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…
Earlier this year, the novel won the BSFA Award for Best Fantasy Novel. Here’s just a sampling from the many great reviews the novel has received…
‘A gripping tragedy of forlorn individuals caught up in an angelic version of the Cold War… The story holds up well as a standalone, with clear possibilities but no pressing need for a sequel. De Bodard aptly mixes moral conflicts and the desperate need to survive in a fantastical spy thriller that reads like a hybrid of le Carré and Milton, all tinged with the melancholy of golden ages lost.’ — Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
‘A beautifully crafted novel full of complex characters, set in a post apocalyptic Paris – the image of which is truly haunting… vivid and fast-paced battles and intense political manoeuvrings… with carefully crafted characters both with layers and depth, De Bodard reflects the best and worst of human nature in her novel… an intriguing mystery, elegantly written… Something any avid fantasy reader with an open mind will devour!’ — Guardian
‘It’s a testament to De Bodard’s skills that we’re completely immersed in the world almost immediately, without her resorting to a ‘here’s what happened’ information splurge. None of the fallen angels can remember why it was that they fell from Heaven…the Paris of fallen angels that the author has created is so compelling… It’s brimming with ideas… This is a good problem to have though. It’s fascinating, moving and hugely readable.’ — SciFi Now
‘From the ruins of Notre Dome, now part of House Silverspires, to the mean streets of the once-great city, every setting and location is invoked in vivid detail, and a very dark world is brought to life… Aliette de Bodard is a writer who deserves attention. With THE HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS, the wonders of characters and setting on display certainly put the .truth to my remark, and THE HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS is the perfect way to discover her work.’ — SF Signal
‘De Bodard… has spun a fascinating Paris of decay and cruelty. Phillippe is a marvel of a character, unreliable as a narrator but compelling in his flaws and his deep well of homesickness.’ — Library Journal (Starred Review)
Last week, Gollancz also unveiled the new cover for the second novel in the Dominion of the Fallen series, THE HOUSE OF BINDING THORNS, due out April, 2017.
THE HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS is published in the US by Roc Books, who are also due to publish THE HOUSE OF BINDING THORNS (no US cover for book two, yet — we’ll share as soon as we have it).