Last week, Fleuve Éditions unveiled the cover for the French edition of Aliette de Bodard‘s THE HOUSE OF BINDING THORNS. The second novel in the author’s critically-acclaimed Dominion of the Fallen series, it is due to be published in France as L’ASCENSION DE LA MAISON AUBÉPINE, in January 2018. There’s no French synopsis, yet, so here’s the English-language cover copy…
Paris endures the aftermath of a devastating arcane war…
As the city rebuilds from the onslaught of sorcery that nearly destroyed it, the great Houses of Paris, ruled by fallen angels, still contest one another for control over the capital.
House Silverspires was once the most powerful, but just as it sought to rise again, an ancient evil brought it low. Phillippe, an immortal who escaped the carnage, has a singular goal — to resurrect someone he lost. But the cost of such magic might be more than he can bear.
In House Hawthorn, Madeleine the alchemist has had her addiction to angel essence savagely broken. Struggling to live on, she is forced on a perilous diplomatic mission to the underwater dragon kingdom – and finds herself in the midst of intrigues that have already caused one previous emissary to mysteriously disappear…
As the Houses seek a peace more devastating than war, those caught between new fears and old hatreds must find strength — or fall prey to a magic that seeks to bind all to its will.
Fleuve has also published the first novel in the series, THE HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS, as LA CHUTE DE LA MAISON AUX FLÈCHES D’ARGENT.
Here are just a few of the great reviews the series has received so far…
‘Meddling gleefully in the affairs of devils and dragons, this affective sequel to 2015’s THE HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS touches the heart as often as it cuts throats… Having fully crafted her world, de Bodard is now completely in control: she can move swiftly from gentle poetic touches to bloody Grand Guignol gestures, and she sure-handedly holds the reader by exposing the vulnerabilities and needs that drive even the seemingly all-powerful figures of rebel angels and ancient serpents to surrender to a higher collective power. In this world lacking signs of heaven, redemptions are painful but possible.’ — Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
‘de Bodard’s people feel real to me… There is hope even in the darkest of places, and there is a desire for love, for trust, for harbor, that takes root no matter how often it’s destroyed. This is a stronger, more certain novel than THE HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS, and if reading it is sometimes walking the unfenced edge of a cliff, the vista is dizzying and beautiful. It is well worth the wait, and if you haven’t read the first novel, I urge you to do so. But have THE HOUSE OF BINDING THORNS in hand before you reach the end.’ — Fantasy & Science Fiction (Mar/Apr 2017)
‘De Bodard’s writing is very precise, like a well-oiled machine. The tempo is piston perfect, with the prose style having a strong and steady rhythm throughout. The emotional journey is relatively predictable (especially when we get into a marriage sequence), but the narrative is not. In other words, you can pretty much tell that the big emotions are coming, but the how and the why is what keeps you on edge. This is not a villains book; this is a powerful sequel that shows us that the incredibly complex world of the last novel is even more involved than we first expected. Strong stuff which you won’t stop reading till the end.’ — Starburst on THE HOUSE OF BINDING THORNS
‘The author spins a tale that’s rich, emotional and gripping, and delivers that rare thing: a superior sequel… This is an incredibly rich novel. Even as the scheming, double-crossing and action set pieces unfold, the author never loses sight of the people whose lives are on the line… There’s just so much going on here: social commentary, myths and fairytales that often feel under-represented in genre fiction, a gripping genre adventure and an affecting love story. The author has gone from strength to strength and we can’t wait for this story to continue.’ — SciFi Now (5/5*) on THE HOUSE OF BINDING THORNS
‘Truly beautifully balanced: between new and old, birth and death, beauty and ugliness, inside and outside, beginning and, yes, ending. It walks the line, and walks it fine.’ — Tor.com on THE HOUSE OF BINDING THORNS
‘Will grab readers and force them to pay attention to the amazing writing and the phenomenal characters. de Bodard will sweep you up into the dark and dirty world Paris has become. The characters are very vivid and will stay with you until long after the last page, as each of them is fighting and longing for something. The writing style rendered the characters’ feelings and emotional turmoil beautifully. Watching Philippe and Isabelle work through their “connection” is fascinating and lovely. There’s so much going on, and every character has their own past, their own tragic history. It’s a whirlwind, it’s heartbreaking and it’s one of the best fantasy novels of 2015.’ — RT Book Reviews (Top Pick August 2015) on THE HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS
‘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) on THE HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS
‘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) on THE HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS
‘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 on THE HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS