The Tensorate Series: The Black Tides of Heaven (book 1)
A Finalist for the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Awards for Best Novella
The Black Tides of Heaven is one of a pair of unique, standalone introductions to JY Yang's Tensorate Series, which Kate Elliott calls "effortlessly fascinating." For more of the story you can read its twin novella The Red Threads of Fortune.
Mokoya and Akeha, the twin children of the Protector, were sold to the Grand Monastery as infants. While Mokoya developed her strange prophetic gift, Akeha was always the one who could see the strings that moved adults to action. While Mokoya received visions of what would be, Akeha realized what could be. What's more, they saw the sickness at the heart of their mother's Protectorate.
A rebellion is growing. The Machinists discover new levers to move the world every day, while the Tensors fight to put them down and preserve the power of the state. Unwilling to continue as a pawn in their mother's twisted schemes, Akeha leaves the Tensorate behind and falls in with the rebels. But every step Akeha takes towards the Machinists is a step away from Mokoya. Can Akeha find peace without shattering the bond they share with their twin?
Praise for The Tensorate Series
"A rebel commander in a complicated fantasy world recalls her triumphs and struggles in Yang's superb fourth Tensorate novella. This thrilling adventure stands alone, as well as providing moving, complicated backstory for the earlier books in the series. Both fans and newcomers will be enthralled."
—Publishers Weekly on The Ascent to Godhood
"Joyously wild stuff. Highly recommended."
—The New York Times
"Yang's masterful world building is on display, from the manipulation of the metaphysical "slack" to the creatures who inhabit the harsh mountains, made even more impressive by the nonlinear narrative structure. The Old World feel of their "silkpunk" fantasy is made modern by smoothly interwoven gender-nonbinary characters, whose richness enhances the emotional impact of this short but compelling work."
—Booklist on The Descent of Monsters
"Yang conjures up a world of magic and machines, wild monsters and sophisticated civilizations, that you'll want to return to again and again."
—Annalee Newitz for Ars Technica
"Full of love and loss, confrontation and discovery. Each moment is a glistening pearl, all strung together in a wonder of world-creation."
—Ken Liu, Nebula, Hugo, and World Fantasy Award winner and author of The Grace of Kings and The Paper Menagerie
"I love JY Yang's effortlessly fascinating world-building."
—Kate Elliott, author of Black Wolves and Court of Fives
"A fascinating world of battles, politics, magic and romance."
—Zen Cho, author of Sorcerer to the Crown
"Filled with memorable characters and set in a wonderfully imaginative and original universe."
—Aliette de Bodard, Nebula Award-winning author of The House of Shattered Wings
"Like a Miyazaki movie decided to jump off the screen and sear itself into prose, and in doing so became something entirely new."
—Indrapramit Das, author of The Devourers
"Relentlessly captivating, heartbreaking, and powerful."
—Fran Wilde, award-winning, Nebula & Hugo-nominated author of Updraft, Cloudbound, and Horizon
"Yang's prose carries the reader along... A really good book."
—Locus on The Black Tides of Heaven
"Yang deftly creates a world infused with magic, story, and hierarchy."
—Joel Cunningham, B&N Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog
"Yang's writing is quiet, but it is the quiet of strength. It doesn't need to shout to be heard."
—Michelle West for The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction
"Yang captures an epic sweep in compact, precise prose."
—Publishers Weekly starred review on The Black Tides of Heaven
"I haven't actually read much this year so I don't have much to draw from, but a set of books I really enjoyed this year is JY Yang's Tensorate tetralogy. It's made up of four short books: The Red Threads of Fortune, The Black Tides of Heaven, The Descent of Monsters, and The Ascent to Godhood, which were published from 2017 to this year. I took the time to re-read all four now that the series is complete, and really enjoyed it. It's a terrific blend of science fiction and fantasy, which has been called "silkpunk". The arc of Yang’s story is really relevant to our current times: It’s a story about power in society, and how corruption grows in the presence of power, no matter how noble or altruistic one's original intentions are. I also like how Yang uses different ways of telling stories. The Red Threads of Fortune and The Black Tides of Heaven are relatively conventionally told, but Yang takes a slightly different approach with The Descent of Monsters, writing out a thriller through the use of official reports, documents, and letters (appeals to me as a historian) and The Ascent of Godhood is a one-sided conversation between Lady Han and an unnamed partner."
—Thum Ping Tjin, historian, in "My Book of the Year 2019", Singapore Unbound
Cover Type: Softcover
Page Count: 224
Year Published: 2017