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The House of Sundering Flames

(Dominion of the Fallen #3)

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  407 ratings  ·  76 reviews
The multi-award-winning author of The House of Shattered Wings and The House of Binding Thorns concludes her Dominion of the Fallen saga, set in a Paris devastated by a magical war.

The great magical Houses of Paris – headed by Fallen angels and magicians – were, however temporarily, at peace with each other. Until House Harrier was levelled by a powerful explosion. Now tha
Kindle Edition, 560 pages
Published July 25th 2019 by Gollancz
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Aliette Hello! I'm out of contract in the US currently, so Ace Roc isn't going to be publishing book 3. That said, we're currently working on making a US edit…moreHello! I'm out of contract in the US currently, so Ace Roc isn't going to be publishing book 3. That said, we're currently working on making a US edition available and I'm hoping to be able to make an announcement really soon (a few weeks, hopefully!). If you don't already subscribe to the newsletter, can I suggest hopping over to https://www.aliettedebodard.com/newsl... , which will have the earliest news regarding this? (I write a somewhat monthly newsletter that contains new releases and general news + recipes & fountain pens and very much do not spam--the opposite in fact, the contents tend to be rather dense because I write them so infrequently!)(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.96  · 
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 ·  407 ratings  ·  76 reviews

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Maja Ingrid
Better than Binding Thorns but not quite up there with Shattered Wings. A plus is it didn't have any of Madeleine's POV. World-building is still the strongest part of the book. The plot is more solid than in Binding Thorns, so it was easier to keep up the interest. ...more
Freya Marske
Aug 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Somehow EVEN MORE STRESSFUL than the previous two books, wow. De Bodard is not afraid to wade into her own creation and royally Fuck Some Shit Up. Some incredible points made about compassion, colonialism, and the nature of power, and some gloriously vivid depictions of queer families and resilience and hope-among-the-rubble.

(And, you know, Thuan and Asmodeus, the Dragon Husband/Stabby Husband arranged marriage of my heart.)
Jan 29, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: aoc, q, adult, yff, ymm, boring, fantasy, qf, qm, db
In a genre that spends surprisingly little time investigating its own power structures, House of Sundering Flames is a really refreshing addition.

My experiences come mostly from English-language YA, but the common motif in fantasy is that most things will be fine as long as the people wielding the power are good, or less evil than the antagonist.
In House of Sundering Flames, it's clear that the corrupting nature of some kinds of power defies simple lines like "good" and "bad", and that some thin
Nov 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Solid conclusion to the trilogy. The setting remains, as always, one of my favorite things EVER. de Bodard is a highly under-appreciated writer.
Powerful conclusion to the trilogy. While the first two books were somewhat stand-alone, this one depends pretty heavily on the previous two for context. For me, it does a very good job of tying those stories together. With each book in the series, de Bodard has delved more explicitly into examinations of power, oppression, and colonization, and in House of Sundering Flames she draws these themes fully to the surface. At the same time, however, for me it is also the most hopeful book in the tril ...more
Finally, my trilogy binge has come to an end and it’s always such fun to read all books at once, taking it all in. And this was such an immersive experience.

The author took this book in a much different direction than I was expecting. It starts off literally with a bang and just continues on with more, the stakes feeling higher and higher and even hopeless at times. It was interesting to see how the narrative changes when a big bad affects both the magical beings and mortals equally, and how ea
Feb 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
De Bodard razes an already ruined Paris and sticks lots of fellow writers in the middle of it. What have they done to deserve this? ;)
Aug 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fitting end to an always-evolving series. I continue to be impressed with the imaginative depth of de Bodard’s worldbuilding, but I also love the little moments between her characters. The interactions of Asmodeus and little Ai Nhi were my absolute favorite. I'll miss the stunning world de Bodard has created, and I'm sad to say goodbye to Thuan, Asmodeus, and their families. ...more
Aug 09, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is the third installment in The Dominion of the Fallen series. I was really looking forward to this book, hoping it would be on par with the first but a quarter of the way through, I almost threw it on the DNF pile. I finished but it was a struggle to the very last page. I really enjoyed the first book in this series, featuring Lucifer's protege Selene, the head of House Silverspires, who has to figure out the magic that is killing Fallen in her house. We are also introduced to Philippe, a ...more
The Houses are finally burning…..

