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Sand and Ruin and Gold

(Ruin #1)

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  334 ratings  ·  129 reviews
Once upon a time . . . that’s how the old stories always begin.

Once upon a time there was a king of a fallen kingdom. He was just and he was beloved. Or so the numbers said. One day, he gathered together the greatest, wisest minds in all the land—not sorcerers, but scientists—and he bade them fashion him a son. A prince. A perfect prince to embody his father’s legacy.

The s
ebook, 39 pages
Published September 22nd 2014 by Riptide Publishing
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Average rating 4.08  · 
Rating details
 ·  334 ratings  ·  129 reviews

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Julio Genao
Aug 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: loved
RIP, mr. nimoy.

28 august, 2014

my dearest AJH,

we've spoken a lot about stories. about how they work, and what they're for, and about the pieces of ourselves that can end up in the words we write.

i told you about a woman who loved me, once, and how i honored her in the stories i wrote. you told me about the old wound you'd finally found a way to heal in the pages of a novel you wrote about coming home.

writing is both an external and internal thing, isn't it—about the inside and the outside—and mos
Nov 20, 2014 rated it liked it

A merman and a human boy. Two lonely souls. One love story.

They encounter one another at the Cirque de la Mer, and the Prince is mystically drawn to the Mer. He becomes his obsession but perhaps also his salvation?

It was such a short story. I wanted more – needed more. It was well executed and an original story, but it lacked at multiple places. And I’m saying this because I have read short stories with a relatively good and detailed world-building, context or secondary characters. In this thou
I had only questions, uncertainties, and shame. A kiss that was not a kiss from a man who was not a man.

Upon finding out there was going to be a new Alexis Hall book I did a (not so) little squee. Upon finding out there was going to be a new Alexis Hall book featuring merfolk, well, I squeed a lot.

Then I squeed some more.
Then I squeed some more again.
Basically I squeed so much I was in danger of squeeing myself into a state of implosion.

So today, I finally got my grubby little hands on this.

This somehow touched my soul.

This was like a legend. A myth. And Alexis's style really suits this. This tale is set in a sort of dystopic future but the voice in which it's told provides this unmistakable feeling of a faraway story from thousand years ago. A story told by word of mouth, in order to reach our very own ears. This tale feels like it travelled from the past, plowing through oceans of time.

I can really look at you in your eyes and say "It really works, it's really alive".



Aug 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing

"So we live—as we always have—together, in the only way we can, at the very edges of freedom."

“... this isn’t one of the old stories.” This is the story of today and tomorrow.

This is the story of a man who hurts but can’t cry, a nameless Prince who is given a name, with the word love in it, from strangers.

This is the story of a failed design for perfection. Twisted and unwanted perfection.

It’s about lost things and found dreams.

About stolen freedom and cruelty, understanding and care.

It's beau
I didn't like the ending but I didn't hate it either.
4.5 stars rounded up because even though this story doesn't leave me with a warm and fuzzy feeling, it is unforgettable and the writing is absolutely exquisite.
Aug 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing

Okay, so... I'm on a re-reading-my-favourite-books spree, because I just needed to read books I knew that were safe, that I would love, that would touch me.

With 'Ruin' it's the same experience as with 'Glitterland': I love it more with every read, but gosh, do I feel the bad things more, too. The agony of witnessing how the mermaids are mistreated is excruciating.

I had seen him made less than a beast. Mere object, commodity, a thing to be used. And I couldn't care anymore what I was, or what he
Vanessa North
Sep 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A book to be read aloud, like a campfire ghost story, part cautionary tale, and as those things always go, part love story.

Love is terrifying, and it hurts, and never more so than when you are alone, watched closely but never seen. I'll never recognize every nuance of this book--i could read it a thousand times and find something new every time--but I'll never forget how it felt to read it this first time, in a single, dizzying-breath-stealing sitting.
Feb 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Tina by: Mel

Once upon a time there was a king of a fallen kingdom… this is the beginning of an exceptional short story that tugged at my heartstrings. A brilliantly written, perfect story, so sad and hauntingly beautiful, a masterpiece that will stick with me a long time. Yes, reading it did hurt but simultaneously it touched my soul deeply.

