In a ruined, devastated world, where the earth is poisoned and beings of nightmares roam the land...
A woman, betrayed, terrified, sold into indenture to pay her village's debts and struggling to survive in a spirit world.
A dragon, among the last of her kind, cold and aloof but desperately trying to make a difference.
When failed scholar Yên is sold to Vu Côn, one of the last dragons walking the earth, she expects to be tortured or killed for Vu Côn's amusement.
But Vu Côn, it turns out, has a use for Yên: she needs a scholar to tutor her two unruly children. She takes Yên back to her home, a vast, vertiginous palace-prison where every door can lead to death. Vu Côn seems stern and unbending, but as the days pass Yên comes to see her kinder and caring side. She finds herself dangerously attracted to the dragon who is her master and jailer. In the end, Yên will have to decide where her own happiness lies—and whether it will survive the revelation of Vu Côn’s dark, unspeakable secrets...
In The Vanisher's Palace is Aliette de Bodard's post-apocalyptic post-colonisation fantasy take on Beauty and the Beast, and it's really cool. Yên is a rural scholar, who gets traded to a dragon in her mother's place to pay off her village's debts; Vu Côn is a dragon attempting to fix a world that was ravaged then abandoned by the Vanishers. Together they... Well, attempt to raise Vu Côn's teenage children right while also reckoning with the after-effects this world has on them all?
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