The Surviving Sky
Kritika H. Rao
This book is scheduled to be published on 13/06/2023.
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High above a jungle-planet float the last refuges of humanity-plant-made civilizations held together by tradition, technology, and arcane science. In these living cities, architects are revered above anyone else. If not for their ability to psychically manipulate the architecture, the cities would plunge into the devastating earthrage storms below.
Charismatic, powerful, mystical, Iravan is one such architect. In his city, his word is nearly law. His abilities are his identity, but to Ahilya, his wife, they are a way for survival to be reliant on the privileged few. Like most others, she cannot manipulate the plants. And she desperately seeks change.
Their marriage is already thorny-then Iravan is accused of pushing his abilities to forbidden limits. He needs Ahilya to help clear his name; she needs him to tip the balance of rule in their society. As their paths become increasingly intertwined, deadly truths emerge, challenging everything each of them believes. And as the earthrages become longer, and their floating city begins to plummet, Iravan and Ahilya’s discoveries might destroy their marriage, their culture, and their entire civilization.
"Breathtakingly inventive, The Surviving Sky is a twisty, cerebral journey through a fractured marriage, a world plagued by storms, and the question of what it means to be human. This is a book to get lost in." -Tasha Suri, author of The Jasmine Throne "Intensely imaginative and heartbreakingly human, The Surviving Sky paints a brutal, unforgiving world and the life that tenuously exists above it. Filled with both startling revelations and the intimate portrait of a struggling marriage, this is a story that is hard to put down." -Andrea Stewart, author of The Bone Shard Daughter "The Surviving Sky weaves a compelling web of wounded hearts and warped duty, as conflicting forces of ambition, love, and magic strain its characters to the breaking point in a lush world on the brink of destruction. Fall from its floating city's edge into a storm of emotions!" -Melissa Caruso, author of The Obsidian Tower "The Surviving Sky is a high-octane science fantasy with heady, cerebral ideas and a lushly imagined world, whose story centers on a 30s-ish married couple-very unusual for fantasy! There is nothing else out there which is quite like it!" -Sunyi Dean, author of The Book Eaters "A unique blend of sci-fi futurism, eco-fantasy mystery, and intriguing spirituality, Rao's debut about a dissolving marriage in a world on the brink of destruction is truly unlike anything I've ever read. Extremely original and thought-provoking, The Surviving Sky is something completely new and hard to find-I utterly loved it and couldn't put it down." -Shannon Chakraborty, internationally bestselling author of The Daevabad Trilogy. "This wildly imaginative book explores a fracturing world through the deeply painful lens of a fracturing human heart. At times brutal, often beautiful, The Surviving Sky offers a thrilling glimpse into a flawed society scrambling to survive. But it is Rao's engagement with our spiritual nature, and the bonds we forge with our inner and outer selves, that really elevates this story above other science fantasies. Don't miss it!"-Lucy Holland, author of Sistersong "The Surviving Sky is a prodigious gift best slowly unwrapped. Nakshar is an enigma of a city, as rooted and protective as its people; its stakes feel cosmic yet intimate. With two headstrong characters, Ahilya and Iravan, at its helm, the story bristles, charges headlong toward its fate, keeps readers on their feet. Rao has offered us a world like no other."-Suyi Davies Okungbowa, author of Son of the Storm "Sentient forests. Flying cities. Lost histories. Power, rivalry, love, and exile. The Surviving Sky is a cornucopia of wonders, where powerful architects mould reality through communion with flora, where the sky is refuge and the earth perilous, where every choice can shatter the earth, and where an act of atonement can break the world. Combining the best of Stanislaw Ken's Solaris and NK Jemisin's The Broken Earth, the Surviving Sky is an immersive and original epic fantasy." - Gautam Bhatia, author of The Wall and The Horizon "Brimming with fascinating lore and dangerous magic, The Surviving Sky is an evocative debut that will sink its roots-and thorns-into your heart." -Chelsea Abdullah, author of The Stardust Thief "In this brilliant, gorgeous debut, Kritika H. Rao's The Surviving Sky weaves a kaleidoscopic environmental plot with relationships that feel very real indeed. The combination is electric. I loved watching the main characters grow, evolve, and become unforgettable, each in their own right. This is a story unlike any I've read before, an epic adventure through fantastic landscapes and heartscapes." -Fran Wilde, double Nebula Award-winning author of Updraft and Riverland "With lush prose, compelling characters, and a wonderfully built world, The Surviving Sky has everything I hope for in a novel. This is a book for anyone who has ever loved and longed for the natural world around them." -Joshua Phillip Johnson, author of The Forever Sea "The Surviving Sky dares to imagine a boldly unique fantasy world and succeeds in spades. Lush and evocative, this flying jungle city will draw you in, and the characters anchoring the story will keep you reading to the very end." -Rowenna Miller, author of The Unraveled Kingdom trilogy "The Surviving Sky's characters struggle passionately to balance communal survival and individual ambition, exposing the private strain on a marriage. Teeming with detailed world-building, this debut is perfect for fans of original science fantasy." -E.J. Beaton, author of The Councillor "The Surviving Sky is utterly creative, a heady and mysterious tapestry of love, duty, and discovery centered around a civilization toppling from the sky, a unique magic system, and an archaeological expedition into the ravenous jungle of a murder planet. Add in a slow-burn romance and Rao's exploration of human drive, desire, and consciousness-and The Surviving Sky is sure to stay with readers long after the final page." -H.M. Long, author of Hall of Smoke "With worldbuilding and magical metaphysics as alive as the emotion on the page, The Surviving Sky devastates and resurges, intricating a mystery behind civilization's flight away from a ravaged earth. The protagonists navigate the love and fury of a fraught marriage, class struggles, and layered secrets as thick as the jungle itself. While they spiral around a reconciliation that could save their unraveling city, the truth proves more transcendent than either is ready for." -Essa Hansen, Author of Nophek Gloss
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