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The Sable City (The Norothian Cycle #1)

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  455 Ratings  ·  80 Reviews
"Matilda Lanai, she of the sickening fall and the miraculous, silt-spitting, quaking resurrection. It might be a sign at that. The Island girl wasn't stupid. She knew how to work. And she had it inside her to be ruthless. Block had seen it plain as day." Epic Fantasy, Muskets & Magic. Historical fiction in a fictional world.

The Trade Houses of the Miilark Islands contr
Kindle Edition, 475 pages
Published February 25th 2011
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Mar 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: favorites
I loved it, but then again I better have...
Feb 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
One of the many things I like about my Kindle is how its introduced me to indie writers. Some of them aren't very good (true for traditionally published authors too!), and some are quite good (I'm especially thinking of Lindsay Buroker here). Anyway, recently I was under the weather and wanting to read some heroic/epic fantasy (especially after a disappointment with Patrick Rothfuss's The Name of the Wind), and I came across M. Edward McNally's The Sable City. Wow - I highly recommend it. This i ...more
Jan 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Although I normally make small individual reviews, this series has me doing the rare combined review. I LOVED this series. I do mean L.O.V.E. This series NEEDS to skip everyone's to be read lists and go straight to BUY. This series, entirely, had me entranced. I did not stop, not even for air. This series is great for men and women alike. There is no doubt in my mind that this series can easily make for an amazing muti-million (Hundreds) dollar movie series.

With all that being said, on with the
Helmy Kusuma
Jul 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Reading Sable City is like eating roasted sunflower seed ; you get impatient at first and want to gobble them all at once, but you know you can not so you try patiently to crack each and every bit of it.
When you get to bag no five you are already fluent in opening the shell and licking the seed; you start to speed up: bag six, seven...until you realize there are no more bags. You go to the store and find out that there are no more bags left. You go to the farmer and he say that you have to wait
Sep 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Events loom large on the horizon, but the people depicted in M Edward McNally's The Sable City, have no idea of the momentous events that are set to sweep them along, as you might expect in the first book of a series. No spoilers, either within the book, or indeed this review, but suffice to say the story is as deep and as broad as you might expect of an epic fantasy.

McNally has set high standards in this, the first book of the Norothian Cycle. The story-telling is neatly paced, with a good bala
Jul 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of fantasy action/adventure
Recommended to Katy by: M. Edward McNally
Shelves: ebook
Please note: I read and reviewed this book in September 2011 from a copy received from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Overview: Eddie has created a wonderful world of action and adventure, wizards and warriors, and even a few dungeons and dragons in “The Sable City.” A little bit Lord of the Rings (with the lighter-hearted feel of “The Hobbit”), a little bit Belgariad, a little bit Chronicles of Prydain, and wholly entertaining, even those who find themselves less than excited by a
David Brown
Dec 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I usually approach any series of novels with enthusiasm and anxiety. I know that if the opening instalment is good then the chances are I will be a dutiful servant to every sequel that follows. I wasn’t sure what to expect with McNally’s The Sable City, the first in The Norothian Cycle series. Showered with glowing reviews I was naturally intrigued but as with every book I read I like to form my own opinion.

The novel initially follows the journey of an ageing and stubborn dwarf, Captain Block, a
Jun 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I knew I was going to like this book as soon as I read the first page and the funny image I gained in my head of Block.

The author has taken great pains to create the world inside his book, which is rich in description as he paints his canvas very fully, so you can visualise the landscape and literally taste the coffee. The characters are individually drawn, have their own issues, sense and ethics, and they develop as the book unfolds. The plot is interesting and there are enough threads to keep
M.B. Daugherty
Jun 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
I love a book with a strong female lead and none come any bolder than McNally’s characterization of Tilda. In a world of magic, Tilda must make her way to the Sable City to find the exiled heir to the House she serves.

McNally’s writing is laden with captivating descriptions of a unique world and filled with mind-boggling details. The world that McNally is able to bring from his creative mind and put to paper is beautiful, yet dangerous, dark and mystic.

