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Black City Saint

(Black City Saint #1)

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  428 ratings  ·  107 reviews
For more than sixteen hundred years, Nick Medea has followed and guarded the Gate that keeps the mortal realm and that of Feirie separate, seeking in vain absolution for the fatal errors he made when he slew the dragon. All that while, he has tried and failed to keep the woman he loves from dying over and over.

Yet in the fifty years since the Night the Dragon Breathed over
Paperback, 373 pages
Published March 1st 2016 by Pyr
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Richard Knaak Yes! A sequel is in the works. More soon to be announced.

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Average rating 3.63  · 
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Mar 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Originally reviewed at Bookwraiths

Roaring Twenties Chicago. Prohibition gangsters like Al Capone rule the streets. Dirty politicians walk the halls of power. Flappers fill the dance halls. Model- Ts roar along city avenues. Radios blare out Jazz music. Tommie guns bark out street justice. And the gate between the mortal realm and Feirie lies hidden by it all, guarded by its sixteen hundred year old guardian.

This gatekeeper named Nick Medea is a strange, complicated man. On one hand, he lives a
Aug 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015, arc-review
I've been meaning to read Richard A. Knaak for ages, especially his Dragonrealm books. He writes a whole slew of the WarCraft books as well and I've only heard good things. He did not disappoint.

From what I know, Black City Saint is a bit outside Knaak's normal wheelhouse, opting for Urban Fantasy instead of Epic Fantasy and he proves he can handle this genre quite deftly.

We start out with your typical exorcism where Nick Medea's got to get rid of some paranormal problems from a lady's house. I
Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁
Reviewed by: Rabid Reads

DNF at 16%.

BLACK CITY SAINT was one of my most anticipated new UFs. With a description involving Fae, dragons, and prohibition era Chicago, how could it not be?

However . . . A lot of you already know that I majored in English, more specifically literature, and even more specifically, British literature. Most of my required reading was wonderful.


But after Chaucer's TROILUS AND CRESSIDA, my least favorite work was Spenser's THE FAERIE QUEENE. It was terribly boring,
ᴥ Irena ᴥ

Whatever I thought (good or not) at different times while reading this book, it all came to one thing: the moment I finished reading the book and checked whether there was an instalment was followed by my disappointment. I want to know what's next for the main character. There are so many unresolved issues (not a bad thing in this case).

The antagonist is always two or ten steps ahead of Nick. If Harry Dresden's way of solving cases doesn’t bother you, then Nick's way of dealing with problems wo
J.P. Ashman
Feb 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Another corker from Knaak. Much different to those of his I have read and re-read in the past, but thoroughly enjoyed this urban historical fantasy come paranormal fae tale.

A great sense of realism in its historical setting - much research has clearly been carried out. The cityscape lent itself well to the shadowy demons and shape shifting beasts, the magic and the swords and sorcery. There was action throughout, whether spears, spells or tommy guns, and a wide variety of colourful characters to
Kit (Metaphors and Moonlight)
4 Stars

This was a book I had been wanting to read for a while because I love sci-fi/fantasy that's set in the Prohibition Era, so I was pleasantly surprised when I realized my library had a copy! And I'm going to keep this review nice and simple by using some lists.

Things I Liked:

- I liked the Feirie and Catholicism aspects, both separately and the way they combined (although I admit I'm not very knowledgeable about Catholicism, so don't worry, you don't need to know about it in order to
G.R. Matthews
Apr 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I received an ARC for a fair review.

Prohibition is in full swing. The cops are scrambling around, closing down speakeasies and arresting gangsters whenever they can – those that aren’t on the take that is. And in Chicago, Al Capone is about to make his move.

To Nick Medea this is all background noise, a fact of life in the roaring ‘20s. He has a much larger role to play, a bigger job to handle. He has ghosts to hunt. The phone rings, a number that
Nov 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Quite fun! Lots of 20's references and historical bits woven into an urban fantasy plot. The dragon does feature prominently, which I loved! The writing is a bit stilted at times, but by the second half I was used to it and tearing through the pages. ...more
Jul 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very enjoyable mix of genres, especially well written by a good writer.

A mix of historical urban fantasy with elements of film noir, Micky Spillane and Irish/British mythology.

Looking forward to reading the next 📖 in this promising series.

