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City of Thieves (Fighting Fantasy, #5)
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City of Thieves

(Fighting Fantasy #5)

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  657 ratings  ·  31 reviews
Terror stalks the night as Zanbar Bone and his bloodthirsty Moon Dogs hold the prosperous town of Silverton to ransom. YOU are an adventurer and the merchants of Silverton turn to you in their hour of need.

Your mission takes you along dark, twisting streets where thieves, vagabonds and creatures of the night lie in wait to trap the unwary traveller. Beyond lies the most
Published September 29th 1983 by Puffin Books (first published January 1st 1983)
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Average rating 3.90  · 
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 ·  657 ratings  ·  31 reviews

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Leo .
Sep 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I played these game books as a kid. Brilliant! These books helped my imagination grow.

Three wizards. A dark one. A good one. A neutral one. Which will you pick to aid you on your quest?

The City Of Thieves is one of my favourites. Deathtrap Dungeon too. What great films these books would make. Come on Peter Jackson these books were made for you. And while your at it let's make my book into a film too...

I already know some of the actors who will star in my film adaption of my book.
Ha! Ha! He! He!

Gianfranco Mancini
Jul 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, game-books
Best Fighting Fantasy gamebook by Ian Livingstone. Loved the atmosphere of Port Blacksand, the twists and the storyline, a thrilling rogue style adventure that gave me hours of fun and a death count of 15 just because I tried to end it without cheating.
Paul Christensen
Jul 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
‘City of tea leaves’ is quite the cesspit.
Twisted little streets called ‘Clock’ and ‘Key’,
Lead one eventually to the garden of Leaf Beasts,
Whose honesty box is somewhat out-of-key

With the penny-pinching denizens of its surroundings,
Like Fatnose and Sourbelly (two sallow trolls),
Or the various vagabonds who give you a pounding,
Or two eerie crones still playing at dolls.
Apr 17, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: game-books
This one is really driving me nuts. I have played it on the Kindle - and, after easily getting through most of the story, I am getting stomped by some fights at the end of the book that just seem to require a lot of luck to get through.

I have a suspicion that skill scores are off in the kindle version. I know in the paperbook version 'skill' was capped at 12. It is capped at 11 on the kindle. Even if you get items to help, towards the end of the book you have to engage in some fights were, even
Feb 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Young Adults, Puzzle Fans, Gamers
Recommended to Michael by: Seth Klein
This simply represents the pinnacle of the choose-your-own-adventure genre. It doesn’t get any better. The structure, creativity, humor, and dramatic tension are perfect. Moreover, this is one of the few that really succeeds as a puzzle to be solved. The puzzle aspect is interesting enough to hold the interest of adults (my mother borrowed it for about a week in the 80s, until she had solved it) as well as the younger target audience.

The “Fighting Fantasy Gamebook” series were all very good,
Arial Burnz
Dec 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
OMG I LOVED THESE BOOKS!! Jeez! I devoured these when I was in high school. I loved D&D, but didn't have a group to play with, so these were the next best thing. LOVE choose your own adventure. I think I'll need to write some of these one day.
David Sarkies
Jun 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Gamer Geeks
Recommended to David by: See other books - I'm not writing it again.
Shelves: gamebook
Time to teach a big bully a lesson
19 July 2012

The fifth book in the series and from what I remember, one of the better ones. To me it seems that the books Forest of Doom, City of Thieves, Deathtrap Dungeon, and Island of the Lizard King were, to me, the more memorable books in the series. The first one was obviously experimental, as was Starship Traveller and Citadel of Chaos, but it feels that with the books that I have got to now, the writers had settled down on a style that seemed to work.
Michael Kelly
Apr 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A superb gamebook. Port Blacksand, the titular city of thieves, is a fascinating place for exploration and skullduggery. It comes across as a well-developed, coherent environment, quite amazing for such an early entrant into the series. It is so well developed and ceaselessly entertaining that it shames those that came before and most of those that came after.

This is one of the few Fighting Fantasy books where it's quite easy to find everything you need for a successful completion as long as you
Paul Gibbons
Jan 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Great book. You've not lived till you've had a walk round port Blacksand and had a fisty cuffs with Zanbar Bone. Some really memorable parts in this book.
Aug 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing
great book
Aug 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
An action-packed, twisty-turny Fighting Fantasy novel set in one of that world's most notorious cities - Port Blacksand, a place that makes inner city London look like the Bahamas. This is a solo outing from Ian Livingstone, who devised some of the series' best adventures, and it's another winner.

The real strength of CITY OF THIEVES is the sense of place and the atmosphere that fills the city. There's a real homogeneity to the various locations in the story, and it's a place that cries out to be
Edwin McRae
Aug 10, 2017 rated it liked it
It was wonderful to revisit Port Blacksand after all of these years, but I'm afraid I have to be that kid who points out that the emperor isn't wearing any clothes. Whilst thoroughly enjoyable, City of Thieves isn't the sharpest tool in the Fighting Fantasy shed. Arbitrary choices abound and I was a bit gutted to be presented with a truly tiny and pedestrian 'Congratulations' paragraph once I finally did slay the notorious Zanbar Bone. Come on, Ian, I worked really hard for that! Oh, and then ...more
Cupof Tea
Feb 18, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: game-books, fantasy, own
We played through this story for the first time yesterday. With a starting skill of 9, stamina of 20, and luck 10 we managed to collect some of the needed items for our quest to kill some bad dude who needed killing. Unfortunately, when we got to the tattooist we were ONE GOLD SHORT of affording the white unicorn in a yellow sun forehead tattoo we needed to carry forward.

