Michael Swanwick has been nominated for the Hugo Award for his writing fourteen times in the last ten years and has won five of them. He is one of the most important and respected living writers of fantasy and science fiction. Until now, his most famous fantasy has been the groundbreaking novel The Iron Dragon’s Daughter. And now Swanwick returns to the world of that novel to tell a new story in The Dragons of Babel.
A war-dragon of Babel crashes in the idyllic fields of a post-industrialized Faerie and, dragging himself into the nearest village, declares himself king and makes young Will his lieutenant. Nightly, he crawls inside the young fey’s brain to get a measure of what his subjects think.
Forced out of his village, Will travels with female centaur soldiers, witnesses the violent clash of giants, and acquires a surrogate daughter, Esme, who has no knowledge of the past and may be immortal.
Evacuated to the Tower of Babel—infinitely high, infinitely vulgar, very much like New York City—Will meets the confidence trickster Nat Whilk. Inside the Dread Tower, Will becomes a hero to the homeless living in the tunnels under the city, rises as an underling to a politician, and meets his one true love—a high-elven woman to whom he dare not aspire.
Swanwick is a master of storytelling and memorable imagery, striking characterization and sheer surprise. It is an excellent year in fantasy fiction when one novel this good appears.