It’s different.
Assaph Mehr
Let’s keep it short, shall we? If you like the combination of historical-urban-fantasy, stop reading this review and start reading the book.
Still not convinced? Let me share some more details then.

What to Expect

Black City Saint is the first novel in the series from Richard Knaak. Set against the back-drop of Prohibition-era Chicago, Nick Medea is a private detective of sorts, dealing with paranormal cases.

Not that it’s as straightforward as that. Nick has a checkered past, and some unusual compa
3.5/5 Rating Originally posted at MyLifeMyBooksMyEscape

Control the dragon within

*Disclaimer: I was provided with an early copy from the author in exchange for my honest opinion.

I don't read much urban fantasy, so I can't say how well Black City Saint stacks up against other novels in the genre with certain elements and tropes it used. I do, however, read a lot of books, and know a good book when I read one. When Black City Saint had me up until 2 a.m. the first two nights reading it, that's how
C.T. Phipps
Nov 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: urban-fantasy
Richard K. Knaak was first introduced to me during my early days as a fantasy fan with the 1988 novel, The Legend of Huma. I didn't get to red it until I was about ten (1990) but in my limited experience, it was probably the best of the Dragonlance novels. When I re-read it in college, my opinion was cemented and if you ever wanted to read the Dragonlance saga then I recommend the two main trilogies as well as it. Later, I would enjoy Richard K. Knaak's World of Warcraft novels which ranged fro ...more
Mar 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I hit this lull in books. You know, where all the series that you're reading are currently still on hiatus in the short or long (Looking your way Pat Rothfuss) term. So I begin to look over my wishlist on Amazon where I tag books that have caught my interest one way or another over the years. Conversely, I start looking at the Amazon or Goodreads recommendations for me. Then, when those fail, I go back to the authors I enjoyed in days long past to see what they're up to, which brings me to Black ...more
Feb 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Nick Medea lives in Chicago during the Prohibition years but he is not quite what he seems. Some 1600 years ago, his name was Georgius and he fought and defeated a dragon. The dragon’s consciousness was trapped within Georgius’ mind and body and constantly struggles to get out. Then Georgius, in turn, was slain by the Roman Emperor Diocletian for refusing to revoke his religion but gained immortality. Georgius became known as St George and Diocletian’s ghost haunts him, begging for forgiveness w ...more
Mar 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed Black City Saint. The combination of 1920s Chicago and the world of the Fae was unique, and the two were enmeshed into a consistent, believable world. I think I have read other references to this as urban fantasy, and that description is spot on. I thought the story was engaging, and importantly, I really did not know what was going to happen. The characters were interesting, and I ended up googling and reading some more about some of the legend and history interwoven in thi ...more
Ashley Blodgett
Sep 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book, for me, was an awesome twist on a well known historical time. I enjoyed this book since I read the very first page. I loved the adventure, and the excitement of the whole book. Usually, you read and think to yourself- " I'll get through this good part then put it down and start dinner." I never got past the good part because the that was the entire book!

It takes the Chicago Fire, Al Capone, and the roaring twenties to a new level. The main character, Nick Medea, fights for the city a
Maria Allen
May 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: urban-fantasy
Finally getting the hang of these reviews! :) I really liked this. An unusual setting with interesting characters. I found Nick to be very driven by his past failure to save his love while being forced to guard the gate between our world and Feirie. The Roaring 20s setting made for a nice contrast. I like the suspense and background stories. We don't learn everything about everybody, but I understand that this is a part of a series so that makes sense.

You will also really like Fetch, a new favor
Mar 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2016
I received this book from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

Urban Fantasy went a long way, lately, to disavow readers about the beauty and charm of the Fae world, and while Black City Saint is no exception, this book manages to bring the concept several steps further into darkness – and terror. If we had any residual delusion about these creatures, after reading this novel we will never look at queen Titania or king Oberon in the same way: at some point their Shakespearian counterp
Sep 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-by-ariel
Originally Reviewed At: Mother/Gamer/Writer
Rating: 4 out of 5 Controllers
Review Source: Author Submitted
Reviewer: Ariel

BLACK CITY SAINT is the newest novel from fantasy author Richard A. Knaak. This story is action packed, set in Chicago in the roaring 20s, and is full of amazing characters. Who could ask for more?

