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The Dark City: Relic Master Series, Book 1 (Relic Master #1)

3.69  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,791 Ratings  ·  263 Reviews

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 a

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Published May 17th 2011 by Penguin Group (USA) (first published August 6th 1998)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Tanya Nekrasova
Мое первое знакомство с Кэтрин Фишер состоялось и к сожалению ваше тройки поставить ее "Городу Мрака" рука не поднимается.

В целом я осталась довольна стилем автора, умеет она мрачно и красиво описывать окружение героев, нагнетать атмосферности. Это мне очень понравилось. Воображалка у автора тоже хорошо работает, но вот подать историю интересно она не смогла.


- по сути в первой книги ничего не происходит. Герои идут туда, потому идут сюда, потом опять куда-то идут и все. Люблю я бродилк
May 22, 2011 Jenny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have been craving some fantasy lately and I got just that with The Dark City. This book is high fantasy with some sci-fi elements mixed in what with the relics being advanced technological gadgets.

The story follows several characters: there’s Master Galen, Raffi, and Carys. Galen is a Relic Master, one of the few that are still alive and is hunted by the Watch. He’s always a little cranky and demanding its but understandable since he’s suffered a great loss. Raffi is Galen’s apprentice and th
Stella  ☢FAYZ☢ Chen
I needed more from this book. I kept on looking for it and even with my sister's constant: OMG STELLA. YOU HAVE TO READ IT." I was disappointed by Fisher.

When introduced to a brand new fantasy world, description of the setting is key. I find Fisher fell short on this and at no time did I feel like I was actually present in the world of Anara. Sorry Ashley, I just didn't like this book and felt no guilt when I skipped a couple of the pages. Well, frankly, I didn't really care if I missed some of
Julie Smith (Knitting and Sundries)
This review first appeared on my blog:

Galen Harn is a Keeper, otherwise known as a Relic Master. He is part of the Order that is tasked with keeping the relics of the Makers safe. Raffael Morel (Raffi) is his scholar, an apprentice of sorts, who left his family to train with Galen as a future Keeper.

The biggest problem? The Order of the Keepers has been outlawed, with a reward of 2000 marks for anyone who captures a Keeper. Most of the people in the vill
Aug 02, 2011 April rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
(Originally posted @ CSI:Librarian.)

From start to finish, I was enthralled by this book. It is just sort of thing I really wish I could have stumbled upon as a kid, but am still completely delighted to have discovered now.

I loved everything, especially the plotting, the pacing, and the world-building. The dilemmas that characters faced were intense, powerful, and believable. In terms of Galen, Raffi, and Carys, there was no way to keep from feeling for them as they struggled to overcome great ha
This book surprised me in a lot of ways, not all bad but not all good either. For one thing, it's not really a new series: Relic Master was published in the UK starting in 1998, and I can only assume it's being repackaged here because of the success of Incarceron and Sapphique. It's some of Fisher's earlier work and it shows; it lacks the depth and more sophisticated writing of her later books. However, the marketing behind its release is quite good -- four books published in four consecutive mo ...more
Roxanne Hsu Feldman
I found myself thoroughly engrossed in this tale of fantasy/scifi blend. Usually, I get annoyed by authors who mix magical elements in otherwise supposedly a science fiction world. It always seems to be a cop-out: when something cannot be sufficiently explained with scientific theories or technical knowledge, we just throw in some magical powers and voila, the story can move on. Fisher did something different here: she created a world of magical elements with a few technological gadgets thrown i ...more
Apr 08, 2012 Anne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: modern-fantasy
Anne Zemba
Modern Fantasy

Relic Master - The Dark City is about a world called Anara. That is where Galen, a master of the Order and his sixteen year old apprentice, Raffi live. They are collecting ancient relics which are forbidden. The relics are illegal. The Watch is out to put a stop to any relic masters that are left. The relics give power to the masters if they use them for good purposes. Galen and Raffi are tricked into going on a quest. They are betrayed, locked up and spied on.

The Dark
The Dark City takes place in fictional Anara, where strange, magical relics contain unimaginable power, and where the beings who made them have long gone, leaving the world to be destroyed by the non-believers and skeptics. Following Relic Master Galen and his apprentice Raffi, we learn about the world on the edge of destruction whose only hope lies on the shoulders of the old Order. The problem is, members of the Order have been hunted to near extinction by the Watch, and Galen and Raffi are on ...more
Stacey O'Neale
Oct 25, 2011 Stacey O'Neale rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review was completed by Amanda Harbin, staff reviewer with the YA Fantasy Guide.

