I love a good mystery, I love a Gothic setting, and I love when authors blend snippets of history with fiction to pull you into a story. Oh, and I also love a unique perspective. All of these loves made me fall head over heals for The House of Shattered Wings by Aliette De Bodard.
From the back of the book:
A superb murder mystery, on an epic scale, set against the fall out – literally – of a war in Heaven.
Paris has survived the Great Houses 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, a 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…
First, I want to mention setting. This burned out vision of a Paris after the war was tragically and beautifully dark. Once I got sucked into the setting, I met the characters. Philippe absolutely was the star for me, he totally stole my attention and my heart. From the moment I met him, I wanted more, there was a page turning desire to learn more about him.
It had a really interesting take on the whole fallen angel mythos that was engrossing, novel, and well thought out. I loved the way the story, and vital word information was melted together. I never once felt like I was being fed backstory, yet I learned about a whole new reality.
This was also wonderfully paced, easily read in a few sittings, and so haunting that you will be thinking about it after you have finished. I can easily recommend this dark, beautiful fantasy as a must read.
Make sure you visit Aliette De Bodard Website to stay up to date on new releases and news. You can purchase this great title as well as many others in all genres at Penguin. You can also connect with them on Facebook and Twitter.
Disclosure: I may receive products in exchange for an honest review. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I personally believe will be good for my readers.