Nick Medea is not exactly who he says he is. Sure, he goes to people’s homes and eradicates their paranormal problems, but he’s much more than that. Many, many years ago, Nick was St.
Jan 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
I won my copy of Black City Saint through a giveaway at

Saint George did slay the dragon, but things didn’t work out quite the way he’d anticipated. Saint George has survived from ancient Rome to 1920s Chicago. He guards the Gate between Feirie and the “real” world. The thing is, the dragon has also survived and resides inside Saint George, who now goes by the name Nick Medea. Sometimes this can be of help to Nick in guarding the gate and tracking down and destroying things of Feirie tha
Feb 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
You could call this book historical urban fantasy noir. Set in Chicago in the 1920s, the narrator is a sort of exorcist. He puts ads in papers that only those who need him can see, then goes and removes the ghosts and demons that are haunting them. His unusualness goes beyond this, though; his body is host to the dragon that he slew 1,600 years ago- he is, in fact, Saint George. He and the dragon share an uneasy alliance. Also, he is the guardian of the gate that separates our world from that of ...more
Fantasy Literature
Mar 13, 2016 rated it liked it
Richard A. Knaak’s Black City Saint combines 1920’s Chicago crime gangs with pre-Christian and early Christian mythology, serving up an exciting start to a new urban fantasy series. The setting is good and the hero is memorable.

Nick Medea is functionally an immortal. Under a different name, he became the guardian of the portal between the realms of the mundane world and that of Faerie. He is a man with many secrets, and the most deadly is the one he carries inside him, for he shares head-space w
Jason M Waltz
big meh. protagonist is not very much of a hero: his love interest is more heroic, he spends far more passion fighting against the ghost of his ancient betrayal than any other foe of the story, he's duped a lot, he's pretty much usually one step behind everybody, and all while still continuing to bemoan his fate. no connection with him, no concern for him he beat it out of me, no interest in sequels or a continuing story. again the premise was pretty cool, and the era seemed to be pretty well wr ...more
Jun 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is a welcome trip into an alternate Chicago full of gangsters, Fae, and other baddies. As a fan of both noir and fantasy, I loved the blend of genres. I see lots of cool possibilities in future installments. Memorable characters, an intriguing setting, and plenty of action make this a must-read for lovers of fantasy.
All Things Urban Fantasy
Review courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy.

BLACK CITY SAINT is a dense urban fantasy that's got a lot going for it. It's fairly original, being set in the 1920s instead of modern day, and the juxtaposition of the Christian tradition with the fae mythology is interesting, to say the least. However, BLACK CITY SAINT was difficult to get through at times and where the world-building succeeded, the character development failed.

If you know me at all, you know I can't pass up any book set in Chicago.
Jeff Bryant
May 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Terrific read, well paced urban fantasy and well worth your time
Alger Smythe-Hopkins
May 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
A stylish re-invention of the legend St. George as an immortal warrior standing against the deep laid plots of Fairie. There are certain weaknesses; some factual, some in style, some in plotting. Still this was a fun to read mashup of the The Fairy Queen and The Maltese Falcon ...more
Lloyd Calvin
Jun 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Very good time. The insights into old Chicago were intriguing, the interactions were engaging and the action was thrilling. Exactly what I'm come to expect from Mr. Knaak over the years. I can't wait for another adventure in this world. ...more
Anna Rogers
May 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great story

Exciting read. Good characters.
I loved the story line, great twists. I can't wait to read More about them, and to try some of authors other series.
Dale Russell
Feb 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
1920's Chicago...The BLACK's been 50+ years since the devastating fire that destroyed so much of this city by the lake. Throughout that time, and for the last 1600 years the Guardian has stood sentry over the Gate to Faery which now resides over Lake Michigan. Once know as Georgius - now Nicholas - the Guardian must insure the Wyld does not come through the gate...and if it make sure it does not last long in the human world. The conflict escalates as Oberon, king of the Fairi ...more
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Richard A. Knaak is the bestselling author of Dragonlance novels, the Dragonrealm and Black City Saint series (his own creations), six novels for Blizzard Entertainment's Diablo series, and six works in the Warcraft universe. He has also written several non-series fantasy books.


Other books in the series

Black City Saint (4 books)
  • Black City Shadows (Black City Saint #0.1)
  • Black City Demon
  • Black City Dragon

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