Relic Master is a fun and easy to read adventure story. The main characters are reminiscent of the Harry Potter series in the sense that the story follows a boy and his older mentor. Like the Harry Potter series this book is accessible to both boys and girls! Don’t be misled the similarities to the Harry Potter series do not go much further. The story is simple and easy to follow, but also very engaging. The cha
This review may also be found on A Thousand Little Pages.

Relic Master Galen Harn and his apprentice Raffi know that all is not well the moment they set foot in the settlement that had boldly requested their help a few days before. Drawn by curiosity and the possibility of discovering a relic, the pair nevertheless decides to venture into the castle-like fortress that is the settlement’s stronghold and soon come to regret the decision. After an unpleasant meeting with the leader Alberic, Galen an
Lisa  (Bookworm Lisa)
This book is great for all age groups. It has advenure, danger, and magic.

Galen is a relic master. He takes care of the left over "magical" technology that was left behind when "the masters" left his planet. He communes with the planet and is able to handle the mystical objects. He has an apprentice named Raffi, who is using the magic of communicating with the world in his master's place.

They begin an adventure that will lead them to old relics, enemies in disguise, and new friends.

I received m
Carina Carnagey
Jul 23, 2015 Carina Carnagey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Catherine Fisher is a great story teller. Much like her last series, Incarceron, she made up a detailed world. The world of Anara is a world built by the 4 Makers, surrounded by the 7 moons. But when the Makers left the world to the Order things began to fall apart. The watch began to take control destroying anything of the makers or the Order. No one in the order is safe, being hunted by the watch.

Galen, Relic Master, and Raffi, his apprentice, are keepers part of the Order and must be careful
Ea Solinas
Apr 29, 2015 Ea Solinas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Catherine Fisher is one of those authors who, even if a story isn't the best, still creates a unique, hauntingly vivid world. "The Dark City" is a pretty good example of what she can do -- she crafts a grim, rainy sci-fi/fantasy story with a startling twist, set on a world that is slowly dissolving into darkness.

Long ago, the powerful Makers made the world, except for the Sekoi (who existed before that). Their powerful relics are still strewn around, and the Order of keepers has devoted itself t
Apr 29, 2014 Hannah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Being a fan of Fisher's Incarceron and Sapphique books, I was super excited to check out her Relic Master series. I was not disappointed! I looved this book for not conforming to what I consider the "conventions" of a young adult book. True, I could see this book being popular with a younger teen audience more than an older one, but for those teens who are sick and tired of the infamous love triangle and inevitable annoying female lead, The Dark City and her successors are your type of books! We ...more
Eric Lefler
I really wanted to enjoy this book, but too much was left un-fleshed out for my tastes. There's a decent idea behind it but it's too short; there's too much left to the imagination, a handful of surprise swerves just for the sake of swerving to the point where I'm still not sure of a couple character's motives and an abrupt ending that seems to just handwave away several chapters' worth of drama.

The protagonists are never really established as "the good guys" because there's no actual foil in th
Michelle Elizabeth
2.5 stars.

The problem with this book is that nothing much happened...AT ALL. This is the first book in a 4 book series and I'm way into series novels, so I expect that there will be less action in any first book due to establishing the world and characters. But the characters and world WEREN'T really established. I don't know much about the characters before the story starts except for the bare facts, and I couldn't really tell you what makes their world different from our own, except for the be
Jo Bennie
Dec 01, 2014 Jo Bennie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: f
The Relic Master is science fiction / fantasy at its best, tightly plotted and beautifully written. We are introduced to the world of Anara through the eyes of Raffi, an apprentice to Galen of the Old Order, outlaws that are intimately connected with the world around them, practice magic and follow the teachings of the Makers, shadowy god-like beings that came from beyond the stars. They are pursued by the Watch who belive the magic of the Old Order is illusion. The Old Order uses relics, odd pi ...more
Jan 03, 2015 Linden rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Young Adult readers
Recommended to Linden by: a display at the Ygnacio Valley library

In the crumbling world of Anara, technology is of the past. Galen, one of the few remaining Relic Maters, and his apprentice, Raffi, sixteen, search for a relic that may possibly save Anara. The first problem is that some relics still possess dangerous power. The second is that Anara is governed by the Watch who also search for relics to retain their own power.

Along the way to the city of Tasceron where an important relic may bem they are joined by a somewhat mysterious girl, Carys, who seems to
Ashley Chen
Jul 01, 2011 Ashley Chen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
A fabulous read! It had a feel of a mix between the Seven Realms series, the Chaos Walking (knife of never letting go) series, and the House of Power series! A must read! I can't wait to read the sequels!
This is the first in a series of YA sci-fi/fantasy novels. It appears to be set on a colonized planet that has been left to itself long enough that the technology of the colonizers have become religious relics. Adding to that science fiction theme is the extra powers that Keepers (those that find and care for the relics) have, abilities to read the intentions of others, have visions and set magical sensory lines to alert them to danger. Conflict is established in the form of a group who reject t ...more
Jan 01, 2014 Linda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having read Catherine Fisher's INCARCERON and SAPPHIQUE and loving them, I was excited to start this series and bought all four books at once. I didn't like this first book, "The Dark City", as much as I thought I would. First of all, I would not call this Fantasy; I would call it Science Fiction since it does not take place on earth in any time period. I have never read a book before this one that took place on another planet (except Dr. Who).

