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Summary

The Black Tides of Heaven: In the first book of the Tensorate series, a rebellion threatens the power of the Protectorate. Akeha, one of the twin children of the Protector, 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?

The Red Threads of Fortune: In the second book in the Tensorate series, Sanao Mokoya has abandoned the life that once bound her. Broken by the loss of her young daughter, she now hunts deadly, sky-obscuring naga in the harsh outer reaches of the kingdom, far from everything she used to love.

On the trail of a massive naga that threatens the rebellious mining city of Bataanar, Mokoya meets the mysterious and alluring Rider. But all is not as it seems: The beast they both hunt harbors a secret that could ignite war throughout the Protectorate.

The Descent of Monsters: Yang continues to redefine the limits of silkpunk fantasy with the Tensorate novellas. In this third volume, an investigation into atrocities committed at a classified research facility threatens to expose secrets that the Protectorate will do anything to keep hidden.

©2017 Neon Yang (The Black Tides of Heaven, The Red Threads of Fortune); Copyright 2018 by Neon Yang (The Descent of Monsters) (P)2018 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

What listeners say about The Tensorate Series

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Interesting speculative fiction.

The compilation of the first three books in the Tensorate series work well as an audiobook, with a skilled and listenable narrator. The relative brevity of the books (novellas I suppose) allow a faster flow of narrative than many 30h+ fantasy doorstops in the genre. Unfortunately that comes at a cost, leaving me with a sense of incompleteness, as if I'd read a buffed up submission to an anthology rather than a complete work. This was notably the case with book 3: The Descent of Monsters.
Positively, the world is creative and fresh, a mix of elemental sorcery and a 'force'-like "Slack" clashing with technology (guns, communicators), with an East Asian cultural vibe. It's USP is the gender fluid nature of the characters, which while intriguing can lead to confusing pronoun usage for old brains such as mine. It's woven well into the characters, however, and I found it fresh and interesting to 'read.'
Cynically, one could consider that the accolades heaped on the books relate more to the gender fluid and non-European aspects of the book versus the story. I'd say not, at least for books 1 and 2. They have good character driven plots, intelligent writing, fairly solid dialogue, and engaging stories of the two disparate twins.
I found book 3 a chore. The narrative device didn't work well in audiobook, and the plot was fairly scanty, and uninspiring. It felt like a short story, or even an epilogue, padded out. Perhaps it's a set-up for more work? I'm glad that it wasn't a book I'd purchased stand alone, as I'd feel rather short changed.
In summary, a good compilation of three variable books, in an interesting setting. Worth a listen or a read.

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  • Azalea
  • 03-12-18

Intriguing, but I feel like I must have missed som

What I enjoy about this series is the Asian inspired setting, the intriguing magic system, and androgynous or non gender binary characters. People being born sexless and have to choose a gender, although some do not. There were interesting relationships built, but I have to admit, I feel like there's a 4th book that I'm missing. I'm not sure if there are plans for a 4th, but it feels like maybe there should be.

The first and second books have solid arcs and seem to be building towards a converging climax. Both are written in third person, the first focusing on one sibling, the second focusing on the other. I expected the third to tie their stories together and conclude the escalating tensions between the oppressive leadership and rebellion, but the third takes a completely different approach. It feels like an extended epilogue where past events are recounted in the forms of journal entries and transcripts from interrogations, and leaves off a handful of unanswered questions. I appreciate a story that leaves me with questions, but some of these felt incomplete - a character dies, but to what effect? One major character is revealed to be pregnant, but they aren't really spoken of beyond that.

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  • Larraine
  • 17-10-18

Want more!

What a perfect series! That perfect blend between leaving you wanting more (and in a way acknowledging no story truly ever finishes) and leaving you totally satisfied.

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  • Cat
  • 21-03-21

The best representation of Nonbinary characters!

I received a physical copy of The Black Tides of Heaven awhile ago and remember finishing it in one day. I was pulled in to a fantastical land where gender is established by the individual and not physical appearance, where twins are believed to have extraordinary powers, and where love is just love without labels or stigma. Being a nonbinary twin myself, I identified closely with Akeha and his love for his sister. Nancy Wu as the narrator was amazing! Her unique character voices really worked for me. This also might sound stupid, but I'm also glad they got an asian narrator, I really appreciate being able to hear the correct pronunciation for everything. Up until listening to the series, I thought Ah-keh-ha was pronounced Ah-KEE-Ha.The only thing that is flawed about the first book is that it could have fleshed out the world a little more and gave us more emotional connection if it was beefed up and split in two. I wanted to know more about this world's history and experience more of it.
I adore Rider in The Red Threads of Fortune. There likely will never be a more accurate portrayal of what it's like to be nonbinary than Rider. Their very real experience of constantly being misgendered and the mystical tattoos that represent a very real desire to have your body and life respected especially in death really spoke to my experience. The focus being switched to Mokoya was excellent following the events at the end of book one. I loved experiencing how she navigated her sorrow and seeing her emotions affect her judgment. I think things progressed a little too quickly between Rider and Mokoya, again i would have loved to see Mokoya build more trust with Rider. A slower progression would have made other situations hit harder. I dont care that they had sex like minutes after meetings, but it seemed a little too perfect.
The final installment, The Descent of Monsters, wasn't my favorite but I enjoyed the format it took, where there wasnt one narrator but a collection of letters, diary entries, and reports. This volume also suffered from being too short, I would have enjoyed more world building. It also didn't hurt that the 3rd book reminded me alot of my favorite video game NieR Replicant. I mean this is the most respectful of ways, but it felt like reading a very satisfying NieR fan fic. It filled a piece of my soul that is anxiously awaiting the remaster.
Final thoughts, love this series but wish it were longer! I truly hope Yang considers adding to this series because I want more.

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  • Jangers
  • 18-09-19

Boring :-/

I really wanted to enjoy this series, but ultimately it was difficult to follow and a bit boring.