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The City of Ice

(The Gates of the World #2)

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  160 ratings  ·  32 reviews
An ancient city. A wondrous invention. A perilous journey.

The epic sequel to the incredible debut novel The Iron Ship.

Deep in the polar south stands a city like no other, a city built aeons ago by a civilisation mighty and wise.

The City of Ice promises the secrets of the ancients to whomever can reach it first. It may prove too little knowledge too late, for the closest ap
Mass Market Paperback, 400 pages
Published December 27th 2016 by Solaris
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Average rating 3.92  · 
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Dec 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is the second in The Gates of the World series and I sincerely wished I had read the first, The Iron Ship, because I really struggled to piece together a dense story with a very large cast of characters. I tried to work out what was going on and who exactly was who. This is epic and wondrous world building that takes in the lives of the Kressinds, their lives and adventures in different parts of the world. Then there is the Iron Ship on a quest to reach the City of Ice in the polar regions. ...more
Nov 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Originally reviewed at Bookwraiths.

Epic fantasy has become a hit-or-miss situation for me. The stories and themes which mesmerized me a decade ago, not really working anymore. Sure, there have been a few novels which lived up to their hype, but many more quickly lost my interest and faded into my growing D-N-F pile, patiently waiting to start a new life upon the shelves of the local used bookstore. So when I read The Iron Ship back in 2015, I had high hopes, as well as a lot of real trepidation,
Althea Ann
Jan 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Do not even think about starting here! If you haven't read the first one, go here: and read 'The Iron Ship' first! These are really not 'books in a series' but one continuing story... scratch that; it's several continuing stories, some of them with very little relation to one another. (And if you don't start at the beginning, they will seem like they have absolutely no relationship to each other.)

I have to admit, the looseness of the plotting could be see
Nov 21, 2016 rated it really liked it

Publisher: Solaris

Publishing Date: December 2016

ISBN: 9781781084861

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 4.3/5

Publishers Description: An ancient city. A wondrous invention. A perilous journey. The epic sequel to the incredible debut novel The Iron Ship. Deep in the polar south stands a city like no other, a city built aeons ago by a civilisation mighty and wise. The City of Ice promises the secrets of the ancients to whomever can reach it first. It may prove too little kn
Judy Lesley
Dec 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, series
I received an e-ARC of this novel through NetGalley and Rebellion Solaris.

This second book in The Gates of the World series proved to be as much of a conflicting, confounding, and consuming reading experience as the first, The Iron Ship. This portion delves into what has to happen in this fantasy world in order for the gates of the worlds to begin to open. Prepare yourself for a mystical experience which was oftentimes frustrating for me on one level while being totally absorbing on another. The
Steven Poore
The Iron Ship was brilliantly detailed, if quite unfocused - this direct sequel takes a slightly different route and focuses heavily on Trassan Kressind's expedition to the the south pole, and on Garten Kressind's posting to the city of Perus, only tangentially touching on the other Kressinds. McKinley expands further on the mythology of the world, on the Form and the Will, the Morfaan and the Draathis, and we get a glimpse of what catastrophes are coming this world's way...

Again, the detailing
Eva Müller
We all wear masks - some for others, some for ourselves. Some are placed upon us without our knowing.

I had some issues with The Iron Ship, the first book in the trilogy but was intrigued enough that I wanted to read the second book as well. One of the things that bothered me in the first book was that it was all so slow-going. A lot of it was either people preparing for a journey or people already on a journey (and only in some cases I had a vague idea about what expected them at the end of the
Pavlo Tverdokhlib
The celestial convergence of the Earth and the Twin is coming. Worlds are about to come in contact for the first time in 4 thousand years, and once again, this is supposed to herald a a time of chaos and destruction. As enterprising human magisters (magical engineers) drain the world's finite magic, the banished gods stir and plot. Caught in the middle of all this are the Kressind siblings, who continue to follow their paths. The explorer Trassan leads his iron ship to the city of the precursor ...more
Tony Emeka
Jan 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
super, super cool and fast, couldn't stop for a second till i reached the last page.
Ambrosia Sullivan
Jan 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
I posted this book review on my book review blog The Purple Booker first.

I have to start this review by saying I have not read the first book in the series. When I saw this book on Netgalley I got so excited by the description I overlooked that it was book #2. So some of my thoughts on this book spring from that which is my own fault. Now with that said, on to the review.

This is an absorbing book that takes place in a world that is complex, rich and absorbing. It did take me a little longer to g
Elli (Kindig Blog)
Jan 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I'll start by saying I can't believe the majority of reviewers for this book have never read 'The Iron Ship' - the first one in the series - that's like starting Lord of the Rings on book 2!! I picked up The Iron Ship when it was on a cheap deal and I am so glad I did - it is fast becoming one of my favourite fantasy series and this next installment did not disappoint at all.

