The great magical Houses of Paris – headed by Fallen angels and magicians – were, however temporarily, at peace with each other. Until House Harrier was levelled by a powerful explosion. Now that peace has become chaos, tearing apart old alliances and setting off a race in which each House hoards magic and resources to protect itself against another such blast.
Thuan, the Dragon head of the divided House Hawthorn, is still consolidating his power when war comes to his doorstep. Aurore -exiled from and almost beaten to death by House Harrier – sees her moment to seek power in order to protect her family, even if she must venture back to her destroyed former home to get it. And Emmanuelle finds herself alone in the middle of it all, driven to protect others, trying to piece together what has happened, andhoping – eventually – to make sense of it all.
None of them know what destroyed House Harrier, though . . . and when they do uncover that fiery, destructive magic then divided Houses, old enemies and estranged friends will all have to make a decision: stand together, or burn alone . . .
Praise for Aliette de Bodard
‘This portrait of a ruined Paris ruled by fallen angels is one I won’t soon forget’ Kate Elliot
‘Aliette de Bodard presents a gritty, otherworldly Paris in her fast-paced, fantastical thriller’ Washington Post
‘Elegantly written’ Guardian
‘A superb blend of intrigue, mystery and magic, and urban fantasy; it’s brilliantly written adn the story is gripping’ Civilian Reader
This book is wreathed in mythology, magic and mysticism and it is such a compelling read that maybe the book itself is magic
Fantasy Book Review
I have said previously in a review of her work that Aliette de Bodard is a writer who deserves attention...and The House of Shattered Wings is the perfect way to discover her work
The House of Shattered Wings is many things. It's a murder mystery. It's a post-apocalyptic survival tale. It's a steel-cold look at protagonists who are antiheroes. It's a slow-burn Gothic narrative with plenty of tension and a sense of impending doom that retains elegance and poise and never comes crashing down. Bodard's worldbuilding is rich, her writing is sophisticated, almost regal in style. But more importantly, and poignantly, The House of Shattered Wings is also a story about imperialism, about displacement and belonging, about loyalties and the desperate desire to simply return to your own tribe.
With a combination of mythologies and folklore, The House of Shattered Wings is filled with beautiful descriptive settings, interesting and diverse characters, magic and the alchemy. It is a place where Paris is dark, beautiful, ruined and magical... just like the Fallen who rule it.
BOOK NERD REVIEWS
The devastated Paris of Aliette de Bodard's novel is especially haunting. This is partly because de Bodard, a Nebula Award-winning French-Vietnamese writer, lives in Paris and can convey a visceral sense of immediacy to a ruined Notre Dame or the remains of the grand department stores, and partly it's because of the sheer lyricism of her prose...A series of mysterious deaths turns the novel into a surprising but compelling murder mystery, which plays out according to the supernatural terms de Bodard has laid out so evocatively.
The Chicago Tribune
Aliette de Bodard presents a gritty, otherworldly Paris in her fast-paced, fantastical thriller.
The Washington Post
an intriguing mystery, elegantly written... with carefully crafted characters both with layers and depth, De Bodard reflects the best and worst of human nature in her novel
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.
French-Vietnamese author Aliette de Bodard ventures into the realm of gothic fantasy and manages to create - despite the hoary premise of fallen angels and ancient curses - something startlingly and creepily original.
There's an intelligence-and, yes, an elegance-to The House of Shattered Wings that is as rare and precious as angel essence.
Reading this novel felt like a very intimate experience, the characters and landscape are so well developed with such detail that one feels as if they are walking alongside them as the story unfolds... Ambience abounds in this novel.
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.
Aliette de Bodard has made a name for herself imagining futures and alternate histories that showcase non-Western cultural landscapes and characters...this is smart and nuanced storytelling
It is a great mix of styles that come together in a satisfyingly complex web of magic and intrigue and I'm looking forward to exploring this world further in book two.
If you like fantasy which is intelligent and definitely non-formulaic, then I would absolutely recommend this book.
This is a story unlike anything I've read before. Two aspects have burned an impression into my mind: the unusual tale itself and the writing - the beautiful, almost unearthly writing.
It's 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.
The House of Shattered Wings is a murder mystery set in a sumptuous and enchanting world, that will draw you in with it's vivid world weaving, and infectious atmosphere.
Its intriguing mix of mythos and magic is a perfect introduction to Aliette de Bodard's new creation and I'm already looking forward to sequels. This is definitely Paris like you've never seen before.
One of the most influential voice in fantasy today.
I strongly urge you to get House of Shattered Wings: it offers something a little different; a superb blend of intrigue, mystery and magic and urban fantasy; it's brilliantly written; and the story is gripping. I can't wait for the sequel. Very highly recommended.
There's so much going on here: social commentary, myths and fairy tales that often feel under-represented in genre fiction, a gripping adventure and an affecting love story. The author has gone from strength to strength.
A fascinating Paris of decay and cruelty. Phillippe is a marvel of a character.
The House of Shattered Wings is an enthralling and fully submerging read with an intriguing power structure and a setting that has both an unknown and yet familiarly gothic feel to it.
WE LOVE THIS BOOK
If you are on the lookout for something fresh and exciting in Dark Urban Fantasy, this is the book for you.
The Book Plank
In the end, de Bodard manages to weave together the backstories and fates of the various characters...into a novel that is both haunting and original, its sense of loss almost palpable, and it setting not quite like anything else in modern fantasy.
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.
Fascinating, moving and hugely readable