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The Relic Guild

(The Relic Guild #1)

3.45  ·  Rating details ·  319 ratings  ·  61 reviews
Magic caused the war. Magic is forbidden. Magic will save us.

It was said the Labyrinth had once been the great meeting place, a sprawling city at the heart of an endless maze where a million humans hosted the Houses of the Aelfir. The Aelfir who had brought trade and riches, and a future full of promise. But when the Thaumaturgists, overlords of human and Aelfir alike, wen
Paperback, 400 pages
Published September 18th 2014 by Gollancz
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Edward Cox Hello! Yes, it's called The Cathedral of Known Things. Currently going through edits, out next year :)

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Sep 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A dark and gritty fantasy. Centred around a group of magically gifted people who are part of a cross between secret service and elite forces , following the Relic Guild across two times, the end of a war, and the restart of it 40 years later.
A good strong mix of characters and a nicely set up universe which promises a lot more as it is opened out.
Enjoyable while being dark.
Dec 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
It's a really good debut fantasy book.I enjoyed the story and the way it is told. It shift continuously between now and past when everything was ruined.Edward Cox knows how to engage the reader with the story.

The relationship between current Relic Guild members is processed very good, Old man Sam Picky, young Clara unsure about her powers and a little confused in the new world she has been dragged into and Van Bam the wise, calm Resident of the Labrys town. oh vilains... you hate them but at the
Dec 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014, fantasy
Full disclosure, I like Edward Cox. We're friendly online and I was lucky enough to meet him last year in Brighton. The synopsis for his debut The Relic Guild sounded great, but you never know, right? Thus it was with a bit of trepidation that I started reading Ed's novel, because what if I didn't like it. Well, I’m pleased – and relieved – to say that while I had some issues with the narrative, The Relic Guild didn't disappoint and on the whole I had a great time with the story.

So let's just st
Oct 18, 2015 rated it did not like it
Once in a long while a book comes along that changes everything. A paradigm shifting book that effects everything around it. THE RELIC GUILD is such a book. Such never before read crapness, a total void of writing talent and chaotic thought spew, has permanently altered my conception of “bad writing”, “bad book” and “just how totally S**T can a piece of writing be?”.

Edward Cox is an author whom all others authors are seriously indebted to. They should tithe him or something. He has sunk the bar
Stefan Fergus
May 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
My review is here:

Very good debut fantasy.
Oct 13, 2014 rated it did not like it
Bought it on the strength of the blurb (it sounded like it ticked most of my boxes!), but was utterly disappointed by the execution.

Did not enjoy the author's writing, and was disappointed by the execution of the ideas in there that had promise. Way too much exposition, way too much 'as you know', way too much recapping. Characters did not grow into themselves, and I struggled to 'hear' the voices of the main characters at all - they felt like there was very little to set them apart from each o
Jul 04, 2014 rated it did not like it
This book was not for me. I struggled through to pg 140 or so. It didn't convince me that the world was real, or could work at all. A labyrinth-town sealed off from the rest of the universe for 40 years, a town that previously relied on imports for its economy, a town of 1 million people with what seemed like no land to grow crops, a sewage system but no source of fresh water, no shape-changing magic people been born for 20 years but the main character has access to medicine which keeps her lyca ...more
Joanne Harris
Sep 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
A terrific debut novel, with plenty of scope for expansion and some really good world-building. Most importantly, lots of fun. Looking forward to the next one.
Sep 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2016
A promising steampunky fantasy debut. It took me a while to get into the story and find my way into the world, but I quickly found myself intrigued by the present and past storylines, getting sucked in deeper with each subsequent chapter. Great characters and fascinating worldbuilding - I'm eager to see where the story goes from here.
Lucy Hounsom
Jul 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
There are many things to love about The Relic Guild. First and foremost, it neatly delivers the reader into a unique world – rare in the saturated fantasy genre – that’s peopled with a great cast of characters and a conflict spanning decades. This conflict has shades of the Biblical: the Satan-like Spiral – a being of higher magic – defies his Mother, the Timewatcher, in order to pursue his own ends. Some of his fellow Thaumaturgists sympathise and join him, obliterating their Thaumaturgic tatto ...more
Stephen Aryan
Aug 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A deliciously devious and detailed investigation in a city wreathed in mystery and magic. The city is as much of a character as the people, and this book mixed elements of the modern with the fantastical.

