Servant of the Underworld
Obsidian & Blood, Book 1
By Aliette De Bodard
(Angry Robot, Mass Market Paperback, 9780857660312, 432pp.)
Publication Date: October 26, 2010
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IT IS THE YEAR ONE-KNIFE IN TENOCHTITLAN - THE CAPITAL OF THE AZTECS. The end of the world is kept at bay only by the magic of human sacrifice. A Priestess disappears from an empty room drenched in blood.
Acatl, High Priest of the Dead must find her, or break the boundaries between the worlds of th living and the dead. But how do you find someone, living or dead, in a world where blood sacrifices are an everyday occurrence and the very gods stalk the streets?
File Under: Fantasy [ Aztec Mystery | Locked Room | Human Sacrifice | The Dead Walk! ]
Aliette de Bodard is a writer and computer specialist whose short fiction has already brought her a John W Campbell Award nomination, for best newcomer.
Aliette is French, of Vietnamese extraction, but she writes exclusively in English. The author lives in Paris, France.
"An Aztec priest of the dead tries to solve a murder mystery, and finds that politics may be even more powerful than magic. A vivid portrayal of an interesting culture in a truly fresh fantasy novel." - Kevin J. Anderson, New York Times bestselling co-author of The Winds of Dune
"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
"Servant of the Underworld takes its historical setting and the mythology of the Aztecs seriously... the title page suggests this is the first volume of "Obsidian and Blood." If Aliette de Bodard can continue as well as she has started, Acatl deserves to become as well known as that other priestly investigator, Cadfael." - Duncan Lawie, Strange Horizons
"It’s fascinating stuff, about fascinating stuff." - John Scalzi, Whatever
"Aliette De Bodard is the hottest rising star in world SF and Fantasy, blending ancient crimes with wild imagination." - Aleksandra's Corner
"[De Bodard's] mastery of atmospherics and flowing prose envelopes readers in the darkness of this ancient, sacred world where earth, jade, and sacrificial animals materialize before your eyes and penetrate your bones. Servant of the Underworld is an immersion into a little-known culture worthy of a fictionalized revitalization." -www.thecontextuallife.com
Praise for Aliette's short fiction:
"The plot is concise yet intricate, the dialogue is superb, and the writing flows naturally" - The Fix (reviewing "Lonely Heart" from Black Static, 2009)
"Beautifully written... the issue's most compelling and elegantly composed drama." - Tangent Online (reviewing "Deer Flight" from Interzone)
"The quality of de Bodard's writing shines through" - The Fix (reviewing "Dragon Feasts" from Andromeda Spaceways)
"It's one of those stories where to write too much about it would rob the reader of much of the pleasure." - The Fix (reviewing "Horus Ascending" from Intergalactic Medicine Show)
"This is the kind of alternate history I love, well researched, well written ... well paced and fascinating in it’s depth of immersion in a culture most of us know little to nothing about." - On Wings of Imagination
"Steeped in Aztec mythology and culture, it’s refreshing to read a story that is set in a time so rarely used as a fictional setting. With its complex plot, interesting cast of characters, and magical mystery, Servant of the Underworld makes a great first installment to the Obsidian and Blood series." - fantasy-faction.com