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She Who Waits

(Low Town #3)

4.32  ·  Rating details ·  1,654 ratings  ·  156 reviews
The third novel in the brilliant dark fantasy Low Town series

Low Town: the worst ghetto in the worst city in the Thirteen Lands. Good only for depravity and death. And Warden, long ago a respected agent in the formidable Black House, is now the most depraved Low Town denizen of them all. As a younger man, Warden carried out more than his fair share of terrible deeds, and n
Hardcover, 405 pages
Published October 30th 2013 by Hodder & Stoughton
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4.32  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,654 ratings  ·  156 reviews

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Mark Lawrence
Oct 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
There's something about Polansky's writing that floats my boat. I'm not alone in this, other authors I know have said it too. I'd call Polansky a writers' writer but that might imply he's not a readers' writer, and he's certainly that.

The first two books in this series (trilogy?) are excellent but when you get to She Who Waits you understand they were entrees. This is the main course - this is where the payoffs you hadn't noticed building up are delivered. There's a level of emotion in this book
This final book in the trilogy was rather special, as long as you love grit, grime, and the final act in a revenge fifteen years in the building.

The Warden has had a nice and long run, it is true, and even after his disgrace and his fallen status as the sneaky and clever peacemaker kingpin of drugs in this detailed fantasy shithole of a town, he isn't one to be pushed too far.

She Who Waits, the third titular euphemism for death, certainly lives up to it's promise, and it just goes to prove that
Oct 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, noir
‘You ain’t never leaving Low Town, child. They gonna stick you in the dirt.' So predicts one of the characters in the book.
The Warden. What a character. Really not a good man and yet the anti-hero of the story. The ending of this fine noir fantasy was never in doubt- thanks to the title of the book. And could always hope.
It was horrifying and simultaneously compulsive to see the whole shebang crank up to its final conclusion.
Myke Cole
Oct 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I won't provide spoilers, but I can say this much: Polansky has outstripped himself. She Who Waits crowns an incredible series, improving on one of the strongest foundations in modern fantasy. The Warden speaks for all of us, flawed people, flailing toward redemption without setting aside any of inherent wickedness. Polansky's protagonist breathes and bleeds with such identifiable reality that I missed him every time I put the book down.

Fans of the grimdark movement launched by Brett, Abercrombi
May 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, favorites
The best book ends the series; you really can't ask for much more than that!

I've grown very fond of Polansky's writing style, and the end of the Low Town series cements that fondness. It continues the story of Warden and brings the whole thing to a conclusion that I'm sure fans of the series can be satisfied with.

With these books you're sure to get a heavy dose of cynicism, betrayal, back room deals, and cutting dialogue. You also get to see a man that makes the best of his situations and tries
Jeremy Jackson
Mar 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this series. One of the finest grimdark trilogies out there - well-written, sharp, unrelenting. Most reviews say each Low Town installment improves upon its predecessor, and that's true, though the second book was my personal favorite. All three are fine examples of fantasy, and fine examples of crime noir.
Highly recommended!
Michael Sliter
Jul 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
She Who Waits, aptly named given the afterworldly aspect of this title, is the concluding book of the Low Town trilogy. We follow the Warden as he continues on his self-destructive path toward vengeance. He never quite developed any coping mechanisms outside of drugs and alcohol, and though he briefly gave up some of the harder stuff, he's back on it as memories resurface.

The characterization, particularly the internal dialogue of the Warden, continues to be interesting. We finally get more of h
Jul 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
What a fantastic ending to a truly grimdark classic series. The entire book was full of of twist and turns, grusome endings, double and triple buffs and all the colours of the rainbow herrings.

highly recommended series to all.
Apr 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books, read-2014

5 Stars

"A handful of times in my life I’d come face to face with She Who Waits Behind All Things, made my peace with the thought of entering the next world."

