Set in a gorgeous world of bone and shadow magic, of vengeful gods and defiant chosen ones, The City of Dusk is the first in a dark epic fantasy trilogy that follows the four heirs of four noble houses—each gifted with a divine power—as they form a tenuous alliance to keep their kingdom from descending into a realm-shattering war.
The Four Realms—Life, Death, Light, and Darkness—all converge on the city of dusk. For each realm there is a god, and for each god there is an heir.
But the gods have withdrawn their favor from the once vibrant and thriving city. And without it, all the realms are dying.
Unwilling to stand by and watch the destruction, the four heirs—Risha, a necromancer struggling to keep the peace; Angelica, an elementalist with her eyes set on the throne; Taesia, a shadow-wielding rogue with rebellion in her heart; and Nik, a soldier who struggles to see the light— will sacrifice everything to save the city.
But their defiance will cost them dearly.
-Excerpt taken from Goodreads.
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(3.5 / 5) The main characters, who are descended from gods, are from the four noble Houses; Dante & Taesia Lastrider, Risha Vakara, Nikolas Cyr, and Angelica Mardova. They are vying to win the favor of the king, as he has no heirs. Each house has a different magical power. To save their realm from dying all the houses need to borrow their personal gods powers during the Cosmic Scale when the realms are lined up. The barriers are less at this time and they believe this will be their only chance for 100 years. When landmarks such as bridges and statues go missing, the heirs realize something bigger is happening.
As you can tell from my intro paragraph, a lot is goin on. It is detailed and complex but not difficult to follow. There are multiple POV so you get each aspect of the story as you’re introduced to each character and bloodline.
For how ambitious the plot is, I never felt any ties to the characters. There were 7 POV so that may have played a part. It was hard to get attached to any character before the scene jumped to another POV. I also believe the characters lacked depth. We barely skim the surface of who these people are and by the end of the book, not much had changed.
This is labeled as adult fantasy, which I agree with. But a few aspects kept jumping out to me as YA. For one, the group of them were somewhat immature and did irrational things reminding me of teenagers. They all were also living at home and their parents and siblings played a large part in their story. While this may have been more of a culture aspect, it made them feel younger. I had a hard time picturing them as the 20 year olds they were made out to be. Knowing this, Sim previously has written YA which may have attributed. However, I feel her world building was far more advanced as adult fiction than in the one YA fiction of hers I’ve read.
The ending was fast-paced and in my opinion, a cluster of chaos. While I loved the pace, I had a hard time mentally calculating how each element happening affected the overall story. I’m not sure I got the full context of what Sim was trying to portray.
Audio review: I read this book in March only to be gifted the audio as soon as the book released. Honestly, I feel like I missed out not having the audio sooner! I got to listen to my fav parts (that end!) and thoroughly enjoyed it.
The narrator has a light English accent which somehow added to the air of mystery. Her cadence and inflection were exactly what I love in a narrator. Her voices fit the characters so well! My last audio had a not so great narrator, so hearing this one had me looking her up to find more she’s done.
I highly recommend this one, thank you to Hachette Audio!
General content summary: F words: 20+, demons, blood magic, a ghost inhabits a heavily decayed body (description), necromancy, when releasing spirits from bodies the corpse becomes animated and can talk briefly, examination of corpses, large beast attacks and killings, intimacy with few details, f/f brief intimacy, animated corpses and descriptions, beheading, self harm scene, physical abuse, very detailed gore and murder, murders.
Thank you to Orbit for the gifted copy in exchange for an honest review!
The book releases March 22, 2022.
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