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Tarnished City

(Dark Gifts #2)

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  2,635 ratings  ·  461 reviews
A corrupted city. A dark dream of power.

Luke is a prisoner, condemned for a murder he didn’t commit. Abi is a fugitive, desperate to free him before magic breaks his mind. But as the Jardines tighten their grip on a turbulent Britain, brother and sister face a fight greater than their own.

New alliances and old feuds will remake the nation, leaving Abi and Luke questioning
Kindle Edition, 352 pages
Published February 5th 2018 by Del Rey (first published September 5th 2017)
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Vic James I had to check pages 254 and 428 - YOU ARE NOT WRONG!!! Well done for having that as a theory even from book 1, though ;) Seriously, thank you so much…moreI had to check pages 254 and 428 - YOU ARE NOT WRONG!!! Well done for having that as a theory even from book 1, though ;) Seriously, thank you so much for this lovely questionisacomment. I am just finishing up Bright Ruin and seeing how much folk are loving Tarnished City is 110% giving me life through these final long days & nights of edits. (less)
Isabella You dont have to I would recommend it the first books great too BTW. Like @Sarah Alice said it picks up where the first book left off besides the prol…moreYou dont have to I would recommend it the first books great too BTW. Like @Sarah Alice said it picks up where the first book left off besides the prologue.The prologue is about the last thing that happens in Gilded cage but from Jenner's perspective not Abis. (less)

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Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
On sale now! 4.5 stars. Review first posted on Fantasy Literature:

Tarnished City, the second book in Vic James’s DARK GIFTS YA fantasy series, is a hard-hitting novel that picks right up where Gilded Cage left off, without any infodumping to remind the reader what happened in the first book. In this alternate version of our world, England is controlled by a minority group, the ironically-named Equals, who have magical powers and brutally use them to enforce their rule on everyone who isn’t magic
Jan 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Tarnished City by Vic James is the second book in the young adult fantasy Dark Gifts series. From the title of the series to the intense book cover one should guess that this series is not all rainbows and sunshine but one that is incredibly dark and sometimes disturbing. If at all possible I think Tarnished City got a little darker than Gilded Cage if that was possible.

The series takes place in a society in which the world is ruled by Equals who are aristocrats with magical gifts. Everyone else
Dannii Elle
"I burn not shine."

Actual rating 4.5 stars.

In my review of the first book of this series, I stated it had an "unique magic-system, a compelling narrative structure, enthralling writing and an unguessable plot." After such highly-heaped praise I was hesitant to see how this would follow in its predecessor's strong footsteps. It has also been a full year since I read the original, and with such a complex plot, worried I would be overwhelmed when returning to this world. Within just a few pages I r
Aug 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, magic, fantasy, dystopia
3.5 stars rounded up.
This book was surprising! It's a darker and grittier read than its predecessor. Just as in Gilded Cage, the story is still 'a bit different' in ways that keep you reading. This is not a stand- alone and you need to read Gilded Cage first. Events pick up right where the first book left off. We see less of Luke and more of Abi.
Several unexpected events happened in this book, which left me admiring the author for her bold choices, while in many ways the plot progression was pre
Feb 13, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy, read-in-2018
Second books in a trilogy are always tough to review. This one in particular really has me staring at my computer screen with no idea what to type. It doesn't make things easier that I liked it, but also didn't at the same time.

The concept set up in the first book is intriguing as it blends fantasy and dystopian fiction. Set in modern-day Britain, magic rules everything. A very small percent of people are Equals who wield magic, while the rest of people are commoners. All commoners are required
Cindy ✩☽♔
These people. Their power. The good they could do with it, and the evil they chose instead.

This book is dark. Not simply beautifully, poetically dark, no, it is the sort of unpleasant darkness people want to turn away from. This book shines a light on some of the worst aspects of human nature. The things we all know exists, but so many people refuse to see. And for that, it is amazing.

When it comes to YA fiction, people seem to throw around the word dark whenever there is death or betrayal i
Feb 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
4.5/5 *

TARNISHED CITY is an amazing follow-up to last year's GILDED CAGE. In fact, I think I liked this one just a little bit more!

Even though I see this listed and shelved as YA, it's much darker than most YA I've tried, (which admittedly is not a lot because it's usually too angst-y for me.) In this case however, the author nixes a lot of the extraneous stuff and focuses on the characters and the intricately plotted story.

It took me a little while to get back into the flow, (it's been just ov
Aug 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having enjoyed, “Gilded Cage,” I was pleased to receive the second book in the Dark Gifts Trilogy, “Tarnished City,” for review. This is very much a sequel to the first book – it does not stand alone and you need to read, “Gilded Cage,” first. In fact, it begins at the very end of the last book, with Abi Hadley, and her family, sent to the slave town of Millmoor, after being banished from the Jardine estate. Of course, her brother Luke, had previously left Millmoor – but he is not going to join ...more
Cora Tea Party Princess
5 Words: Power, control, torture, magic, rebellion.

If you know me then you'll know how much I loved the first book. So going into Tarnished City I was a little apprehensive. Because what if it wasn't as good? Turns out I needn't have worried as Tarnish City is just as excellent. Oh yes.

Again Avita Jay does a splendid job with the audiobook, bringing the characters to life.

I still have so much love in my heart for Silyen and Abi, and I can't wait to see what happens next.
Lillian ☁ Cloud 9 Books ☁
***** 4.5 Stars *****

Cannot be read as a standalone.

"These people. Their power. The good they could do with it, and the evil they chose instead."

My mind is reeling, and I'm still decompressing my thoughts and feelings about Tarnished City. What a sequel...

