On November 20th, 2014, Aliette de Bodard announced that she sold a two book series, beginning with The House of Shattered Wings to Gollancz. Aliette de Bodard is considered one of the richest and most evocative writers in speculative fiction, and her past work has ranged from Aztec-influenced fantasy, to a science fiction universe where China discovered the Americas before Europe. The House of Shattered Wings is a murder mystery with “fallen angels, Vietnamese dragons, and entirely too many dead bodies.”
“Set in Paris amongst the aftermath of the Great Magicians War,” Gollancz compares the scale of The House of Shattered Wings and de Bodard’s ambition to the works of Mieville and Banks. Big names to live up to, but the Hugo-nominated and Nebula-winning de Bodard has proven her knack for subtlety and ambition with her short fiction, and handling of scope with her epic Acatl novels.
The cover copy provided by Gollancz gives readers a glimpse at the scope and wonder that de Bodard is playing with in her new series:
A superb murder mystery, on an epic scale, set against the fall out – literally – of a war in Heaven.
Paris has survived the Great Magicians War – just. Its streets are lined with haunted ruins, Notre-Dame is a burnt-out shell, and the Seine runs black with ashes and rubble. Yet life continues among the wreckage. The citizens continue to live, love, fight and survive in their war-torn city, and The Great Houses still vie for dominion over the once grand capital.
House Silverspires, previously the leader of those power games, lies in disarray. Its magic is ailing; its founder, Morningstar, has been missing for decades; and now something from the shadows stalks its people inside their very own walls.
Within the House, three very different people must come together: a naive but powerful Fallen, an alchemist with a self-destructive addiction, and a resentful young man wielding spells from the Far East. They may be Silverspires’ salvation. They may be the architects of its last, irreversible fall…
“The House of Shattered Wings is a book very dear to my heart,” de Bodard told the Gollancz blog, “mingling my love of Paris, the Vietnamese tales I read as a child, and my fondness for dark magic with terrible prices.”
Gillian Redfearn was just as enthusiastic about de Bodard’s novel. “It blew me away from the first paragraph, with a rich and wonderful new world, evocative writing and an utterly gripping story,” she said. “De Bodard is an exceptional and tremendously original writer and we are so proud to be publishing her work.”
The House of Shattered Wings was acquired along with its untitled sequel by Redfearn from John Berlyne of the Zeno Literary Agency. It will be available in August 2015.