The planet is called Anara and it has 7 moons, the f
For some reason, I'm particularly drawn to stories that mix technology and magic.


This has a lot in common with Incarceron. There's a wretched, feudal sort of society, there's amazing and poorly understood technology, there's a religion based on people with better tech, and a society dedicated to preserving such knowledge as remains. That's all good. But this is more accessible to much younger readers, I think. I'm not sure we're ever told anyone's ages, but the two kids feel twelve to me. A f
Gelo Salinio
A great adventure novel, I would really recommend this adventure novel to people even if it's a little old (^U^).
Austin Quinn
If there was an option for 3.5 stars, that's what I'd give. This is my first time reading Fisher's work, and I must say I like her style and imagination. I saw this was one of her earlier works, so I'm curious to read some of her latest material, because this one showed great promise.

I thought the characters needed a bit more depth, especially Carys. For some reason I felt the connection between Raffi and Carys was fairly weak. My favorite character was Garyn, and the book's ending answers just
Ginger Smith
This book didn't "catch" me at all. I almost put it down several times, but I kept thinking it would get better. It was recommended to me, so I felt compelled to read it, but in my opinion, don't waste your time. We start off meeting a man named Galen and his teenage apprentice Raffi. They are relic seekers, but exactly what are relics I never could figure out which was frustration no. 1. We soon learn that Galen has lost his ability to do whatever it is he should be able to do - magic? - Frustr ...more
Ashley Withrow
Aug 13, 2015 Ashley Withrow rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
The Dark City - Relic Master Series Started 4/08/2015
Finished 4/09/2015

I don't really know where to start with this one. I never got absorbed into it. Never fell through the rabbit hole and lived in the world.

The writing was acceptable. Nothing was overly flowery or burdensome. The pacing was good. Really there wasn't anything overtly wrong with this that makes me not really care for it. I just don't.

I never invested in the characters. Raffi and Galen were just boring for me. Carys was moderate
Kudos to Catherine Fisher for this fast paced, intriguing novel. Better by far than most future world dystopias for young people, with interesting characters and a layered plot, set in a fascinating and believable world. (I also love her Oracle series for the same reasons, and highly recommend it.)

An ancient religion called The Order is being systematically persecuted by a creepy para-military group called The Watch on a planet called Anara. The members of The Order (who are fully trained and m
Review in portuguese by blog MON PETIT POISON

Com um ambiente que lembra o mundo de Senhor dos Anéis, a autora investiu na série O Mestre das Relíquias, onde narra um mundo onde falar de magia é algo mal visto e caçadores de relíquias tentam identificar o que são os objetos deixados pelos ‘deuses’ deles.

A trama tem uma história bacana, lembro que ela é infanto-juvenil, mas isso não quer dizer que se você for maior não possa curtir, ela atende bem ao público, mas não é nada bobo ou simples demais
Noah Ryder
Mar 11, 2014 Noah Ryder rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved this book AND the rest of the series! I found the plot to be very unique and I was surprised at what happened various times in the story. In the first chapter, your sort of thrown into the "middle" of everything. You have to gather information about what's going on while you're reading and figure out why the main characters are choosing to do certain actions. Half of the book is basically an entire introduction, which I really never had a hard time understanding. I was always ...more
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Catherine Fisher was born in Newport, Wales. She graduated from the University of Wales with a degree in English and a fascination for myth and history. She has worked in education and archaeology and as a lecturer in creative writing at the University of Glamorgan. She is a Fellow of the Welsh Academy.

Catherine is an acclaimed poet and novelist, regularly lecturing and giving readings to groups o
More about Catherine Fisher...

Other Books in the Series

Relic Master (4 books)
  • The Lost Heiress (Relic Master, #2)
  • The Hidden Coronet (Relic Master, #3)
  • The Margrave (Relic Master, #4)

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“Even across the dark, even across the loss, even across the emptiness, soul will speak to soul” 18 likes
“Understanding’s not enough. Understanding’s from outside; merely a function of the mind. [. . .] To enter, that’s the secret. To become the bridge, to crawl into its sap, to sway with it, to rot over centuries as its heartwood rots. When you are the bridge you will know what the bridge knows. It takes time. A lifetime. And skill.” 2 likes
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