The Black Tides of Heaven (Tensorate Series #1)

The Black Tides of Heaven (Tensorate Series #1)

by Neon Yang
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Curator’s note

The Tensorate series pulls us into a mind-bending world that's reminiscent of the Avatar TV series — pugilists known as Tensors fight by mastering and shaping different elements. Yet it ditches the cliché of a “chosen one” protagonist, shines brilliantly with an oh-so-Singaporean mix of Malay and Chinese cultures, and — most importantly — is unabashedly queer. People are born non-binary and set their gender when they become of age (with some choosing to remain non-binary), and same-sex relationships are commonplace, if not more prevalent than straight relationships. The Protectorate is a queer, fantastical, scary, and magical world — and we live for it.


This novella is part of the 4-part Tensorate novella series: The Black Tides of Heaven, The Red Threads of Fortune, The Descent of Monsters, and The Ascent to Godhood. The first 2 novellas can be read in any order.

Mokoya and Akeha, the twin children of the Protector, were sold to the Grand Monastery as children. While Mokoya developed her strange prophetic gift, Akeha was always the one who could see the strings that moved adults to action. While his sister received visions of what would be, Akeha realized what could be. What's more, he saw the sickness at the heart of his mother's Protectorate.

A rebellion is growing. The Machinists discover new levers to move the world every day, while the Tensors fight to put them down and preserve the power of the state. Unwilling to continue to play a pawn in his mother's twisted schemes, Akeha leaves the Tensorate behind and falls in with the rebels. But every step Akeha takes towards the Machinists is a step away from his sister Mokoya. Can Akeha find peace without shattering the bond he shares with his twin sister?

About the author

Neon Yang (a.k.a. JY Yang) is a queer, non-binary author who is based in Singapore. Before that, they were a molecular biologist, science writer, and journalist. Neon uses they / them pronouns and the Mx honorific (i.e. Mx Yang).

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