City of Last Chances
by Adrian Tchaikovsky
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Pub Date 08 Dec 2022 | Archive Date 08 Dec 2022
Head of Zeus, Head of Zeus -- an AdAstra Book
There has always been a darkness to Ilmar, but never more so than now. The city chafes under the heavy hand of the Palleseen occupation, the choke-hold of its criminal underworld, the boot of its factory owners, the weight of its wretched poor and the burden of its ancient curse.
What will be the spark that lights the conflagration?
Despite the city's refugees, wanderers, murderers, madmen, fanatics and thieves, the catalyst, as always, will be the Anchorwood – that dark grove of trees, that primeval remnant, that portal, when the moon is full, to strange and distant shores.
Ilmar, some say, is the worst place in the world and the gateway to a thousand worse places.
Ilmar, City of Long Shadows.
City of Bad Decisions.
City of Last Chances.
'Ilmar is vividly alive with ideas, conflicts, and a sense of its own history – a truly breathtaking fantasy city, down every street a compelling story.' David Towsey
'A master at the height of his powers. This is epic symphonic fantasy, weaving a breakneck plot through a sumptuously dangerous world.' Ian Green
'A wonderful twisty stew of a book with a cast of fascinating characters, set against the brilliantly realized city of Ilmar.' Django Wexler
'A triumph of a book: wildly imaginative, immediately immersive and hypnotically compelling.' Sharon Emmerichs
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 235 members
I always enjoy reading Adrian Tchaikovsky's books and was so happy that he wrote another fantasy novel. This had what I was hoping for from previous books by Mr. Tchaikovsky's. I was invested in the world and the characters that lived in this. It was really well done and I'm so glad I was able to read this.
"Vidsya sighed and took off her signet ring, reciting lineages and virtue against poisoning. There was a folded fan, too, and probably that had its own storied past. Langrice was watching Fleance, though. He was in deep."
An interesting political fantasy about an occupied city on the cusp of rebellion. Like usual, Tchaikovsky employs excellent and unique world-building and a varied cast of characters that gives the reader a lot of different perspectives from which to view the conflicts throughout the story. There's a good mix of action and intrigue, and the fantasy elements add a extra dash of mystery that keep you guessing about what's going to happen next.
That said, I did have some trouble connecting with the characters. There were so many POVs that I didn't get spend very time with each character before the story jumped to a different one to keep the plot moving. And especially at the beginning of the book, each character's chapters include a little too much backstory dumped into the present narrative, which slowed the pace a bit too much.
Overall, I enjoyed this book, but it's not my favorite offering from Tchaikovsky.
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Literary Fiction, Sci Fi & Fantasy, Teens & YA