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Shortlisted for the 2023 BSFA Award for Best Novel, shortlisted for the 2023 Arthur C. Clarke Award!
Xích Si: bot maker, data analyst, mother, scavenger. But those days are over now-her ship has just been captured by the Red Banner pirate fleet, famous for their double-dealing and cruelty. Xích Si expects to be tortured to death-only for the pirates’ enigmatic leader, Rice Fish, to arrive with a different and shocking proposition: an arranged marriage between Xích Si and herself.
Rice Fish: sentient ship, leader of the infamous Red Banner pirate fleet, wife of the Red Scholar. Or at least, she was the latter before her wife died under suspicious circumstances. Now isolated and alone, Rice Fish wants Xích Si’s help to find out who struck against them and why. Marrying Xích Si means Rice Fish can offer Xích Si protection, in exchange for Xích Si’s technical fluency: a business arrangement with nothing more to it.
But as the investigation goes on, Rice Fish and Xích Si find themselves falling for each other. As the interstellar war against piracy intensifies and the five fleets start fighting each other, they will have to make a stand-and to decide what kind of future they have together…
An exciting space opera and a beautiful romance, from an exceptional SF author.
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Space battles! Arranged marriage! Politics and pirates! Aliette de Bodard has a knack for concocting the most glittery and delicious candy-shell of space opera, and then filling it with a bittersweet romance between two fractured people trying to hold on to their ideals. Every new book of hers instantly becomes my favourite book of hers, and this was no exception
Freya Marske, author of international bestseller A Marvellous Light
The Red Scholar's Wake is a quiet, intimate novel, its focus on the personal as driving force for the plot. It's a book about love, over and above everything else: familial love, romantic love, and love for a community that doesn't always love you back. And alongside that love, it's also a book about hope.
A "read-in-one-sitting" novel with a beautifully-realized setting amid a complex examination of power and consequences, all intertwined with an intense and gripping romance.
Kate Elliott, author of Unconquerable Sun, Kate Elliott, author of Unconquerable Sun
Thrillingly exciting and achingly romantic, The Red Scholar's Wake is rich with political intrigue and piratical adventure. It took my breath away!
Stephanie Burgis, author of Snowspelled and Scales and Sensibility
A 'read-in-one-sitting' novel with a beautifully-realized setting amid a
complex examination of power and consequences, all intertwined with an
intense and gripping romance.
Kate Elliott, author of Unconquerable Sun
De Bodard's novel, with its rich overlay of Vietnamese culture, is a sumptuous, romantic experience