Shattered Wings Thursdays: meet nuked Paris


So… apparently it’s two months until the release of The House of Shattered Wings (eep!!) With that in mind, I thought we’d start doing a little related content on the blog; and what better way to whet your appetite than evocative images? I’m already running a pinterest board for the novel here: over the next two months I’ll excerpt the images I prefer and provide some commentary that will hopefully make you want to read the book 🙂

Paris burning

From ufunk, by John Walters and Peter Baustdaeter

Ok, so let’s start with basics: this is Paris in the novel. Your basic nuked city setting: following the Great Houses War (aka magical factions tearing Europe apart from 1914-1918 [1]), Paris is now a devastated city, its monuments scorched ruins (with the occasional magical trap), its streets covered in soot; and the Seine… the Seine not only runs black with ashes, but has become the place you really don’t want to get close to: the accumulated spells have turned dark, and people who walk too close to the river banks get snatched and dragged underwater; or strangled by tendrils they can’t see… Even bending over a bridge can rapidly turn lethal.

Nice place to live in, isn’t it? :p

Also, yes. If you’re holding an island like Ile Saint-Louis, Ile de la Cité, or Ile aux Cygnes, (Paris’s three islands), you now have a virtually impregnable fortress, if you don’t mind the fact that your river banks are totally off limits lest you lose your own people. The major setting for the novel is Ile de la Cité, which is the location of House Silverspires, sixty years after the end of the war: the city is still devastated because the damage was extensive and the infighting between Houses has never really stopped, but people are doing their best to live among the ruins.

Broadly speaking, the technology and clothing are a distorted version of the Belle Epoque: there have been some changes since then, but the Belle Epoque is understandably seen as halcyon days, a Golden Age everyone more or less overtly longs for, or regrets.

More next week!

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Full Pinterest board:
Follow Aliette de Bodard’s board House of Shattered Wings on Pinterest.

[1] No connection at all to real-world events ^-^


  1. I’m intrigued!

  2. Mission accomplished 🙂

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