This is a refreshing, beautifully imagined and original fantasy that takes archetypal tropes and one of the world’s most familiar settings and makes them new via a weaving together of different cultural flavours and a light but artful prose style. Add engaging characters and an intriguing plot and you have a fantasy that stands head, shoulders and wings above much fantasy in the market.
Angels have become an extraordinary phenomenon in popular culture in the USA but de Bodard’s angels could not be further from the anodyne biblical whitewashings of the spiritual pot-boiler. These are arcane and mysterious individuals who are suffering the fallout of a war in Heaven. And some have literally fallen. And in The House of Shattered Wings they have fallen into a ruinous Paris, stained by magic, that has barely survived the effects of Heaven’s strife and the Great Magicians War. Fallen angels are brutally harvested for every scrap of their being to provide fuel for magic. This may be a magical world but it is also a harsh one. One house of Magicians, bereft of its long lost founder Morningstar must now face a new threat in the shadows. De Bodard describes Paris gorgeously but also adds the authentic influence of France’s colonial adventures in Vietnam into this most European of cities. Varied, rich, vivid and propelled by the story of three very different characters, this is perfect for fans of authors as diverse as Angela Carter and Kate Griffin. ~ Simon Spanton
Maxim Jakubowski's view...
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
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... Ambience abounds in this novel. Geek Syndicate Aliette de Bodard has made a name for herself imagining futures and alternate histories that showcase non-Western cultural landscapes and characters...this is smart and nuanced storytelling' SFX
'Fascinating, moving and hugely readable' SCI-FI NOW
'This book is wreathed in mythology, magic and mysticism and it is such a compelling read that maybe the book itself is magic' Fantasy Book Review
'There's an intelligence-and, yes, an elegance-to The House of Shattered Wings that is as rare and precious as angel essence.' TOR.COM
'The devastated Paris of Aliette de Bodard's novel is especially haunting. This is partly because de Bodard, a Nebula Award-winning French-Vietnamese writer, lives in Paris and can convey a visceral sense of immediacy to a ruined Notre Dame or the remains of the grand department stores, and partly it's because of the sheer lyricism of her prose...A series of mysterious deaths turns the novel into a surprising but compelling murder mystery, which plays out according to the supernatural terms de Bodard has laid out so evocatively.' The Chicago Tribune
'De Bodard aptly mixes moral conflicts and the desperate need to survive in a fantastical spy thriller that reads like a hybrid of le Carre and Milton, all tinged with the melancholy of golden ages lost.' Publishers Weekly
Publication date: 28/07/2016
Publisher: Gollancz an imprint of Orion Publishing Co
Publication date: 20/08/2015
Publisher: Gollancz an imprint of Orion Publishing Co
|Publication date:||28th July 2016|
|Author:||Aliette de Bodard|
|Publisher:||Gollancz an imprint of Orion Publishing Co|
|Genres:||eBook Favourites, Fantasy,|
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.More About Aliette de Bodard