Tag: house of shattered wings

New story: Children of Thorns, Children of Water at Uncanny Magazine

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New story: Children of Thorns, Children of Water at Uncanny Magazine

My story “Children of Thorns, Children of Water” has now been published at Uncanny Magazine. You can read it here.

This is set in the Dominion of the Fallen, my Gothic ruined Paris with Fallen angels, dragons, alchemists and magicians (aka my love letter to 19th Century Gothic fiction and manga and anime like Fullmetal Alchemist and Black Butler, which includes novels The House of Shattered Wings and The House of Binding Thorns ). It’s a standalone: an excellent introduction to the universe, and a good return to it if you’re already familiar with it!

What you get: dragons, creepy magic, cooking (!).

In a Paris that never was, a city of magicians, alchemists and Fallen angels struggling to recover from a devastating magical war…

Once each year, the House of Hawthorn tests the Houseless: for those chosen, success means the difference between a safe life and the devastation of the streets. However, for Thuan and his friend Kim Cuc, — dragons in human shapes and envoys from the dying underwater kingdom of the Seine — the stakes are entirely different. Charged with infiltrating a House that keeps encroaching on the Seine, if they are caught, they face a painful death.

Worse, mysterious children of thorns stalk the candidates through Hawthorn’s corridors. Will Thuan and Kim Cuc survive and succeed?

Read Online!

If you’ve already read and enjoyed it, why not try The House of Binding Thorns in which you get to meet again Thuan (aka, the queer, bookish dragon prince with amazing talent for getting himself into trouble), as well as a host of other characters?

(or you can also pick up the full issue of Uncanny Magazine, which has fiction by Seanan McGuire, Mary Robinette Kowal, Cassandra Khaw and other fine folk)

The Dominion of the Fallen Reading Order (Novels Only)

Book 1. The House of Shattered Wings | Book 2. The House of Binding Thorns

Excerpt

With thanks to Stephanie Burgis, Kate Elliott and Fran Wilde

It was a large, magnificent room with intricate patterns of ivy branches on the tiles, and a large mirror above a marble fireplace, the mantlepiece crammed with curios from delicate silver bowls to Chinese blue-and-white porcelain figures: a clear statement of casual power, to leave so many riches where everyone could grab them.

Or rather, it would have been, if the porcelain hadn’t been cut-rate–the same bad quality the Chinese had foisted on the Indochinese court in Annam–the mirror tarnished, with mould growing in one corner, spread down far enough that it blurred features, and the tiling cracked and chipped in numerous places–repaired, but not well enough that Thuan couldn’t feel the imperfections under his feet, each one of them a little spike in the khi currents of magic around the room.

Not that Thuan was likely to be much impressed by the mansions of Fallen angels, no matter how much of Paris they might claim to rule. He snorted disdainfully, an expression cut short when Kim Cuc elbowed him in the ribs. “Behave,” she said.

“You’re not my mother.” She was his ex-lover, as a matter of fact; and older than him, and never let him forget that.

“Next best thing,” Kim Cuc said, cheerfully. “I can always elbow further down, if you insist.”

Thuan bit down the angry retort. The third person in the room–a dusky-skinned, young girl of Maghrebi descent, who’d introduced herself as Leila–was looking at them with fear in her eyes. “We’re serious,” he said, composing his face again. “We’re not going to ruin your chances to enter House Hawthorn, promise.”

They were a team: that was what they’d been told, as the House dependents separated the crowd before the House in small groups; that their performance would be viewed as a whole, and their chance to enter the House weighed accordingly. Though no rules had been given, and nothing more said, either, as dependents led them to this room and locked them in. At least he was still with Kim Cuc, or he’d have been hopelessly lost.

For people like Leila–for the Houseless, the desperate–it was their one chance to escape the streets, to receive food and shelter and the other tangible benefits of a House’s protection.

For Thuan and Kim Cuc, though… the problem was rather different. Their fate, too, would be rather different, if anyone found out who they really were. No House in Paris liked spies, and Hawthorn was not known for its leniency.

Release Day for House of Binding Thorns! (UK)

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And today is release date for the UK edition of The House of Binding Thorns! Ruined and decadent turn-of-the-century Paris, dragons, Fallen angels, intrigue, revolutions, betrayals! (and it’s standalone: you can read it without having read the first one and it works just fine).

I hate to say this, but given that this is the way things work–the likelihood of me getting to write more novels in this universe (or indeed, more novels, full stop) is entirely dependent on sales, so if you fancy picking up a copy (whichever format) I’d be very grateful. And if you like it, dropping a good word about it on social media or reviewing at goodreads/amazon (doesn’t have to be long reviews–I’ll take inarticulate squeeing too *grin*) or recommending to a friend would help immensely.

