Shattered Wings Thursdays: House Hawthorn


Welcome back to Shattered Wings Thursdays, the weekly feature of art related to The House of Shattered Wings. 19 days to release of the Roc hardcover edition (and 21 days to the Gollancz trade paperback). Getting closer and closer!

Ferdinand Knab, “The Castle Portal”, 1881

Today: another of the magical factions!

Hawthorn is… well, mainly Silverspires’ rival in the book. It’s in the Southwest of Paris, close to the border with Boulogne-sur-Seine, and it’s also on low grounds and quite close to the Seine, as a result of which it took a big hit during the years of the war (and had to abandon some of the ground it occupied on account of its becoming too dangerous for people to go there).

Hawthorn is currently headed by Fallen Asmodeus–a fairly recent change: before that, the House was headed for a long, long time by Uphir, a powerful and ruthless Fallen who nevertheless failed to see where the true danger to his House was coming from. Twenty years before the start of the novel, Asmodeus led a coup that deposed and killed Uphir, and became uncontested leader of the House. The colors of the House are dark grey and black, its arms are a hawthorn tree circled by a crown, and its motto is “Spina Inter Flores” (“the thorn among the flowers”). Its philosophy of life can best be summed up as “our own first.” House Hawthorn is well known for clinging to its dependents, and to bring swift and unpleasant retaliation to anyone who brings them harm.

Notable characters from Hawthorn: Samariel, Asmodeus’s long-time lover; Madeleine, House Silverspires’ alchemist (who was originally from Hawthorn but fled); and Elphon, Madeleine’s childhood friend (who died the night of the coup).

Previous iterations of this:

1. Meet nuked Paris
2. The Fallen
3. The Houses
4. The Immortals
5. The Colonies
6. House Silverspires

Read Chapter One!
Read excerpt from Chapter Four!

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

(and there’s a map of the book’s key locations at the bottom of the novel’s page)


  1. Paul (@princejvstin)

    Spina Inter Flores! 🙂

  2. We should get you a Hawthorn House badge 🙂

  3. What’s the illustration source? Looks familiar but I can’t place it.
    Looking forward to the novel!

  4. ETA: originally said I couldn’t place it, but I can. It’s by Ferdinand Knab, a painting called “The Castle Portal”:

  5. Thank you! Curiousity satisfied. I thought I had seen it as a book cover, but maybe not.

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