliveres. I love her brand of fantasy/horror which always keeps one foot firmly planted in reality. Her characters are multi-dimensional and believable and her plots just rock. I'm not a hardcore fantasy fan - I always like a little bit of real-world(ness) to thether me. I did wonder, given that the Autumn Castle is set partly in faeryland how 'believable' the plot would be - but Kim Wilkins (like Graham Joyce) consistently manages to weave a plot that just might happen (even if they do feature fairies or angels or ghosts!).

I won't say too much about the plot - other than to say I almost missed my train stop a few times. And now that I've finished, I'm missing the cast of characters already.

I am amazed, given the quality of Ki Wilkins' writing, that she's not better known in the UK. I've just been into a large central London Waterstones and couldn't find any of her novels in there. An utter travesty in my humble opinion! She really deserves to be better known internationally as she's one of those authors who comes up with cracking novels time and again.
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