de Bodard concludes this dark trilogy, tearing everything apart and letting her characters deal with the destruction, and the chaotic and vengeful cause of the fires and mounting death toll. Nobody is safe, especially the Fallen, and the outcome of their horrible behaviour finally comes home to roost. And even while I felt bad for individual characters and their worsening situations, I could not feel particularly bad about the Houses falling to pieces.

Things I li
Shan( Shans_Shelves) 💜
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Heather Jones
Jul 24, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: queer, fantasy
All of the Dominion of the Fallen books have their harsh and horrifying moments, but this one feels like the darkest going in (though maybe not so dark coming out). If anyone with less skill than de Bodard were writing this series, I might have noped out after the first book, but she gets past my uneasiness around horror with gripping characters and masterful worldbuilding. The fallen angels, dragon kingdoms, and loose-cannon magical creatures of Paris are plunged into something close to all-out ...more
May 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This feels like such a fitting end to the series. I really enjoyed it and I particularly like the hopeful note it ends on.
Jun 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A worthy climax to a staggeringly good trilogy. Come for the discourse on how power corrupts by amplifying your flaws and the examination of healthy boundaries in friendships, stay for the conflicted romance between the murder angel and the do-gooding dragon. Expect de Bodard to blow up everything she has built (yes, all of it. And more).

No dragon kingdom this time around, but plenty of dragons (including dragon riding, dragon kissing and baby dragons, my life is complete).

Full review
Well, that's awkward.

As a longtime fan of the series, I was extremely underwhelmed by this final book. To be honest, I had to heavily skim and then skip whole chapters to even be able to finish it. And still, I was annoyed with what I read.

The storyline was ok but I wasn't engaged, the POVs didn't interest me, and the themes were laid down in a manner so unsubtle they might as well have been beaten in with a hammer - such stark contrast to the prequels.

But my biggest issue: why does it feel lik
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Z Aung
Aug 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
There are very few writers I trust as much as Aliette de Bodard, and this book is a perfect example of why.

Sundering Flames is the third in the series and I genuinely think it's the best of the lot. See, what I love most about these books is that it is one of the defining works of Hopepunk. It takes place in a devastated Paris, torn apart over and over again by squabbles and fights between houses of fallen angels. And in the midst of that, you have these communities that come together, protecti
inhaled and loved it very much. the overarching themes of the series (gothic historical urban fantasy, vietnamese diaspora, dragons, angels, so much magic, politics, intrigue, body horror, lgbtqia+ characters) are refined some more (children of thorns, body horror birds, burn it to the ground) but the focus seemed firmly on power imbalances and what they do to people. "power corrupts but make it body horror" not quite, but a bit. the excesses of colonialism and consequences for the colonised wer ...more
I was seriously in awe with how fast I plunged through this one, given how long I've waited to start reading it. Nails were bitten. Characters were cursed at or gushed over, or both. I think "unkas" are still my favourite parts, though. Awesome stuff. ...more
Jul 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobooks
The perfect closure of the trilogy!

It really took my breath away more than once. It's disturbing and terrifying, amusing and thoughtful. And of course it's absolutely perfectly read by Peter Kenny; there are a few voices, I'm sure, I will hear in some nightmares.

If you had liked the previous two books you will love this one. If you hadn't read them yet, you totally should!
Sep 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Doesn't happen often but I think I preferred the second book. My main issue was that I strongly preferred some of the point of view characters over others. Nonetheless still a very enjoyable read! ...more
Judith Moore
Sep 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Originally posted at Chain Interaction
I have a weird relationship with these books, and with Aliette’s writing – to be perfectly honest. While I’m reading the books I’m utterly captivated, they are page-turners in the truest form of the word, I can’t stop reading them once I’ve begun.

