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"The Dark City," by Catherine Fisher


I hadn’t intended to read the entire “Relic Master” series by Catherine Fisher. My idea was to read the first book, The Dark City, so I could know enough about the books to recommend them (or not). But I read the first and now will probably read the rest.

The reason it got me hooked is a little twist at the end, but I won’t reveal it. For the most part, this is a typical fantasy novel… set on Earth in some dystopian future or on another planet in its dystopian present. As with many fantasy novels, everyone lives rather medievally: The people live day to day hunting and farming. But, as the title of the series implies, there are these relics from another time (one is recognizable as a telescope). A group of holy people gather the relics and revere them as sources of great power. Other people, the Watchguard, seek to control the world and every little peon in it. Typical fantasy stuff. The book is well written. There’s nothing that makes it stand out as exceptionally good or bad. And as near as I can tell so far, there’s no “hero quest” in this book. If any comes about, it will probably involve the Carys Arrin, the female lead. I can’t call her the heroine or even the anti-heroine because as of yet, she’s both a “good” and “bad” character in this book’s good vs. evil setting.

I’d recommend this book to the fantasy geeks out there. I can usually spot them (I was one as a teen. Like attracts like). There’s one boy who comes in to the library weekly to get new books just like this. And I so enjoy finding books for him (he’s a regular, after all!). When this book came in, I put it aside for him–and he had read it already (he’s a voracious reader and actually visits more than one area library)! He’s in sixth grade, so in my library he falls into the YA space, but I like to keep the kids as long as I can before they venture into vampirehood. Soon enough, I’ll be able to direct him to Terry Books and David Eddings on the adult side. Fun.

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