This is basically a book inspired by Rebecca Solnit’s A Paradise Built in Hell, about how the post apocalypse would involve fighting for survival but also extraordinary kindness. Featuring: hawks, explosions, queer families, Vietnamese dragons and murderbirds(*).
Focusing on House Harrier in Grenelle (15e arrondissement of Paris), though most of the cast of the prior two books will be making a comeback.
(*)not the hawks, but the deadly combination of a deadpan do-gooder bi dragon prince and his husband, best described as lawful evil with ground rules and no scruples. Given a run for their money by the tag-team of an insecure but ruthlessly protective leader and her idealistic partner, entirely resigned to the trouble that follows them around.
Want to play a fun game?
Leticia Lara has kindly made a Dominion of the Fallen word search puzzle–you can go look for the heads of the major Houses in the books, here. I’m offering three UK mass market paperback edition of The House of Shattered Wings if you can find them all!
(if you want to actually solve the puzzle, the one at Leticia’s blog is a widget where you can highlight text)
Just a quick note that if you’ve wanted to buy The House of Shattered Wings but thought the hardback was too expensivve, or if you just want to see what all the fuss is about… today is the release date of the US trade paperback edition (and the ebook prices have been lowered to match, too). In a turn-of-the-century Paris devastated by a magicians’ war, political and magical intrigues, Fallen angels, Vietnamese immortals, and rather too many dead bodies…
Just a quick note that the UK paperback edition of The House of Shattered Wings is now out, and can be found in all good bookshops. This is the “gold foil” edition which also includes an exclusive short story, “The House in Winter”, set twenty years before the story and which, though standalone, sets up characters and situations for the standalone sequel The House of Binding Thorns (it’s in the manner of easter eggs: not compulsory to have read before reading book 2, but very nice to have!).
I’d obviously be really very grateful if you felt like checking it out/signal boosting/reviewing on amazon or goodreads, book sales having the importance they have, especially in the first few weeks after release… (I would normally have set up more promo stuff, but I have had literally zero energy for the past three months, for, er, obvious reasons *cough* newborn *cough* said newborn is doing fine but sleep remains an elusive thing, alas).
I’m told by Farah Mendlesohn that this is the first time anyone has walked away with the two fiction awards in the same year (previously Keith Roberts won both art and short fiction in 1986). The Guardian has a lovely piece here, courtesy of David Barnett (and yeah this is me going “OMG I’m in the Guardian” in case you had any doubts).
My thanks to everyone who read and voted in the awards and to everyone involved from the BSFA. I was also honoured to be part of two very strong shortlists and highly suggest you check out the other finalists.
Me with Gillian Redfearn and John Berlyne in the bar shortly afterwards.
So… will be briefly in the UK (London/Manchester) this weekend, for the Gollancz Festival.
My full schedule (and the face-to-face schedule of all events) is here: note that both Manchester on Friday and London on Saturday have sold out, but there are still spots for the Sunday event. Though sadly I can’t do the mass signing on Sunday, as I have to get home.
There’s also an online event if you can’t make it to any of these: the schedule is below (and yeah, some of us will be waving trying to look smart in the bus Friday afternoon 🙂 )
I originally made In Morningstar’s Shadow available as a reward for people who had preordered The House of Shattered Wings (and shifted quite a few copies, thanks to everyone who took advantage of that!).
Since the book has been out for a while (a month which feels like a lifetime, wow), I figured I would make it available for free, as a sampler of what you can get if you buy the novel.
You can either download files below, or go to most online retailers and get it for free. Please note that I’ve done my best to encourage Amazon to price-match, but I can’t promise that all the countries followed suit: it’s free for sure in the US and UK, or you can download the MOBI file directly below if you can’t find it for free in your part of the world.
Download Now: EPUB | MOBI. Download from retailers:
(and if you’ve read the novel and want more short fiction set in the same universe, why not check out Of Books, and Earth, and Courtship, the adventure/courtship story featuring Emmanuelle and Selene?)
Proud to be a part of the Gollancz festival, a weekend of events in Manchester and London. See here for more details.
