Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Dark City: Relic Master Series, Book 1” as Want to Read:
The Dark City: Relic Master Series, Book 1
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

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

3.67 of 5 stars 3.67  ·  rating details  ·  1,368 ratings  ·  235 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

MP3 Book, 0 pages
Published May 17th 2011 by Penguin Group (USA) (first published August 6th 1998)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Dark City, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Dark City

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
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...more
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
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...more
Stacey O'Neale
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...more
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...more
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...more
(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...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
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...more
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...more
I first looked at this book and its cover, and I thought,
" Woah, this creepy bronze mask thingy is really really really starting to creep me out"
When I actually started to read this book the beginning is totally vague making me just want to close it and leave it to collect dust, but when I continued it's like "What a beautiful wooorld ♪♪♪" actually it isn't though.
Their world is dying. haha

I loved the mystery (maybe too mysterious) and how different the world was from ours!
I mean, it had lik...more
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
Michelle E. Kobus
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...more
The authors purpose was to entertain. I know this because it is fiction. This is also true because there are some of the things in the story that aren't real. lastly, I know this is true because it is full of adventure and fantasy.

The theme is never give up. I can tell this because one if the characters kept trying to do something and the world was against him. in the book the character is getting really lucky from what it says by taking risks. The book doesn't say this statement directly.

This s...more
Ashley Chen
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
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...more
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...more
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...more
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
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...more
What made me get The Dark City was the beautiful cover. It's my one weakness; pretty covers. It will be my downfall one day, because book marketers seem to understand that a lot of people are cover-suckers like me and can't resist a great cover, no matter how horrible the book. Fortunately for me, The Dark City wasn't just crap in a pretty wrapper.

The Dark City takes place in fictional Anara, where strange, magical relics contain unimaginable power, and where the beings who made them have long...more
Noah Ryder
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
This is a fantasy book for the YA crowd. One I would have loved as a kid and enjoyed as an adult. As with some fantasy books we are dropped right in the middle of what is going on, so it took me a couple of chapters to really get into the story line. Once I did, I really enjoyed the adventure with Galen and Raffi and eventually a character named Careys. I do admit once she showed up, the adventure really took off for me.

Besides the characters the world was very interesting. What were these relic...more
Raffi and his master are Relic Hunters in an age when Hunters have become the hunted. The Order has crumbled and the Watch is tracking down those that are left and making them disappear. The few remaining members of the Order are deep in hiding and Raffi and Galen are unable to rest or let their guard down as they search for lost relics. When they're summoned to a small settlement to examine an artifact, they know danger may await them, but Galen seems to be looking for trouble these days. Inste...more
The Dark City, the first book in Catherine Fisher's new rapid-release series Relic Master, hints at greatness, but it's not quite there yet. There's a lot of world-building happening and groundwork being laid. The story in The Dark City itself is good, but the possible revelations to come could be epic.

Galen and Raffi's quest to find the The Crow takes us on a wonderful journey through Anara, learning how this world works. While I tried to enjoy the adventure, I found myself fixated on the relic...more
Nikki (Wicked Awesome Books)
Relic Master: The Dark City is one of those incredible, high fantasy creations that completely immerse the reader in a new, sprawling world. Magic litters the pages and creatures – good and bad – dote the various landscapes. Catherine Fisher’s world of Anara is fully-realized and expertly crafted. If her descriptions don’t bring the world to life enough for you, though I don’t know how they wouldn’t, the fold out map will sure help.

The two main characters, Relic Master Galen and student Raffi, a...more
Sierra Abrams
Yearning to Read

Pages: 384
Release Date: May 17th, 2011 (First published August 6th, 1998)
Date Read: 2011, October 5th-12th
Received: Library
Rating: 4/5 stars
Recommended to: 12+

Summary -
Anara is a dark world. Deserted, or so it seems. The Makers have left, but their power still lives in the Keepers - or the few who are still alive. The Watch hunts them, tortures them, kills them. Galen Harn and his apprentice Raffi are two of the very few still-living Keepers. Galen has lost his powers as the resu...more

I find that with some fantasy genre books I have a hard time getting settled. The introduction of new words and new worlds along with new characters can be very overwhelming; I struggle with trying to force connections to "my world" when I should just sit-back and let it be. I had this difficulty with Fisher's Incarceron - I repeated the difficulty here with Relic Master. But I plugged on and I was rewarded. Now that I've reached the end of Book #1, I can whole-heartedly agre...more
Alanna (The Flashlight Reader)
Synopsis from back of book:
Dark, dangerous, and deadly—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 revered by the people but hunted by the governing Watch, and the great energy that connects all seems to also be destroying all. A master and his scholar, searching for a relic to save the world, will be tested beyond their limits, for there are monsters—some human...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
  • The Nine Pound Hammer (The Clockwork Dark, #1)
  • The Floating Islands
  • Fox and Phoenix (Long City, #1)
  • Deadweather and Sunrise (The Chronicles of Egg, #1)
  • Empire of Ruins (The Hunchback Assignments, #3)
  • Rip Tide (Dark Life, #2)
  • The Inquisitor’s Apprentice
  • The Rise and Fall of Mount Majestic
  • Magician's Law (Tales of the Bard, Volume One)
  • Wintercraft (Wintercraft, #1)
  • Atlantis Rising
  • El héroe discreto
  • The Invisible Tower (Otherworld Chronicles #1)
  • Dreamland Social Club
  • Flood and Fire (Raiders' Ransom, #2)
  • The Drowned Vault (Ashtown Burials, #2)
  • Invasion (C.H.A.O.S., #1)
  • The Dead Sea Deception (Leo Tillman & Heather Kennedy, #1)
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
More about Catherine Fisher...
Incarceron (Incarceron, #1) Sapphique (Incarceron, #2) The Oracle Betrayed (The Oracle Prophecies, #1) Obsidian Mirror (Chronoptika, #1) Snow-Walker (The Snow Walker, #1-3)

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“Even across the dark, even across the loss, even across the emptiness, soul will speak to soul” 16 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.” 1 likes
More quotes…