Sometimes when you have a series and you start it with all the parts already in your hands, you end up binge reading a series. I will also have you know that entirely blame this on Imyril as she is the whole reason I bought this trilogy in ebook last year…
In the Dominion of the Fallen we follow a few houses in an alternate Paris and a very alternate world to us. In this world Angels who get kicked out of heaven fall onto earth. They retain very little memories from their time in heaven. But they are not the only creatures that inhabit our earth nor are they the only ones who can use magic. There are humans who are magicians. There are dragons in the sea. There are immortals in a court in very different skies. If you think we just follow the Christian religion in this story you would be very wrong. I think that is why I was so drawn to this story. I am not the biggest fan of angels in stories but when they are a bigger part of a whole as they are here, it doesn’t quite bother me.
We start the story a bit after the magicians war that has left Paris a shell of its former self. Notre-Dame is in ruins and the street are almost deserted. The normal people, not apart of the houses, are fighting a survival game as the great houses are still fighting for dominion.
In the first book we follow Philippe, something that the fallen angels have not quite seen before. He possesses magic but is not a magician nor a fallen angel. He gets taken into House Silverspires that is still dealing with the fall out of losing their head of house Lucifer Morgenstern 20 years ago. He is a prisoner. Unknowingly he sets off someones revenge on the house.
While Philippe (and his Isabel) are the main characters they aren’t what made me stay around. The intricate world building as mentioned above. But also a lot of the side characters.
There is Asomodeus from House of Hawthorne who we meet in the first book only from the side of the other characters. We meet him as a ruthless character but as we continue into the series with book 2 and 3 we see how he takes care of his dependents and see a different side of him. He’s still fairly ruthless but mostly to those outside of his house and he is open to other opinions as we see with Thuan.
Thuan I love. We don’t meet him until the second book but he is a wonderful character to offset our fallen angels. He seems to shine out so much more warmth than other characters. They all sometimes live in their own little world and Thuan can look outside of that more. Most of the time anyway. (And of course he is a dragon and I would have loved him regardless.)
The relationship with Asmodeus and Thuan is interesting but also their relationships with other characters. Madeleine who we meet in house Silverspire in book 1 and Asmodeus. She starts out being afraid of Asmodeus but by book 3 there is a clear change in their relationship.
Of course that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any negative things. I think in a lot of cases the endings could have been a lot tighter and sometimes they were heading to a climax and it just fizzled out (the end of book 3 anyone?) but regardless I have quite a fondness for these books through its characters.
Series Title: The Dominion of the Fallen by Aliette de Bodard
Books: The House of Shattered Wings | The House of Binding Thorns | The House of Sundering Flames
Release Dates: 2015 | 2017 | 2019
Tags: Adult | Fantasy | Paranormal | Fallen Angels | Dragons | Family | Safety | War | Vietnamese MC | LGBTQ+ | F/F Relationship | M/M Relationship
CW/TW: Drug Abuse | Violence | Torture | Death