book cover of The Bruising of Qilwa
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The Bruising of Qilwa

A novel by

“I loved this gorgeous book about blood magic, chosen family and refugees in a hostile city. Naseem Jamnia has created a rich, complex world.”
Charlie Jane Anders, author of All the Birds in the Sky

[STARRED REVIEW] “A delight to read. Highly recommended.”
Library Journal

In this intricate debut fantasy introducing a queernormative Persian-inspired world, a nonbinary refugee practitioner of blood magic discovers a strange disease that causes 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. 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.

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.

Genre: Fantasy

Praise for this book

"I loved this gorgeous book about blood magic, chosen family and refugees in a hostile city. Naseem Jamnia has created a rich, complex world." - Charlie Jane Anders

"A fascinating medical mystery in a rich, complex world I didn't want to leave." - S A Chakraborty

"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

"With prose that reads like lush poetry, The Bruising of Qilwa builds an intricate world full of history, magic, and life." - ZR Ellor

"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

"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

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