In the late twentieth century, the streets of Paris are lined with haunted ruins, the aftermath of a Great War between arcane powers.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.
Aliette de Bodard was born in the US, but grew up in Paris. Although French is her mother tongue, her parents insisted early on that she learn to speak English. She first discovered SF through the works of Isaac Asimov, and then moved to fantasy when she happened upon a copy of Ursula Le Guin’s “The Earthsea Quartet”, which today remains one of her favorite books in the genre. She decided to write when her family moved to London for a few years: she found a copy of Orson Scott Card’s How to Write Fantasy and Science Fiction, which first made her realise that she could try her hand at writing.
She is an alumni of Saint-Louis de Gonzague (Paris), Lycée Français Charles de Gaulle (London), and studied in Lycée Louis le Grand (Paris). After two years of intensive classes, Aliette was admitted into Ecole Polytechnique, one of France’s top engineering schools. During her class préparatoire, she started writing regularly, which enabled her to find a distraction from science. She completed two novels during her studies.
She has won two Nebula Awards, a Locus Award and a British Science Fiction Award, in addition to being a finalist for the Hugo and Sturgeon Award, and on the Tiptree Award Honour List.
Aliette lives in Paris with her husband, in a flat with more computers than warm bodies, and a bunch of Lovecraftian plants that are steadily taking over the living room.