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The House of Binding Thorns

(Dominion of the Fallen #2)

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  595 ratings  ·  137 reviews
The multi-award-winning author of The House of Shattered Wings continues her Dominion of the Fallen saga as Paris endures the aftermath of a devastating arcane war....

As the city rebuilds from the onslaught of sorcery that nearly destroyed it, the great Houses of Paris, ruled by Fallen angels, still contest one another for control over the capital.

House Silverspires was on
Audio CD
Published April 4th 2017 by Blackstone Audiobooks
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3.99  · 
Rating details
 ·  595 ratings  ·  137 reviews

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Mogsy (MMOGC)
2.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

Ultimately, my second foray into the Dominion of the Fallen did not turn out the way I’d hoped, though to be fair, I did have a lot riding on this sequel. It’s true that the first book left me with mixed feelings, but I found the premise intriguing enough that I wanted to see where things would lead, and maybe give this series a another chance to sweep me off my feet. Regrettably, this did not quite happen—despite The Ho
Oct 18, 2016 added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Not leaving a rating because this is my book, but here's what you can expect: focused on the House of Hawthorn and the dragon kingdom. Like its predecessor, standalone, though characters from the first book will obviously be around!

Major characters: angel essence addict Madeleine, Houseless Annamite Françoise (who wields rather peculiar and powerful Fallen magic), dragon prince Thuan (with a talent for getting into major trouble), and ex-Immortal/exile Philippe on his quest to resurrect his frie
The House of Binding Thorns is the best fantasy I've read so far this year, the opposite of second book syndrome, and part of a series you need to read if you're interested in diverse SFF.
I really liked The House of Shattered Wings, but this was on a completely other level - the character arcs actually went somewhere, the conspiracy was unpredictable but didn't come out of nowhere, and there were even more queer characters.

If The House of Shattered Wings followed the events surrounding the myste
*Source* Publisher
*Genre* Fantasy, Paranormal
*Rating* 3.5

*MY Thoughts*

The House of Binding Thorns is the second installment in author Aliette de Bodard's Dominion of the Fallen series. In a Paris that never was, a city of magicians, alchemists and Fallen angels struggles to recover from a devastating magical war that left the city in shambles. The House of Hawthorn, led by a Fallen Angel named Asmodeus, is where this story begins. But, it also includes the Dragon Kingdom, which is an under the S
Mar 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A magnificent follow up to House of Shattered Wings, with everything I loved about the first book (fallen angels, House drama, Paris, dragons(!)) amped up to 11. Will absolutely re-read, which is one my favorite ways to praise a wonderful book.
Mar 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: review-copies
Any book that has me struggling not to squeak on public transport and then has me nearly miss my bus stop is going to get a big thumbs-up. I loved Aliette de Bodard’s introduction to her vision of a blasted, magic-torn Paris in The House of Shattered Wings and I delighted in the chance to return to it and peer into one of the darker Fallen Houses.

Madeleine is back in House Hawthorn, terrified of her future and unable to move on from her past. When Asmodeus makes it clear she can choose to die bu
Dark Faerie Tales
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: A powerful conspiracy aimed not only at the houses but the dragon kingdom threatens to destroy them all.

Opening Sentence: In the House of Hawthorn all the days blurred and merged into one another, like teardrops sliding down a pane of glass.

The Review:

Madeline has finally been detoxed from the angel essence, but no one is really sure she will survive since no one has successfully broken and essence addiction before. However, when Asmodeus gi
Aug 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a marked improvement over its predecessor, The House of Shattered Wings. Shattered Wings had a somewhat confusing plot, and only a handful of its characters really interested me, but it had such a great setting that it elevated it to 4/5 stars. Not that the characters and plot were BAD, they just didn't really grab me. The House of Binding Thorns improves on both, and the setting managed to be even better.

