Rachel's Reviews > The Drowning City

The Drowning City by Amanda Downum
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Dec 21, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: fantasy, fantasy-high
Read in December, 2010

This is quite possibly the best piece of original high fantasy I've read in...just about forever. Rich, detailed worldbuilding, an intricate plot, characters with complex motivations, and, rarest of all in fantasy literature, more strong, capable women than you can shake a stick at. The only downside I could really see is that there are so many characters that it was hard to keep track of them at first. I think I'll want to reread the book so I have a better grasp of who's doing what at the beginning.

Symir is a city reluctantly under the governance of a massive empire. Isyllt—necromancer and spy—and her two bodyguards go there to find the rebellion and fund them in order to keep the empire too busy to look at her country. They find two main factions of rebellion: one hoping for peacable negotiation for freedom and another looking to slaughter all of the invaders and native sympathizers.

The glorious mess of different people—all doing what they think is the right and best thing—coming together in fire, flood, and blood is fantastic, complex, and has me deeply wanting the next book, and the next, and the next. Amanda Downum may very well be my new favorite author.
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