Set in a gorgeous world of bone and shadow magic, of vengeful gods and defiant chosen ones, The City of Dusk is the first in a dark epic fantasy trilogy that follows the four heirs of four noble houses—each gifted with a divine power—as they form a tenuous alliance to keep their kingdom from descending into a realm-shattering war.
The Four Realms—Life, Death, Light, and Darkness—all converge on the city of dusk. For each realm there is a god, and for each god there is an heir.
But the gods have withdrawn their favor from the once vibrant and thriving city. And without it, all the realms are dying.
Unwilling to stand by and watch the destruction, the four heirs—Risha, a necromancer struggling to keep the peace; Angelica, an elementalist with her eyes set on the throne; Taesia, a shadow-wielding rogue with rebellion in her heart; and Nik, a soldier who struggles to see the light— will sacrifice everything to save the city.
But their defiance will cost them dearly.
After reading another novel by this author that hooked me from page one, I was thrilled to see this first book in her dark epic fantasy trilogy on NetGalley.
Four realms, each with a god, each with an heir possessing a divine power – and one king without an heir. The world-building is immersive, complex, and well-explained. The cultures, magic system, politics, dynamics between realms – I was never confused. What I missed was a map, which would have been very helpful, but I had an ARC, although it looks like a map will be included in the final copy.
The story is told from several different POVs, but primarily the four heirs who are all well-crafted and distinctive. Taesha is morally gray (my favorite kind of character) and rebellious, but cares deeply for people. Risha is analytical, family-oriented, and agrees to meet a potential husband for an arranged marriage. Nikolas is kind, still grieving the death of his brother, and constantly trying to prove his worth to his father. Angelica is ambitious and powerful, but lacks control. The relationships between these characters is complicated. Sometimes they’re friends or occasionally more, but they’ve been raised to compete against each other, their parents believing one of them will be chosen as a successor to the crown since the king is without an heir.
At over five hundred pages, this is a hefty read, but that’s something to be expected in the fantasy genre, especially the first in a series. There’s plenty of action with vivid fight scenes, but also lots of downtime, and I felt the pacing was a little inconsistent.
Make no mistake – this is a very dark fantasy, and scenes can be graphic and gory. Some characters want what’s best for their people. Others desire power. But that’s part of the reason it’s such a compelling read, and I can’t wait to see what happens next.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.