This is a must read for any sci-fi lover an
Mar 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I got this book for free & I have it admit that for about the first half I found it to be very dry. Thinking to myself that I was glad I hadn't paid for it. Then all of a sudden that drastically changed. All of a sudden the story took off & I became obcessed with it.
I could not put it down, I had to see where the story would go and what would be the fates of the characters,
I loved it, and have continued the feeling through all the books so far.
Frida Fantastic (book blogger)
The Sable City is a fun and refreshing D&D epic fantasy romp set in the 14th century. There’s muskets and magic, and dwarves and samurai. Blood gets spilt along the way due to encounters with nefarious demon hordes and such, but a wry sense of humour is maintained throughout the book.

The book grabbed my attention from the first page and I found it hard to put down, which is a bit of a problem considering its epic word count of 183,000. Hence, be warned. It first starts as a quest for two, th
Home. Love. Books.
Mar 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
To see this review and more like it check out my site

I'm surprised to say I haven't read many epic fantasy books as of late, somehow I seem to have been thrown a lot of YA books my way (both in work and in reviewing), which is odd for me since YA does not tend to be a genre I normally enjoy. So it was kind of nice to find an epic fantasy book come up on the review list, I very much so have missed reading them. Well that and my husband will listen to me talk about epic fantasy
Mar 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Mid-way through, I really thought The Sable City would be the first Kindle freE-book to impress me enough to buy the sequel. There are so many things to like about it - an assassin's guild, imaginative races (amphibious frog-humanoids, enigmatic dragon-overlords), insinuated parallel worlds, and best of all, intense and believable action. Love me some blown-out knee caps!

The physical world was also incredibly expansive and a lot of thought was put into thousands of years of history. One critiqu
Heather Adkins
Aug 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I mean, I don't even know how to review this book without saying the same things that a million other reviewers have already said.

I don't read epic fantasy. It took me like three months to get through The Lord of the Rings. I've had this book for a while but hadn't picked it up because it was so lengthy.

Lengthy, it was not. Maybe in word count, sure, but I zipped through this book. It hooked me from beginning to end so that I was frantically turning pages to find out what happened next. The acti
Mar 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
I bought this book on a whim, and I'm glad I did. It's a rip-roaring mishmash of an adventure, primarily, with a large cast of fun and varied characters. The main character, Matilda Lanai (Tilda to her friends), is a guild-trained fighter, something like a rogue and something like an assassin. She's on an important mission outside of her native country of Miilark with her mentor and boss to track down the last remaining heir of their House.

That's the short version. The long version is much more
Jun 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The Sable City was a great epic fantasy quest, full of lots of action and adventure and plenty of humor - definitely my kind of book.

Fully-developed characters, and excellently-described physical (land) and political climates made the story rich and engaging. Several seemingly unrelated groups and events might feel a little confusing at first, but stick it out just a little longer and you'll see them all being inextricably drawn towards the same location - The Sable City. You also learn more and
Ed Drury
Apr 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book creates a detailed and fantastic world filled with rich characters. Exactly what fantasy writing should be about. The dialog sequences are extremely well written which reveals the personalities of the characters while not becoming tedious. Likewise, the action sections are richly descriptive without becoming an exercise in the use of adverbs and gore. The writing is extremely professional with an unusual narrative voice that keeps the reader turning pages to reveal more and more of the ...more
Alan Nayes
Oct 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I read THE SABLE CITY because I've read other stories from this author and really enjoyed them. These were short stories, though, so decided i wanted to try something with more meat so-to-speak. Well, THE SABLE CITY is like a five course meal at a five star restaurant. The story truly belongs in the epic category yet reads very fast--mainly because you want to find out what happens next. The novel is filled with colorful characters, my favorite(perhaps because I am male) being Matilda Lanai, tho ...more
Kara Prem
Feb 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Another free book that I read because it was free - the description sounded ok, but hey, it was free.

I loved this book. It starts with an old dwarf who is asked to head out and find the last heir to a family. The dwarf, captain Block recruits a young woman who is not done with her guilder training to accompany him. You know, sounds like a basic fantasy adventure. They set out to another country where a mysterious city is about to "open" as it does once every 99 years. The story culminates in thi
Jul 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
It was an interesting read. Wordy at times and, honestly, who needs to know the geography of an empire down to the last path or village, or river ? Aaarghhhh

But things improved a lot along the way and I am glad I didn't throw the book away to the seven hells when I felt like it.

Naturally, I'll keep on reading this series because, even if the characters are not yet dear to me (ah, well Zeb maybe ?), they do have something...

