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In the Vanishers’ Palace

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  1,460 ratings  ·  394 reviews
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 la
Kindle Edition, 145 pages
Published October 16th 2018 by JABberwocky Literary Agency
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Average rating 3.81  · 
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 ·  1,460 ratings  ·  394 reviews

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Lois Bujold
Jul 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: f&sf readers and, oddly, old fans of Cordwainer Smith
Recommended to Lois by: random internet reviews, plus read another story by the author so my curiosity was primed
This story was pitched to my interest by a comparison to the fairy tale Beauty & the Beast, and yeah, those bones are under there, but the referent to which I was put most disturbingly in mind was Cordwainer Smith's classic short story "A Planet Named Shayol". Incomprehensible magical-technological alien invaders have landed, occupied, and absconded, leaving lasting devastation in their wake in the form of plagues human, animal, botanical, and magical, something of a cross between genetic gray g ...more
Sep 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
In the Vanishers’ Palace is an adult fantasy f/f retelling of Beauty and the Beast with an all-Vietnamese cast. In this book, the “beast” is a shapeshifting dragon, and since the only thing that is better than both f/f romances and monster romances is an f/f monster romance, I knew I had to read it.

Monster romances have always been one of my favorite kinds of romance. I’m sure there are others out there, but In the Vanishers’ Palace is the first f/f one I’ve ever read, and I’m glad I found it –
Mel (Epic Reading)
Apr 19, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc-netgalley
The issue with speculative fiction (a genre that is essentially science fiction and fantasy together) is that it can be very confusing. I love the idea of really unique stories being told; but when you take out a base premise that is easily understood by your reader then you need to provide some tethers. Aliette de Bodard is missing the points of context that allow a reader to stay engaged in a story and able to process the information. In the Vanishers' Palace is so convoluted at times that it ...more
K.J. Charles
A wonderful SFF book (I love a blend of tech and magic so much) set in a post-colonial dystopia where the brutal ruling people have wrecked the place including the climate, left a horrifically damaged society behind them, and buggered off leaving their victims to make something of what little they have left. /looks at camera/

It's superbly depicted with magnificent economy, and utterly miserable, until our heroine is taken by a (lady) dragon as sacrifice and the story moves into a Beauty and the
Samantha Shannon
Dark and dreamlike and wonderfully surreal. There were so many exquisite details I loved, like the words that trail behind Vu Côn and the beautiful names of the illnesses.
I think this is another 3.5 or so- I loved the world and its magic but was underwhelmed by the characters and especially the romance.
Genevieve Cogman
Oct 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved it. A beautiful read - rich, detailed, enjoyable, meaningful.
Sep 06, 2018 marked it as arc-tbr
f/f beauty and the beast retelling with DRAGONS? sign me the fuck up 👌👀👌👀👌👀👌👀👌👀
2.5 stars

This book was eye-opening for me because I've had multiple realizations while listening to it, first and foremost the realization that not caring about a book is a much worse feeling than not liking it.

This book was... objectively fine. It had things I like in theory but didn't care for here and things I actually liked. I just really didn't care about any of it and I feel so bad but it is what it is.

It might be that as soon as I started listening I realized that I actually really hate t
In the Vanishers' Palace is the third Beauty and the Beast retelling I've read recently (I can't help it, it's my favourite fairytale so I can never resist retellings!) and I think it was the most unique of the three. Aliette de Bodard has created a really interesting world based on Vietnamese mythology which I just wanted to spend more time exploring. I could happily read book after book set in this world learning more about the Vanishers who devastated the earth before disappearing and leaving ...more
Oct 21, 2018 rated it liked it
The setting is a post-apocalyptic disaster left by a biotech-based singularity with Clarke's Law in full effect. In that completely alien setting de Bodard gives us a queer retelling of Beauty and the Beast, where the Dragon Vu Côn accepts the life of the young scholar Yên in payment for an act of healing. Yên thinks she's doomed, bu Vu Côn has her teaching the Dragon's two foundling children Thông and Liên in an effort to ready them for a life beyond the Dragon's abode in the Vanishers' Palace. ...more
This was both interesting and weird and finally, let me unsure about my feelings for the book. The Vanisher’s Palace was kinda cool but the magic system with words was pretty confusing. The characters were okay but I liked the twins more than the MCs or their romantic plotline. And I think I’m having quite a bit of bad luck that I keep picking up these books with contagious diseases or viruses during the pandemic - so if you wanna read this novella, this is probably not the right time.

