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The House of Shattered Wings by Aliette de…
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The House of Shattered Wings

by Aliette de Bodard

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Dominion of the Fallen (1)

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Showing 1-5 of 32 (next | show all)
Very engaging characters, world, and plot. I found the structure, the rhythm of the book, unusual for a novel in a way I'm still trying to pin down -- the way resolutions and new developments occurred as we went along instead of a more novel-traditional end-heavy act-structure. That storytelling shape drew me along, however; and I started the second book as soon as I'd finished the first!

Audiobook note: the narrator is good, with a variety of character voices and good sense of atmosphere. His pronunciation of French names is good; I have no way of assessing his pronunciation of Viet names. I did find it a little weird all the white characters have British accents (like the narrator), and the one black character -- who as far as we know Fell in Paris just like the others -- has a French-shading-to-African accent. Odd choice.
  eilonwy_anne | Mar 9, 2019 |
Another Paris from the one I love. Now I love two Parises. I can't get the opening scenes out of my mind. Nor the characters.

Little known factoid: I once wrote an honors thesis on Milton's Paradise Lost. I fell a bit for his fallen angels then, and for his imagery. Aliette deBodard's got me falling all over again.

Some of you have heard me say now and then that when de Bodard starts talking about food, watch out, you're in for a great ride. Food isn't a main focus in The House of Shattered Wings. Instead, de Bodard uses it the way a chef uses their most trusted set of knives. to shape, separate, and elevate the dish.

And the dish, in this case, is exquisite.
  sussura | Sep 29, 2018 |
I wanted to really like this one, but it moves soooo slowly for my taste and I am underwhelmed by the world-building. Which stinks. I liked that it was set in not-England (rare in alt-universe fantasy) but it took days and days to get 2/3rds of the way done and I'm not feeling it. ( )
  jeninmotion | Sep 24, 2018 |
Look what book I got an ARC of! I've been dying to read this ever since Aliette de Bodard mentioned she was working on it and it did not disappoint.

Paris, after the war between Houses. Magic has corrupted the Seine, and the city is in ruins. Magical Houses are the only thing that can protect the Fallen from those who would grind their bones to absorb their magic. And refugees from the colonies are left abandoned after they were conscripted into the war.

Phillippe is one such soldier, from Annam. He and his gang find a Fallen, and when the Fallen is rescued by House Silverspires he is taken prisoner. They're both bound to the house, the Fallen as a valued member and Phillippe for punishment.

The Houses are often cruel in the way they rule, and House Silverspires, once belonging to the Morningstar, is no exception. Phillippe accidentally releases a curse that could destroy him, the Fallen he's now somehow bound to, and the entire House.

The worldbuilding is immense, and the magical system seems to be as equally well thought-out. The characters are well-rounded and believable. Also, there are dragons.

This is what I expected from Aliette de Bodard--of whom I am a huge fan--and I was thrilled to read it.

[I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.] ( )
  tldegray | Sep 21, 2018 |
In a Paris that isn't our Paris, Houses led (mostly) by Fallen angels rule the city, in uneasy peace and much quiet conflict. The oldest of these Houses, Silverspires, was founded by Morningstar, the first and oldest of the Fallen.

But Morningstar vanished without warning twenty years ago, and his last apprentice, Selene, has led Silverspires since then. She's not as hard and ruthless as Morningstar, and that may not be a strength. The House is having problems, and its allies are perhaps becoming unreliable.

Meanwhile, a new Fallen has just fallen to Earth, in a bad section of the city, and a few members of a gang reaches her just before Selene does. Selene wants the Fallen alive and in Silverspires' care and service; the gang wants to dismember her for the magical artifacts they can make from her breath, blood, skin, and bones.

One of the gang, going by the name Philippe, is his own kind of strange, neither Fallen, nor ordinary, mortal human with no magic but what he can steal from angels. He's not comfortable cutting pieces off the injured and not yet fully awake Fallen, but he knows that if he doesn't make himself useful to the gang willingly, they'd be just as happy to dismember him.

This doesn't mean he's happy when Selene and her bodyguards show up in time to stop major damage. Other gang members flee, but Philippe, for reasons he doesn't understand, can't leave the young Fallen.

It's a fateful choice, one that draws him, Selene, the new Fallen, and the members of Silverspires and two other Houses into a dangerous struggle and a buried curse. Philippe, the new Fallen (soon named Isabelle), Selene's lover Emmanuelle, Silverspires' human alchemist Madeleine, find themselves caught in dilemmas of conflicting loyalties and duty.

I found myself completely drawn in from almost the first paragraph. This world is not our world, and its history is not our history, though many of the place names are recognizable provided you did not sleep through geography in a school system that actually taught it. There's a claustrophobic feeling to Paris, yet there are reminders of the wider world, and the Houses have had their own colonial adventures, even if not exactly the ones that happened in our world. Every important character here is complex, flawed, and interesting--and possessed of strengths sometimes unexpected even by themselves.

I love this world and this story, and these characters. Highly recommended.

I received a free electronic galley of this book from the publisher via Penguin's First to Read program. ( )
  LisCarey | Sep 19, 2018 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Aliette de Bodardprimary authorall editionscalculated
Auerbach, AdamCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hoteling, SpringDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
NekroCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
To my son, the snakelet, for showing me magic and wonder
First words
It is almost pleasant, at first, to be Falling.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Haiku summary
Fallen and mortals
fight magical curse in the
ruins of Paris.
(passion4reading)

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0451477383, Hardcover)

Multi-award winning author Aliette de Bodard, brings her story of the War in Heaven to Paris, igniting the City of Light in a fantasy of divine power and deep conspiracy…

In the late twentieth century, the streets of Paris are lined with haunted ruins, the aftermath of a Great War between arcane powers. The Grand Magasins have been reduced to piles of debris, Notre-Dame is a burnt-out shell, and the Seine has turned black with ashes and rubble and the remnants of the spells that tore the city apart. But those that survived still retain their irrepressible appetite for novelty and distraction, and The Great Houses still vie for dominion over France’s once grand capital.

Once the most powerful and formidable, House Silverspires now lies in disarray. Its magic is ailing; its founder, Morningstar, has been missing for decades; and now something from the shadows stalks its people inside their very own walls.

Within the House, three very different people must come together: a naive but powerful Fallen angel; an alchemist with a self-destructive addiction; and a resentful young man wielding spells of unknown origin. They may be Silverspires’ salvation—or the architects of its last, irreversible fall. And if Silverspires falls, so may the city itself.

(retrieved from Amazon Wed, 01 Jul 2015 19:00:20 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"Multi-award winning author Aliette de Bodard, brings her story of the War in Heaven to Paris, igniting the City of Light in a fantasy of divine power and deep conspiracy... In the late Twentieth Century, the streets of Paris are lined with haunted ruins. The Great Magicians' War left a trail of devastation in its wake. The Grand Magasins have been reduced to piles of debris, Notre-Dame is a burnt-out shell, and the Seine has turned black with ashes and rubble and the remnants of the spells that tore the city apart. But those that survived still retain their irrepressible appetite for novelty and distraction, and The Great Houses still vie for dominion over France's once grand capital. Once the most powerful and formidable, House Silverspires now lies in disarray. Its magic is ailing; its founder, Morningstar, has been missing for decades; and now something from the shadows stalks its people inside their very own walls. Within the House, three very different people must come together: a naive but powerful Fallen angel; an alchemist with a self-destructive addiction; and a resentful young man wielding spells of unknown origin. They may be Silverspires' salvation--or the architects of its last, irreversible fall. And if Silverspires falls, so may the city itself"--… (more)

» see all 3 descriptions

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