It features supernatural, magic, technology (although I'm kind of reluctant to call it that, more...items powered by magic perhaps is a better explanation without spoiling stuff) and it is a melting pot of a lot of ideas that gel in this shadowy world, full of dangers lurking in the shadows. Fa
Dec 23, 2014 rated it liked it
This is the latest in a series of debut novels that Gollancz have promoted this year. For me, it’s not a completely successful debut but still quite an entertaining read.

From the back of the book:

“Magic caused the war. Magic is forbidden. Magic will save us.

It was said the Labyrinth had once been the great meeting place, a sprawling city at the heart of an endless maze where a million humans hosted the Houses of the Aelfir.

The Aelfir who had brought trade and riches, and a future full of promise
Lynn Worton
Oct 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is an intriguing start to a science fiction/fantasy series. I really enjoyed it!

I was recommended this book by Amazon through their Audible division, due to my taste in science fiction and fantasy. I was intrigued with the blurb, so I downloaded the audio book. The story is narrated by Imogen Church, who has also narrated Bridget Jones's Diary. She did a fantastic job in bringing the characters to life. I loved her speaking voice, and her reading pace was perfect.

Peppercorn Clara is a youn
Blodeuedd Finland
In a world where there is only one city, and a labyrinth, our story takes place. There are other places, but they can't be reached. So everyone is just stuck.

There was a great war, now magic is gone (and bad!). So everyone just, well tries to live the best they can.

There are a few POVS. Clara, a whore with a secret (she is a shifter, and that could get her killed. ) And then there is the Relic Guild, a hidden organization with people who still have magic. They need her as an old enemy is rising.
Tash Payne
Oct 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
Imagine Brandon Sanderson and Scott Lynch smushed together and you get Edward Cox. And it totally works. The world of The Relic Guild is incredibly rich and complex, spanning the entire colour spectrum from the murky browns of labyrinthine backstreets to the electric blues of deep space. I loved the idea of the Houses of the Aelfir being in some unimaginable realm accessed only through portals and the tiers of magic that put Thaumaturgists above Magikers. Also, 'Spiral' is the best name for an e ...more
Lozzi Counsell
Aug 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: won-books
WON IN A GOODREADS COMPETITION.I really enjoyed this book and surprisingly felt the biggest connection with old man Sam! I would however split this book into 2 books.
originally posted at:

Another cracking debut brought to you by Gollancz. They have published some very exciting debuts so far with The Boy with the Porcelain Blade by Den Patrick, The Incorruptibles by John Hornor Jacobs and this month with The Relic Guild from Edward Cox. The thing that got my attention piqued was the mentioning of of course magic but also the reference of Thaumaturgy, this directly reminded me of China Mievelle and another great debut, U
*Thea 'Wookiee'sMama' Wilson*
'Magic caused the war. Magic is forbidden. Magic will save us.'

The Plot Of The Story:
The plot of this book is quite a complicated one and it's hard to explain what the book is truly about without giving parts of the story away but I'll give it a go.

The Labyrinth.... a deep dark maze that was once a prison. At it's heart lies Labrys Town. Labrys Town was once connected to all the realms of the Aelfir through various portal throughout the town until a magical war broke out, the Genii (some of th
Aug 11, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: discarded, fantasy
DNF at page 134.

This book was recommended to me by someone else, and when someone I like recommends a book to me, I really want to like it. Mostly because when I don't, and they ask me about it, and I say, "Yeah, that book you thought was so great? It's complete shit," I kind of feel like an asshole However, this book is in serious need of editing for story content and concision. Sit down and lemme tell you about it.

First of all, this city? Where is it? What is it? Initially I thought it in some
Mar 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Relic Guild is the imaginative debut from Edward Cox, where alone and isolated is a labyrinth by the name of Labrys Town. The Genii, the usurpers and traitors that wrought havoc and devastation when they betrayed the Time Watcher. Defeated by the Relic Guild forty years ago, they were thought dead - relics of the past. Only they're not dead, and they have come to take back that which they have lost.