-Friday 6:15-06:45, Manchester Room 2: Introducing the class of 2015 (with Al Robertson, Alex Lamb, Tom Toner and Mark Stay)
-Friday 7:30-8:30, Manchester Room 1: Introducing the class of 2015 (with Al Robertson, Alex Lamb, Tom Toner and Mark Stay)
-Mass signing afterwards
-Saturday 3:15-4:45, London Room 1, Writing real and imagined cities (with Ben Aaronovitch, Suzanne McLeod, Bradley Beaulieu and Stephen Hunt)
-Saturday 6:00-6:30: London Room 2, Would I lie to You (with Ben Aaronovitch, Suzanne McLeod, Bradley Beaulieu and Stephen Hunt)
-Mass signing afterwards
-Sunday 12:30-1:45: Introducing the class of 2015, the trials and tribulations of being a new writer
(I’ll sadly have to skip the mass signing afterwards due to, er, an impending Eurostar!)
So… you can now buy “Of Books, and Earth, and Courtship”, my story set in the universe of The House of Shattered Wings. It charts the first meeting between Selene and Emmanuelle–and the unexpected adventure they find themselves thrown into!
It is standalone, and you can read it without having read the book–in fact, if you’re not sure whether you’d like the book, you can get a peek at the universe that way (though fair warning: it’s more… light-hearted than the novel).
It’s available as an ebook from all major retailers (see below), at 0.99 or thereabouts–fluffy and cheap, what are you waiting for? *g*
What you get: a caper/adventure, a glimpse at the inside of House Harrier (near Grenelle in the 15e Arrondissement, for the curious)–and more Emmanuelle, Selene and Morningstar, of course. Magic, infiltration, and explosions! (well, a teensy little explosion).
In a Paris that never was, a city of magical factions where Fallen angels mingle with magicians, alchemists and witches…
Emmanuelle is the Fallen archivist of House Silverspires, and only wants a quiet life with her books. But when Selene, the latest student of Lucifer Morningstar, walks into the library, Emmanuelle finds herself drawn in an adventure to steal from another House. It’s a thrilling and dangerous task, but the most dangerous thing about it might just be Selene herself–aloof and resourceful, and unexpectedly attractive…
The Fallen came into the library of House Silverspires every morning, and every morning she would go into the stacks and come back with a pile of dusty books smelling of old, cracked leather, and sit down at the furthest table, staring at the books as if she could make them cooperate with a mere glance. By the looks of it–she was still sitting at the table hours afterwards, perhaps a third of the way into the first or second book–it was not going well.
Emmanuelle knew who she was, of course. Everyone did: Selene, Morningstar’s latest student–his latest pride, before he grew bored of her and cast her aside; as he had cast aside all his other students. She walked tall and straight; wearing men’s clothes, a set of black trousers and a swallowtail jacket, both impeccably pressed and arranged with a meticulousness that was more frightening than alluring.
The smart, sensible thing to do–and Emmanuelle was nothing if not practical—would have been to stay away. To smile, and show Selene the way into the stacks, and see her out every morning. To go back to her cataloguing and repairs of old books, and sorting the odd fight between archivists. But… but Selene smelled of patchouli and freshly-cut grass, and walked with the grace of a queen, her face oddly expressionless–what would it look like, if it creased into a smile? And, day after day, Emmanuelle found her gaze drawn towards the depths of the library, and the silent struggle at the table–until one day she found herself smearing glue across the first page of a beautifully illuminated manuscript, instead of efficiently dabbing it on the top of the spine.
So you can now buy The House of Shattered Wings both in the US and the UK–I thought it was high time to round up a few of the things that have been going on with the novel, just in case you’re feeling indecisive (or if you want to know more!).
Gripping (…) De Bodard aptly mixes moral conflicts and the desperate need to survive in a fantastical spy thriller that reads like a hybrid of le Carré and Milton, all tinged with the melancholy of golden ages lost.
Especially haunting(…) convey(s) a visceral sense of immediacy (…) a surprising but compelling murder mystery, which plays out according to the supernatural terms de Bodard has laid out so evocatively.
Grimly prosaic (…) wrapped up in intrigue and politics (…) comes closer to the blunt, grounded violence of Game Of Thrones than the high gothic fantasy it outwardly resembles (…) a grim story with high-flown conventions, but by finding so much ugliness even in supernatural beauty, de Bodard makes both seem more compelling, and more concrete.
The year’s best urban fantasy by far (…) takes a whole hoard of over-familiar fantasy tropes and turns them, evidently effortlessly, on their collective head (…) There’s an intelligence—and, yes, an elegance—to The House of Shattered Wings that is as rare and precious as angel essence.
One of the most unusual and absorbing books I’ve read in years (…) a vivid sense of remembered splendour and grandeur (…) a powerful novel that sinks deep into the reader’s psyche, taking you into a world so rich and characters so compelling that they linger for months after turning the last page. Don’t miss it.