Of Dragons, Feasts, and Murders – Aliette de Bodard

“‘Tet is a feast that’s a bit like Christmas.'”

For some reason I haven’t yet read the Dominion of the Fallen series, starting with The House of Shattered Wings, despite it having been on my TBR for some time. I mean, Fallen angels and a post-apocalyptic war in Paris between great Houses led by said angels? Sign me up!

Having read and enjoyed the earlier short story, Children of Thorns, Children of Water (also from NetGalley, thanks!), I jumped at the chance to read this latest short, despite being set after book three. It can be read as a standalone, although I imagine there would be huge amounts more to understand if you were keeping up with the series. For instance, where the Dragons came into it all…!

Ooh, but they were great! We’re not talking Game of Thrones-style beasts, but more the Chinese kind of dragons, who can shape-shift into human form. And, indeed, form relationships with Fallen angels…!

Of Dragons… takes place when Thuan takes his husband, Asmodeus, back home to the underwater kingdom of the Seine for the Lunar New Year. It isn’t long before a corpse kicks off an investigation into … well, I suppose I should leave the rest to the reader 😉

Despite having little context, I didn’t struggle to understand the story – although it does act as a teaser into what must be a much, much bigger story and world. I’m not sure if we’ve seen much of the Dragon kingdom(s?) prior to this, but it was such a gorgeously created world, even in under a hundred pages. It feels alien and magical, and steeped in rich history. The mystery of the story is wrapped up well, but the world-building is the real joy.

Now, excuse me while I bump book one much, much higher up the TBR mountain! 😉

NetGalley eARC: 80 pages
First published: 2020
Series: Dominion of the Fallen book 3.5
Read from 7th-10th July 2020

My rating: 8/10

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