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The House of Shattered Wings Paperback – 20 Aug 2015

3.9 out of 5 stars 46 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (20 Aug. 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1473212553
  • ISBN-13: 978-1473212558
  • Product Dimensions: 13.9 x 2.8 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 63,083 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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. (

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

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A fantastical portrayal of an alternative Paris, where magic is real, Angels fall on a regular basis and the city is in ruins following a great magical war.

Beautifully written and with characters that feel real - In the house of Silver Spires, deep within the ruins of Notre Dame a terrible darkness rises. A darkness that threatens to ignite what's left of Paris into another magical battle. A Human, a Fallen and a being from a far off land must survive Machiavellian intrigue and political machinations to survive the House Of Shattered Wings.

A winding, intricate story that will make you question just which characters are morally in the right - if any. A narrative that blends influences from two distinct fantasy and cultural origins.

If you enjoy urban fantasy, political intrigue and mysteries - this is for you!
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
There are some great ideas in this novel. It in an alternate Paris, after a magical World War 1 has devastated Europe and brought the Belle Epoque to an end. Angels have literally fallen to earth, cast from heaven and losing most of their memory and wings on the way down. They remain magical beings however, and far outclass human wizards and witches. As such, they rule the great Houses whose war was so devastating.

The book mainly follows Isobelle, a newly fallen angel, and Phillipe, a scavenger who is much more than he seems. The setting is vividly described and I loved the feel of a slowly decaying great House based at Notre Dame - Gormenghastly at times.

Where things come apart is the plotting and the pacing. There are some political machinations, and a serial killer on the loose, but it never feels urgent, and I struggled to feel interested in what was coming next. This is not a page turner, which is a shame. The unmasking of the killer is casual, almost offhand, and the climatic final battle and deaths do not have the resonance that it seems they should.

This seems to be the first book in an ongoing series, but unless the plotting is tighter, and the editing sharper, I think I'll give it a miss.
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Format: Kindle Edition
The House of Shattered Wings is a new book and a new author to me, it’s a bit of a combination novel and by that I mean it has the element of fantasy but it’s predominantly a mystery novel which I liked. The fantasy element to it – if you haven’t already guessed – is Fallen angels! Now, I love a Fallen angel story possibly more than any other type of paranormal so this was a definite plus for me.

The story follows Phillippe, an Annamite, as he makes what ultimately becomes his biggest mistake. He is part of a gang in this post-apocalyptic type Paris and he is caught by Selene the head of House Silverspires cutting off the fingers of a recently Fallen angel. From there his life only seems to get more dramatic and more hectic, he’s kept prisoner in the House but has the means to go where he wants to apart from he can’t leave the House itself if that makes sense? There’s a spell cast on him that says he can’t leave until Selene is finished with him.

We meet several characters who are integral to the story and there’s various side arcs to the main story line which meshed very well together. The subject of the Houses is an intriguing one because they seem to have this weird hierarchy of Fallen and humans, where humans are dependents. There’s a odd drug which is apparently quite addictive and also really bad for the takers health – angel essence.

The mystery in this book circulates around a ghost related to Morningstar – who turns out to be Lucifer – and there’s deaths galore, shadows and the Furies themselves. There’s intrigue and mayhem between the Houses mainly Silverspires, Hawthorn and Lazarus who seem to be bundling together to bring Silverspires down.
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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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