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Secrets are every where

The City

The City, June 2013
The City #1
by Stella Gemmell

Ace Hardcover
528 pages
ISBN: 0425264181
EAN: 9780425264188
Kindle: B00BI37IYO
Hardcover / e-Book
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"Epic fantasy set in a dark time of war."

Fresh Fiction Review

The City
Stella Gemmell

Reviewed by Amber Keller
Posted January 24, 2014

Fantasy

The City, once a thriving metropolis, is now an ancient, dark, and half flooded, inciting endless wars and a wasteland where it was once green. In the heart of the City lives the evil emperor. He is incredibly old, hasn't been seen in a long time, and rumors now fly that he is not human. Some come to believe that in order to stop the war, they must kill the emperor. In the sewers beneath the City, the poor struggle to stay alive in the darkness. Those who live there hope that Shuskara, the emperor's former general who has survived for a long time in hiding, will be the one who can battle the emperor and free the City.

I liked the change of this epic fantasy book. There are no elves or dragons, instead there is a story told from the point of view of children containing an ongoing war. To be fair, there is a giant included. It's a complex story, and one that required me to look back a few times in order to keep up with all of the characters. There is a fair amount of violence within the war, and the story starts off slow, and the pace never really peaks, but more plateaus at a steady pace. This is to be understood considering the complexity of the number of characters and plot lines, and the immense detail. The detail serves to immerse the reader in the world Stella Gemmell has built. Knowing that THE CITY is Gemmell's debut novel, not counting the novel she finished of her husband's when he passed away, there is much to be said. The writing is solid and the story is dark and gritty, yet rich.

Learn more about The City

SUMMARY

In her debut solo novel, Stella Gemmell, coauthor of the “powerful” (Booklist) conclusion to David Gemmell’s Troy series, weaves a dark epic fantasy about a war-torn civilization and the immortal emperor who has it clutched in his evil grasp.

The City is ancient, layers upon layers. Once a thriving metropolis, it has sprawled beyond its bounds, inciting endless wars with neighboring tribes and creating a barren wasteland of what was once green and productive.

In the center of the City lives the emperor. Few have ever seen him, but those who have recall a man in his prime, though he should be very old. Some grimly speculate that he is no longer human, if he ever was. A small number have come to the desperate conclusion that the only way to stop the war is to end the emperor’s unnaturally long life.

From the mazelike sewers below the City, where the poor struggle to stay alive in the dark, to the blood-soaked fields of battle, where few heroes manage to endure the never-ending siege, the rebels pin their hopes on one man— Shuskara. The emperor’s former general, he was betrayed long ago and is believed to be dead. But, under different aliases, he has survived, forsaking his City and hiding from his immortal foe. Now the time has come for him to engage in one final battle to free the City from the creature who dwells at its heart, pulling the strings that keep the land drenched in gore.


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