I loved t
The Captain
Oct 16, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Ahoy there me mateys!  I received this fantasy/sci-fi eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  So here be me honest musings . . .

I have read some of the author's short stories and enjoy her writing style.  This is a beauty and the beast retelling based on Vietnamese myths and culture.  The story is an interesting blend of fantasy and sci-fi.  The tale takes place in a world destroyed by an alien race called the Vanishers.  The Vanishers used Earth as a plaything and left chaos behi
charlotte, (½ of readsrainbow)
And then she'd wake up, gasping, trying to breathe, raising her hands to her face, remembering Vu Côn's touch on her skin, as wet and as cold as the oily river.

Review also on Reads Rainbow

Galley provided by publisher

Rep: lesbian mc, bi mc, Vietnamese setting and characters

In The Vanishers' Palace is the first book by Aliette de Bodard that I've read, and boy is it a good one. It's an f/f, dark fantasy inspired by Beauty and the Beast and Vietnamese mythology, with dragons. If the whole p
Scarllet ✦ iamlitandwit
Her gaze swept the room, stopping for a bare moment not on Elder Giang but on Yên, and in her eyes, Yên saw the contained fury of the river’s storms, the floods that killed, the cold that froze bones until they shattered.

Fish, river, gate, storm.

This stunning f/f Beauty and the Beast retelling is so much more than a retelling. Aliette de Bodard did the thing when she thought of this poetic and out-of-this-world concept. Like it is utterly amazing in its lore and worldbuilding.

I am in awe
Gin Jenny (Reading the End)
riends, I am very, very choosy about my “Beauty and the Beast” retellings. To the best of my recollection, the only one that I have ever loved is Robin McKinley’s Beauty. I liked Uprooted, but I loved it best when it was doing things other than retelling “Beauty and the Beast.” I hear good things about W. R. Gingell’s Masque, but I am not pinning my hopes on it. So when I tell you that I was blown away by Aliette de Bodard’s novella In the Vanishers’ Palace, a queer retelling of “Beauty and the ...more
Dec 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely LOVED In the Vanishes’ Palace. It’s a such a terrific novella, and I feel like it was the perfect length for this story (although I wouldn’t mind spending even more time in this world and learning more about it).

First, there is a dream-like quality about the world itself that is just great. We’re given just enough information to understand, mostly, what’s going on, but everything feels very ephemeral, as if you could forget about it, like a dream upon waking. I think this is one of
Zen Cho
Sep 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: by-poc, asia, sff, romance, by-women
An intense, atmospheric read from a brilliant writer.
I wish I had enjoy this more than I did. This is an F/F retelling of beauty and the beast, and instead of a Beast, there is a dragon. I mean, how could is that? Also this has a heavy vietnamese inspiration and it has non-binary characters.

It had a lot of potential, but honestly, I felt like I didn't care about anyone after 50% into it. And the writing style made it difficult for me to get through. Ugh. I'm sad I didn't like this as much as I thought I would.
In the Vanishers' Palace is a f/f retelling of Beauty and the Beast but with a DRAGON. Aliette de Bodard did an excellent job on this one!
The writing and the world she created was just MAGICAL. I immediately fell in love with the setting and the characters. And it's not just a romance but also so much about family and motherhood and has the most adorable pair of siblings!
5/5 from me for an adorable romance, a mind-fuck of a setting, being hella queer (bi/lesbian/non-binary characters of color),
Michelle (In Libris Veritas)
2.5 Stars...I think.
I'm honestly very confused on how I feel about this one, unfortunately.
I have seen some really positive things about Bodard’s writing and when I saw this novella up for review I knew I had to finally give her work a chance. Unfortunately, this one didn’t quite work for me the way I had hoped it would.