4 to 5 stars for the series as a whole. Daniel Polansky has created a dark fantasy series that gets better with each book in the series. Warden is our main protagonist but it is difficult to call him our hero, or even our antihero. He is a bad man that just happens to have a bit of a heart and a few people that he cares about. He is a thief,

The third and final book culminates the Low Town trilogy in the best way, with Daniel Polansky - showing once more his strong writing and imagination - to takes us deep into the city of Rigus' dark secrets, to its gangs and its instigators, to its scum and its rulers, but also into a story that, combining again the noir with fantasy with his unique style, brings to the surface an ugly past, a filthy case and a long unfulfilled revenge - an adventure as much dark and ugly as ruthless and crue
Sep 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2013
Originally posted at:

She Who Waits is the highly anticipated third book in the Low Town series written by Daniel Polansky. The Low Town series is new and interesting taking in a mystery and noir fantasy series. It all started in the more than sound debut The Straight Razor Cure that introduced us to the Warden, a person with a complicated and rich past, and his story continued in Tomorrow the Killing. The Low Town series so far has been
Saif Bagmar
Apr 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Should I say one the finest I have ever read?
You know, I am from a third world country, things are almost exactly as told in this book. I think this is exactly how my country works, add or take some savagery, that's all. My question is, how come a boy from a first world country named Daniel Polansky has pulled it off? Then I guess the whole world is like this, in a less savagery fashion. Again, I know how this world works even though it is a noir fantasy.
People talk of maintaining the system, ta
Allan Walsh
Jun 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, grimdark
She Who Waits by Daniel Polansky follows Warden on a murder investigation in the ghetto known as Low Town. An investigation that turns out to be far more involved that it first appears.

The Cover: The cover is professional and works for the genre. I picked it as a fantasy/dark fantasy title.

The Good Stuff: The writing is competent and there are a few great lines in this title, along with a few twists and turns in the plot. I did enjoy the characters although there were some issues noted in the ba
Feb 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Couldn't fault this series. The Warden would have to be one of my fav characters. Cant wait for Polanskys new works.
I've tried to get into this book a couple times this year but can't get excited about it. I definitely want to finish the trilogy though, so I'll be picking this novel up later.
Dec 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The third and final instalment of Low Town was probably the darkest so far. So, I think a warning for this whole series is in order: this is not your usual dark fantasy with a likable antihero doing mostly nice stuff. This world is violent and brutal and there is no being nice.

“Low Town [city district] is a lot of things – the Empire’s dumping grounds, an open-air prison, the beating heart of the city.”

The author has an excellent way of lulling you into thinking a guy is safe, only to have him
Matt Gilliard
Dec 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
My review of the final Lowtown novel is likely to be the shortest review I've ever written for a novel I enjoyed so thoroughly. I loved the preceeding two volumes of the Lowtown trilogy and was both excited and saddened to know that my time with the one of the most unredeemable and yet most compelling protagonists I've ever encountered was coming to a close. Polansky has been labelled as a 'writer's writer' by folks with far more education and experience than I, but I would go one step further a ...more
Mar 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Polansky's prose is, quite frankly, among my favorite in all of fantasy. The characters, tone and setting he created for this series was phenomenal, and this was an extremely satisfying ending to the series.
Laura Hughes
Nov 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
'She Who Waits' is the third instalment in Daniel Polansky’s Low Town series, and seemingly rounds off this particular trilogy about the life of Warden. It’s a thrilling and thoroughly enjoyable read that takes all the elements we’ve come to love about the series – grimy settings, disreputable characters, casual vice, fascinating flashbacks and wicked schemes – and multiplies them by ten to create a convoluted but fast-paced plot leading to an explosive and heart-stopping conclusion.

As with the
KC Alexander
Oct 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I finally managed to get my copy of Daniel Polansky's She Who Waits and couldn't put it down. He wows me again. Rigus is more vivid than ever; its crowded, labyrinthine slums reek of human corruption that leaps off the page. Polansky’s masterful prose plumbs the depths of depravity and desperation, exploring the darkness intrinsic to all, regardless of socioeconomic stratum. Whether drunks, drug-addicts, zealots, police, or political leaders, the expertly drawn characters elicit the reader’s emo ...more
Arthur Zhang
Oct 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Dark, witty, and humorous, the low town series never fails to disappoint. This book also has one of the most powerful and emotional endings of any book I've ever read. Definitely worth the read.