The Relic Guild is a fantasy story that questions how the character's pasts affect their futu
Dec 21, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: books
I struggled with this book to begin with. The first few chapters for me were tedious to read but I persevered and thankfully the story got better. At one point I couldn't put the book down, I was so engrossed in what would happen next. The Relic Guild was an intriguing read, I enjoyed the concept and the authors descriptions of characters and places. Some of the characters are truly awful, especially the villains. There was one villain in particular I actually recoiled while reading, I prayed no ...more
Jul 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club
Another gem, the story as labyrinthine as the location, a joy to read. It was almost worth the insomnia to be able to spend time with the characters in this book as they fought a hidden war to save the denizens of the labyrinth and the wider universe. Full of rich characters, driven by a destiny beyond their control, the story is tightly written and full of rich descriptions, my only gripe is that it finished a tad too soon. Looking forward to the next instalment.
Sam Obigbesan
Darkly atmospheric, with an intriguing blend of Sci-Fi, fantasy elements and plenty of action that works. The narration by Imogen Church, a spinetingling foray into the forgotten twists and turns of the Great Labyrinth as well as the minds of some of its denizens. I'd recommend it.,
This was a 3.5 stars for me, I liked it.
Might be good story but the narrater, Imogen Church, was horrid. Glad this was free, would be annoyed if I even paid £1 for this. The way Imogen was trying to put other ppl to speak sounded awful; wish she just read this normally cos most probs I would of been able hear the story then.
Sep 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
Time for what I am sure many of you will consider a startling revelation – I’m a sucker when it comes to fiction featuring secret societies. I just can’t help it; I always have been and always will be a fan. I love the idea that there are mysterious groups working behind the scenes, trying to maintain the status quo and keep the blissfully ignorant masses safe. Add a genuinely evocative fantasy setting into the mix, and I’m in book reviewer hog-heaven*1

When Peppercorn Clara is first introduced s
Amy Sanderson
*Copy provided by the publisher as part of a Goodreads giveaway*

First of all, a confession: I have a real weakness for novels that take place in unusual settings, so 'The Relic Guild' was never going to have a hard time drawing me in. Whilst fantasies set in single cities are becoming increasingly common, Labrys Town is something apart, situated in the centre of an endless labyrinth, and apparently a realm in its own right. Once a hub of trade and travel, connected to hundreds of other worlds -
Aug 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
I received a copy of The Relic Guild from Gollancz in exchange for a review, so firstly, a huge thank you to the team. It was one of many exciting book-post packages I received this summer!

Aside from the synopsis, the first thing I look at when deciding if I like a book is the author’s narration style. It’s make-or-break for me; it always has been. I have a natural preference for books narrated in the third person. The narration is also clear and descriptive, balancing the action of the story wi
Dan Sutcliffe
Jun 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 21, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads, reviewed
I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

Edward Cox invents a new magical world in his epic fantasy novel The Relic Guild. Magic is a thing of the past. Since a great war forty years previously, magic has been banned. Back in the day the Relic Guild was made up of people with various magical abilities – empaths, illusionists, changelings – but a great war got rid of all those with magic, all but three that is. Marney, Samuel and Van Bam are the only surviving agents of the Rel
Aug 23, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
I received my copy of this book for free from a Goodreads giveaway.

I feel a little apprehensive giving this book three stars because I enjoyed it enough to give it a four. Objectively settling for a very high three, which would easily have been a four had it explored more of the world(s) and aspects of the story which were merely hinted at. Instead, we were mostly focused in and around Labrys Town, a town of humans located inside the Great Labyrinth who have been cut off from the Aelfirian House
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Author of THE RELIC GUILD trilogy (The Relic Guild, The Cathedral of Known Things, The Watcher of Dead Time) published by Gollancz. Represented by Howard Morhaim Literary Agency. Daddy, husband, reader.

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Other books in the series

The Relic Guild (3 books)
  • The Cathedral of Known Things (The Relic Guild, #2)
  • The Watcher of Dead Time (The Relic Guild #3)
“But don’t you understand?’ she said urgently. ‘The demon was hiding all the way down in sublevel three.” 0 likes
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