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The House of Sundering Flames

(Dominion of the Fallen #3)

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  224 ratings  ·  47 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 , 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)

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Average rating 3.97  · 
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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
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.)
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.
Mar 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
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
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.
Shan( Shans_Shelves) 💜
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
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!
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.
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
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.
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
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
Marlz Henry
Feb 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
The great magic houses of Paris have just been torn apart. And once again I enter a fabulous story without reading the previous books! What a fascinating read: magic and lives torn apart, alliances tested, power growing all things mysterious and scary.

I will try to not give away spoilers here: I was so taken by Thuan, the Dragon head of House Hawthorn, and the descriptions of his scaly body and magical aura. It took a lot of concentration to stay focused in the middle of characters protecting ea
Karen Rós
Dec 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I'm not sure if this book was more complex than the previous two, or if my experience of it is influenced by the several long breaks I took in reading it as the end of the semester got ever nearer and I got busier, but I do feel like there was a lot more going on this time. That said, I did enjoy it, and I like how it ended. Asmodeus has somehow become one of my favourite characters (along with Thuan), and I am endlessly fascinated by how de Bodard managed to write so massively flawed (I can't t ...more
Uudenkuun Emilia
Nov 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A lovely chonky book, full of intrigue and devastating events. I sped through this novel, read around 2/3 of it in a single day. So much happened, and I especially love how the status quo was utterly smashed and burnt to ashes. (view spoiler)

Also, so many casually queer characters. <3

This wa
Dec 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
A fitting end for a fascinating series. I enjoyed the last two books in this series much more than I did the first one, mainly because they felt more hopeful than the end of the first one. They continue to deal a lot with colonialism and the effects of being an immigrant population, whether that immigration was intentional or not. Familiar faces show up all around, and it's still delightfully queer. I wish we had seen some more of certain figures--I'd love to see Berith and Asmodeus get to have ...more
May 31, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Not quite satisfying conclusion to an intriguing series. The mix of colonialism and fallen angels should be fascinating, but gets short thrift in the rush to the climax. The groundwork for something interesting and challenging was there (racism, colonialism, power, corruption, and so on) but nothing was built. At some point I felt I was reading one of these endless urban fantasy series with vampire hives, werewolf packs, and sundry magicians where alliances endlessly shift, there’s always a new ...more
I'm sure I could find reasons to quibble with the conclusion to the Dominion of the Fallen series if I thought really, really hard, but I don't want to do that so here we are. This is a fantastic, fast-moving end to the trilogy, and I tore through all 500+ pages in just three days. I'm so glad we get to see more of Asmodeus and Thuan together in this one, and some other characters return as well. Of course, the devastated setting of Gothic Paris is as lush and creepy as always. The only negative ...more
Caroline Duvezin
Jul 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Still very atmospheric, and intricate, though I found myself scanning many sections to get to the Thuan POV ones - intellectually I get the consistency of repeating patterns of abuse/revenge/rebuilding, and it's not like the Houses don't deserve what's coming for them, but emotionally it sometimes felt like going through book 1 all over again. Or maybe I find powerlessness really hard to read as a POV (hence why Emmanuelle didn't grow on me...or that I'm a little tired with jail scenes). But thr ...more
Inga Louisa
Read it quickly but compared to the previous books of the sequel a disappointment.
Earlier books kept me glued to the stories but in this one I wasnt to interested in the main characters survival as they were relatively boring.
Thuan was the only one who I found remotely interesting. The other characters in the book just didnt click with me.
The main subject of the Fallen Angels was full of mystery in the first book but here it seemed flat. Still not a bad book to read but the difference to the
Jeanette Greaves
May 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The third book in the Dominion of the Fallen series. I've read these as they've come out, and one day will re-read them and probably enjoy them even more.

There's a huge cast of characters, and lots of plots and subplots and I came to the third book with very little memory of what had gone before.

The world building is wonderful, I can almost taste the setting of the story, the ruined Paris and the river that flows through it, the mix of cultures and magics that make this series so fresh and int
Carlos Delgado
Apr 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am undone. I didn't want this to end, and had no idea what the end of this saga would look like when I finally reached that point. I now have a quest to collect all of the stories that led up to the first book and maintained the connection in between them. So I can read them all again in sequence and emotionally wear myself out all over again apparently hahaha. But honestly, this trilogy was so unexpected and amazing.
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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

Other books in the series

Dominion of the Fallen (4 books)
  • The House of Shattered Wings (Dominion of the Fallen, #1)
  • The House of Binding Thorns (Dominion of the Fallen #2)
  • Of Dragons, Feasts and Murders (Dominion of the Fallen, #3.5)

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