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From the New York Times best-selling author of The WindUp Girl and The Water Knife comes a sweeping literary fantasy about the young scion from a ruling-class family who faces rebellion as he ascends to power.

“You must be as sharp as a stilettotore’s dagger and as subtle as a fish beneath the waters. This is what it is to be Navolese, this is what it is to be di Regulai.”

In Navola, a bustling city-state dominated by a handful of influential families, business is power, and power is everything. For generations, the di Regulai family—merchant bankers with a vast empire—has nurtured tendrils that stretch to the farthest reaches of the known world. And though they claim not to be political, their staggering wealth has bought cities and toppled kingdoms.

Soon, Davico di Regulai will be expected to take the reins of power from his father and demonstrate his mastery of the games of Navolese diplomacy: knowing who to trust and who to doubt, and how to read what lies hidden behind a smile.

But in Navola, strange and ancient undercurrents lurk behind the gilt and grandeur—like the fossilized dragon eye in the family’s possession, a potent symbol of their raw power and a talisman that seems to be summoning Davico to act.

As tensions rise and the events unfold, Davico will be tested to his limits. His fate depends on the eldritch dragon relic and on what lies buried in the heart of his adopted sister Celia, whose own family was once destroyed by Navola’s twisted politics.

With echoes of Renaissance Italy, The Godfather, and Game of ThronesNavola is a stunning feat of world-building and a mesmerizing depiction of drive and will.



“Steeped in poison, betrayal, and debauchery, reading Navola is like slipping into a luxurious bath full of blood.” —Holly Black, #1 New York Times bestselling author


“Medici Florence meets Tony Soprano’s New Jersey – with a delicious dash of high fantasy and a heavy splattering of blood. Navola is a grand feat of imagination by a storyteller at the peak of his powers.” —Dan Jones, New York Times best-selling author of Essex Dogs


“Bacigalupi (The Tangled Lands) dazzles in this addictive account of the rivalries between powerful families in a brilliantly rendered fantastical world inspired by 15th-century Florence. Narrator Davico di Regulaif’s father, Devonaci, owns a rare dragon’s eye, still “burning with inner fire as if it retained life.” Davico’s obsession with the orb, which seems to trap a “flaming rage,” eventually has significant consequences. Father and son belong to one of the most influential banking families of Navola and Devonaci, who has many enemies and seeks every opportunity to “shape the politics of [the] city to his will,” hopes that Davico will succeed him as the family’s head. Unfortunately, that aspiration is imperiled by a betrayal that forces Davico to undertake a desperate flight to survive. Davico hints early on that he is not being entirely truthful with the reader, which only enhances the suspense. Admirers of Game of Thrones and Dorothy Dunnett’s House of Niccolò series will be riveted. (July)” —Publisher’s Weekly Starred Review, Publisher’s Weekly Interview


“Bacigalupi leaves behind the dystopian sf of his previous novels and boldly ventures into a beautifully-detailed but merciless historical fantasy world, highly reminiscent of Renaissance Italy and its merchant empires. Young Davico di Regulai de Navola relates the story, promising not to
leave anything out, even when doubting his ability to follow the accepted Navolese way of treachery, scheming, and intrigue. He is simply not twisted enough, admitting to a strong affinity for animals and to being more interested in the intricacies of the natural world than in learning the complexities of the ruthlessly manipulative banking and trade syndicate into which he was born. But as the di Regulai heir, Davico does not want to disappoint his father, so he continues his schooling with the family’s masters of finance, warfare, and spycraft. He feels drawn to the prized dragon’s eye artifact on his father’s desk, which, when touched unexpectedly, shows him images from the dead creature’s millennial-long existence. Assuming it was a fanciful dream, Davico
keeps the revelation to himself, unaware that it could be of vital importance someday. Politics, passion, poison, blood, and betrayal are melded into a masterful fantasy epic of nonstop action that is just begging for a sequel. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: All of the sf/f fan-favorite Bacigalupi hallmarks are here: deep character development and astounding world-building, but this time with dragons.” — Lucy Lockley, Booklist Starred Review


“I love when a beloved author — especially one known mostly for a certain type of book — throws us a daring curveball. Navola is exactly such a pitch. Paolo Bacigalupi, who has won pretty much every major award in the science-fiction field with his climate-conscious dystopianism, is veering hard left with his new novel. It doesn’t take place in the future, and it isn’t a cautionary tale. Instead, it’s a hefty tome of high fantasy set in a dreamed-up world akin to Renaissance Florence. Only with, you guessed it, dragons. But also high finance, political intrigue, and de’ Medici-esque opulence. Bacigalupi is one of today’s most gripping spinners of speculative fiction, and I can’t wait to dive into this surprising magical foray.” Jason Heller, NPR, 20 New Books Hitting Shelves This Summer That Our Critics Can’t Wait To Read