So Binding Thorns is a semi-standalone sequel. It follows after the events of Shat
Kate Elliott
Jun 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book works as a standalone and also as a companion novel to The House of Shattered Wings. The House of Shattered Wings

Bodard writes with an intricate and intense style and is able to explore the way conflicts both within the heart and those of external politics collide with and influence each other. Vivid and emotional. Recommended.
Apr 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
...I generally enjoy De Bodard's work, both stylistically and because of the themes she uses, and this novel is no exception. I thought the plot of this novel flowed a bit more smoothly than that of the House of Shattered Wings. It is dark and desperate, full of characters overreaching in an effort to prevent what little they have managed to salvage from destruction slipping from their grasp. It tackles some of the problems of today's society with a touch of Victor Hugo and a bit of magic. It bl ...more
Jun 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The House of Shattered Wings is a beautifully written book set in a fascinating world, but I was on the fence about reading the standalone sequel since it was also bogged down by so much narrative introspection that didn't add much to the story or characterization. However, I decided to continue after discovering The House of Binding Thorns had more Asmodeus--and I'm so glad I did because it's a far superior novel with more Asmodeus and more of the dragon kingdom!

Like its predecessor, the charac
Claudie Arseneault
Oct 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbt, fantasy
HOUSE OF BINDING THORNS was every I wanted it to be, and even more. What a perfect choice for my first foray into audiobooks. Political fantasy is always my jam, and this being in Paris is icing on the already delicious cake. Madeleine and Philippe were my two favourite characters from the first book, so you can imagine just how thrilled I was to find them here. And Asmodeus. Oh, the level of burning hatred I had for him during most of the first only equals the level of absolute love I have now. ...more
Melanie Haynes
Mar 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was amazing in context and plot line. I love the way it lets you know how everyone fits in without giving too much away so that you can predict the ending. I would not use as a tutorial for my younger kids that I tutor but would recommend for 8th grade to adults. This is mostly because of the complexity of the writing. There is no vulgarity which makes it a good read for higher level school kids.
More like 2.5 stars

I struggled a lot with this one and I feel that's due to two main things: one was a reading slump the likes of which I've never really experienced (I don't think I've ever really felt this much of a slump, to the point of near indifference); the other was the fact that for the vast majority of the book, the main POV character is Madeleine and hers was the perspective that really dragged down my overall enjoyment of The House of Shattered Wings , so I would be lying if I didn'
Tim Hicks
May 04, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
So, this book is best understood after you have read the "Further Reading" notes at the end.
Y'see, this is an allegory on the early history of French interference in Vietnam, merged with the story of the British running opium into China, but set in Paris (sort of) with dragons and magic.

"Not gonna work," you think, and I fear you are right.

First off, some Parisian places are named, but for all that they are tied to the story we might as well have been in Barsoom or Lyonesse.

Second, there are
Tom Lloyd
Feb 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A subtle, breath-of-fresh-air novel capable of being elegant and nasty in the same breath. The pervading sense of decay and threat is a looming presence as we step a little further out of the Houses and onto the streets/in the river of Paris. Its very different to most fantasies I read and all the better for that, with none of the markers that would make me avoid an angel-urban fantasy novels. Having read book 1 I found this all just clicked much more easily into place in my brain, though there ...more
Just like with the first book, I have mixed feelings about this one. On the one hand, this is a fascinating, unique world with cutthroat politics and diverse people groups, and that's fun to read. On the other hand, I still can't bring myself to care about the characters, which seriously dampens the thrill factor. I wanted to like this much more than I actually did.
I know that I've fallen for a fantasy series when I find myself ensnared by the second book.

A dark slow burning urban fantasy feat. queer fallen angels and a queer Vietnamese dragon prince with magic and rival houses in post-apocalyptic Paris. Thuan is my new favourite dragon prince and character, so I need the next book asap.

Full review to come.
Stephen Richter
Jul 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dead-tree, audio
In the follow up to The House of Shattered Wings Aliette de Bodard adds to the series with a focus on the House Hawthorne and its attempt to gain allies in the aftermath of the war between the Houses. Set in 1900s style Paris, multiple POVs tells the tale of House Hawthorne attempt to draw in the Dragon Empire that lay beneath the Seine River . Took notice of the series as two reviewers from put this book in the "Best of 2017 So far." Plus Aliette was at World Con 75 and could not have b ...more
Wrong Train, Right Time
I read this because, well, I read the first book in this series and I loved it. I was especially drawn by the promise of focusing on Madeleine, one of the protagonists of the first book, who I found particularly intriguing.

