The Traitor Baru Cormorant

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The Traitor Baru Cormorant
The Traitor Baru Cormorant (first edition cover).jpg
Cover image for U.S. first edition hardcover
AuthorSeth Dickinson
Audio read byChristine Marshall
Cover artist
  • Sam Weber (US)
  • Neil Lang (UK)
CountryUnited States and United Kingdom
GenreHard fantasy
PublishedSeptember 15, 2015 (US and UK)
PublisherTor Books
Media type
Pages400 (hardcover)
ISBN978-0-765-38072-2 (US first edition hardcover)
Followed byThe Monster Baru Cormorant Edit this at Wikidata

The Traitor Baru Cormorant (published as The Traitor in the United Kingdom) is a 2015 hard fantasy novel by Seth Dickinson, and his debut novel. It is based on a short story Dickinson wrote in 2011 for Beneath Ceaseless Skies called "The Traitor Baru Cormorant, Her Field-General, and Their Wounds".

The novel follows Baru, a brilliant young woman who, educated in the schools of the imperial power that subjugated her homeland, sets out to gain power to subvert the empire from within. A sequel, The Monster Baru Cormorant,[1] was released on 30 October 2018[2], with a third novel, The Tyrant Baru Cormorant, scheduled for a June 2020 release.


The Traitor Baru Cormorant was well received by critics. Publishers Weekly appreciated the "seductively complex", ambitious worldbuilding and the "subtle language" of Dickinson's "compelling, utterly surprising narrative".[3] Niall Alexander, writing for, characterized the novel as "one of 2015's very finest fantasies" and as "clever and subversive" in the vein of K. J. Parker's best works, highlighting its "intricately crafted narrative and character".[4]

At NPR, Amal El-Mohtar praised the "crucial, necessary" novel for its brutality in looking "unflinchingly into the self-replicating virus of empire", noting in particular the unexpectedly "viscerally riveting" portrayal of economic conflict.[5] Dickinson has blogged about explicitly addressing issues around gender and feminism, race and homosexuality, as well as imperialism in the world of Baru Cormorant.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Seth Dickinson [@sethjdickinson] (December 10, 2015). "14,000 words into another full draft of The Monster Baru Cormorant. I feel good! Maybe this will be the one!" (Tweet). Retrieved December 11, 2015 – via Twitter.
  2. ^ "The Monster Baru Cormorant". Macmillan. Retrieved 6 January 2018.
  3. ^ "The Traitor Baru Cormorant". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 10 October 2015.
  4. ^ Alexander, Niall (14 September 2015). "The Masquerade: The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson". Retrieved 10 October 2015.
  5. ^ El-Mohtar, Amal (27 September 2015). "Baru Cormorant Will Catch You Unawares". NPR. Retrieved 10 October 2015.
  6. ^ "The secret design of The Traitor Baru Cormorant". Seth Dickinson's blog. November 24, 2015. Retrieved December 11, 2015.