I always loved fairytales… tales of enchanted castles and haunted places… I grew up with tales from Hans Christian Andersen and the Grimm brothers. The history of my cou
♣ Irish Smurfétté ♣
Aug 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone under the moonlight
Every behavior, instinct, or stifling of, every sense of regret, hope and loneliness are me. They’re me. And they’re you.

No matter how you slice it, shame and degradation and ignorant superiority are selfish and painful. No matter how pretty the intent, the disgust and scars are there, breathing.

Don’t force me to be what you think you see, what you want to see, what your own irrational fear forces you to see instead of me.

No one should have to touch through glass. We don’t need the glass. Why ca
I didn't expect my thoughts to spiral to the place where they went. I legit had an existential crisis after reading this short story. For 3 hours I tried to hold back my tears, teeth gritted and eyes glaring at the same spot, willing away the flood. Before work, on the bus, at 8 a.m. There's nothing better than when you try to explain to your boss that you suddenly developed an allergic reaction to "something", thankfully I was able to escape to the ladies room to fix my make-up before she saw m ...more
Lisa *-* GiViNg It To YoU * LoCk StOcK & TwO SmOkiNg BaRrELs

It'waz a fishy tale, but a Beautiful fishy tale it'waz. But ultimately it was a story about Love.

There are only a few author's whom books I read...that no matter what they write about, what genre, I will read it....Alexis Hall is one of those author's for ME.

He's writing is exquisite, Sand and Ruin and Gold was no exception.


Pam Faste aka Peejakers
There are so many things I want to say about this story; but I know none of them can ever do it justice. It’s a little like making a sketch in dull pencil on a pad of notebook paper, of some painting full of vibrant color & emotion, maybe a Van Gogh, & then showing the sketch to someone who’s never seen that painting & saying, “Well, it looked kind of like that.” When you’re not even an artist.

I wish I could give this story 10 stars.

I wish I could write a poem to this story, about th
Wart Hill
Sep 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
You can read this and other reviews at Things I Find While Shelving

[I received a free ARC of this book via netgalley. This fact has no bearing on my review.]

ARC Review: Sand and Ruin and Gold by Alexis Hall

I've been musing on this all morning - what to say, how to explain how much I loved this short piece. All I can come up with is this:

This story is hauntingly beautiful and it will stick with you after you finish. Excellently written, Alexis Hall brings this world and the characters therein to
Kaje Harper
Nov 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is a little short story, an unsastisfyingly perfect slice of a dystopian future with possible fantasy elements, or possibly gene engineering... you don't ever really find out what's going on. This book is a long moment, between two not-quite-human MCs, as they connect in a very deep and yet very limited way. The tone is dark, almost bitter, with humans present in a bread-and-circuses atmosphere. Our POV MC and the merman, Nerites, don't have conversations. They connect on a level of flashin ...more
Sep 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Barbara by: Mel
**ARC courtesy of Riptide Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review**

 photo oie_akCrkjREOovD_zpsa97134e5.jpg

Not my usual story to read - fantasy, but Im so glad I read it!
Because this one is utterly beautiful with layers of meaning a meaning that hurts that touches your soul… this book is about feeling helpless, about stolen freedom with touches of hope, but also about caring and acknowledgment of emotions!

A tale of a Mermen and a Prince! I loved every word of it. HR!!
 photo oie_oie_glitters_zpsbzzkmatc.gif

Thanks so muchMel for the rec! ;)
Karen Wellsbury
Aug 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I partially grew up in Ireland and Germany, where they take their folk stories at lot more seriously than we do, where sailors went on wild journeys and met fantastic creatures, where reality and fantasy met in harmony.

Stories that were told aloud around a fire for children to hear, embellished with the personal thoughts of their parents and grandparents. Stories designed to spark a desire to embrace life and celebrate it's differences,

This story is a folk tale for the 21st Century and it's be
Aug 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing


Elusive like glimmers of thought I get sometimes and when I try to grab them they escape and fly away. And the more I try, the more they flirt with me staying just far enough away to keep me wanting and trying.

