Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Book Review: The Dark City (Relic Master, #1) by Catherine Fisher

Title: The Dark City (Relic Master, #1)
Author: Catherine Fisher
Reading Level: Middle Grade/Young Adult
Publisher: Dial
ARC, 372 pages
Date Published: May 17, 2011
Description (Taken from Goodreads):
Welcome to Anara, a world mysteriously crumbling to devastation, where nothing is what it seems: Ancient relics emit technologically advanced powers, members of the old Order are hunted by the governing Watch yet revered by the people, and the great energy that connects all seems to also be destroying all. The only hope for the world lies in Galen, a man of the old Order and a Keeper of relics, and his sixteen-year-old apprentice, Raffi. They know of a secret relic with great power that has been hidden for centuries. As they search for it, they will be tested beyond their limits. For there are monsters - some human, some not - that also want the relic's power and will stop at nothing to get it.
Relic Master: The Dark City is one of those incredible, high fantasy creations that completely immerse the reader in a new, sprawling world. Magic litters the pages and creatures – good and bad – dote the various landscapes. Catherine Fisher’s world of Anara is fully-realized and expertly crafted. If her descriptions don’t bring the world to life enough for you, though I don’t know how they wouldn’t, the fold out map will sure help.

The two main characters, Relic Master Galen and student Raffi, are both strong in their own respects with individual voices and personalities. The introduction of two other important characters is handled well and with care. Both Carys and later the Sekoi play much larger roles than what one would think when they first appear. This group’s journey is enthralling; from Galen and Raffi’s first encounter with Carys, to their venture into a burning city. The magic will keep any reader glued to the page, but with high fantasy, comes a new world that, while interesting, can become confusing.

Anara is a huge world with a detailed past. This past can be difficult to keep up with and I found myself confused between the history of the Makers, the Watch, and each group’s important figures. The quotes at the beginning of each chapter help to keep the history in line, but throughout the story, Galen, Raffi, Carys, and the Sekoi each tell us about the history as they know it and it all becomes a bit muddled until the end.

Still, The Dark City is fantastical and full of wonderment. The magic surrounding the relics and keepers like Galen and Raffi will hold readers throughout the series. Unlike most book series, all four books in the Relic Master series will be released this year. Come June, I’ll be continuing on with the series to see just what happens to these characters I’ve so quickly grown fond of.

Opening lines: (From the Litany of the Makers): The world is not dead. ~ pg. 5

(From chapter 1): The seven moons were all in the sky at once. ~ pg. 7

Favorite lines: Raffi shrugged. “I made a promise. To go where you go. Into darkness, into light, remember?” ~ pg. 66
And this one:
Even across the dark, even across the
loss, even across the emptiness, soul will
speak to soul.

                   Poems of Anjar Kar ~ pg. 167
*This is the e-ARC version and lines, pages, cover art may differ from final copy  
*This review is my honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation from it.

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1 comments:

Candace said...

I loved Incarceron and Sapphique so I'm pumped to read these ones! I've been waiting to see a good review though. I saw one that was just so-so. Fantasy books can go a bit over your head at times and things can get muddled. It's ok if you can fully understand it at the end though.

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