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The Nameless City

(The Nameless City #1)

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  6,188 ratings  ·  773 reviews
The City has many names... and no name.

Built on an ancient mountain pass, the City is forever being invaded by one nation or another, and every new master gives it a new name. But for the natives, their home is the Nameless City, and those who try to name it are forever outsiders.

Dreamy, sheltered Kaidu is one such outsider. He's a Dao born and bred — a son of the latest
Paperback, 232 pages
Published April 5th 2016 by First Second
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Lillie You take the front cover in your hand and lift it up like you'd turn any other page. (If you're talking about the way you read it, it is written in…moreYou take the front cover in your hand and lift it up like you'd turn any other page. (If you're talking about the way you read it, it is written in the western way of comics and books where it is left to right)(less)
Dragomania Absolutely! Every page is full of great art! If you like graphic novels and fantasy this could be a great book for you.

Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.09  · 
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 ·  6,188 ratings  ·  773 reviews

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Maggie Stiefvater
May 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This middle-grade graphic novel is a series beginning in all the satisfying ways and none of the frustrating ones.

Hicks takes her time setting up multiple characters and drawing the world (literally), showing us how many alleyways she could have turned down but didn't, hinting at the stories she might have told but hasn't yet. By staying the course on Kaidu's budding friendship with a girl from another part of the city, Hicks keeps the story cohesive and suitably intimate. There were three
David Schaafsma
6/22/17 Reread for my YA GN/Comics class and of many we have read so far, this is one of the very favorites, about which I am very pleased, since I agree with them. Some folks felt this could use a bit more backstory, so are hoping for a bit of that, with maybe a little more work on characterization, but they all love the strong political themes, tying it from the historical fantasy Renaissance to today's refugee crisis. And everyone loves the artwork! Some of the best work we have read so far!! ...more
Aug 15, 2016 rated it liked it
This is not Lovecraft's Nameless City. Missed opportunity, author!
It's not even nameless, more many-named, which is really the opposite in my opinion, but I agree does not make as catchy a title.

For the length and the potential if the setting, I felt this was pretty slight as the story went, and did not bring anything particularly original plot or character-wise. However, it was pleasant and enjoyable as far as it went.

It was not indicated when I read it as being part of a series. Now knowing
First Second Books
Jun 13, 2016 marked it as first-second-publications
We love Faith Erin Hicks' wonderful graphic novel The Nameless City!

When creating this book, Faith was inspired by classic fantasy adventure stories for kids, like the ones by Lloyd Alexander and Susan Cooper and Ursula K. LeGuin. We think it's great that with this new trilogy, there are going to be more of these kinds of stories for kids in graphic novel form!

Yay that!
Dec 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
(Received from Netgalley for review.)

This is quite different from anything I've read by Hicks before. She's also done contemporary stories with female protagonists, and The Nameless City is set in a vaguely Asian (maybe Chinese inspired?) fictional city with a male viewpoint character. Like I said, different, so I didn't really know what to expect. But I've really liked everything of hers that I've ever read, and this was absolutely no exception.

The title city is nameless to the inhabitants,
Liz Janet
Oct 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Hicks wrote a comic that left me with quite a few questions before, her Friends With Boys. That comic gave me a small taste of what she was capable of, howeer, it did not leave me wanting more of her, this one however, has me hooked and the story is only on its first volume.

The story takes place in a city known by many names. Every person has a different name for it, as every time it is conquered (and that happens a lot) the name is changed. But there have been 30 years of a so called “peace”,
Aug 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Well-written with vibrant illustrations. And some quiet but effective questions raised about respect for those outside one’s group. This is the start of a story of a land that’s been invaded countless times and has gone through so many names that its conquered residents prefer no name for their city.
Kaidu and Rat, one Dao (the latest invaders), one a resident of the city, become friends despite the resentment between their people. The two goad each other to race across the city roofs, which
Apr 22, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: eh, graphic-novel
Okay I know I said I was done with these but I just saw Faith Erin Hicks speak at an event and she seemed so sweet and is clearly so hugely grateful and humbled by her success and her many fans and frankly anything called The Nameless City that she told us was a fantasy project of hers she'd been wanting to write all her life gives me pause. It just sounds cool doesn't it? So I reasoned "maybe this is her book, maybe this is what she's really meant to have been writing!"