It's been six years since Tomorrow the Killing and the warden is simply old and weary now. He's tired and he's lost almost everything. The other characters in the series are all dead, sick, or just tired, old and weary. The times are shifting and they're too old to shift with it. The warden is and always
Tracey the Lizard Queen
Polansky definitely saved the best for last, while I liked Low Town and Tomorrow The Killing, I loved She Who Waits. The writing is a great deal better, it's dark and descriptive and surprisingly funny. I often found myself laughing out loud at the Warden's opinions on Low Town and it's, er, delightful inhabitants.

The only issue I had was the three separate timelines, not that it was confusing or anything, just causes the book to not flow as well. Other than that minor point it's one of the fin
Nov 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
My two word review is "Holy Shit!"

I can't really talk about this book because I want people to read all three of the books. I want people to travel down those same dark alleys of Low Town that I've traveled. I want them to find out why the Warden is the way he is. I want them to see the good he does while at the the same time being a ruthless bastard. I want them to say aloud, "Oh no." in quiet, but horrified voice.

Polanksy - that was seriously fantastic. Please write a shit-ton more?
Finished this one days ago, but didn't have time yet to write a proper review (still don't have time, so I'll be short). Polansky delivered; I expected a great finale to the trilogy, and I wasn't disappointed. The ending itself was more or less what I imagined it to be (the title was a spoiler), no surprises there ... but a happier ending wouldn't have been right somehow. Great book.
Oct 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
perfect ending to three fantastic books.
James Cox
Jul 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Epic. That's all I can say. This book was epic.
Phil A
Nov 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the "Top 5 Best Endings" of any book I've read. The Warden is a literary superstar! Fabulous conclusion to a great series.
Caleb Hill
Sep 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
“It’s only at the end of things that you come to any appreciation for what you’ve let slide by.”

I have only read one other book this year with an ending so enthralling. Its name is Republic of Thieves.

About a month back, a genre review website launched the exclusive cover reveal for this book, to which I responded by contacting the publisher for the quickest ARC I’ve ever requested. Just look at the cover. Doesn’t it make you want to jump right in, blood and scary woman aside?

Problem is, I let i
Brandon Zarzyczny
Oct 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book, but personally it was probably my least favorite of the three. It provides a fitting ending to the trilogy, one that every reader probably knew what was coming, but I still wished it could have been different. I'll avoid spoilers, but I was just kind of disappointed that it ended like I knew it would, even though the climax was very exciting to read. I would have loved a slightly different more unsuspected ending, or something that was a little more ambiguous/open-end ...more
Mar 03, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Four stars for the series as a whole. This was gritty, noir fantasy that didnt always succeed at what it aspired to but accomplished many things. First, the voice of the Warden. As a character the reader really believes the Warden's jadedness and past. I felt the author succeeded in presenting a character who believes himself beyond redemption but still has a code he lives by, much like a Marlowe in Raymond Chandler's novels. The Warden's war experiences as well as his time as an agent of an int ...more
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Fantasy Buddy Reads: She Who Waits [December 2017] 3 41 Dec 04, 2017 10:17AM  

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Daniel Polansky is the author of the Low Town trilogy, Empty Throne duology, the Hugo-nominated novella The Builders, and A City Dreaming. He can be found in Los Angeles, mostly.

Other books in the series

Low Town (3 books)
  • Low Town (Low Town, #1)
  • Tomorrow, the Killing (Low Town, #2)
“I’ve heard people speak of themselves as addicted to reading, but I think those people never stole from their family so they could afford this month’s serial, or sucked off a sailor for a new book of short stories.” 9 likes
“For a while a person is a junkie and a bartender or a junkie and a father or a junkie and a thief, but after a while he’s just a junkie.” 6 likes
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