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The House of Shattered Wings by [de Bodard, Aliette]
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The House of Shattered Wings Kindle Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews

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Length: 415 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Product description


an intriguing mystery, elegantly written... with carefully crafted characters both with layers and depth, De Bodard reflects the best and worst of human nature in her novel (The Guardian)

I strongly urge you to get House of Shattered Wings: it offers something a little different; a superb blend of intrigue, mystery and magic and urban fantasy; it's brilliantly written; and the story is gripping. I can't wait for the sequel. Very highly recommended. (CIVILIAN READER)

Reading this novel felt like a very intimate experience, the characters and landscape are so well developed with such detail that one feels as if they are walking alongside them as the story unfolds... Ambience abounds in this novel. (Geek Syndicate)

Aliette de Bodard has made a name for herself imagining futures and alternate histories that showcase non-Western cultural landscapes and characters...this is smart and nuanced storytelling (SFX)

Fascinating, moving and hugely readable (SCI-FI NOW)

This book is wreathed in mythology, magic and mysticism and it is such a compelling read that maybe the book itself is magic (Fantasy Book Review)

There's an intelligence-and, yes, an elegance-to The House of Shattered Wings that is as rare and precious as angel essence. (TOR.COM)

The devastated Paris of Aliette de Bodard's novel is especially haunting. This is partly because de Bodard, a Nebula Award-winning French-Vietnamese writer, lives in Paris and can convey a visceral sense of immediacy to a ruined Notre Dame or the remains of the grand department stores, and partly it's because of the sheer lyricism of her prose...A series of mysterious deaths turns the novel into a surprising but compelling murder mystery, which plays out according to the supernatural terms de Bodard has laid out so evocatively. (The Chicago Tribune)

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. (Publishers Weekly)

In the end, de Bodard manages to weave together the backstories and fates of the various characters...into a novel that is both haunting and original, its sense of loss almost palpable, and it setting not quite like anything else in modern fantasy. (Locus)

Aliette de Bodard presents a gritty, otherworldly Paris in her fast-paced, fantastical thriller. (The Washington Post)

It's 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. (NPR.com)

A fascinating Paris of decay and cruelty. ­Phillippe is a marvel of a character. (Library Journal)

French-Vietnamese author Aliette de Bodard ventures into the realm of gothic fantasy and manages to create - despite the hoary premise of fallen angels and ancient curses - something startlingly and creepily original. (The Guardian)

The House of Shattered Wings is an enthralling and fully submerging read with an intriguing power structure and a setting that has both an unknown and yet familiarly gothic feel to it. (WE LOVE THIS BOOK)

I have said previously in a review of her work that Aliette de Bodard is a writer who deserves attention...and The House of Shattered Wings is the perfect way to discover her work (SF Signal)

Its intriguing mix of mythos and magic is a perfect introduction to Aliette de Bodard's new creation and I'm already looking forward to sequels. This is definitely Paris like you've never seen before. (Upcoming4Me)

Stylishly written, this is the most original piece of fiction - I find that "Fantasy" is far too restrictive - you're likely to come across this year. A wonderful introduction to Aliette de Bodard, who is already an award-winning short story writer, The House of Shattered Wings is an excellent showcase for this mighty talent and adds yet another author to this reader's "must-read" list. (READER DAD)

This is a story unlike anything I've read before. Two aspects have burned an impression into my mind: the unusual tale itself and the writing - the beautiful, almost unearthly writing. (Fantasy Faction)

If you are on the lookout for something fresh and exciting in Dark Urban Fantasy, this is the book for you. (The Book Plank)

The House of Shattered Wings is a murder mystery set in a sumptuous and enchanting world, that will draw you in with it's vivid world weaving, and infectious atmosphere. (Realitysabore)

The House of Shattered Wings is many things. It's a murder mystery. It's a post-apocalyptic survival tale. It's a steel-cold look at protagonists who are antiheroes. It's a slow-burn Gothic narrative with plenty of tension and a sense of impending doom that retains elegance and poise and never comes crashing down. Bodard's worldbuilding is rich, her writing is sophisticated, almost regal in style. But more importantly, and poignantly, The House of Shattered Wings is also a story about imperialism, about displacement and belonging, about loyalties and the desperate desire to simply return to your own tribe. (STRANGE HORIZONS)