Now, looking back at it... It's strange, but I'm having a hard time figuring out what to say about it. It was good, obviously. I tore through it in a single night and cheerfully paid the price of the lack of sleep that engendered. Still... I can't think of anything coherent to
my entire reaction to this book at this point is :|||||| ... it took me ages to finish bc I was continually confused at how the pacing usually overthrew the plot (two people talking to each other: it can happen without 75% internal dialogue) and I didn't understand the plot until the very end.

anyone who's read house of shattered wings and wants to read this should know a) it's a STANDALONE SEQUEL, which I did not understand and b) paraphrased from her own notes at the end, the relations b/t the
Jul 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: queer, fantasy, angels
Received to review via Netgalley; publication date 4th April 2017

I know this review is terribly late; I salved my conscience by buying a copy as well. Aliette de Bodard has built a fascinating world in this post-apocalyptic Paris, and it’s so refreshing to get Vietnamese influences running through a story like this — it might be set in France and involve angels of a rather Western bent, but it also features dragons of a rather more Eastern variety.

I don’t think you can really read this without T
Still the same technical issues as the first installment (my god, please stop using the word "predator"), but overall far more enjoyable. Probably because I knew what to expect? Hint: it's a story about postcolonialism told through a fantasy lens, and relying almost exclusively on an atmosphere of superb decay to make its point.
Jill Urbanek Gauger
A lot going on at times but I really liked this book. Asmodeus is the man you love and hate at the same time. I really loved the strength of Madeleine. She was a real heroine in the end. Philippe came through for his people and Isabelle. With Thuan sharing responsibility with Asmodeus for the house things may really be different in a good way for House Hawthorn.
Aug 23, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010s, angels, fantasy
The House of Binding Thorns is the sequel to The House of Shattered Wings. I will fully admit I forgot most of the plot of the first book, even characters that I noted I liked I couldn't quite remember their actions.

I think you could read this as a standalone, since I managed to make it through really only remembering Phillip's background. If you're interested in the world and characters, then you can go back and read book one.

I read the first book about two years prior. I didn't realize it wa
May 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
The House of Binding Thorns is the second entry in Aliette de Bodard’s invigoratingly different Dominion of the Fallen series. In a dystopian, post-WWI Paris Fallen angels have organised themselves into complex, political Houses; full of dependents who are magically linked to the leader of the House. A powerful clan of Vietnamese dragons lives under the Seine, besieged by illness and rebellion. Massed around these two linked societies, are the Houseless - a web of outsiders, and hungry gangs, wh ...more
This book is technically a standalone, but I'd definitely recommend reading the first book, The House of Shattered Wings, as a lot of the major characters from the first installment return: Philippe, Madeleine, Asmodeus, etc. However, we don't see much of House Silverspires, and instead the focus shifts towards House Hawthorn and its many (many, many) political intrigues, both within and without. This book has a lot of the same things I liked from the first installment: a lush but rotting Paris, ...more
Not long after the events of the first book, House Hawthorne becomes embroiled in conflicts and alliances with the dragon kingdom. This has a slow start--there's a big cast and numerous subplots, all tied together by something like a murder-mystery (of which Bodard is fond, and I am not); it stands largely independent of The House of Shattered Wings, and maintains most of that book's weaknesses (like repetitive descriptions) and indulgences (like the moldering elegance of the setting). It's the ...more
I loved this book so much! The House of Binding Thorns takes all of the things I really enjoyed in The House of Shattered Wings and intensifies them. I like Aliette de Bodard's writing style a lot, and I adore how queer her books are - this one even more than the previous. I think the biggest difference between the two (and probably the thing that raised this above the first for me) was that the plot shifted from murder mystery to really truly focus on politics. I loved all the plotting and doub ...more
J.A. Ironside
Mar 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I probably did not get the full impact out of this book since I haven't yet read book 1 (sonething I will rectify) so I am coming at this a bit out of order. That said picking up the storybin the middle in no way damped my enthusiasm and enjoyment of this book. I love the world building and mythology. Madeleine and Phillippe are great characters and the narrative was character cyntric with sharp, elegant and sensory prose. The nasty aspe
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I am a speculative fiction author living in Paris, with a strong taste for history and mythology. Rice addict, tea addict and nước mắm addict.
My short fiction has appeared in various professional venues, and my Aztec fantasy series "Obsidian and Blood", Servant of the Underworld, is published by Angry Robot.
My next novel is The House of Shattered Wings, set in a devastated Paris where quasi-feud

Other books in the series

Dominion of the Fallen (4 books)
  • A Fantasy Medley 3 (The Iron Druid Chronicles, #0.3)
  • The House of Shattered Wings (Dominion of the Fallen, #1)
  • The House of Sundering Flames (Dominion of the Fallen #3)