And THAT epilogue !!
Apr 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The cover boasts a tiki-looking mask, a katana, and a gun. On that basis alone, I was in on this book. And I'm glad I took the chance. Fresh, exciting take on quest fantasy that turns the usual tropes inside-out, with vivid characters and a gripping and always-entertaining story, engagingly written with a perfect balance between grit and humor.
Gary Hoover
May 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This was a very enjoyable fantasy/adventure with colorful and well defined characters. The action was intense and described in a way that made it feel very genuine. It felt as if the author was very familiar with the weapons and tactics.

A very entertaining, immersive read.
Richard Valle
Nov 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Very good story and as a DnD based book it's excellent. Very tempted to buy the next ones in the series.
Dec 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
"The Sable City" is a winner. It is full of humour, tension and action. You know, it is strange how placing a few words on a piece of paper (e-book in this case) can bring such joy to a person like myself.

At the beginning of "The Sable City" there was an episode that convinced me that this was a novel for me:

"Matilda Lanai was among them, though at the time Block knew her vaguely by face but not name. Of about typical height for a young Miilarkian woman, she was however paired against a fellow B
KD Rush
Jun 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Title: The Norothian Cycle (Books I-IV)
Author: M. Edward McNally
Format: Kindle Edition
Size (Book I): 927 kb – 475 pages
Interest: Fantasy
Rating 0-100: 98 (5 Stars)

Tilda Lanai has trained for years to take her place among the Guilders of the Miilark Islands, but now the Trade House she is to serve is imperiled by the absence of a legitimate Deskata heir. Scenting blood in the water, rival Houses begin to circle. The desperate search for an exiled heir takes Tilda across a war-torn continent and t
Christian Nikitas
The first half of this book was only borderline interesting. The only reason I continued to read was because I wanted to see what would happen to Tilda. She was introduced as basically someone low that started the guild late, but was proving to have excellent skill. The first half of the book was just a lot of traveling and introducing other characters who would tie into the story at a later date. Once everyone reaches Camp Town, the book then gets really interesting. I would recommend this to a ...more
Lawrence H.
Nov 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book was recommended by a friend who absolutely loved it. I really enjoyed it as well. It started off a little bit slow, but somewhere around a quarter of the way through it really picked up and I found myself thoroughly engaged. There are several story lines to follow but the author does a good job of keeping all of them moving well. If you like fantasy, then I would at least give it a try. Not everyone likes fantasy for the same reasons but this is a well rounded fantasy novel.
Brandon Jones
Jun 28, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: gave-up-on
Didn't grab my attention and very convoluted with information that didn't stick with me so would of meant nothing had it become relevant to the story. There are too many good books to try to plow through this which is against my ocd nature of having to finish books I start.
Scott Weber
Feb 20, 2012 rated it liked it
The Sable City tells the story of an island girl plucked from her guild training and set on a world spanning adventure to find the heir to her house. Actually, that is just the basic plot line. There is a lot more to this story outside of the main character and her goals. Along the course of the adventure we get know a likeable grunt of a foot soldier, a bored bureaucrat wizard, two exotic eastern warriors, and a cross species dragon agent. The action includes some large scale warfare, a bit of ...more
D.J. Lowbridge
May 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Cover Page: 15/20

This is a good cover, especially for the genre. What I particularly like is the sense of the map gives. What I would say is that the cover does not excel in such a way that it would catch my attention on the shelf amongst others, which is a shame considering the content.

Character (and their development): 20/20

I think it is very rare for an author to come up with a list of characters which are not only interesting but varied. Each one has their own strengths and weaknesses which
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Yikes, this page gave me an option to enter my "date of death." That's disheartening. Anyway, North Carolina born Irish/Mexican, grew up Midwestern along I 35 Northbound (KS, IA, MN), now in AZ among the scorpions and javelinas. Studied English Lit and Russian/East European History in school, and at the place where the two bumped together, I wrote some Musket & Magic Fantasy books. Deus Impedi ...more
More about M. Edward McNally...

Other Books in the Series

The Norothian Cycle (5 books)
  • Death of a Kingdom (Norothian Cycle, #2)
  • The Wind From Miilark (Norothian Cycle, #3)
  • Devil Town (Norothian Cycle, #4)
  • The Channel War (Norothian Cycle, #5)