David Gemmell Morningstar Award
Shortlisted for the 2016 David Gemmell Morningstar Award for Best Debut
[Published as The Traitor Baru Cormorant in the US]
Baru Cormorant believes any price is worth paying to liberate her people - even her soul.
When the Empire of Masks conquers her island home, criminalizes her customs, and murders one of her Fathers, Baru vows to hide her hate, join the Empire's civil service, and claw her way up enough rungs of power to put a stop to the Emperor's influence and set her people free.
As a natural savant, she is sent as an imperial agent to distant Aurdwynn - a post she worries will never get her the position and power she craves. But Baru soon discovers Aurdwynn is a complex and secretive country, seemingly on the brink of rebellion. All it would need is a match to the tinder . . .
Drawn by the intriguing duchess Tain Hu into a circle of seditious aristocrats, Baru may be able to use her position to stoke a revolution that will threaten to bring the Empire to its knees.
As Baru maintains a precarious balance between the rebels and a shadowy cabal within the Empire, she orchestrates a do-or-die gambit with Aurdwynn's freedom as the prize. But winning the long game of saving her own people may be far more costly than Baru imagines.
Smart. Brutal. Gut-wrenching. You'll be captivated from the very first page. Dickinson is a sly, masterful writer who pulls no punches. Get ready to have your heart ripped out through your throat. Highly recommended.
KAMERON HURLEY, author of The Mirror Empire
Seth Dickinson skillfully combines intrigue, action, and philosophical musings to create a suspenseful and deeply satisfying read. An intelligent and accomplished first novel reminiscent of Le Guin in its reflections on imperialism, colonialism, and the attractions and corruptions of power.
UNA MCCORMACK, New York Times bestselling author of The Crimson Shadow
Not many books have me literally flailing with delight. [The Traitor...] did. Fascinating characters, a world imagined with wonderful depth, and storytelling that succeeds on both an epic and a powerfully intimate scale. This is really something special.
SUNNY MORAINE, co-author of Life and Orbit