It was a large, magnificent room with intricate patterns of ivy branches on the tiles, and a large mirror above a marble fireplace, the mantlepiece crammed with curios from delicate silver bowls to Chinese blue-and-white porcelain figures: a clear statement of casual power, to leave so many riches where everyone could grab them.
–de Bodard, Aliette. (2018) Children of Thorns, Children of Water
Dominion of the fallen ; 1.5
Thuan and Kim Cuc and attempting go gain entrance to House Hawthorn. Every year the House accepts applicants, tests them, and maybe takes them in. For the Houseless in Paris this is a path of possible safety, without a House you have very little hope.But Thuan and Kim Cuc are not the usual applicants, they are dragons in human form, and they aren’t looking for protection and a home. They are looking to infiltrate and spy on House Hawthorn to help protect their own kingdom.
Of course the testing does not go smoothly. When do things ever go smooth?
All the applicants find themselves under attack from mysterious thorn children and Thuan must learn to stand on his own two feet.
This is an enjoyable story set after The House of Shattered Wings and before The House of Binding Thorns ((which I haven’t read yet but must get around to it )). It would certainly be helpful to read Shattered Wings first, and there are some spoilers for events in that book, but you can follow what is going on no problem without reading any in this ‘verse. I’m terrible at remembering details, I usually try to reread a book if starting its sequel, yet had no issue following along with events here. Because it isn’t really about the wider world, more about Thuan, his relationship with his family and how he learns to begin to stand on his own without the support of that family.
I’ve enjoyed everything by de Bodard that I’ve read, and I really do love the world she has created in the Dominion books.