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Harbinger of the Storm: Obsidian & Blood, Book 2 Mass Market Paperback – January 25, 2011


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Harbinger of the Storm: Obsidian & Blood, Book 2 + Master of the House of Darts: Obsidian and Blood Book 3 + Servant of the Underworld: Obsidian & Blood, Book 1
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Product Details

  • Series: Obsidian & Blood (Book 2)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Angry Robot; Original edition (January 25, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857660764
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857660763
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,782,460 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Political intrigue and rivalry among a complex pantheon of divinities drive this well-paced murder mystery set at the height of the Aztec Empire in the late 15th century. De Bodard reintroduces the series hero Acatl, high priest of the dead, immediately following the death of the Tenochtitlan leader. One of the council members in charge of choosing a successor has been brutally murdered in what looks like an attempt to influence the decision. But the deaths continue and the political situation grows more complex, while the empire looks to be increasingly at risk of invasion by malignant powers. Acatl must go face-to-face with the most powerful god in his world and put the good of the empire above his antipathy for is rivals to achieve the uneasy succession. De Bodard incorporates historical fact with great ease and manages the rare feat of explaining complex culture and political system without lecturing or boring the reader.

Review

Praise for Servant of the Underworld:

"Amid the mud and maize of the Mexica empire, Aliette de Bodard has composed a riveting story of murder, magic and sibling rivalry." - Elizabeth Bear

"Highly recommended... Ms. de Bodard is a writer to watch." - Fantasy Book Critic

"Part murder mystery, part well-researched historical novel and part fantasy... The fantasy element blends neatly with the other parts. 4****" - SFX Magazine

"Aliette de Bodard has done it again. Harbinger of the Storm is an action packed Aztec mystery opera with magic, interventions from the gods and more twists and turns than the first book." - Cybermage

"The way the story is told in this book is very impressive, the plot is both mature and seductive, twisting and turning like a weather vane in a force 9 gale..." - SF Book Reviews

More About the Author

Aliette de Bodard is a half-French, half-Vietnamese computer and history geek who lives in Paris. In her spare time, she writes speculative fiction. Her short stories have appeared in many venues, including Asimov's, Interzone and the Year's Best Science Fiction.
She has a special interest in non-Western civilisations, particularly Ancient Vietnam, Ancient China and Ancient Mesoamerica. Her trilogy Obsidian and Blood is set in Ancient Mexico, and she is currently working on an urban fantasy set in Paris.

Customer Reviews

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Just as with the first one, I really couldn't put this down.
Barbara J. Toperzer
Harbinger of the Storm is an action packed Aztec mystery opera with magic, interventions from the gods and more twists and turns than the first book.
Ove Jansson, Cybermage.se
The dichotomy makes sense in the context of the story, and for me it made it all the more interesting.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ove Jansson, Cybermage.se on January 31, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Emperor is dead and so is the protection he provided for the fifth world now threatened by star demons, malicious summoners and inner strife.

It all starts when they find councilor Ocome cut to pieces by a star-demon inside the palace. The demon is on the loose and has to be found. The investigation into the councilor's death starts to peel an onion of mystery with many surprising twists and turns to be enjoyed.

The succession is far from as clear as it ought to be even though the Emperor named his preference and while the council and the different fractions struggle for power they have a star-demon loose in the palace and the wards protecting the world is getting weaker by the hour.

You can compare the story to a traditional detective story with Acatl as the lead detective and Teomitl as his loyal sidekick muscle with the difference that Acatl is the High Priest of the Dead with magical powers of his own beside the deductive mind needed for the job. Teomitl is a member of the Imperial family, the next leader of the House of Darts and a frequent vessel for his gods and their powers. He is also in love with Acatl's sister which his family frown on to say the least. The daughter of peasants? It is not done. As his brother the dead Emperor's chosen successor says.

Acatl continues to show little ambition for power but his life is starting to get intertwined with the ones in power and the gods that favors them. One could say that he is in the hot pan for the duration. I think we get an inkling of how people in a different culture reason and think. That is something I value in a book.

Aliette de Bodard has done it again.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By KTneko on March 4, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read the first book of this series and surprised myself by how much I loved it. This sequel does not disappoint. The rich discription of the culture, the politics and the magic of the Gods combined with an engrossing mystery really hits the spot and drags you in. Like the first I started reading and just got pulled in and every time I thought I'd figured out what was really going on some new twist was revealed that changed everything and left you on the edge of your seat once again. I have to say that I already have the third book and only the knowledge that I don't have enough free time to read it is actually keeping me from picking it up and just reading it until I pass out from exhaustion.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Josh Vogt on June 24, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is one of those sequels that doesn't require you to have read the first--but I highly recommend you do. The second in Aliette de Bodard's Obsidian and Blood series, Harbinger of the Storm is a wonderfully tense and evocative story. Events start off messy, and only get more bloody and fraught with world-shattering danger as the pages turn.

Harbinger of the Storm expands Aliette de Bodard's series in a powerful fashion. At the end, you get the sense that, despite the world surviving for another season, things are only becoming more perilous behind the scenes. And that makes me anticipate the third novel all the more.

Continue reading on [...] Review: Harbinger of the Storm, by Aliette de Bodard - National speculative fiction | [...]
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Fred L. Warren on April 21, 2014
Format: Paperback
Acatl is Tenochtitlan’s High Priest of the Dead: coroner, funeral director, keeper of the unseen boundaries between the the world of spirits and the world of men--and reluctant detective, when the need arises. He’s a humble, soft-spoken man who’s grown considerably into his duties since last we met him, but now he’s confronted by a new and terrifying challenge.

The Revered Speaker, ruler of Tenochtitlan, is dead, and court intrigue swirls around the naming of his successor. Acatl would prefer to be left out of the political maneuvering, but when one council member is murdered--and more horrifying deaths follow--he has no choice. The murderer has violated the ancient barriers and employed a forbidden magic that threatens to wipe Tenochtitlan and its inhabitants from the face of the earth and usher in the next epoch of history, ready or not.

But how can the priest of a second-rate deity stand against a horde of demons hungry for an apocalypse of blood and fire?

In Harbinger of the Storm, the second volume of Aliette de Bodard’s Obsidian and Blood trilogy, we move deeper into the inner workings of her circa-1400s Aztec society, as seen through the eyes of her unlikely hero, Acatl. This is a world where magical power is tangible, a thread woven through every activity of life, no matter how simple, and the strongest magic derives its power from blood sacrifice. The Aztec society exists in a symbiotic relationship with gods and goddesses who depend on humanity’s devotion while manipulating it to serve their own imponderable agendas. Both men and gods are in turn subject to a fate beyond their control but enigmatic in its vision of the future.
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