Navigational Entanglements

Insecure assassin/capable loner, enemies to lovers, made for one another if only they could catch a break from all the disasters around them

From Tor dot com, out worldwide.

Four bickering juniors. An impossible mission to catch a deadly space creature.

What they did not need was an extra murder…

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Award-winning author of The Red Scholar’s Wake Aliette de Bodard comes for your heart with a compelling tale of love, duty, and found-family in an exciting new space opera that brings xianxia-style martial arts to the stars.

Jockeying navigator clans guide spaceships through the Hollows: an area of space populated by the mysterious but deadly creatures known as Tanglers. When a Tangler escapes the Hollows for the first time in living memory, each clan must send a representative to help capture it—but the mission may be doomed and the hearts of two clan juniors may be in danger too.

Việt Nhi is not good with people. Or politics. Which is a problem when the Rooster clan sends her on the mission against her will, forcing her to work with an ill-matched group of squabbling teammates from rival clans, including one who she can’t avoid, and maybe doesn’t want to.

Hạc Cúc of the Snake clan has always been better at poisoning and stabbing than at making friends, but she’s drawn to Nhi’s perceptiveness and obliviousness to social conventions—including the ones that really should make Nhi think twice about spending time with her.

But when their imperial envoy and nominal leader is poisoned, this crew of expendable apprentices will have to learn to work together—fast—before the invisible Tangler can wreak havoc on a civilian city and destroy the fragile reputation of the clans. Along the way, Nhi and Hạc Cúc will have to learn the hardest lesson of all: to see past their own misconceptions and learn to trust their growing feelings for each other.

(Cover: Sija Hong)

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Praise for Navigational Entanglements:

“This magnificent space opera from Nebula Award winner de Bodard is simultaneously electric and heartwarming, full of breathless queer romance, shifting clan politics, and many cups of tea.”

Publishers Weekly, starred review

“This is a fast, tense story that drives atmospherically forward towards its confrontations and revelations. . . . I loved it. Give me more, please.”


“A deeply satisfying story of warring clans, ruthless politics, and the need to learn who and how to trust. All this and giant space jellyfish too!”
Kate Elliott, New York Times bestselling author of Unconquerable Sun

“A unique space adventure with evocative worldbuilding, Navigational Entanglements is a perfect bite-sized science fantasy. In between white-knuckle moments, de Bodard explores the inner lives of her characters and paints a vivid portrait of trauma, anxiety, bonding, and romance. The twisty, fast-paced plot is likely to keep you reading well past your bedtime!”

S.B. Divya, Hugo- and Nebula-nominated author of Meru

“Expertly mingling suspenseful space battles, political intrigue, clashing rivalries, tender romance, and the creation of a new found family, Navigational Entanglements is just dazzlingly good.”

Stephanie Burgis, author of Snowspelled

“An(other) inventive, empathetic Aliette de Bodard masterpiece that impeccably balances precision and vastness, tenderness and brutality.”
Samit Basu, author of The Jinn-Bot of Shantiport
“Packs action, political intrigue, and strong character work into a vibrant and enthralling space opera that you can devour in a day. I found the two main characters incredibly endearing and especially appreciated the inclusion of a point-of-view character that reads as neurodivergent. . . . I picked up this book for the promise of sapphics and space drama, and Navigational Entanglements delivered!”

Oli Schmitz, Boswell Book Company

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