But then…once it’s done.

Can I remember what happened with much clarity? Can I tell you, with any confidence, what happened? Honestly? No.

I don’t know what it is but these books totally slip through my mind as soon a
Mar 21, 2020 rated it liked it
The story is really well done and I liked the end of the series. Having said that, I felt like the character interactions were never really developed, and for some reason I had a hard time keeping track of the different characters even though I'd read the other books and enjoyed them. ...more
This one went such unexpected directions, and I so want to know what happens next in the politics of this Paris. Also, despite Asmodeus being super sadistic and stabby, he also spends a great deal of time being a fainting princess. He gets exploded a lot, or overexerts himself magically, or whatever, and then just swoons. Sometimes onto his husband Thuan, which is great. Also also, there's a ton of queer relationships of various stripes, and I had to think for a few minutes to remember, oh yeah, ...more
This book broke me a bit. Especially in the back half. I'm always a sucker for characters doing the right thing, even when it hurts.

I am very sad that this is the end but what a book to go out on! The themes of family and community really come to the fore here and I loved seeing how everyone's relationships changed and developed over the course of the book. I also liked that the PoVs were closer, distance-wise this time, which was one of my favourite things about The House of Shattered Wings. It
Sep 27, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Mostly, a worthwhile ending for the series. Parts of it seem rushed, and could have used another editorial pass. There were several new POV characters, and the throughline of Madeleine was dropped. (Not that she was such a great character, but continuity is something.) Also, I don't share the author's fascination with Asmodeus, and I found Thuan's passion for him less than convincing.

But the story is good, the hero and villain are good, and I like the themes of home and family and choices that a
Dec 16, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
It wasn't a bad book, but I am in a bleak mood with the recent death of my beloved cat, and I found this novel too bleak and tragic to really appreciate it. I should have picked up a light and cheerful book to lift me out of my sadness. ...more
Much better than book 2 in that the plot is clearly defined and easier to follow (though it is still split across many POVs that aren't always apparently related), though not quite as enjoyable as book 1. Why? Repetitive writing, and that feeling of being left out of some important things when it comes to the world and the characters.

Picking up a few months after the events of book 2, one of the Big Post-Angel-Apocalypse Houses of Paris, House Harrier, explodes. Everyone wants to know how, becau
This book taught me that I'm a house Hawthorn fan first and Dominion of the Fallen fan second. I blame The House of Binding Thorns that's still my favorite part and Thuan my favorite character. So while I was reading this I was mostly emotionally attached to what was happening there and I'm little bit dissapointed that Berith, Françoise and Madeleine had very minor appearances (althought I understand why).

I also had a hard time connecting with some of the new characters. Not because they weren't
Robin Duncan
Apr 16, 2020 rated it it was ok
This story is beautifully written, lovingly crafted with great precision, and with a powerful act of creation in the imagining of its evocative setting.

I could not finish it.

I had my issues with The House of Shattered Wings, but as a story it compelled me and, although I felt underwhelmed by Philipe and his motivation, many of the characters around him were so real, and 'human' and involving; full of passion and imperfection.

I loved The House of Binding Thorns: particularly as it centred (largel
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Aliette de Bodard lives and works in Paris. She has won three Nebula Awards, an Ignyte Award, a Locus Award, a British Fantasy Award and four British Science Fiction Association Awards, and was a double Hugo finalist for 2019 (Best Series and Best Novella).

Her most recent book is Fireheart Tiger (Tor.com), a sapphic romantic fantasy inspired by pre colonial Vietnam, where a diplomat princess must

Other books in the series

Dominion of the Fallen (3 books)
  • The House of Shattered Wings (Dominion of the Fallen, #1)
  • The House of Binding Thorns (Dominion of the Fallen, #2)

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