Vajra Chandrasekera

Book cover for Rakesfall
Book cover for Rakesfall



Vajra Chandrasekera

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Rakesfall is a groundbreaking, standalone science fiction epic about two souls bound together from here until the ends of time, from the author of The Saint of Bright Doors.

Some stories take more than one lifetime to tell. There are wrongs that echo through the ages, friendships that outpace the claws of death, loves that leave their mark on civilization, and promises that nothing can break. This is one such story.

Annelid and Leveret met as children in the middle of the Sri Lankan civil war. They found each other in a torn-up nation, peering through propaganda to grasp a deeper truth. And in a demon-haunted wood, another act of violence linked them and propelled their souls on a journey throughout the ages. No world can hold them, no life can bind them, and they'll never leave each other behind.

Tracing two souls through endless lifetimes, Rakesfall is a virtuosic exploration of what stories can be. As Annelid and Leveret reincarnate ever deeper into the future, they will chase the edge of human possibility, in a dark science fiction epic unlike anything you've read before.

About the Author

Vajra Chandrasekera is from Colombo, Sri Lanka. His debut novel The Saint of Bright Doors was a New York Times Notable Book of 2023, and his short fiction, anthologized in The Apex Book of World SF, The Gollancz Book of South Asian Science Fiction, and The Best Science Fiction of the Year among others, has been nominated for the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award.

Critical Reviews

"A work of boundless creativity. Every mind-expanding chapter is another twist of the kaleidoscope. This is a fearless, hallucinatory novel that takes colonial (and all) power structures on with art and style." --Ray Nayler, Locus Award-winning author of The Mountain in the Sea

"Chandrasekera's characters' journey through fantastical worlds across millennia is reminiscent of This Is How You Lose the Time War . . . Recommended for fans of ambitious speculative fiction that tackles systems of oppression in fresh ways." --Library Journal, starred review

"Luminous, wrenching, intense -- Rakesfall left me breathless.... If this is not considered a work of genius, we have lost the meaning of the word." --Premee Mohamed, author of The Butcher of the Forest

"Rakesfall is a story that aims to give its reader the impossible sensation of falling through worlds and lives in a never-ending cycle of reincarnation tied to a cosmic war, and is every bit as epic, challenging, and discombobulating as that sounds. There's nothing quite like a Vajra Chandrasekera novel." --Indrapramit Das, author of The Devourers

"Readers...will be rewarded by this rich and sweeping epic." --Publishers Weekly

"Poetic and unique" --Kirkus Reviews

Praise for The Saint of Bright Doors

A New York Times Notable Book of 2023!

"Protean, nimble, dazzlingly original, The Saint of Bright Doors offers a grammar for comprehending the knots of atrocity we're living through, without resorting to the blunt simplicity of allegory." --Amal El-Mohtar for the New York Times

"A gorgeous blending of the mythic and the mundane." -Erin Morgenstern, #1 national bestselling author of The Night Circus

"Riveting, surreal, clever and wise and all-too real--a breathtaking achievement." --Max Gladstone, New York Times bestselling co-author of This Is How You Lose the Time War

"The Saint of Bright Doors is an inspired and dreamy book that follows a hero growing into the role he was always meant to inhabit, with an unexpected ending that answered all my questions from the first chapter. I truly can't wait to see what Mr. Chandrasekera does next." --Liz Braswell, The Wall Street Journal

"Chandrasekera builds a dizzyingly complex world, with enough ideas for ten books, and it's all entertaining enough that his theme -- the dangers of religious extremism paired with racist totalitarianism -- sneaks up on you." --Charlie Jane Anders, The Washington Post

"By turns mythic and modern, The Saint of Bright Doors delivers a spellbinding labyrinth of mysteries...A hypnotic and intricate debut." --Sequoia Nagamatsu, bestselling author of How High We Go in the Dark

"Quietly masterful on a prose level, this novel is doing so much so well....One of the most satisfying novels, in any genre, that I've encountered in quite some time." -Chicago Review of Books

"Truly superb books - ones that are complete, that are organic, that invite themselves into your brain fully formed and transport you somewhere else, that leave you humming and staring and obsessed, that leave characters and images and ideas hard-printed among your own memories - are hard to talk about. It's hard to talk about Vajra Chandrasekera's The Saint of Bright Doors." --Locus

"I've never seen a fantasy world like this, and I've never met a hero like Fetter. Both will haunt me for a long, long time. Keeps on dropping bombs and surprises and brilliance and heartbreak to the very end." --Sam J. Miller, author of Blackfish City

"A book that explores how marvelously and brutally humanity remakes the world." --Indrapramit Das, author of The Devourers

"Layered, lush, and lyrical, at once wholly original and unmistakably South Asian. A fascinating debut from a thunderous talent." --Samit Basu, author of The City Inside

"The Saint of Bright Doors will slip a knife into you the way only the best literature does. It's the kind of book that makes you a better thinker and a better feeler, even if it's at the cost of making you a little more haunted." --Natalia Theodoridou, World Fantasy Award-winning author

"Weirder than Miéville, as deeply humane and philosophical as Le Guin, The Saint of Bright Doors is a tale of belief and myth and story and grief layered with the dense, brilliant luminosity of an oil painting." --Premee Mohamed, author of Beneath the Rising

"The Saint of Bright Doors is part of an extraordinary recent burst of anglophone SF writing from Sri Lanka." --Himāl Southasian

Publishing Information

Publisher: Tordotcom
Pub date: 2024-06-18
Length: 304 pages

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