At least we didn't die. Unfortunately Cian decided to walk past some dangerous city guards and when we couldn't bribe them we
Apr 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
Without a shadow of doubt this was the best in the series do far. City of Thieves was an absorbing romp through Port Blacksand which is split into two parts. Firstly you must find the wizard who will tell you to find some items, then you must take those items to kill the Big Bad.

The story flows in a nice manner and I didn't find myself going round in circles. There are more instant deaths in this one than previous books, but I was able to make it through relatively easily first time.

Helen Pugsley
Apr 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I WON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I had to give myself psychic powers, carte blanche, and way too much coffee (in other words I cheated like a fiend), BUT I WON. I got way too invested in this for several days and second only to almost getting hit by a car on my bike in the dark... This is the most thrilling thing I've done all week. (Don't tell my mom I almost got hit. Again... She worries.)
Miss Jools
Eventful first attempt - won lots of fights and managed to gather a few of the required items to beat the baddie, but accidentally left the city while fleeing trolls and guards - meaning failure....oops!
Good story and location with lots of interesting options, liked this one a lot.
Feb 21, 2015 rated it liked it
A more coherent story than you'd expect from most CYOA books. The plot is a bit contrived and the quest is way too arbitrary. But it has its moments.

(view spoiler)
City of Thieves (Fighting Fantasy) by Ian Livingstone (2002)
Jeremy Hayes
Mar 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Definitely the first book that got me to love the idea of fantasy thieves and a was an inspiration for my current novel many many many years later.
Jainang Patwa
Nov 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
So good
Pam Templeton
Sep 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
addictive. spent many a tweenage afternoon trying to master this ultimate twistaplot.
Evey Morgan
Nov 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Un libro para pasártelo en grande jugando una partida de rol en solitario o en grupo.
Juho Pohjalainen
Feb 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
City of Thieves has some bad stuff and some good stuff, and the latter wins out.

Our evil sorcerer #3, Zambar Bone, extorts the mayor of Silverton for the hand of his daughter, and the mayor decides to hire you to instead dispose of the guy. This quest leads you to the titular City of Thieves, Port Blacksand, where you must - this is the bad stuff - go around pretty much the exact precise path to collect plot coupons in order to be able to do battle with the sorcerer. Like is the case with The
Linda Clark
Jan 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was one of my favourites. I love the characters in this book. Especially the Goblins playing Bays Ball. Hilarious.
Jakub Kvíz
Jul 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kdyby se mi to nepodarilo zazrakem dohrat na prvni pokus a musel to hrat nekolikrat, jako treba Proklety hvozd, tak bych asi dal nizsi hodnoceni, ale mam momentalne prevazuje dobrej pocit :).

Kazdopadne Mesto zlodeju je jeden z tech klasickejch FF gamebooku, ktery sem jako dite nikdy nedrzel v ruce. A vzhledem k tomu, ze loni vysel po dlouhy dobe novej FF gamebook Port of Peril, kde se ma objevit zaporak z Mesta zlodeju, tak Meso byla jasna volba, kterou klasiku si zahrat.

Mesto zlodeju je
Dane Barrett
City of Thieves is a book of three main sections. After receiving the initial mission the reader will need to negotiate their way through the city of Port Blacksand.

Part one requires our hero to find the location of a man (Nicodemus) who could help with the defeat of the main villain (Zanbar Bone, who is terrorizing the town of Silverton), but locating Nicodemus isn't as straightforward and just getting his address and going there. The first part of Port Blacksand splits into 3 unique paths and
Jul 29, 2018 rated it liked it
This was my first gamebook ever and I was pleased with the feeling of survival that the book gave me. It was very enjoyable until I've understand that your faith was pretty much on a luck driven train. It felt quite frustrating at time when I would get punished for no reason... and 1 or two bad dice roll could litteraly cost you the game. Nevertheless I still enjoyed the story and wish to explore other avenues but Im a little hesitant to purchase another book from that series.
Aug 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Rather easy by FF standards- one of the few that could be finished by a low-skill character given the abundance of provisions and low difficulty encounters. Finished in an evening,

I wasn't smitten with the setting, which consists of a fairly linear route of alternating crazies and shops. But it flows well enough
Mar 10, 2019 added it
One of my favourite FF books,the first one I ever owned as a teenager,find and kill the evil Night Stalker Zambar Bone which is indeed did!!
Alexander Curran
Jul 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Review in progress...
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Ian Livingstone has been in the interactive games industry for over 25 years. In the 1970s, he co-founded Games Workshop and launched Dungeons & Dragons in Europe, later editing White Dwarf magazine. In 1982, with Steve Jackson, he wrote the first of the Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks which eventually sold over 15 million copies in 23 languages. In 1995 he led the merger of computer games company ...more

Other books in the series

Fighting Fantasy (1 - 10 of 60 books)
  • The Warlock of Firetop Mountain (Fighting Fantasy: Reissues 1, #1)
  • The Citadel of Chaos (Fighting Fantasy, #2)
  • Forest of Doom (Fighting Fantasy: Reissues 1, #8)
  • Starship Traveller (Fighting Fantasy, Reissues 1, #4)
  • Deathtrap Dungeon (Fighting Fantasy, #6)
  • Island of the Lizard King (Fighting Fantasy, #7)
  • Scorpion Swamp (Fighting Fantasy, #8)
  • Caverns of the Snow Witch (Fighting Fantasy, #9)
  • House of Hell (Fighting Fantasy, #10)
  • Talisman of Death (Fighting Fantasy: Reissues 1, #24)