The Sheltered City
Amon Vraja, last of the halfdead, tries to stay out of sight. His kind, twisted by the gift that grants them superhuman strength, are loathed and shunned. Under the enchanted leaves of the Last City, ruled by imperious elves whose love of beauty leaves little room for his ugliness, he's not much more than the ghost of a dragon-haunted past.
When the young, headstrong elf-lo...more
Whoa! I am emotionally drained. This epic adventure took my emotions through the wringer. I have been gorging on sugary sweet, fluffy holiday romances and decided to enjoy a little palate cleanser with this fantasy story--and whoa I am wiped out.
Do not go into this story expecting a fun romp. This story takes the reader to some dark places; there are devastating mysteries and deaths of tertiary characte ...more
I loved the worldbuilding and Amon, Caedian was less “real” to me and I never truly understood him. Even so, Amon and the worldbuilding might have been enough for me to round up, if it wasn’t for the ending. With so many questions left unanswered, it was more suited for a first book in a series than a standalone.
The world-building was pretty awesome. But what I loved most was Amon; sweet, loyal, lonely...pretty much an outcast- an underdog hero if ever there was one. (Just the way I like 'em ;P )
So when he meets Caedian, the elf, there's so much to love about all the ways in which they contrast-- it reminded me of Kim Fielding's Brute in many ways.
Bittersweet, melancholy even, as poor Amon finds himself knee-deep in trouble he had no intention of ever looking for. The ending was satisfying bu ...more
When I enter a book by this author, I know it’s going to be rich in world building and plot. And there is no disappointment in that respect. Once again, we’re given a fantasy world where the setting is as much a star as the people who inhabit it.
This sheltered city, The Last City, is ruled by elves, beautiful, cold, distant, who live among the limbs of ‘The Tree’ (this setting reminds me of the author’s other fantasy, ‘The Glass Forest,’ with its tree-dwelling people.). Under it’s enor ...more
Amon was born with the halfdeath, an affliction that gives him the gift of strength and supernormal healing at the cost of half his life. His skin is ash grey and trac ...more
06/04/2016: Updated to add more thorough review after finding my kindle notes!
I should be honest and say that I started this back in October last year and somehow managed to put it down at around 90% and then just didn't pick it back up again until this week...so unfortunately I cannot remember all the detail for an in-depth review.
Overall this was a bit of a mixed one for me - there was definitely a lot to like, but there were also a few niggles that kept me from really loving it as m ...more
Excellent worldbuilding, incredible sense of setting, and characters you could really root for. Also, dragons!
I did feel the last ten percent was a little rushed, more action than denouement, however, this is a book which will stick with me for awhile.
Recommended, especially to fans of fantasy.
Amon is an anomaly in his world. He is the only living halfdead, descended from the dragonhunters. Dragonhunters have all died out now, but before that happened, many were given a gift and a curse. They were changed from being human to halfdead, given extraordinary healing and strength at the cost of half a life. Amon lives in a c ...more
I have been a sf/f fan for decades. I'm a recent fan of m/m romance, particularly sf/f/paranormal. This is, hands-down, the most unique world and story I've ever read. Elves as you have never known them. Humans backed into corners, many unaware of it. Dragons as scary as they are mysterious. A broken world. Not as dead as the Last City was led to believe. Many versions of love, many faces of danger. This story generates more questions than it answers, but the answers we find alongside Amon ...more
This author knows how to tell a good story. He weaves romance into top quality fantasy or science fiction and he does so in a way that is unique and creative. I never find obvious tropes in his stories or characters borrowed from other books. You won't find his characters in other books either because they belong to John Tristan.
So this was another great fantasy mm story with elves, magic, dragons and a magical tree which shelters and gives life to a city of ...more
Amon, the last of the half-dead, is an unlikely hero with his hulking body and grey skin, without family or friends, who ekes ...more
Well written, original, realistic in the depiction of a world closed to the outside Dragonlands. Even though I liked Amon and Caedian, I didn't understand what the elf Caedan saw in the half-dead Amon, and this doesn't become clear in the book. The ending lacked a proper resolution IMO. By the way I would be willing to see what's happening next, but I'm reading this in 2017, it was written in 2013 and there is no trace of a sequel around...
Book 1 - (this one) sets up the world and gives you all of the questions.
Book 2 - discovering perhaps the history of the tree, elves, coming of the dragons, end of world before, etc. Possibly by finding another city ...more
I picked this book up after reading (and liking) another by John Tristan - The Adorned. A few pages into it, though, I had a sinking feeling I'd be disappointed. The main character is Amon, a halfdead. The last halfdead in the city, actually. He's not your usual hero. With his bulky stature, gray skin, gray sclera, and black veins, his rapid aging, and his barely controlled rage simmering under the surface, I had a mental image of Herman Munster playing in the back of my head. (Herman Mun ...more
Amon is the last of the halfdead, a human that resembles a barely living corpse with prominent black veins and created to withstand the poisonous air outside the Tree that shelters the Last City. Unfortunately, being a halfdead means he’s treated like the plague, destined to live a short but lonely life. But when Caedian, an elf-lord, comes to the brothel where Amon works, everything changes. Caedian wants to hire Amon to help fi ...more
What I didn't like was the very open end. It's almost a dead world and they act like they had all the options in the universe, they just needed to decide what to do next. Not my favourite kind of ending. The second thing was ubiquitous use of ...more
I really liked this book a lot. It took me a little to get into it because of the setting and characters. I had to get a visual in my mind. Once I did I was off on a real adventure. I didn't want to put it down. The visual I had in my head had to be accurate because the details were awesome. So vivid. My only problem was the ending. I wanted just a little more. It seemed like a cliff hanger to me.
As for reading, I will read pretty much everything you put in front of me, but I will always have a special love for all genre fiction. I'm of the firm belief no story can't be improved by an elf, dragon and/or spaceship or two!