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The Traitor by Seth Dickinson

The Traitor

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Shortlisted for the Morningstar Award for Best Fantasy Newcomer at the David Gemmell Awards 2016.

When the Empire of Masks conquers her island home, criminalizes her customs, and murders one of her Fathers, Baru vows to hide her hate, join the Empire's civil service, and claw her way up enough rungs of power to put a stop to the Emperor's influence and set her people free. As a natural savant, she is sent as an imperial agent to distant Aurdwynn - a post she worries will never get her the position and power she craves. But Baru soon discovers Aurdwynn is a complex and secretive country, seemingly on the brink of rebellion. All it would need is a match to the tinder...


The Traitor by Seth Dickinson

[Published as The Traitor Baru Cormorant in the US]. Drawn by the intriguing duchess Tain Hu into a circle of seditious aristocrats, Baru may be able to use her position to stoke a revolution that will threaten to bring the Empire to its knees. As Baru maintains a precarious balance between the rebels and a shadowy cabal within the Empire, she orchestrates a do-or-die gambit with Aurdwynn's freedom as the prize. But winning the long game of saving her own people may be far more costly than Baru imagines.


'Smart. Brutal. Gut-wrenching. You'll be captivated from the very first page. Dickinson is a sly, masterful writer who pulls no punches. Get ready to have your heart ripped out through your throat. Highly recommended.' KAMERON HURLEY, author of The Mirror Empire

'Seth Dickinson skillfully combines intrigue, action, and philosophical musings to create a suspenseful and deeply satisfying read. An intelligent and accomplished first novel reminiscent of Le Guin in its reflections on imperialism, colonialism, and the attractions and corruptions of power.' UNA MCCORMACK, New York Times bestselling author of The Crimson Shadow

'Not many books have me literally flailing with delight. [The Traitor...] did. Fascinating characters, a world imagined with wonderful depth, and storytelling that succeeds on both an epic and a powerfully intimate scale. This is really something special.' SUNNY MORAINE, co-author of Life and Orbit

'A beautiful, perfectly formed crystal of a novel borne out of a tight plot mated with elegant language.' JOHN CHU, Hugo award-winning author of The Water That Falls on You

About the Author

Seth Dickinson's short fiction has appeared in various publications including Analog, Asimov's, Clarkesworld, Lightspeed, Strange Horizons and Beneath Ceaseless Skies. He is an instructor at the Alpha Workshop for Young Writers, winner of the 2011 Dell Magazines Award, and a lapsed student of social neuroscience. He lives in Brooklyn, New York. The Traitor is his first novel.

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Book Info

Publication date

30th November 1999


Seth Dickinson

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