Capturing beauty
Using it
Making it ugly
Wanting – always the wanting

Were loving means,
letting go,
freeing the beautiful
in spite of the loneliness

Aug 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing

It's not possible to review this book. Nothing can be said that will do it justice. It's beautifully written, completely tragic, nothing I expected, and everything perfect. Poetic. I'll read it 1,000,000 times, and never read it the same, or enough.
Sep 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Alexis Hall is an enigma, a enjoyable enigma, but an enigma nevertheless. You never know what you will get when he publishes his next work. The only thing that can be guaranteed is that it will be wonderful.

'Sand and Ruin and Gold' is thirty-nine pages of such wonder. This is a prime example of literature that should not be marketed in a minority genre, but out there to be enjoyed by all. A postmodern onion is the easiest way to refer to it. The layers in this short story are many, and whatever
Sep 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing

This is quite a masterpiece. Despite being short and abstract, this story is deep and thought-provoking. Unique.

My only complaint - I couldn't get enough. Wish there were a sequel.

***4.5 stars***
Sonia ~Ruber's fiancé in Crystal Court universe~
This was stunning, achingly beautiful..

And the last 2 paragraphs just about killed me...

Ije the Devourer of Books
A beautifully written story. Sad and haunting but with touches of hope,
Britta ★ Nachteule ★
Sep 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Britta ★ Nachteule ★ by: Everyone and their mother

Vacation-Countdown-Shorty #5/19!

And again I'm sitting here lost for words. I start to type but clear it just to start all over again. (Now is the 7th time.)

I'm so stunned how much feels are in this shorty and without a single spoken word!

I feel like I've had cried 100 years and there were no more tears left.

The story won't make you feel good!
It won't make you smiling and laughing!
It will take your heart and tear it in teensy tiny pieces!
It will touch you so deep only a very few books can. And t
Sep 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Riptide is having a Blast sale and this little gem is part of it, available for 0.99 in the period 2-6 June 2015!

Go grab it if for some reason you haven't read it yet. It's a truly exquisite, magical love story. Beware, though, there are bound to be tears in the end.

Ok, I will some (more) time before I can review this in any coherent form.
It was beautiful and heart-breaking and unexpected and it made me cry.

It's a touching short story about love and los
Aug 24, 2014 rated it it was ok
If you have ever seen the documentary Blackfish you will know this story well.

This book has wonderful writing, of course, being written by a very talented author. But i'm unsure of how to rate it at this moment as the documentary is so fresh in my mind that i was picturing the mermaids as orcas while reading it.

Though for anyone who hasn't watched Blackfish, i would highly recommend it.
Aug 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: short-story, merman
Too beautiful for words. Too sad for words. And far too short...because there weren't enough words.
☆ Todd
Nov 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
I found this to be such a sad and touching short story.

It is a romance, but not a happily ever after. There really can't be given the circumstances. But you deeply feel the emotion behind the yearning that the two main characters feel to be as one.

The narrator of the story is the genetically-engineered, runaway sun of the King. I'm still not sure precisely what all of that had to do with how the story unfolded, but ok, let's go with that.

He ran away years ago and joined the circus. The Cirque de
This is… not a romance. It’s something strange and sad; a fairytale with an ending that isn’t precisely happy or sad. The writing is lovely, and the descriptions of the mermaids as something wholly other really works. The relationship — is it a relationship? — between the narrator and the merman is strange, and the more realistic for being ambiguous, for being… what it is, a strange union between two species where one has more power over the other, where one is a captive and the other is, nomina ...more
This was just a beautiful story, I cannot express how such a quick read can capture your emotions so deeply. The writing is magnificent, I grabbed this after reading Mel's review, which captures this book perfectly. ❤ ...more
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Sand and Ruin and Gold 1 3 Dec 25, 2018 09:09AM  

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Genrequeer writer of kissing books.

Other books in the series

Ruin (5 books)
  • Draconitas (Ruin, #2)
  • Wintergreen (Ruin, #3)
  • My Last Husband
  • Glass
“I had only questions, uncertainties, and shame. A kiss that was not a kiss from a man who was not a man.” 6 likes
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