Title – The City
Series – The City 1
Author – Stella Gemmell
Pages – 560 pages
Publication Date – June 4th 2013 by Bantam Press
ISBN – 9780593070994
My Rating – ★★★★/5
The City has been built up over a millennium. It is now the cause of constant war with neighbouring kingdoms and peoples, killing the land around it.
At the heart of the City is the emperor – few have ever seen him and those that have remember a man in his prime but he should be very old. Some think he’s no longer human, while others wonder if he ever was. A small number have come to one conclusion – the only way to stop this never ending war is to end the emperor’s unnaturally long life.
From the flood ruined sewers under the City to the blood-soaked battlefields, the rebels pin their hopes one one man. A man that was once the emperor’s geneeral. A beloved soldier who could lead an uprising and unite the City. But this man was betrayed, imprisoned, tortured and is believed dead.
I’d never heard of this book before Penguin Random House sent me the sequel, The Immortal Throne, to review. I borrowed this from the library a few weeks ago.
It took me a few days to get into this book. I think the problem was that I’d just finished two books from the Song of Ice and Fire series and they’re huge fantasy books. So going from them to another epic fantasy wasn’t the best idea but I pushed through it and am so glad I did.
The way the story was told was a little confusing at the start. Some chapters would start telling the background of a new character and then they died on the next page. Or some characters were called two different names. Once I got the names all figured out, why they had two names, and all the weird connections, I was drawn into this world.
I think Stella Gemmell killed more characters in The City than George R.R. Martin does on one book in his Song of Ice and Fire series. And that’s saying something. I’m not going to compare their books because there’s no point, the stories are so different. I think A Song of Ice and Fire was the first epic fantasy series I’ve read. The City is so good so I’m glad it’ll be the second.
The first half of The City was a little slow as all the characters were introduced and the plot to kill the emperor came together. After that things started to get really interesting and by the end of the book I was on the edge of my seat. There was so much action in the second half and especially at the end. So many twists that if I didn’t actually pay attention while I read (my mind can drift sometimes) that I would have missed things.
I’m not very good at reviewing fantasy books, which is why there aren’t many on here. I feel like because so much happens in them that I don’t know where to start my reviews. I definitely don’t want to give things away either so that also makes things really hard for me. I try to keep my reviews spoiler free. But I would recommend this to anyone who loves fantasy books.
I’m not sure how I’d never heard of this before because I do love fantasy books but I am glad I have now. I hope to read The Immortal Throne soon but I’ve had to give it a gap between this and the sequel. Not because it’s a bad book but because they’re just so big.
Have you read The City or The Immortal Throne? What did you think of them?