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City of Hope & Despair (City of a Hundred Rows #2)

3.59  ·  Rating details ·  194 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews

Dark forces are gathering in the shadowy depths, and the whole city is under threat. The former street-nick, Tom, embarks on a journey to discover the source of the great river Thair, said to be the ultimate power behind all of Thaiburley.  Accompanying him are the assassin Dewar and the yo
ebook, 432 pages
Published March 3rd 2011 by Angry Robot (first published December 1st 2010)
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Ben Babcock
City of Hope & Despair jumps between two narratives. Tom, the street-nick turned unlikely hero with the ability to hide himself and others in plain sight, sets off as part of a small expedition upriver. Back in Thaiburley, Kat, her sister, and the Tattooed Men hunt the Soul Thief. Meanwhile, there is the distinct impression of a ticking clock, as a mysterious calcifying disease afflicts those in the city who have magical talent.

Whates flicks back and forth between these narratives so much th
Nov 05, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A second visit to Thaiburley, City of a Hundred Rows, but we actually spend surprisingly little time in the City proper. Our Heroes from the previous installment, Tom and Kat, have gone in separate directions. Tom has been sent on a mission that takes him and some companions out of the City, following the great river Thair back to its source; needless to say, peril awaits and dark forces dog their steps. Kat, in the meantime, is reuniting with her gang, the Tattooed Men, to track down the Soul T ...more
...I wasn't terribly impressed with the first volume and I'm not blown away but this second book either. As I mentioned in the introduction, they are entertaining, tightly plotted novels but fairly light reading. The major difference between the two is that City of Hope & Despair is much more clearly part of a series. The end offer no clear resolution. One of the story lines ends a major cliffhanger and elsewhere in the novel lots of threads in the story are obviously going to continue into ...more
I finished City Hope Despair and overall I liked it but I was surprised by some aspects of it; first it is a *middle book* in a trilogy - not a 2nd part of a duology as I expected and the final concluding book (due late fall 2011) according to the information inside the copy I have will be called City of Lights and Shadows and there is an excerpt from it that gives a hint where it goes.

And this shows since the book has the typical middle book structure where things advance, some threads get sol
Kyle Maas
Apr 04, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed-books
Great series, good story, engaging characters; this is one of my surprise favorites from the last year.

Slightly Orson Scott Card'ian in that this a fairly adult story told through the eyes of children, this series (The City of a Hundred Rows) places the reader into a city on the brink of change. For decades, this vertical city has existed comfortably with it's clearly delineated class system: those rich and powerful near the top, the working middle class exactly where their name would indicate,
Jessica Strider
Jan 11, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pros: interesting characters, get to see the outside world and learn some of the world's history

Cons: powerful creatures are defeated with surprising ease (which may be realistic but it's also a bit disappointing)

The City of Hope and Despair is a novel about two quests. The first involves Tom's first time outside Thaiburley as he, the assassin Dewar, Kohn, a sightless giant and the Thaistess, Mildra, journey to find the source of the goddess Thaiss's river. A demon doesn't want them to succeed a
May 03, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This second installment of the City of a Hundred Rows is in motion in several directions, and it makes you insanely curious about how Mr. Whates is going to tie the series up. Tom sets off with a group consisting of Dewar, the assassin, Mildra, a Thaistress, and Kohn, a giant cyclopian Kayjele, seeking the source of the Thair river and the home of the goddess Thais. Their journey is anything but an easy one, what with an innkeeper reverting to a deadly secret identity and waking an ancient enemy ...more
Christopher Stilson
Sep 21, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Neil Gaiman and China Mieville
In contrast to the previous book, this one took me several months to finish, although not because of any intrinsic failing on the part of the book except insofar as, following as it does three dissimilar plot threads instead of a unified, interwoven theme like the previous book, it makes it easier to find convenient stopping points. Also, unlike the previous book, it ends rather abruptly on a not-quite-cliffhanger, with each of the major characters facing a vague and undefined threat which we ar ...more
Rollie Reid
I liked this one more than the first novel. The protagonist from book one is back, along with one of the villains, except that he is reformed, sort of. The villain is an assassin by the name of Dewar, who is tasked with killing Tom, the protagonist in book 1. Now, in book 2 he is tasked with protecting Tom on a long journey. That long journey is one half of the story.