Here are a few blog posts I did for the release:
“Unfamiliar Rooms: Magic and Dread in Kari Sperring’s The Grass King’s Concubine” at Tor.com
Geography of alternate destroyed Paris and terrible bilingual puns at Mary Robinette Kowal’s My Favourite Bit
“In Defence of Uncanny Punctuation” at Chuck Wendig’s blog: a blog post with semicolons and durians, all the best things in life ^-^

And here are a few reviews:

A successful continuation of a truly grand story, brimming with action, heart, representation, and magic.

Martin Cahill, Barnes and Noble blog

A striking example of a story that both stands alone and expands (…) 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.

Niall Alexander, Tor.com

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Read Chapter One Online!

 

Read for Pixels fundraiser and Google Hangout

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I’m delighted to be taking part in this year’s Read for Pixels’ fundraiser, which aims to fight violence against women. The fundraiser just went up, and I’m offering a Parisian Bundle, which will let you curl up with The House of Shattered Wings, good food, and a print of gorgeous artwork by Likhain, featuring Françoise and Berith, two characters from The House of Binding Thorns (a Fallen and her mortal lover). You can also get a Skype call with me if you’re so inclined. And there are plenty of goodies from the likes of Laini Taylor, Mary Robinette Kowal, Michelle Sagara…

This weekend only, author Karen Rose is matching all donations up to $4000, so now’s the time for donating if you want to!

To support the fundraiser, I’ll be taking part in Read for Pixels’ Google Hangout on Sunday March 19th, 4pm Paris Time. I’ll be reading from my forthcoming The House of Binding Thorns: ruined and decadent Paris, magical intrigues, dragons in human shape, and kissing and stabbing (not necessarily in that order :p), and taking questions about my writing.

More info here, and access details to the livestream channel here.

Revealing: Children of Thorns, Children of Water, an exclusive preorder reward for House of Binding Thorns

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I’ve spoken of it before, but preorders are super important–they help establish enthusiasm for the book, and also boost sales in that all-important first week. As an author they also feel special to me, because readers are making a great gesture of faith on a book that hasn’t been delivered yet. Last time, for The House of Shattered Wings, I offered an exclusive small ebook of short stories (which you can now read for free here). This time around, I considered several options, but in the end the exclusive short story was, once again, the one that polled best. So I set out to writing a really short prequel story set just before the beginning of The House of Binding Thorns, which would introduce some of the new characters, showcase some old favourites, and get readers ready for enjoying the book.

Except, erm.

I ended up writing a novelette. All 12,000 words of it. So much for short, but on the plus side you should get an immersive, detailed read :p

So… preorder The House of Binding Thorns, and you get access to “Children of Thorns, Children of Water”, an exclusive prequel short long story set just before the events of the book. Here’s the cover:

I’m over at the Gollancz blog explaining a bit about how Megan Crewe designed it.

If you don’t feel like hopping there, here’s more info about the story:

In a Paris that never was, a city of magicians, alchemists and Fallen angels struggling to recover from a devastating magical war…

Once each year, the House of Hawthorn tests the Houseless: for those chosen, success means the difference between a safe life and the devastation of the streets. However, for Thuan and his friend Kim Cuc, — dragons in human shapes and envoys from the dying underwater kingdom of the Seine — the stakes are entirely different. Charged with infiltrating a House that keeps encroaching on the Seine, if they are caught, they face a painful death.

Worse, mysterious children of thorns stalk the candidates through Hawthorn’s corridors. Will Thuan and Kim Cuc survive and succeed?

You can get the ebook of Children of Thorns, Children of Water if you preorder The House of Binding Thorns (ebook, audiobook or physical book): Gollancz has kindly agreed to fulfilling the US preorders in addition to the UK ones, so whichever edition you preordered (aka “the one with the sword” or “the blue one with the thorns”), just go here and fill in the form to get access.

And here’s where to preorder!

Buy now

If you’re a newsletter subscriber, my next newsletter is going out tonight, and will feature an excerpt from Children of Thorns, Children of Water. If you’re not a subscriber, there’s still time!

And here’s some review quotes, just in case you’re not convinced:

Starred Publishers Weekly Review for HOUSE OF BINDING THORNS

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First reviews of The House of Binding Thorns are coming in… And Publishers’ Weekly gave it a starred review!

“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.”

Full review here.

More book info here! Coming quite soon now (sayth the author, hiding under the bed).

Giveaway results

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Giveaway results

So, as promised, the giveaway results…
Congratulations to Clare Henry (who won the ARC), Asha Bardon (who won the HoSW paperback), Chesley Cox, Donna Kelly, Margo, Keith Manuel and Joanne Burrows (who won a set of House of Binding Thorns promo cards).

