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The Winged Histories: a novel
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Published:
Small Beer Press 2016
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Description

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.

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Format:
Adobe PDF eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
02/15/2016
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781618731159
ASIN:
B01BFJBK3A
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Sofia Samatar. (2016). The Winged Histories: a novel. Small Beer Press.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Sofia Samatar. 2016. The Winged Histories: A Novel. Small Beer Press.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Sofia Samatar, The Winged Histories: A Novel. Small Beer Press, 2016.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Sofia Samatar. The Winged Histories: A Novel. Small Beer Press, 2016.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 17:46:13
Date Updated:
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      • bioText: Sofia Samatar is the author of the novels A Stranger in Olondria and The Winged Histories, the short story collection, Tender, and Monster Portraits, a collaboration with her brother, the artist Del Samatar. She is the recipient of the William L. Crawford Award, the Astounding Award, the British Fantasy Award, and the World Fantasy Award. She teaches Arabic literature, African literature, and speculative fiction at James Madison University.
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title
The Winged Histories
fullDescription

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.

reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: N. K. Jemisin, New York Times Book Review
      • content:

        "All of it is harrowing -- and written in such heart-stoppingly beautiful language there's a good chance readers will ignore the plot and spend a few hours just chewing on the words, slowly, to draw out the flavor. Then they'll need to read it again. Fortunately, this is a short book; also fortunately, there's a lot of novel packed into relatively few pages. A highly recommended indulgence."

      • premium: False
      • source: Shelf Awareness (starred review)
      • content: "Like an alchemist, Sofia Samatar spins golden landscapes and dazzling sentences. . . . The Winged Histories is a fantasy novel for those who take their sentences with the same slow, unfolding beauty as a cup of jasmine tea, and for adventurers like Tav, who are willing to charge ahead into the unknown."
      • premium: False
      • source: Publishers Weekly (starred review)
      • content: "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."
      • premium: False
      • source: Jason Heller, NPR
      • content: "Throughout it all, Samatar ponders weighty questions. "What is the difference between a king and a monster?" Tialon asks; "What is music?" wonders Seren. But Histories isn't a book about easy answers, any more than it's driven by plot. It's circuitous and hypnotic, told through flashbacks, meditations, and stories within stories. Tialon pores over a history book written by her aunt; Seren sifts through the traditional songs she sings. Rather than being distractions, these nested texts ring with lyricism.
        "At the same time, they underscore one of Samatar's profound themes: how words make us, every bit as much as we make them. At one point Seren, waxing philosophical about the distinction between sorcery and literacy in Olondria, says that writing is "like riding a horse to go somewhere instead of walking. You go to the same place, but you can carry more." Accordingly, Samatar carries a great deal with her in the pages of The Winged Histories: beauty, wonder, and a soaring paean to the power of story."
      • premium: False
      • source: Jenn Northington, Tor.com
      • content: "Told by four different women, it is a story of war; not epic battles of good and evil, but the attempt to make things right and the realities of violence wielded by one human against another, by one group against another. It's about the aftermath of war, in which some things are better but others are worse. Above all, it's a story about love--the terrible love that tears lives apart. Doomed love; impossible love; love that requires a rewriting of the rules, be it for a country, a person, or a story."
      • premium: False
      • source: Hello Beautiful
      • content: “An imaginative, poetic, and dark meditation on how history gets made."
      • premium: False
      • source: Amal El-Mohtar, Lightspeed
      • content: "This book. This perfect book."
      • premium: False
      • source: Marion Deeds, Fantasy Literature
      • content: If you love stories but distrust them, if you love language and can also see how it is used as a tool or a weapon in the maintenance of status quo, then read The Winged Histories."
      • premium: False
      • source: Kirkus Reviews
      • content: "Tav, a teenage girl from the House of Telkan, 'the most exalted bloodline' in Olondria, has run away to become a swordmaiden in the army. As she fights alongside the men, she realizes the war is a distraction while the ruling branch of her family subjugates her native kingdom, Kestenya, and surrounding territories. . . . Samatar is a writer of uncommon beauty, and she takes a genre that has historically tended to focus on the heroic exploits of men and shows how those exploits involve and affect women. This novel teaches us the importance of giving voice to experience and bearing witness; as one character says, writing is less about words than 'how we are written into one another. How this is history.' A lyrical immersion into a finely wrought world."
      • premium: False
      • source: Jenn Northington, Book Riot
      • content: "Samatar has created characters that you will carry around with you for weeks (months?). If you love strong voices, world-building, and books that tell hard truths with beautiful language, these are for you."
      • premium: False
      • source: Romantic Times Book Reviews
      • content: "Samatar's use of poetic yet unpretentious language makes her one of the best writers of today. Reading her books is like sipping very rich mulled wine. The worldbuilding and characterization is exquisite. This...
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        Starred review from May 23, 2016
        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.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        January 1, 2016
        A ruling House faces an internal rebellion that affects the lives of four women. Olondria is in peril. The empire is fractured along religious lines as a new cult competes with ancient rituals. Politically, it has been rendered unstable by wars. As the novel opens, Tav, a teenage girl from the House of Telkan, "the most exalted bloodline" in Olondria, has run away to become a swordmaiden in the army. As she fights alongside the men, she realizes the war is a distraction while the ruling branch of her family subjugates her native kingdom, Kestenya, and surrounding territories. Reaching out to her cousin Dasya, the son of the ruling Telkan, she incites him to fight for a free Kestenya. After learning of Olondria's violent history through Tav, the novel switches point of view three more times, each time offering a different female perspective on the rebellion and its aftermath. Samatar (A Stranger in Olondria, 2013) has created a world in Olondria that is astonishingly rendered: details that even the most realistic of fiction writers might overlook are minutely described here, from one character's music box to the texture of the food. And while the amount of detail in this new world with its complex history requires a deep patience on the part of the reader (and use of the glossary in the back), that patience is rewarded. Samatar is a writer of uncommon beauty, and she takes a genre that has historically tended to focus on the heroic exploits of men and shows how those exploits involve and affect women. This novel teaches us the importance of giving voice to experience and bearing witness; as one character says, writing is less about words than "how we are written into one another. How this is history." A lyrical immersion into a finely wrought world.

        COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        March 15, 2016

        Samatar's A Stranger in Olondria won the World Fantasy Award after its publication in 2013. Now the author returns with a story of four women, each pulled into the rebellion in Olondria, each seeking survival and to tell her own tale.--MM

        Copyright 2016 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

popularity
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shortDescription

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...

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