Series: Dominion of the Fallen #1
Published by Roc on August 18, 2015
Source: NetGalley, Publisher
Multi-award winning author Aliette de Bodard, brings her story of the War in Heaven to Paris, igniting the City of Light in a fantasy of divine power and deep conspiracy…
In the late Twentieth Century, the streets of Paris are lined with haunted ruins. The Great Magicians’ War left a trail of devastation in its wake. The Grand Magasins have been reduced to piles of debris, Notre-Dame is a burnt-out shell, and the Seine has turned black with ashes and rubble and the remnants of the spells that tore the city apart. But those that survived still retain their irrepressible appetite for novelty and distraction, and The Great Houses still vie for dominion over France’s once grand capital.
Once the most powerful and formidable, House Silverspires now 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 angel; an alchemist with a self-destructive addiction; and a resentful young man wielding spells of unknown origin. They may be Silverspires’ salvation—or the architects of its last, irreversible fall. And if Silverspires falls, so may the city itself.
THE HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS is one of those books I should have loved. Fallen angels, magic, and a Paris destroyed by war? That’s right up my alley.
Unfortunately, the author’s writing style just wasn’t for me. I struggled to get into this book, and I struggled to keep reading it due to the slow pacing and distant characters. I can see why some people are loving THE HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS, because there are some cool idea here. But I’m a character-driven reader, so I usually need to get behind at least one of the characters and get to know them to enjoy a book. In this book, all the characters were far away, and I felt as though I was just reading their actions, instead of knowing why many acted as they did.
Honestly, THE HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS just left me feeling confused. There’s a lot of description of House Silverspires and the city itself, which did really give me the sense of a Paris destroyed by normal war and then a magic war between the Fallen. On that aspect, the author did a fantastic job of making me feel like I was beside Philippe or Selene. But at the same time, there was a lot of description, and I just wanted some action to happen! When I finally did finish the book, I wasn’t sure what happened to some of the characters, because some of the really big moments happened in the blink of an eye. THE HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS is the first in a series, but I’m not sure where the author will go from here — it felt very much like a one book deal to me.
This review doesn’t make a lot of sense, but really, that’s how I felt when reading THE HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS: very disjointed. I’d recommend checking out an excerpt if you’re interested in the book to get a feel for its style.
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