cover image The Surviving Sky

The Surviving Sky

Kritika H. Rao. Titan, $16.95 trade paper (512p) ISBN 978-1-80336-124-6

Rao weaves a tale of broken love, redemption, and the Hindu concept of samsara in her magical and mind-bending debut. Iravan and his wife, Ahilya, are denizens of Nakshar, one of several semisentient temple cities called ashrams constructed entirely of plants and soaring above a far-future Earth rendered inhospitable to humans by cataclysmic phenomena known as earthrages. Iravan is a senior architect, one of the exalted individuals whose mental abilities allow them to control plant life, thereby maintaining and shaping the ashram to their will. Archaeologist Ahilya doesn’t possess this ability and her inferiority complex drives her to seek to end humanity’s dependence on architects, even at the expense of her own marriage. Meanwhile, Iravan and his fellow architects are faced with the growing threat of unknown elements increasingly impeding their powers. If this continues, the ashrams are doomed to fall from the sky. Furthermore, Iravan’s competence is called into question when the governing council learns of his failing marriage. Ahilya and Iravan both possess key pieces of knowledge needed to prevent humanity’s demise, meaning they must find a way to salvage their relationship and save their world. Drawing deeply from Hindu mysticism, this heart-pounding cli-fi adventure will leave readers breathless. Agent: Naomi Davis, BookEnds. (June)