Reviews and Interviews
A roundup of stuff related to The House of Shattered Wings!
Inspirations and genesis:
- At Geekmom: my favourite manga and anime
- “Writing the Novel of my Heart” at Fantastica Ficcion
- Six Books at Nerds of a Feather
- On the Gollancz blog: Eight inspirations for the Novel (CS Friedman’s Coldfire trilogy!)
- At welovethisbook.com: how Les Miserables and The Count of Monte Cristo inspired the novel
- “On Colonialism, Evil Empires and Oppressive Systems”: article at Tor.com (reprinted from my blog)
- At Scifinow: Merging Fantasy and SF in a ruined Paris
- “Reimagining Paris” at Bibliotropic
- On Nuking Paris: Big Idea piece at John Scalzi’s blog
- Magic Systems and My Worldbuilding Process at Charlie Stross’s blog
- A Tourist Guide’s to Surviving in Post-war Paris at Dark Faerie Tales
Writing and characters:
- “The Character at the Heart of the Book” at Chuck Wendig’s blog
- My Favorite Bit at Mary Robinette Kowal’s website (Morningstar, in case you had doubts ^^)
- At Intellectus Speculativus: Diversity and Gender Roles in The House of Shattered Wings
- “Beauty in the Ruins” at A Dribble of Ink
- “Challenges, the Art of Baking and the House of Shattered Wings” at the Gollancz Blog
- Five Creepiest Monsters at Tor.com
- The Forum at BBC World Service: Magic
- Sixty Seconds to Improve the World at BBC World Service
- My reddit Ask Me Anything–book recs, cookery and more!
- I talk on the Coode Street Podcast with Jonathan Strahan and Gary K Wolfe about the novel: Jonathan Strahan calls it “powerful and engaging”.
- An intimidation of Shrimp: Cooking the Books podcast with Fran Wilde and Zen Cho on weaponised food, and food and worldbuilding
- “Culture, history and novels”: Roundtable with Cindy Pon, Kate Elliott, Zen Cho, Tade Thompson and me at The Booksmugglers
- Midnight in Karachi podcast with Mahvesh Murad
- Skiffy and Fanty Show interview
- “A Process Conversation with Aliette de Bodard”, Interview with Rochita Loenen-Ruiz at the Push Blog
Excerpts and bonuses:
- Commented excerpt at Reader Dad
- Commented excerpt at Civilian Reader
- Commented excerpt at Geek Syndicate
- “Writing Of Books, and Earth, and Courtship” at the Gollancz Blog
A few reviews around the net (not exhaustive, sorry, I couldn’t keep track of everything!):
–Publishers Weekly (starred review):
Gripping (…) 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.
Will grab readers and force them to pay attention to the amazing writing and the phenomenal characters (…) It’s a whirlwind, it’s heartbreaking and it’s one of the best fantasy novels of 2015.
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.
Especially haunting(…) convey(s) a visceral sense of immediacy (…) a surprising but compelling murder mystery, which plays out according to the supernatural terms de Bodard has laid out so evocatively.
–Nancy Hightower at the Washington Post (best new science fiction and fantasy books for August):
a gritty, otherworldly Paris in (a) fast-paced, fantastical thriller
A dark and wondrous fantasy (…) every setting and location is invoked in vivid detail, and a very dark world is brought to life.
Grimly prosaic (…) wrapped up in intrigue and politics (…) comes closer to the blunt, grounded violence of Game Of Thrones than the high gothic fantasy it outwardly resembles (…) a grim story with high-flown conventions, but by finding so much ugliness even in supernatural beauty, de Bodard makes both seem more compelling, and more concrete.
-Rob Weber at Val’s Random Comments:
My expectations of this novel were probably unfairly high but De Bodard manages to surpass them anyway.
Fascinating, moving and hugely readable.
The year’s best urban fantasy by far (…) takes a whole hoard of over-familiar fantasy tropes and turns them, evidently effortlessly, on their collective head (…) There’s an intelligence—and, yes, an elegance—to The House of Shattered Wings that is as rare and precious as angel essence.
Aliette de Bodard has written an absolute masterpiece whose sequel cannot come soon enough.
One of the most unusual and absorbing books I’ve read in years (…) a vivid sense of remembered splendour and grandeur (…) a powerful novel that sinks deep into the reader’s psyche, taking you into a world so rich and characters so compelling that they linger for months after turning the last page. Don’t miss it.
Not for the faint hearted but is a literary feat of imagination that will astound readers.
a novel that is not easy to put down (…) has has some incredible moments that will leave you wanting more (…) a thrilling, gripping read, that will leave you wanting another hit of angel essence.
Haunting and sticks in the mind.
Stylishly written, this is the most original piece of fiction – I find that “Fantasy” is far too restrictive – you’re likely to come across this year. A wonderful introduction to Aliette de Bodard, who is already an award-winning short story writer, The House of Shattered Wings is an excellent showcase for this mighty talent and adds yet another author to this reader’s “must-read” list.
-Krista McKeeth at Marianne de Pierres’s:
There was nothing that I did not like about this story. Everything comes together with perfect timing and intensity. If you enjoy stories about war, politics, fallen angels, high fantasy magic, this is a must read!
A book that I would highly recommend with a great ensemble of characters and story lines.Buy Now
The book is also an Amazon Best Book of the Month in Science Fiction/Fantasy.