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Review: In the Vanishers’ Palace by Aliette de Bodard

October 18, 2018

Review: In the Vanishers’ Palace by Aliette de Bodard

About the book

In a ruined, devastated world, where the earth is poisoned and beings of nightmares roam the land…

A woman, betrayed, terrified, sold into indenture to pay her village’s debts and struggling to survive in a spirit world.

A dragon, among the last of her kind, cold and aloof but desperately trying to make a difference.

When failed scholar Yên is sold to Vu Côn, one of the last dragons walking the earth, she expects to be tortured or killed for Vu Côn’s amusement.

But Vu Côn, it turns out, has a use for Yên: she needs a scholar to tutor her two unruly children. She takes Yên back to her home, a vast, vertiginous palace-prison where every door can lead to death. Vu Côn seems stern and unbending, but as the days pass Yên comes to see her kinder and caring side. She finds herself dangerously attracted to the dragon who is her master and jailer. In the end, Yên will have to decide where her own happiness lies—and whether it will survive the revelation of Vu Côn’s dark, unspeakable secrets…

My thoughts

WOW. Simply fabulous. Teacher and daughter of her village’s healer Yên is not special. She reads, she yearns, she aches to be more, but she is simply a good teacher and a quick study. In a world that has been ruined by the Vanishers – creatures that revel in destruction and who have now moved on to other worlds to destroy – Yên is just trying to survive and make something of her simple life. But the world is sick and death is barely a step away. The village’s sacrifice, Yên is sold to Vu Côn, the last dragon. Yên’s fight for life and love is only just beginning.

This is a beautiful story. Rich, descriptive language and joyously dark worldbuilding make this a colorful tapestry of words – enjoyable and entertaining to read. A great scifi/fantasy. I thoroughly recommend it.

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