Also I was feeling
Matthew Quann
An enthusiastic 5 stars for this all-ages graphic novel!

It's funny how books find their way to you. A lot of my books I pick up after checking out reviews, either here on GR or on other sites, or through a glowing real life recommendation. But there's always that book that the quirky used book store owner swears by, or the novel whose cover draws you in to a store as you walk across the street, or the book read by a character on a TV show or movie you love. The Nameless City came to me in a way
Mar 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was an interesting setup but what there is of a story could've been told in a lot less time. I feel like there were more wasted panels in this book than in most any other graphic novel I've read. Why take 3 or 4 panels to convey what you could in 1 or 2? That said, the introduction to the city, its history and inhabitants was fun and I'll definitely keep going.
Heidi The Reader
The Nameless City sits on a port that guards the entrance of a major river to the ocean. This strategic spot has made it a point of contention for various conquering peoples since time immemorial. Kaidu's people are currently the ones in power, but, that may not be the case for long...

The Nameless City is an excellent first book in, what looks to be, a graphic novel series for middle schoolers. It suffers from what most first books in a series suffer from which is: prolonged setting of the stage
There is nothing Faith Erin Hicks creates that I don't want to immediately devour. This was no different. Thank you to Netgalley for making this one available, and thank you to First Second for approving me to read it.

The Nameless City takes place in what I believe to be China (or at least a fictional equivalent), in a city with both no name and thousands of names. It is a key city, geographically, and is therefore constantly being battled over and defended by various nations. Substitute
Dov Zeller
Kaidu and Rat are an odd-couple. Kaidu is a dreamy Dao boy in combat school who left his mother in the country and traveled to the Nameless City in order to meet his father. But he would much rather be reading than fighting, which makes combat school a bit challenging. Rat is an orphan and street-wise resident of the Nameless City. The Nameless City is nameless because of its strategic geographic importance. It is constantly changing hands from one warring group to another and so, the residents, ...more
Jun 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
The set up is a fairly familiar one, but with a few interesting elements. The city is divided by occupied and occupier and changes hands fairly regularly among the local tribal powers. The city itself is a sort of gateway through the mountains and so essential to trade in the region. We've seen this sort of thing before. But FEH's strength has always been in her ability to create likeable, relatable characters and she seems to be getting better and better at it with each book she writes. She's ...more
What a captivating and heartwarming story in a graphic novel format with an expressive and dynamic artwork!

However, as noted by a few reviewers and bloggers (for instance, check out this post on the Reading While White blog), the offhand use of “Asian-inspired” elements might be a bit troubling (i.e., is it cultural appreciation or appropriation?).
Oct 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
I am excited to recommend this to the students! This is a graphic novel that isn't too busy, has a great story, moves along at a fast pace, and has a good message.
Kaidu has come to the city and begins training as a Dao warrior but gains better skills by racing with his newfound friend Rat. When Rat learns of a plot to assassinate the city's leader will she betray her beloved city or warn Kaidu of the plan? Kids will enjoy this fast-paced adventure and be begging for the sequel.
Elizabeth A
Sep 26, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: kids-ya, 2016, graphix
This graphic novel, targeted for middle grade readers, is the first in a series, and is a fun and quick read.

The story explores the notion of the conquered and the conquerors, and how they view and distrust each other. The two main characters, Rat and Kaidu, represent these groups to a certain extent, and it is fun to see how their friendship develops. I really liked that Rat is a young girl who has grit, is tough, and is shaped like a girl, not a sexy view of what society wants girls to look
May 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels, 2016
I've been looking forward to reading this for two reasons: 1. I like Faith Erin Hicks very much 2. The good people at First Second sent me a poster of this cover which I hung on my office door my first week at work, so I've been looking at it every day for 3 months. I got the book, brought it home, and then everyone else in the house read it before me. Finally, my turn. I liked this a lot, though I'm a little bummed i have to wait for a sequel. That said, that's ok because I thought the pace of ...more
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Bear with me on The Nameless City because I read this a month ago and, uh, it’s not very fresh. I don’t know about you guys, but I find that there are some books that stick with me and some that sort of immediately leave my head as soon as they enter, and The Nameless City was more the latter. It’s pretty cool, but it’s also very clearly targeting younger readers.