And also as promised: the food most people would miss in a post-magical-war Paris would seem to be viennoiseries (pain au chocolate and croissant) and cheese. I was really impressed by the Vietnamese food ones–some classics such as banh mi and pho, but also things like bun vit mang or nom hua chuoi! And nope, probably not happening in a post apocalyptic Paris, they’ve got enough trouble finding the fish sauce already °_°

Thank you very much for taking part, it was fun to read everyone’s entries 🙂

Should you want more info on House of Binding Thorns, it’s here. And, hum, if you didn’t win the ARC but happen to want to pre-order here are the links (again, I know it’s hard and not everyone can afford to buy, but it does help the book. It’s very much appreciated if you do preorder, and I should be able to announce the preorders rewards a bit later–hopefully early next year, with my publishers’ blessing)

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And here’s the Pinterest board for the book!

Follow Aliette’s board House of Binding Thorns on Pinterest.

Giveaway for ARC of HOUSE OF BINDING THORNS

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Giveaway for ARC of HOUSE OF BINDING THORNS

And as promised, here’s the giveaway for one ARC of The House of Binding Thorns: ruined and decadent Paris, Fallen angels, alchemists, a dragon kingdom under invasion, and backstabbing aplenty! Open anywhere in the world–I’d of course much appreciate it if you could review the book on goodreads, for instance, (it does help the author *sheepish grin*).

I’ll close it next Thursday, and probably post some highlights of the food question as well.

Here are the promo cards:

(the HOUSE OF BINDING THORNS ones have got a random quote from the book at the back, the HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS ones come with both US and UK covers and have a pull quote)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The multi-award winning author of The House of Shattered Wings continues her Dominion of the Fallen saga as 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 may 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.

For more information go here.

Buy now

And if you need more idea of what you’re in for, here’s the Pinterest board for the book:

Follow Aliette’s board House of Binding Thorns on Pinterest.

ARCs of HOUSE OF BINDING THORNS are in!

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The dragon has decided, being Chinese, that it wants to hoard knowledge rather than gold.
Ok, ok, not much knowledge there unless you count a dark fantasy Gothic thriller as knowledge (I’m sure you’ll learn lots of things about Paris :p).

I’ll be setting up a giveaway but that’ll have to wait until next week as the house is currently in the throes of plague (aka norovirus plus laryngitis, a combo I heartily don’t endorse).

For more info about the book, go here.

And if you’d like to pre-order:

Buy now
(like last time, pre-order and/or buy in the first week after release and you’ll get something–I can’t give details yet but there will definitely be a reward to make it worth your while. Pre orders help me, the author, too, because they tell the publisher that readers are enthusiastic for the book and obviously I want to keep my publisher happy!)

Cover reveal: US edition of THE HOUSE OF BINDING THORNS

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So… cover time!

Tor.com has kindly agreed to reveal the cover for the US edition of The House of Binding Thorns. It’s still by the awesome Nekro, with art direction by Adam Auerbach, and it looks gorgeous.

Here’s a little teaser:

Head on over to Tor.com for the full cover, and the official cover copy aka “what this book is about in more detail”. Be warned, however, that if you haven’t read The House of Shattered Wings and intend to (though you don’t need to have read The House of Shattered Wings to enjoy this, it’s standalone), this contains major spoilers.

If you want a between-the-books snippet and a look at the Pinterest board, you can head on over to the official novel page on this website, here.

The book will be out April 4th in hardcover from Roc in the US, and April 20th from Gollancz in the UK and the Rest of the World, and you can pre-order the US edition right now [1] (*cough* pre orders are really important for authors because they’re an indicator of how much people are excited about the book, so if you happen to want this I’d be very grateful if you did preorder. Also, did I mention this is standalone? It is standalone, you don’t need to have read The House of Shattered Wings to enjoy it, and my admittedly biased opinion is that this is a better book because I definitely gained a level in novel-writing between both books.*cough* [2])

Buy now


[1]I put in the link for the preorder of the UK edition but I’m a little less sure about this: the Kindle link looks right, but the default amazon link is to a hardback edition that I’m pretty sure isn’t coming out (and last time people who did order the hardback edition never got their books, so I’m a little leery of the same thing happening again).

[2]There will also be preorder freebies like the last time, but I’m still working on what these should be!

HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS trade paperback out in the US today

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HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS trade paperback out in the US today

Just a quick note that if you’ve wanted to buy The House of Shattered Wings but thought the hardback was too expensivve, or if you just want to see what all the fuss is about… today is the release date of the US trade paperback edition (and the ebook prices have been lowered to match, too). In a turn-of-the-century Paris devastated by a magicians’ war, political and magical intrigues, Fallen angels, Vietnamese immortals, and rather too many dead bodies…

More info on the novel here.

Meanwhile, I’ll be off wrangling The House of Binding Thorns revisions…

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