A sapphic romantic fantasy set in a world inspired by precolonial Vietnam….
Cover art: Alyssa Winans.
Out now from Tor dot com!
Award-winning author Aliette de Bodard returns with a powerful romantic fantasy that reads like The Goblin Emperor meets Howl’s Moving Castle in a pre-colonial Vietnamese-esque world.Fire burns bright and has a long memory….
Quiet, thoughtful princess Thanh was sent away as a hostage to the powerful faraway country of Ephteria as a child. Now she’s returned to her mother’s imperial court, haunted not only by memories of her first romance, but by worrying magical echoes of a fire that devastated Ephteria’s royal palace.
Thanh’s new role as a diplomat places her once again in the path of her first love, the powerful and magnetic Eldris of Ephteria, who knows exactly what she wants: romance from Thanh and much more from Thanh’s home. Eldris won’t take no for an answer, on either front. But the fire that burned down one palace is tempting Thanh with the possibility of making her own dangerous decisions.
Can Thanh find the freedom to shape her country’s fate—and her own?
Trigger warnings for this book: abuse, attempted rape (not graphic, implicit, trauma is dealt with but it’s still there)
- BSFA Award winner, Best Shorter Fiction, 2021
- Hugo Award finalist, 2021
- Nebula Award finalist, 2021
- Ignyte Award finalist, 2021
- Stabby Award finalist, 2021
- A Most Anticipated Pick in 2021 for Buzzfeed | Mary Sue | Nerd Daily | FanFi Addict
- Named Amazon Editor’s Pick for Best SFF – February 2021
- On Boston Magazine‘ “42 Books to Help You Get Through the Rest of Quarantine”
What people are saying:
“It’s a win for the sapphics!”
“A delicate novella with threads of imperial politics, magical beings, queer romance and the psychology of trauma… a bit of a miracle… elegant and hypnotic as the flame of a candle.”
Olivia Waite, The New York Times
“A story of abuse and the relentless battering of low self esteem and the fear that can exist in a relationship even when nothing physically abusive has happened yet… a glorious story of learning to stand for yourself, and caring, and love, and the fiery joy of someone fighting for you. A gorgeous romance and a gorgeous fantasy.”
“A fiercely post-colonial fantasy novella, this book was a jolt of energy this winter… Political wranglings, divided loyalties, and fiery romance drive this exceptional addition to de Bodard’s works”
Sean Corning, Trident Booksellers, in Boston Magazine
“a high-stakes lesbian love triangle… convincingly combines sex, politics, and betrayal… an ideal pick for fantasy fans longing for non-European settings.”
“A fascinating story filled with strong female characters and lush prose, the relationships woven around Thanh evolve into themes of reclaiming the self and recognizing that love can hide the truth about people… Nebula and Locus Award winner de Bodard (The House of Sundering Flames) crafts a story of love, power, and what burns within. Highly recommended.”
Library Journal (starred review)
“What a commanding story of power and diplomacy. I was so captivated by the way this story never once flinches away from a deep sense of emotional honesty.”
Sarah Gailey, bestselling author of Magic For Liars
“De Bodard (Of Wars, and Memories, and Starlight, 2019), as she so often does, packs the world-building and emotional punch of an epic into a shockingly slim novella. This touching romance with the delicate negotiations of a small country’s survival against an imperial adversary would be a lovely place to start with de Bodard’s work, and fans will find more of what they’ve come to love about her stories.”
Regina Schroeder, Booklist
“Fireheart Tiger manages to be about colonialism, about independence, about love and relationships, about parents… Highly recommend this one.”Buy Now