The nameless city is a cool setting and I really like the character of Rat and how badass she is. However, I felt like the story
Jul 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Gene Luen Yang's Avatar
Beautiful illustrations and atmospheric coloring. An intriguingly designed world that discusses many pertinent aspects of our own. Characters that you just can't help but worry for and the only negative that I felt while reading was that I didn't get to know the main cast of Rat and Kai as I'd have liked. But, luckily, it's a series. YAY. Would definitely recommend this to those who enjoyed Avatar, especially Gene Luen Yang's graphic novel continuations.
I think Faith's work is just getting stronger, and I can't wait for the second book in this series.
Review to come
Apr 23, 2018 rated it it was ok
Meh. Couldn’t get into it, but that’s more about me in my comics-ennui phase than about this book.
Nov 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
(4.5 stars) I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I picked this up on impulse because the artist for Pumpkin Heads wrote this, and I’d really loved the art style in that book. She didn’t fail to deliver with gorgeous art, and the story and characters were more entertaining and enjoyable than I was expecting them to be. Normally I don’t like graphic novels with sci-fi or fantasy premises because sometimes the format doesn’t give the story enough time to develop, but this book was really well ...more
Jul 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Natalie by: Zach
This was such a cute graphic novel with a message. The art was absolutely gorgeous. Faith Erin Hicks is so talented! I read her graphic novel of The Last of Us and really enjoyed that, so when this book was a little Easter egg in Uncharted 4 I obviously had to check it out.

**read for book scavenger hunt - a book chosen for you by someone else (after he saw the Easter egg in game, looked it up and told me about it)**
Joe Santoro
Nov 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I've never read a bad Graphic Novel from First Second... they're very underrated as a publisher, IMO. This one one the surface is a Romeo and Juliet type set up, with a little Aladdin mixed in and a vivid, far eastern setting, but there's actually a whole lot more than that going on.

Great all ages book that can be read and enjoyed by anyone... can't way to get the conclusion!
Jun 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved this!! It's a graphic novel about a city that is repeatedly conquered with no consideration for its indigenous people. The story features a boy named Kai (Dao) and a girl named Rat (Named) and how they become friends despite being enemies. It is an engaging story and the art is stunning. I will be picking up the sequels sometime this week.

The Pyr Review
Jul 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fun little story. Look forward to the rest of the series.

Read for reading scavenger hunt: author I’ve never read.
May 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
What a beautifully-illustrated, friendship-centered story about Kaidu who came to the Nameless City to become a Dao and meets fearless and courageous Rat who helps him feel like he belongs in the city.

There are some politics involved, because the Nameless City has often been conquered in the past—no one has kept control of it for more than thirty years—and Kaidu’s father has a plan to keep that from happening again.

The city itself is one of the most interesting elements of this story. The
Andrea Lorenz
Kaidu wants nothing more than to go to Dandao, the city of a thousand names. When he arrives there, he finds that the Nameless City is nothing like he imagined. He flails through his training to become a warrior, admitting that he "likes books better than blades." During an accidental excursion into the city, he runs into Rat, a girl who has always lived in the city, someone who will change his point of view of both the city and his own people's role in it.

The artwork in this installation is
FEH is a graphic novelist who looms large in my head.
I've booktalked her stuff twice to local middle schoolers (Friends with Boys and Adventures of Superhero Girl).... which means I should probably try to resist booktalking her again. At least until there's a new generation of middle schoolers.

Here, she branches off from her former western-focused settings to something that takes on a distinctly eastern sensibility. As a person of western-descent and context, I feel unqualified to comment on
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Born in the wilds of British Columbia, the young Faith frolicked among the Sasquatch native to the province before moving to Ontario at age five. There she was homeschooled with her three brothers, and developed an unnatural passion for galloping around on horseback, though never without a proper helmet (because you only get one skull). After twenty years of suffering through Ontario’s obscenely ...more

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