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The Sheltered City

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  145 ratings  ·  37 reviews

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

Kindle Edition, 231 pages
Published July 7th 2014 by Carina Press (first published January 1st 2014)
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Average rating 3.70  · 
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 ·  145 ratings  ·  37 reviews

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8/8/20 Currently on sale for 99c via Amazon:

4.5 Stars

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
3.5 stars

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.
4.5 stars

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

3.5 stars

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
Julio Genao
Jul 07, 2014 rated it liked it
review forthcoming, with special guest ;-)
Aug 11, 2014 added it
Once again, John Tristan has created a unique and compelling world. The deeper into ‘The Sheltered City’ I got, the more I wanted to know. Why where they living inside what seemed to be a large dome sheltered by an enormous living tree? Where the dragons outside real or allegorical? What is the halfdeath and what about those elves?

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
Jul 08, 2014 marked it as to-read MUST BE STRONG for No Buy Books July! Must...stay...strong...
Sep 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
3.75 stars
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 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
Vanessa North
Jul 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
Really, really good.

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.
Sep 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mm, borrowed
I love fantasy, especially the world-building involved in the story. So this book seemed to be tailor made for me. Add in an underdog hero, and dragons, and I'm there.

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
Terri Jones
Sep 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: special-ones

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
It took me a bit to get into and I wish the ending wasn't as open-ended, but I liked it. ...more
Ije the Devourer of Books
Jun 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Another great story from John Tristan.

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
Carol March
Oct 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I had read and loved Tristan’s The Adorned, so I started The Sheltered City with high expectations. I was not disappointed. This is a love story set in a fantasy world with many unique characteristics. In addition to the mystery at the heart of the book, and the moving love affair between two disparate characters, learning about this fascinating world was much of the fun.

Amon, the last of the half-dead, is an unlikely hero with his hulking body and grey skin, without family or friends, who ekes
Dec 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
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...
Feb 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: m-m-best-fantasy
This is a kind of post apocalyptic fantasy, where the usual good guys and bad guys are not what you would expect. John plays magistrally with "shades of grey" about his compelling protagonists. The world-building is very well done. ...more
Apr 23, 2016 rated it liked it
Interesting world building. It had an interesting back-story and two very unique characters.
A good read.
Love Bytes Reviews
This book was reviewed by Love Bytes Reviews!
Dec 02, 2017 rated it it was ok
I found the ending to be unsatisfying. A very "the story continues" ending that doesn't give enough resolution. It was probably a 3-4 star book for me until the meh ending. It feels like it wants a sequel though I think a trilogy would have been a decent option as well.
(view spoiler)
Bellbomb Bellbomb
Sep 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars.
Jul 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
4 stars

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
This review can be found at The Blogger Girls review site.

4.5 stars

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
Nov 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I am so glad to have read this one. John Tristan is a wonderful writer. He has such amazing imagination. The fantasy world he has created here is original and well conceived. Humans, elves, dragons struggling to live together in this strange, bleak and dangerous world which seems to be without hope. The City which could be the last city, sheltered by a gigantic living tree protecting its inhabitants from the dragons and the uninhabitable external environment, humans living on the ground and the ...more
Eepa *mm loving bookworm*
I really liked the story and I liked both Amon and Caedian. They were well fleshed out and had very distinctive personalities so they were easy to keep separate. The story had a good flow and some good twists even if the one about Seoras was pretty clichéd.

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
Jo Patchin
Jan 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Good and bad

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.
Heidi Dover
Mar 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: liked
Writing, worldbuilding, characters, plot, details, romance, angst, conflict, all excellent.Such a detailed and intriguing world to get lost in, characters I got invested in and rooted for them to sort their shit out and get their HEA. Wish I had a little more insight and detail about what drew/attracted Caedian to Amon, but I wanted to believe so I did without much effort. Very enjoyable read. And dragons!
Mar 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Apparently I didn't get enough post-apocalyptic reading earlier this year because here I am, once again watching a society trying to make it through a bit of a "rough patch." Heh, only this time around it was with elves and dragons. And some m/m action as well. Yep. A better combination than I would have thought possible. ...more
Jul 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Loved this. The characters, the world, everything was very vivid, very easy to picture in my head. I'd love to read more of these characters and more of this world.

And...I will only admit to crying once.
Robin L
Mar 24, 2015 rated it it was ok
Very interesting world, interesting characters, and interesting premise. There was only one thing missing... The actual story. I felt like it was the perfect set up, but then nothing at all happened.
Jul 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance-mm
That was some fantastic world building. Loved the story, the characters, the setting. Recommended to fans of m/m fantasy. :)
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I'm John, and I write gay romance, usually with a SF/F twist.

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!

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