Monday, May 23, 2011

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

The Dark City #1 (Relic Master)
Author: Catherine Fisher
Publication: Dial (May 17, 2011)

Description: 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.

My Thoughts: What a great start to this young adult epic fantasy! We journey with Galen and Raffi as they try to elude the Watch and find their way to the wounded city of Tasceron. Galen has been injured by a relic he and Raffi found and feels his only cure is there. He has lost all of his magical powers. Galen is a Relicmaster who is currently powerless and has to depend on his young scholar Raffi who is just learning to be a Relicmaster himself. The keepers have a variety of magic powers and Raffi is just developing his. 

They are being pursued by a young spy for the Watch. Carys Arrin has been raised and trained by the Watch and is determined to bring Galen in -- dead or alive.

The Order is in disarray. The Keepers have been scattered and are being hunted by the Watch. But the people still revere them. So Galen and Raffi get some help along their quest. Along the way Carys joins them - with a story that Raffi wants to believe. She journeys with them and begins to get to know what it really means to be a keeper rather than what she has been told by the Watch. 

They are captured by a bandit lord and are released on condition that they find the Sekoi who has stolen from him. The Sekoi are humanoids who are storytellers and have an ability to hypnotize their audience. Galen agrees only because the Sekoi is going where Galen wants to go anyway - Tasceron. They meet the Sekoi and join forces with him once they reach the fabled city.

This story was filled with adventures, dangers, magic, courage and treachery. I think middle grade and young adult readers will really enjoy getting to know the world and following along on the quest. 

I am eager to read the next three books myself and have already added The Lost Heiress, The Hidden Coronet, and The Margrave to my wishlist for summer reading.

Favorite Quote:
It was amazing. And infuriating. Three times now, Raffi had crossed the bridge.  Each time he came back to where he started from.

"It's impossible," he muttered. "I mean, it's not circular, it doesn't turn! I don't understand."
I received the ARC for this one through an ad in Shelf Awareness. I also received two additional copies of this one. You can get it at Amazon in hardcover or for your Kindle.

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