The House of Shattered Wings
From the Nebula-award winning author of Obsidian and Blood, out now from Gollancz (UK/Commonwealth, trade paperback, ebook) and Roc (US, hardback): a devastated turn of the century Paris split between quasi-feudal Houses, addictive magic, fallen angels–and entirely too many dead bodies!
- Winner of a British Science Fiction Association Award for Best Novel
- Finalist for a Locus Award, Best Fantasy novel
- Locus Recommended Reading List 2015, Best Fantasy novel
- Top 10 2015, Elbakin.net
- Best Books of 2015, Fantasy Faction
- Best of Review of 2015, SFFWorld
- 20 Books You Should Have Read in 2015, ScifiNow
NEW! In translation: Published in France by Fleuve Editions (with a translation by Emmanuel Chastellière). Date of 2017 is what I have as of now. Czech and German translations also forthcoming.
US cover art by Nekro. UK cover design by Graeme Longhorne.
A superb murder mystery, on an epic scale, set against the fall out – literally – of a war in Heaven.
Paris has survived the Great Houses War – just. Its streets are lined with haunted ruins, Notre-Dame is a burnt-out shell, and the Seine runs black with ashes and rubble. Yet life continues among the wreckage. The citizens continue to live, love, fight and survive in their war-torn city, and The Great Houses still vie for dominion over the once grand capital.
House Silverspires, previously the leader of those power games, 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. They may be the architects of its last, irreversible fall…
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Still unconvinced? Other people think this is a great book:
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)
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, Top 10 Autumn SF/Fantasy/Horror Pick)
It’s a whirlwind, it’s heartbreaking, and it’s one of the best fantasy novels of 2015.
Jessie Potts, RT Book Reviews (RT Top Pick for August Fantasy)
THE HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS is a Gothic masterpiece of supernatural intrigues, loves and betrayals in a ruined and decadent future Paris — wildly imaginative and completely convincing, this novel will haunt you long after you’ve put it down.
Tim Powers, author of The Anubis Gates
THE HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS exists in a rich, evocative Paris that is thick with magical history. Pathos and beauty intertwine in a novel filled with longing.
Mary Robinette Kowal, Multiple-Hugo award winning author of the Glamourist Histories
Fantastic! de Bodard’s tale of a post-everything Paris, struggling toward an uncertain future beneath the burden of its imperial sins, burns with vengeful magic and subtle, shining prose.
Max Gladstone, author of the Craft Sequence
Darkly entertaining. de Bodard makes Fallen Angels entirely her own in this post-apocalyptic Paris near the turn of the century. The personal politics of necessity blend and clash with the politics of the powerful as people—mortal and immortal—attempt to survive.
Michelle Sagara, author of the Chronicles of Elantra
An intense, beautiful, brutal journey written with an eye for the stunning, vivid detail and the cruel demands of duty, loyalty, and leadership. Its portrait of a ruined Paris ruled by fallen angels is one I won’t soon forget.
Kate Elliott, author of the Spiritwalker Trilogy
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More praise for the book:
Original and intriguing, this novel is a strange delight and a foretaste of great things to come.
Justina Robson, author of The Glorious Angels
Lyrical, sophisticated, lush, suspenseful… brings to life an exciting world of deep magic and complex, layered characters.
Ken Liu, author of The Grace of Kings
If the image of Lucifer sitting on a throne in the ruins of Notre-Dame strikes you as awesome, then this is the book for you.
Marie Brennan, author of The Memoirs of Lady Trent series
A few times in a lifetime, a book comes along that wraps you completely in its world and its characters. You walk its streets, smell its flowers, breathe its air alongside the characters as their stories become your story, their lives your life. THE HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS is one of those books; convincing, gripping and filled with wonders.
Kari Sperring, Sidney J Bounds Award Winner, author of The Grass King’s Concubine
THE HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS is thoughtful, complex, and engrossing, a fantastical thriller set in a Paris that is both instantly recognizable and yet utterly alien, peopled by characters grotesque, broken, and beautiful – often at the same time. When I had to put this book down, I couldn’t wait to pick it up again.
Laura Anne Gilman, Nebula-nominated author of Silver on the Road
A fascinating and elegant mystery set in the fractured mirror of an alternate Paris. A subtle, hugely enjoyable, mix of fallen angels and human frailty.
Tom Lloyd, author of The Twilight Reign
Brutal, beautiful, bold and brilliant. Aliette de Bodard takes the reality we know and shatters it, creating an original and fascinating world full of shadows, magic and intrigue.
Freda Warrington, author of The Dark Arts of BloodBuy Now
BONUS: just as a teaser, the map of Paris I’ve already shared with a few people, showing the major locations of the novel:
(the greyed locations, Draken, Aiguillon and Hell’s Toll, are the Houses that fell during the Great Houses War and are no longer extant)
Q: Why is everything in the book (Silverspires, Morningstar) in English when the book is set in Paris?
It’s because while all the names are indeed those of French Houses, their meaning is important. To take just an example, “Silverspires” is a reference to Ile de la Cité, where the House is located–and which used to have the highest concentration of churches in the city. Hence the English. If anyone ever translates this into a foreign language, they’d need to translate all the names of the Houses (and possibly some characters’ names too!).
Q: What about outside Paris?
I only have 400 pages or so of novel, and I had to make some hard choices. There’s a lot of things happening outside Paris (actually outside the system of Parisian Houses): notably the suburbs and the Houseless areas are up to significant stuff, but I’ve had to move this particular plotline to book 2…
Q: Will there be a French version?
Yes! The French version will be published by Fleuve Editions, translated by Emmanuel Chastellière. Scheduled for 2017 last I heard.