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The House of Shattered Wings by Aliette de Bodard

The House of Shattered Wings

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Maxim Jakubowski September 2015 Highly Recommended.

A major new writer comes of age with this splendid, sprawling fantasy novel quite unlike much of what is sold as fantasy these days, what with predictable wizards, dragons and endless quests none of which appear here by a long shot. In a ruined and decadent future Paris ruled by fallen angels, various Houses compete for domination of the fabled city in the rubble left by the Great Magicians War. In a recognisable landscape touched by overlapping layers of unreality, a motley trio comes together, a troubled alchemist, a naive but powerful fallen and a young man with a gift for wielding spells from the Far East. A murder mystery with magic attached, an evocation of immemorial Vietnamese legends (the author, who lives in Paris, is of Vietnamese descent), beautiful and brutal, grotesque and moving, this is a mighty novel that will break down the doors of the imagination and leave them wide open to unsettling but fascinating new vistas. Delightful. ~ Maxim Jakubowski


The House of Shattered Wings by Aliette de Bodard

Paris in the aftermath of the Great Magicians War. Its streets are lined with haunted ruins, Notre-Dame is a burnt-out shell, and the Seine runs black, thick with ashes and rubble. Yet life continues among the wreckage. The citizens retain their irrepressible appetite for novelty and distraction, and The Great Houses still vie for dominion over France's once grand capital. House Silverspires, previously the leader of those power games, now lies in disarray. Its magic is ailing; its founder, Morningstar, has been missing for decades; and now something from the shadows stalks its people inside their very own walls. Within the House, three very different people must come together: a naive but powerful Fallen, an alchemist with a self-destructive addiction, and a resentful young man wielding spells from the Far East. They may be Silverspires' salvation; or the architects of its last, irreversible fall ...


'an intriguing mystery, elegantly written... with carefully crafted characters both with layers and depth, De Bodard reflects the best and worst of human nature in her novel' The Guardian

'I strongly urge you to get House of Shattered Wings: it offers something a little different; a superb blend of intrigue, mystery and magic and urban fantasy; it's brilliantly written; and the story is gripping. I can't wait for the sequel. Very highly recommended. Civilian Reader Reading this novel felt like a very intimate experience, the characters and landscape are so well developed with such detail that one feels as if they are walking alongside them as the story unfolds. I initially thought the numerous puzzles and mysteries in this book would be too much to follow but the whole story flows so well that this is absolutely not the this on a dark and stormy night tucked up in an arm chair. Ambience abounds in this novel.' Geek Syndicate

About the Author

Aliette de Bodard

Aliette de Bodard is one of the Writers of the Future, has won two Nebula Awards, a Locus Award and a BSFA Award. She has also been a finalist for the Hugo, Sturgeon, and Tiptree Awards, making her one of our most-lauded contemporary fiction writers. A writer by night, by day she is a qualified engineer, specialising in Applied Mathematics. She lives in Paris, in a flat with more computers than she really needs.

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Book Info

Publication date

20th August 2015


Aliette de Bodard

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Gollancz an imprint of Orion Publishing Co


416 pages


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