The Scattered Pearls Belt is a string of habitats on the edge of a huge galactic empire—a glittering, decadent society rife with corruption.
Now, one of its victims—Quỳnh, a scholar betrayed and left for dead—has come back for her revenge under the guise of the glamorous and enigmatic Alchemist of Streams and Hills.
Quỳnh’s path intersects that of Minh—the daughter of one of her oldest enemies, who chafes at her own lack of freedom—and of Hoà, a near-destitute engineer who poses a threat to all Quỳnh’s careful plans. Quỳnh finds herself inexorably attracted to Hoà, even as her plans upend the fragile political equilibrium of the Belt.
Falling in love wasn’t part of Quỳnh’s plans. Will she be able to grasp this second chance at happiness, or will she cling to a revenge that may well consume her whole?
A poignant, heartwarming, romantic space opera about love, revenge, and the weight of the past.
Podium also publishes the audiobook of Aliette’s highly-acclaimed THE RED SCHOLAR’S WAKE, also set in the Xuya universe (narrated by Aoife Hinds).
A FIRE BORN OF EXILE was selected as a Tor.com Reviewers’ Choice: Best of 2023. Here are just a few of the reviews the novel has received so far…
‘… intricate and emotional standalone space opera… de Bodard’s worldbuilding dazzles… a touching sci-fi romance that will delight fans and new readers alike.’ — Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
‘Incredible… This is a world of dizzying tech, gorgeous illusions and twisty political thrills — catnip for readers who enjoyed Ann Leckie’s Imperial Radch trilogy or Jacqueline Koyanagi’s “Ascension.”’ — New York Times
‘[A]n elaborate tale of revenge, courtly machinations, filial relationships, and a romance… As usual in the Xuya stories, de Bodard weaves a solid adventure; this stands alone and so might be a perfect introduction to the series.’ — Booklist
‘A tense, accomplished space opera, told with de Bodard’s usual vividness and verve.’ — Locus
‘As always, Aliette’s prose is impactful, and the relationships and emotional arcs of the characters are doubly so.’ — Lynne M. Thomas, co-editor of Uncanny Magazine