imyril's Reviews > Children of Thorns, Children of Water

Children of Thorns, Children of Water by Aliette de Bodard
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really liked it
bookshelves: review-copies

Originally packaged as a bonus with pre-sales copies of House of Binding Thorns (to which it forms an immediate prequel), this short tale relates how Thuan became a dependent of House Hawthorn. It's a chancy thing, spying on a Fallen House - least of all one ruled by a master of torture such as Asmodeus - but it's a risk Thuan and Kim Cuc willingly undertake to insinuate themselves into House Hawthorn to do so on behalf of the dragon kingdom (if perhaps a little reluctantly on Thuan's part - he reflects ruefully that no matter how terrifying the Fallen are, there are others - namely Second Aunt - who is he more afraid of). It's no easy thing to be accepted as a dependent: competition is fierce, and Thuan at least is nervy.

So this becomes a tale of two tests: the aborted attempt to make chocolate eclairs to win a place by baking something delightful in too little time with too poor ingredients (which... won me over. I mean, dragons do Bake-Off in post-apocalyptic Paris. Of course it did); and Thuan's attempt to rescue Kim Cuc when a mysterious force turns on the would-be dependents and steals her away.

Those who have read House of Binding Thorns will know how this ends for most of the characters, which kills the tension (although Kim Cuc at least is a new character, and makes a big impression quickly), but I enjoyed this for being genuinely creepy and for the reasons behind the assault - once revealed - being utterly unexpected.

I like being pleasantly surprised (almost as much as I like chocolate eclairs), so consider this a successful side adventure for Thuan, whose company is always a pleasure - and I suspect it will win him plenty of new friends.

I received a free copy from the publisher in return for an honest review
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Reading Progress

June 16, 2017 – Shelved
June 16, 2017 – Shelved as: to-read
June 16, 2017 – Shelved as: review-copies
June 18, 2017 – Started Reading
June 18, 2017 – Finished Reading

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