In the Vanishers’ Palace – Aliette de Bodard

Cover artist:  Kelsey Liggett
Cover artist

“Here” the dragon said. She held out Mother to Yên. Yên took her, arms bowing under the weight. Mother was old and frail, but to carry her as effortlessly as the dragon had… “She’s exhausted herself summoning me,” the dragon went on. There was no emotion in her voice.

Yên opened her mouth and tried to speak, but found no words in the scorched desert of her heart.

“Take care of her,” the dragon said. “I’ll be back.”

Failed scholar Yên is sold to Vu Côn, one of the last dragons walking the earth, and she expects to be tortured or killed for Vu Côn’s amusement. But it turns out Vu Côn has other plans for her.

The Vanishers came, enslaved the people, poisoned and ruined the world – and then they left leaving monstrous beings and weird creations behind.

This short novel is not a part of any of Aliette de Bodard’s other worlds, neither the world of the Dominion of the Fallen or Universe of Xuya. However, the worldbuilding is just as beautiful and tight.

The characters and the story is fascinating, and I sincerely hope, that we shall see more of this world in the future.

As usual with this author – a must read.