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Cover image for The iron dragon's mother
Title:
The iron dragon's mother
ISBN:
9781250198259
Edition:
1st ed.
Physical Description:
365 pages ; 22 cm.
Summary:
Caitlin of House Sans Merci is the young half-human pilot of a sentient mechanical dragon. Returning from her first soul-stealing raid, she discovers an unwanted hitchhiker-- in her head. When Caitlin is framed for the murder of her brother, she must disappear into Industrialized Faerie and look for the one person who can clear her. Unfortunately, the stakes are higher than she knows... and her deeds will change her world forever. --
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Book SCI_FI FANTASY SWA 0 1
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Summary

Summary

Award-winning author Michael Swanwick returns to the gritty, post-industrial faerie world of his New York Times Notable Book The Iron Dragon's Daughter with the standalone adventure fantasy The Iron Dragon's Mother.

Kirkus --Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of 2019

The Verge -- New Science Fiction and Fantasy Books to Check Out in June

Caitlin of House Sans Merci is the young half-human pilot of a sentient mechanical dragon. Returning from her first soul-stealing raid, she discovers an unwanted hitchhiker.

When Caitlin is framed for the murder of her brother, to save herself she must disappear into Industrialized Faerie, looking for the one person who can clear her.

Unfortunately, the stakes are higher than she knows. Her deeds will change her world forever.


Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

Traveling through a vast, dark faerie world, Swanwick's gripping sequel to 1993's The Iron Dragon's Daughter poetically tells the tale of a dragon pilot who's running from accusations of crimes she didn't commit. Shortly after Caitlin's father dies and she completes her first piloting mission, Caitlin is framed for multiple crimes, including the murder of her brother-whom she believes is still alive. With the help of Helen, a woman she doesn't know who has become a hitchhiker in her mind, she escapes to find her brother and prove her innocence. Journeying through the lands and cities of faerie, Caitlin becomes Cat, making friends who help her discover the magic items she needs and important truths about herself. Changeling women are used as breeders for fae men, fae women are second-class citizens, and all the half-human pilots are persecuted for not remaining virgins-Cat's fellow female pilots viciously attack her before others accuse them in turn-but Cat and the strong women she befriends seem designed to disprove the sexist assumptions that underpin faerie culture. This epic is full of carefully crafted lands, characters, and creatures, and readers will savor each page. (June) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Kirkus Review

Swanwick's third fantasy (The Dragons of Babel, 2008, etc.) set in an industrialized Faerie bristling with weird entities.Curious readers will learn that this is just one of many worlds (Aerth, or Earth, is another) that are "different energy states of the same place...the surfaces of an n-dimensional tesseract." Now you know. Caitlin Sans Merci serves in Her Absent Majesty's Dragon Corps as the pilot of a malevolent iron dragon, 7708. The Corps' purpose is to steal children's souls from Aerth so they can be embedded in soulless high elf bodies; Cat herself is one such. As her story opens, she returns from a raid discovering that somehow she's acquired a secret stowaway in her cranium, the mysterious Helen V. from Aerth. Soon, Cat's half brother, Fingolfinrhod, a full-blooded elf, will inherit House Sans Merci from their dying father. Fingolfinrhod, appalled at the prospect, instead vanishes (after warning Cat of a conspiracy against her) into what Cat will later learn is the city Ys, drowned long ago beneath the waves. Cat, framed by her superiors and betrayed by 7708, flees, determined to clear her name and reclaim her position. The scintillating narrative, sprinkled with black humor, bulges with symbols and allusions to topics in science, alchemy, magic, folklore, mythology, fantasy/science fiction, and literature. Remarkably, all the major and most of the minor characters are female, not to mention an alluringly innocent protagonist. A few signs warn that Swanwick's extraordinary inventiveness may be running down, with recycled characters and scenarios and too-frequent passages where descriptions lapse into itemized recitations, like laundry lists. Still, these are minor blemishes in what is primarily another bravura performance, with a surprise ending that, after a moment's reflection, isn't so surprising after all.Discworld meets Faust. They do not like each other. Philip Pullman picks up the pieces. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Booklist Review

Caitlin of House Sans Merci is a half-mortal pilot on a sentient, and not particularly agreeable, dragon, in Swanwick's long-awaited follow-up to The Iron Dragon's Daughter (1993), set in postindustrial Faerie. Piloting her first mission to Aerth to steal the souls of children, Caitlin accidentally absorbs Helen, an older human looking for a more enticing exit than death. Immediately after her father's transcendence, Caitlin is framed for the death of her runaway brother, and she and Helen embark on a series of adventures that drag them through the history of Faerie and the Sans Merci family. After one early escape, Caitlin earns a boon from from a sentient train and is rewarded with information she needs to clear her name and a prophecy that will alter the world, if she can just figure out what it means. The twists and turns of this story will keep readers guessing as to who Caitlin's real friends are, who will betray her, and how far she'll go to clear her name and reestablish her career.--Frances Moritz Copyright 2019 Booklist


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