In book 1, Tom has a protector by the name of Kat. The other half of the story is about Kat, and happens in the city of Thaiburley
Mar 11, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2011
4 stars

Like the first book this is a fast, fun, and easy fantasy read. Unlike the narrow setting in the first novel, this one is much more of the standard epic adventure across land and sea.

Tom is given a daunting task and Dewar as a bodyguard to complete it. We do get quite a lot of backstory among the three main plot lines. There is a fair amount of magic, sword fighting, monster chases, and treachery.

This book is clearly a middle novel and would not make standalone sense. The book starts wher
Apr 05, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book follows on nicely from the story of the first, adding to the world and it's mythos without making it seem that the relatively self contained story in the first book was pointless. I enjoyed their journey out of the city into the world, and seeing what sort of place the city was in. A bit of a 'cliffhanger' ending which scores a few marks against it in my opinion, but still worth your time.

My favorite character introduced here exits stage right much too soon though in my opinion. Just
Jun 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ian Whates doesn't waste a single word. Each sentance builds onto the depth and texture of everything before, retreading only what hasn't been mentioned since the previous book. This is the type of writing I aspire to!
City of Hope and Despair picks up street waif Tom's surprising ascent to international intrigue and importance in a world where magic, religion and mechanics don't necessarily play nice with each other. It is a coming of age tale in a world of fantasy, steampunk and dirty politics.
Timothy Neesam
Jul 31, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The second in what is, at this time, a trilogy. This book is a rollicking ride, with more action than it's predecessor. The plot is primarily divided between Tom and Kat, who are on separate missions, with the PM appearing at intervals to move his own plot along. Nicely done, well imagined. Looking forward to reading the third installment.
Apr 02, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A more simplistic book than the early novel.
The story flowed nicely and extra world building details kept flowing.
It felt like the middle part and by the end I felt I was needing something extra.
But a good read none the less that kept me fully enthralled.
Just need the next part now.
Not huge books - perhaps they should have come out in one cover.
Roman Kalik
Jul 07, 2011 rated it it was ok
There's some good to be had in this series, but the writing is agonizingly dull. The characters are bland, the scenery is flat, and sometimes I wish something else would come along, because change is also something that happens slowly - or perhaps it's just the blandness of one scene that made me wish for a new one to come up.
Sep 28, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dislike picking up the next book in a series when it's been a while since I read the first, but found I didn't have a problem with this one. As each character came along, I was able to remember them and the story flowed along nicely. Moving right into the third and final volume today!
Diane Hicks
This second book has cemented my interest in the author and mythology of the world in which the series is set.
Jun 09, 2012 marked it as read-next-already-own  ·  review of another edition
Gosh, honestly I'd pick this book up just based on the cover. Shallow? YES. Do I care? No.
Dec 02, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This to me was a much slower read with a better ending. I'm totally into what is going to happen in the third book. Can't wait to red it.
Dec 25, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the second book of a trilogy that has been awesome so far.
May 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
Liked it much better then the first book. The irony here is that this one is clearly a part of minimum two-book series, but somehow it makes it better then the stand-alone book one.
Sep 08, 2011 rated it liked it
Decent read. Good value E-book.
Dec 31, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Entertaining, off now to order the 3rd in the series.
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Ian Whates lives in a comfortable home down a quiet cul-de-sac in an idyllic Cambridgeshire village, which he shares with his partner Helen and their pets – Honey the golden cocker spaniel, Calvin the tailless black cat and Inky the goldfish (sadly, Binky died a few years ago).

Ian’s earliest memories of science fiction are fragmented. He remembers loving Dr Who from an early age and other TV shows
More about Ian Whates...

Other Books in the Series

City of a Hundred Rows (3 books)
  • City of Dreams & Nightmare (City of a Hundred Rows, #1)
  • City of Light & Shadow (City of a Hundred Rows, #3)