With a combination of mythologies and folklore, The House of Shattered Wings is filled with beautiful descriptive settings, interesting and diverse characters, magic and the alchemy. It is a place where Paris is dark, beautiful, ruined and magical... just like the Fallen who rule it. (BOOK NERD REVIEWS)

It is a great mix of styles that come together in a satisfyingly complex web of magic and intrigue and I'm looking forward to exploring this world further in book two. (SF Crowsnest)

Book Description

A superb murder mystery, on an epic scale, set against the fall out - literally - of a war in heaven

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1754 KB
  • Print Length: 415 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (20 Aug. 2015)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #41,595 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
It's just gone 3am and I've literally just finished this book, and I think I'm still trying to process what I've just read. It's unlike anything I have ever read before, I'm not usually one for murder mysteries or crime books, but this can only be described as a murder mystery. But it's the ultimate murder mystery and perfect for readers like me, who are more in to the fantasy genre. The scale of the book is immense, the world is painstakingly crafted and it oozes originality in spares. I'm not entirely sure if this is a standalone or the start of a series, but I'm rather hoping for the latter. I kinda feel like I've absorbed some of the characters from the book which is why I'm typing rather poshly rather than my usual fangirling screeching!

In the book all the Fallen angels, who have divided in to Houses, had a war around about the time of WW1 I think, if my understanding of the book was correct. Now it's a good chunk of time later and the fallout of that war, Paris is looking a bit worse for wear, it could be said. The backdrop of this crumbling, decaying version of Paris certainly lent a gothic feel to the book. The world of the book, this alternate Paris was very well created, and brought to life. I've never been to Paris unfortunately, but I could picture how it looked, I was completely pulled in to the world. The world building was just so vivid and very well crafter that I couldn't not be. Not to mention the atmosphere. There was SUCH an atmosphere to this book, I mean it seeped off the pages and lent this whole dark, element to the book.

Like I said, the book is original.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Having already read several of Aliette's short stories, I had a feel for the richness of prose and magic that was likely to appear, and I wasn't let down.

The dark, velvety decay of Paris, sometime in the future past reels with the metaphysical possibilities at play: Fallen exiled to Earth go about their power games in Houses that appear to be but faded relics of their former glory, mingling with mortal adepts (both of politics and magic), and a growing sense throughout the novel that 'bad things are going down.'

Ostensibly set around a curse of revenge, the introduction of Philippe - at turns reviled and coveted for his exotic powers, his secrets and ultimately his soul - throws the Houses into disarray, and as the power plays rage, he is forced to seek escape, and answers, in places darker still.
There's a good array of characters here, with many of the worse qualities of innate power on display; vanity, arrogance, disdain and spite, but also many of the best ones too; hope, courage, ingenuity, friendship - and the ending will have you waiting eagerly for the next one.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The strongest thing for me about this book is the setting; an alt-Paris, devasted by magical warfare and ruled over by fallen angels. The story itself is at its core a murder mystery - who holds a grudge against House Silverspires and is powerful enough to bring them low. Almost all the major characters are non-human in one way or another, so it is perhaps not surprising that none of them resonated with me.
I came away from this book greatly admiring it, but not caring about any of the characters.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Paris, at an unspecified point in time: the once beautiful city lies in ruins, the great buildings all but rubble, and the Seine flows with blackened, oily waters, and no one dares go near it again these days – this is the aftermath of the Great Magicians War. The city is dominated by several Houses who all strive for supremacy, inhabited by mortals without magical abilities who serve those living in the House, mortals with slight magical abilities who work as alchemists to preserve the magic, and the immortal Fallen who are the ruling elite, gifted with immense magical powers. But all is not well, and a curse is released that soon claims its first victims, not caring whether they are mortal or immortal. A race against time begins to destroy the artefact before it can reduce one of the most pre-eminent Houses to rubble.

I may well be alone in this, but I have to say that I didn’t get on with this book at all. Reading the opening chapter felt like being thrown into the middle of an action film where you don’t know the plot or the characters, nothing but the location, but the fast pace very soon dwindled to walking pace as the characters and their backgrounds are established, and I was just trying to make sense of it all. The pace picks up slightly once the curse has been released, but it still takes a long time for the reader to learn what consequences a seemingly innocuous act has had.
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