The world of Vanishers’ Palace is quite intriguing and steeped in Vietnamese lore, which is something that I am largely unfamiliar with. We have two different planes of exist
Nov 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Intense, dark, and very lovely. Aliette de Bodard is marvelous at building broken, grimly beautiful worlds. I loved the fairy tale feel of this book and the way Viet culture is woven into the retelling of a classic story. It was also fantastic to see a Beauty and the Beast story that made freedom of choice and personal autonomy such strong themes. I think I was a little thrown at first because I was expecting more of a romance and this is really about attraction and potential rather than a full ...more
Sarah (CoolCurryBooks)
I’ve been telling everyone I know about In the Vanishers’ Palace, a f/f retelling of “Beauty and the Beast”… with dragons! So get ready for a really excited review.

Yên is a failed scholar in a harsh world. She and her mother are barely accepted in their village community for her mother’s skills as a healer, but Yên knows their situation is precarious and that they are likely to someday be cast out or killed. When Yên’s mother summons the dragon Vu Côn to heal the daughter of a village leader, Vu
Aliette de Bodard is rapidly becoming one of my favourite authors of short fiction - In the Vanishers' Palace is her latest release and it's a retelling of Beauty and the Beast inspired by Vietnamese folklore and dragons. It's set in a post-apocalyptic fantasy world which has been partially ruined by a mysterious group of creatures called the Vanishers who have now vanished and left the people of world to try to pick up the pieces. It's fantasy (because dragons and magic) but also felt science-f ...more
Freya Marske
Oct 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Loved it! It's pitched as an f/f Beauty and the Beast retelling with dragons, but it also dwells firmly in the Gothic & governess romance novel genres: it's about a girl going to live in a house which is hiding secrets, and about that girl becoming a teacher to a strange, stern person's children. I adored the Escherspace palace, the casually incredible worldbuilding, and the threads of painfully human emotion tying all the characters together. ...more
Elle Maruska
Nov 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Ok I want to scream forever about how good this story is.

First of all: f/f, Viet-inspired retelling of Beauty and the Beast WITH A DRAGON and a powerful message about choice, identity, value, colonialism, and what remains when everything is taken.

Second of all: this book is a perfect example of just how much SF/F stories can do; we have a beautifully-crafted world that's been broken: a colonizing race of creatures called Vanishers arrived, remade the world as their plaything, and then left whe
Oct 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018, earc
I read this book courtesy of the author via NetGalley, in exchange for a review.

In the Vanishers' Palace has been described as a sapphic retelling of The Beauty and the Beast. This is true, though it focuses on the parts of the book I liked the least, at the expense of those I liked best. This novella tells the story of Yên, a scholar (and teacher) and daughter of a village healer, and Vu Côn - a dragon, and mother to two teenagers just coming into their own powers. All this happens against the
Heather Jones
Oct 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of the reasons I anxiously anticipate every new Aliette de Bodard release is because I can just assume there will be casual queerness somewhere in every story. (Note: I’m not entirely fond of the wording “incidental lesbians” that has become popular in lesfic circles because I’m not interested in either the characters or their orientations being “incidental”--I want them to be essential to the story, just not in a way that makes orientation or identity itself the essence of the story. For me ...more
This book was utterly perfect. It had all my favourite things. Magic, dragons, queer women, non-binary characters, and a post apocalyptic setting! It was just brilliant. It was a novella but you grew to know the characters and the setting quickly. The magic system was great, using words, in particular written words as the spells. It reminded me of the Chinese talismans I'd studied. While it was based loosely on Beauty and the Beast it was nice to have it all transferred to a Vietnamese based set ...more
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Vaginal Fantasy B...: In the Vanishers’ Palace Discussion *Spoilers* 1 28 May 01, 2019 07:40PM  

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Aliette de Bodard lives and works in Paris. She has won three Nebula Awards, a Locus Award, a British Fantasy Award and four British Science Fiction Association Awards. She was a double Hugo finalist for 2019 (Best Series and Best Novella). Most recently she published The House of Sundering Flames (Gollancz/JABberwocky Literary Agency, Inc.), the conclusion to her Dominion of the Fallen trilogy, s ...more

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