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Bold as Love
ISBN 1597800023 / 9781597800020 / 1-59780-002-3
Publisher Night Shade Books
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Bold As Love is technically a science fiction novel, set as it is in a near future of political collapse and technological development, and yet it sprawls over the border between SF and fantasy. Ax is a rock musician conscripted by the government of post-Union England to consider the future and co-opt the counter-culture. He stays on to run things when the disgusting character, Pigsty, massacres his way to power, and Ax gradually becomes the much-loved centre of power and policy. Part of what keeps him ahead of events is a brain implant with all the information a benevolent despot might need; part is his fey lover Fiorinda and his best friend Sage, who is in love with Fiorinda and not sure of his exact feelings for Ax. These three are almost a latter-day Arthur, Guinevere and Lancelot... a fact that does not bode well for the second volume.
Jones' picture of a world falling apart at the seams--with its worryingly coherent portrayal of a competent dictator--is one of the more impressive things she has done; and Fiorinda with her conscience and angst-ridden past is a passionately lovable heroine. --Roz Kaveney [via]