ARC Review: In the Vanishers’ Palace – Aliette de Bodard

In the Vanishers' Palace
From the award-winning author of the Dominion of the Fallen series comes a dark retelling of Beauty and the Beast.

In a ruined, devastated world, where the earth is poisoned and beings of nightmares roam the land…

A woman, betrayed, terrified, sold into indenture to pay her village’s debts and struggling to survive in a spirit world.

A dragon, among the last of her kind, cold and aloof but desperately trying to make a difference.

When failed scholar Yên is sold to Vu Côn, one of the last dragons walking the earth, she expects to be tortured or killed for Vu Côn’s amusement.

But Vu Côn, it turns out, has a use for Yên: she needs a scholar to tutor her two unruly children. She takes Yên back to her home, a vast, vertiginous palace-prison where every door can lead to death. Vu Côn seems stern and unbending, but as the days pass Yên comes to see her kinder and caring side. She finds herself dangerously attracted to the dragon who is her master and jailer. In the end, Yên will have to decide where her own happiness lies—and whether it will survive the revelation of Vu Côn’s dark, unspeakable secrets…

I received a copy of In the Vanishers’ Palace from Netgalley. This was a pretty easy book to decide to request: the cover was lovely and I’d heard a lot about the author. After requesting it, I realised it was a Beauty and the Beast retelling, which made me so excited!

This book is #ownvoices.

I adored the intricate and detailed descriptions of the dragons and Vanishers. It was interesting to see the dragons and Vanishers described by the human’s perspective and by the dragon’s perspective.

The library is this book is amazing! Seriously, if you don’t know the title of the book you want to red, you can ask the library for a subject, and it gives you a book. If you don’t like it, you get another option. I want a library like this! It’s so awesome!

I wish that there had been more emphasis on the characters in Yên’s village, the story did not dwell on that and thus we didn’t get much information into why they decided to act in different ways. I would have liked more developed minor characters.

I personally was disappointed in how the story ended, as it felt too open for me and I felt like I’d been left hanging.

A beautiful story, however I would have like more developed characters and a more finished ending.

Trigger warning: violence, abuse, sacrifice, death, attempted murder, murder.

3 stars

Are you going to read In the Vanishers’ Palace? What do you think of it?

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