Synopses & Reviews
In Seth Dickinson's highly-anticipated debut The Traitor Baru Cormorant, a young woman from a conquered people tries to transform an empire in this richly imagined geopolitical fantasy.
Baru Cormorant believes any price is worth paying to liberate her people-even her soul.
the Empire of Masks conquers her island home, overwrites her culture,
criminalizes her customs, and murders one of her fathers, Baru vows to
swallow her hate, join the Empire's civil service, and claw her way high
enough to set her people free.
Sent as an Imperial agent to
distant Aurdwynn, another conquered country, Baru discovers it's on the
brink of rebellion. Drawn by the intriguing duchess Tain Hu into a
circle of seditious dukes, Baru may be able to use her position to help.
As she pursues a precarious balance between the rebels and a shadowy
cabal within the Empire, she orchestrates a do-or-die gambit with
freedom as the prize.
But the cost of winning the long game of saving her people may be far greater than Baru imagines.
“This is an accomplished debut, with a heroine whose motives are murky,
seemingly even to herself. The twists and turns our unreliable narrator
takes as she pushes the Aurdwynn nobles to rebel reveal her goals yet
also expose her loneliness. We’ve only seen a fraction of the world of
the Masquerade and a glimpse of Baru’s plans, setting the stage for a
compelling series. Library Journal, starred review
“Dickinson's dense, chewy, deftly orchestrated narrative cleverly
exploits fiat money and debt as tools of statecraft…. A highly
impressive debut that engages intellectually.” Kirkus Reviews
“A fascinating tale of political intrigue and national unrest.” The Washington Post
About the Author
SETH DICKINSON's short fiction has appeared in Analog, Asimov's, Clarkesworld, Lightspeed, Strange Horizons,Beneath Ceaseless Skies,
among others. He is an instructor at the Alpha Workshop for Young
Writers, winner of the 2011 Dell Magazines Award, and a lapsed student
of social neuroscience. He lives in Brooklyn, New York. The Traitor Baru Cormorant is his first novel.
Seth Dickinson on PowellsBooks.Blog
Baru is a bright young girl on the island of Taranoke when the Empire of Masks arrives to colonize her home, outlaw her parents' marriage, and disappear one of her fathers. Being a very Machiavellian little girl, Baru decides there's only one thing to do — enter the Empire's schools, join their civil service, prove herself as their finest operative, and...