The story picks up where the last one left off and introduces yet more characters and plotlines, you are taken in very cap
Scott Waldie
Aug 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
So the Iron Ship was no fluke, and K.M. McKinley is still one of the best new world-builders I've encountered; the setting for The Gates of the World so fascinating that I will gladly keep turning the pages. If this book stumbled at all, it was only that it needed a few more forward narrative surges rather than a lot of the shifting of vantage points. That's not to say it doesn't happen, because it does, but the balance was a little off, and several of the storylines from the Iron Ship don't see ...more
Darren McGowan
Mar 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Really liking this story. Why? Well, I'm not sure. I usually look for dark, gritty battle fueled stories. This isn't it. What you do get is a whole bunch of good characters, there's multiple story lines going on. The world is huge and very detailed. What really sucked me in is the story telling, this story is just so easy to read. A book you definitely get lost in as time flies by. If you enjoy a big character list, try this story out.
Oct 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
I didnt enjoy this second book in the series as much as the first. Too many threads with the consequent change in point of view and then not enough depth given to each thread. Also a bit hyper-dramatic at times.
The premise and plot is still great. But I was secretly relieved to get to the end. (Ok so that’s not so much of a secret now...)
Philip Chaston
Mar 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
I do enjoy McKinley's intricate fantasy. The style is more accommodating to the traditional tropes of quest and apocalypse within the cycle of lost civilisations that we see from other genre novels. The modern voices of irony and sarcasm (embodied by Karsa) carry the novel forward; familiar protagonists raise the enjoyment.
Jul 19, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An improvement on its pretty good predecessor, the story finally comes alive and is much more propulsive now. There are moments of more pedestrian plotting though, the subplot of Madelyne and the Infernal Duke for example, but these are thankfully brief. The metaphysics of the world figure more and the conclusion seems to loom. Will be reading the final volume.
Canaan Merchant
Jun 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
A great second entry. A number of new threads but written so that things aren't left hanging from book 1.

The world here is so fully formed and leagues ahead of many fantasy books and it's the same for the prose.
Beverly G. Mendenhall
Interesting but not exciting

In bad need of a good editor. The explanations at the end of book two should have been at the beginning of book one. There are bound to be more books to come so wait til the series is finished to read all at once. It will make more sense.
Dec 16, 2017 rated it liked it
not as good as the first, it jumps across too many storylines many of which are irrelevant to the plot. The characters are well described and the places too but it just seemed like any other off the shelf sci-fantasy novel. The iron ship was excellent, this was barely better than Shannara
Nov 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
*copy from Netgalley in exchange for a review*

The City of Ice is the second in K.M. McKinley’s “The Gates of the World” series. We reviewed the first, “The Iron Ship” a while ago. It impressed with a sprawling and imaginative geography, as well as a social setting which was, at the very least, intriguing, whilst providing an enormous cast of well drawn characters to populate the world; it was a tour-de-force for the imagination, if a little lacking in focus. The City of Ice works hard to pare th
Fantasy Literature
Mar 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
4 stars from Bill, read the full review at FANTASY LITERATURE

Disclaimer: just so you know, some of the books we review are received free from publishers

I was going to start out this review of K.M. McKinley’s The City of Ice (2016) by saying that I could pretty much cut and paste the first paragraph of my review of its predecessor The Iron Ship, since it matched exactly what I’d say about The City of Ice. But then I realized why say I could when I actually can do that. So here it is, with some ed
Melinda Jackson
Jul 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really rather good, enjoyed it a lot
Dob Bobalina
Sep 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Not quite as good as the first, as we expand and populate the world. Good set up for the next book.
Feb 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A good follow up to the first in the series, The Iron Ship.
S.J. Higbee
Dec 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
It did take a while to get going, but then I wasn’t invested or aware of the cast of characters featuring in this sprawling fantasy as I hadn’t read the previous book, The Iron Ship. However, once I worked out who was doing what to whom, I became engrossed in this interesting and original take on a very familiar format. For starters, this is something of a genre mash-up. The society depicted is in the early stages of an industrial revolution and use magic to power their machinery, which is havin ...more
Feb 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: scifi-fantasy
The second book in an epic fantasy/steampunk hybrid series. I loved the first book, The Iron Ship; this one is not as satisfying.

The first book followed the fortunes of a group of 6 siblings, the Kressinds, each of them pursuing very different paths in life. In this book, several of those siblings barely appear at all. Most of the focus is on just two of them: Trassan, who is leading a voyage of exploration to the world's southern polar region; and Garten, an advisor to an aristocrat who's been
Feb 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The City of Ice picks up where the previous book The Iron Ship left off with crew of the Prince Alfra heading into the Morfaan ice fortress but at the same time events on the mainland continue to evolve withe the Morfaan returning! :D

As with The Iron Ships the story is split between events of the ships crew and the political skulduggery happening back on the mainland! :D The book is clearly a mid book as it sets up a lot of things for the next book with plot threads being setup and new character
Feb 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is the second book in a series and can not read easily on its own (which I did).

I had some problems understanding storyline and characters because I was missing the basis, laid in the first book (which I've bought now).

The story is epic and complicated, gods and magic, dragons and worlds, with deep complicated questions about the price of knowledge, or the superiority of beliefsystems.

The Kressind siblings are in different storylines and here is my (small) problem with the book, there is so
Feb 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Like others I have to admit that I missed the first book The Iron Ship, but then I tend more to enjoy hard Science Fiction rather than Fantasy stories. This book however is exquisite in its mix of characters and scenes the story line flows with such detail that you can feel the cold wind over the southern sea.
The mix of magic and industry is such a clever idea, the character's need the material world as much as the use of magic, in the authors World of Form, and the World of Will.
A very enjoyabl
Dec 31, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: have
A great follow-up to The Iron Ship wherein we learn more about the Gods and the different factions vying for power and control. The Kressinds will be tested and some of them will not come out unscathed.
I really enjoy this sequel but felt like I had to really take my time to read and digest and try to understand all the information especially concerning the Morfaan, The Twin and the Gods.
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