The Bruising of Qilwa
In this intricately layered debut fantasy, a nonbinary refugee practitioner of blood magic discovers a strange disease causing political rifts in their new homeland. Persian-American author Naseem Jamnia has crafted a gripping narrative with a moving, nuanced exploration of immigration, gender, healing, and family.
Firuz-e Jafari is fortunate enough to have immigrated to the Free Democratic City-State of Qilwa, fleeing the slaughter of other traditional Sassanian blood magic practitioners in their homeland. Despite the status of refugees in their new home, Firuz has a good job at a free healing clinic in Qilwa, working with Kofi, a kindly new employer, and mentoring Afsoneh, a troubled orphan refugee with powerful magic.
But Firuz and Kofi have discovered a terrible new disease which leaves mysterious bruises on its victims. The illness is spreading quickly through Qilwa, and there are dangerous accusations of ineptly performed blood magic. In order to survive, Firuz must break a deadly cycle of prejudice, untangle sociopolitical constraints, and find a fresh start for their both their blood and found family.
Powerful and fascinating, The Bruising of Qilwa is the newest arrival in the era of fantasy classics such as the Broken Earth Trilogy, The Four Profound Weaves, and Who Fears Death.
Publisher: Tachyon Publications
Publication Date: August 9, 2022
I loved this gorgeous book about blood magic, chosen family and refugees in a hostile city. Naseem Jamnia has created a rich, complex world in a very short space [...] The Bruising of Qilwa left me wanting way more of this world and its magical systems—but above all, I wanted to spend way more time with these amazing characters. [...] You should definitely savor this one. — Charlie Jane Anders, author of All The Birds in the Sky
I adored this city, with its vibrant history and super-fresh magic system, but I loved these astonishing complex vivid characters even more. A fun and fast-paced ride that keeps you guessing all the way (and, yeah, it’s tough to grapple with the ugly legacies of empire and oppression and still have fun, but Jamnia pulls it off). — Sam J. Miller, author of Blackfish City
Naseem Jamnia is a bold, visionary writer, and The Bruising of Qilwa makes for a superb introduction to their nuanced and evocative Persian-inspired fantasy. The good news is that there are many more brilliant novels already in this writer’s literary quiver. Get ready for them; they’re coming! Naseem is fierce and dangerous—in all the best ways. — David Anthony Durham, author of the Acacia trilogy
The Bruising of Qilwa transports you to a lushly-described, beautifully imagined world where magic and medicine meet. Heartfelt relationships temper the grim reality of a flawed world with a creeping, strange new disease. A delightful read. — Neon Yang, author of the Tensorate series
With prose that reads like lush poetry, The Bruising of Qilwa builds an intricate world full of history, magic, and life. — Z.R. Ellor, author of Silk Fire
A fascinating medical mystery in a rich, complex world I didn’t want to leave. — S.A. Chakraborty, author of the Daevabad trilogy
[A] short, propulsive tale that admirably centers a strong queer protagonist and offers thought-provoking commentary on the struggles of refugees. [...] There’s plenty to enjoy for readers of LGBTQ fantasy. — Publisher's Weekly
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A Persian-Chicagoan, Naseem Jamnia is a former scientist and graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno's MFA program. They've received fellowships from Lambda Literary and Bitch Media, and were named the inaugural Samuel R. Delany Fellow from CatStone Books. Their work has appeared in The Washington Post, The Rumpus, The Writer's Chronicle, Cosmopolitan, and other venues. They are represented by Erica Bauman at Aevitas Creative Management.
Preorder campaign through my local indie bookstore! Buy link here: https://www.sundancebookstore.com/book/9781616963781
Tags: Adult, Fantasy, LGBTQIA+, Speculative Fiction/SFF, science/medical fantasy, BIPOC