Thanh is the Empress’s youngest daughter: the expendable one sent to powerful Ephteria as a ‘guest’; the forgotten foreigner they left to burn when their palace caught fire. But Thanh survived to go home, although she has found less herself welcome than she could wish. Now, the arrival of Ephterian envoys is her chance to prove her worth to the Empire… or see her home burn to the ground.
We’re counting down the days to Hallowe’en with some #SpooktasticReads. Today’s prompt – dark fantasy – is the perfect excuse to enthuse at you about one of my favourite series: Aliette de Bodard’s Gothic fantasy Dominion of the Fallen.
Come, enter the shadows of Fallen Paris with me…
Bringing your husband home for the holidays can be stressful at the best of times. Thuan is married to an over-protective angel who is keen on hurting people, and the festivities are set to involve palace intrigue and murder. Happy new year?
When House Harrier explodes into civil war, Paris holds its breath to see who comes out on top. With Silverspires and Hawthorn already weakened, this could be an opportunity for the ruthlessly ambitious – but no-one is ready for what emerges from the fires of Harrier…
The Vanishers left the world in tatters. The waters are poisoned, disease is rampant, lives are balanced against value and need. The elders give Yên to a dragon as payment for a healing; but what value can a failed scholar have to an immortal spirit? What need can an unwanted peasant girl fulfil?
The Empress ordered her fleets to destroy the Citadel of Weeping Pearls and its ruler – her daughter – for fear of the weapons their unusual science was creating. But the Citadel disappeared. 30 years later, with war looming against an enemy who can turn their mindships against them, can the Bright Princess be found – and persuaded to come home?
As one House falls, another rises. Notre Dame stands in ruins, while House Hawthorn seeks unlikely alliance with the dragon kingdom to reign supreme in Paris. But there are many who would like to see Asmodeus fall in well-earned ruin. Whose loyalties can be counted on in a House built on bloody rebellion?
Charlotte is dead, sacrificed on the word of a powerful man to buy the safety of her community. Her bones lie uneasily at the bottom of the garden by the river, its quiet lullaby doing nothing to reconcile her to her fate. Lullaby for a Lost World is another haunting short story from Aliette de Bodard.
Professor Duy Uyen is dead, her life’s work – to grow food in space and bring food safety to the Dai Viet Empire – unfinished. Aliette de Bodard’s Three Cups of Grief, by Starlight explores the impact of the Professor’s death on the three people closest to her, a melancholy exploration of mourning, reflection and acceptance.
Emmanuelle the archivist is a rarity: a Fallen of House Silverspires who rejected Morningstar. She knows her infatuation with his latest student is foolish, but when Selene needs help, there’s no question that Emmanuelle will be there…
I have thoroughly enjoyed Aliette de Bodard‘s scifi short stories and jumped at the thought of a sort of post-apocalyptic angel urban fantasy.
An alternate twentieth century Paris. The Fallen live amongst mankind, banished for crimes against Heaven. Stripped of their wings and their memories, each must rapidly come to terms with their new earthbound existence and find a home in one of the Houses – or die at the hands of humans who steal the magic from their body parts.
My brain is sufficiently scrambled (headache is back and biting this week) that the best I can muster is very nearly ‘that was interesting’ (in a good way).