Four women — a soldier, a scholar, a poet, and a socialite — are caught up on opposing sides of a violent rebellion. As war erupts and their loyalties and agendas and ideologies come into conflict, the four fear their lives may pass unrecorded. Using the sword and the pen, the body and the voice, they struggle not just to survive, but to make history.
Here is the much-anticipated companion novel to Sofia Samatar’s World Fantasy Award-winning debut, A Stranger in Olondria. The Winged Histories is the saga of an empire — and a family: their friendships, their enduring love, their arcane and deadly secrets. Samatar asks who makes history, who endures it, and how the turbulence of historical change sweeps over every aspect of a life and over everyone, no matter whether or not they choose to seek it out.
Sofia Samatar is the author of the Crawford, British Fantasy, and World Fantasy award-winning novel A Stranger in Olondria. She also received the John W. Campbell Award. She has written for the Guardian, Strange Horizons, Lightspeed, and many other publications. She is working on a collection of stories. Her website is sofiasamatar.com.
Samatar's lush sequel to A Stranger in Olondria is a story of revolution, religion, and electrifying love in four distinct voices. Tavis is close kin to the current Telkan, the ruler of the fantasy realm of Olondria, but she leaves behind the expectations laid on noblewomen to become a soldier and then, with her cousin Andasya, to lead a new rebellion. Other viewpoint characters are Tialon, daughter of Ivrom, the Priest of the Stone, whose cult is overthrown in the revolution; Seren, a young woman of the nomadic feredhai, who becomes the beloved of Tav; and Siski, Tav's sister and one-time love of Andasya, who is the sole bearer of Andasya's terrible secret. Samatar gives each woman her own style of storytelling and view of events, so that the reader sees this episode in Olondria's history as though looking upon the scene through four different windows. Each character weaves her experiences and observations into the land's folklore and mythology. Samatar refocuses these viewpoints to present something perpetually and pleasantly startling and unexpected. Her prose is by turns sharp and sumptuous, and always perfectly controlled. Samatar's writing strongly recalls Guy Gavriel Kay's fantasy, which reads like historical fiction, but there are strains here too of Jane Austen and something wilder.