Luke is locked up for something he didn't do. Abi is on the run trying to find a way to get her brother back. And the Jardines are more powerful than ever.

Tarnished City is darker than book 1, and it reveals how cruel society can be. It's
Sandra (LadyGrey Reads)
London's burning, she thought. Burning with the Skill of the Equals.

Such a gorgeous sequel! This was certainly one of those books that just became better and better the more you read, with more and more pieces added to the puzzle. And the complete picture is turning out much darker than you first believed it would.

As Luke is taken north to Lord Crovan's estate, Abi has escaped the carriage taking her and her parents to Millmoor, intent on finding a way to rescue her brother. She seeks out th
Aug 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
These people. Their power. The good they could do with it, and the evil they chose instead.

* * * *
4 / 5

Tarnished City is leaps and bounds better than Gilded Cage, the first book in this series. It's more critical of power and slavery, more developed in it's exploration of morally dubious characters like Gavar and Silyen, and far more emotionally impactful. At one point I almost cried. Best of all, the "romance" between Jenner and Abi is mostly thrown out the window. This book is a wild, compl
Mar 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
4.5 Stars.

This is one of my favourite YA trilogies. I met the author at MCM in London, and she kindly signed my paperback copy, and took a few minutes to talk to us. A wonderful and kind lady.

I'm not going to say too much about the plot, this being a sequel and everything, but let me explain what exactly I love about these books: politics and that both sides get point of view chapters.

See, in this world, a sort of modern-day Britain, magic users control everything. If you're not one of them, you
Mel (Epic Reading)
Feb 26, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: library-ebook
I was really hoping for an improvement over Book 1 (Gilded Cage). Unfortunately I think I got the exact same book in terms of pacing, boring political parts, intense action at the end, and only liking a few characters. I could probably lift my Gilded Cage review and put it in here with few edits.

It's really unfortunate because I really think Vic James has created a great world. But she has made the exact same mistakes in this second book that she did in the first. Now I realize it was possibly
Jun 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-read
Dark and exciting, this was a great follow up to Gilded Cage. Even though their family has been torn apart, Luke and Abi continue to stay strong and try to fight against the injustice visited on them and also the unSkilled population at large. Abi in particular steps up and her character is much stronger and self-assured than in the first book.

Tarnished City was filled with surprises and twists and turns, making it an exciting read right to the end. The final chapter set the stage for what is su
Dec 24, 2017 added it
I was invited by NetGalley to read and review this ARC edition. I didn't realize it was the second book of a series and have discovered after about 30 pages that one MUST read book one!

Therefore, I will NOT be reviewing or rating this book! it is unfair to the author, the book and myself to do otherwise.

4.2 Out Of 5 "Tarnished...But Not Broken" STARS

I was torn as to whether I was going to continue this series because I struggled to get through the first book. Then way before it (Tarnished City) was due to release, I noticed my library had already purchased it in audiobook format…I thought…hmmm…maybe I could eliminate some my issues with Gilded Cage by listening to Tarnished City, rather than reading it.

Overall, I'm happy that I gave this series a second chance because this world that Vic James
Bam cooks the books ;-)
Book 2 in the Dark Gifts series carries on right where Book 1, Gilded Cage, left off. The story is centered mainly on brother and sister Luke and Abigail Hadley and their struggles with the Gifted who control the British government and make slaves of commoners. Luke has been locked away in a remote castle in Scotland, condemned for murder, and Abi is struggling to find a way to free him with the help of fellow resisters and some friendly Gifted. But who can she trust in this twisted world of mag ...more
omg this book was so irritating. Tedious and boring up till about 90%.

And THEN, just when things start getting interesting - REALLY interesting -- ...the book fricken ends!

And now I feel like there's no way I can't not read the last book. Even though I didn't really like this book at all. But, you know, cliffhanger.

So fucking irritating.

p.s. - I was excited to see more Silyen POVs, but after all was said and done, I ended up not caring for any of them. It was a letdown. His character is more
*Source* NetGalley
*Genre* Fantasy
*Rating* 4.0


Tarnished City is the second installment in author Vic James Dark Gifts trilogy. This story picks up right exactly where Gilded Cage left off, so if you haven't yet read that story, make haste and do so now. This series is set in a sort of modern Britain with a very dystopian feel to it. Magic users control everything: wealth, politics, power—and you. If you’re not one of the ultimate one-percenters—the magical elite—you owe them ten years o
Apr 18, 2017 added it
Leonie Hinch
Sep 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya-fantasy
This series is literally a rollercoaster ride. I loved Gilded Cage and you can check out my review of that here: https://lifehasafunnywayofsneakingupo...

Tarnished City was even better, which is quite rare for a Middle novel in a trilogy, usually I find the Middle novel a bit of a 'filler' with not much going on, but this was action packed to say the least. Following the events of Gilded Cage (spoilers for book 1 ahead) Tarnished City explains what happens next to the main characters. Abi is desp
Aug 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, read-in-2018
A little slower than book one, but definitely expands the world. Pretty sure Vic James has been taking lessons from George Martin though. Death all over the place in this one. Ready to pick up book three! This one really left it at yet another torturous cliffhanger!
Annie ⚜️
Jan 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, dystopian, ya
Oh my god. Holy cliff hanger! I wasn’t in love with Gilded Cage but it was okay enough for me to continue the series. I couldn’t put this one down! I hopped in my car and went directly to the library to get the third book and final book, Bright Ruin.
Kayleigh {K-Books}
May 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Tarnished City Review on K-Books <- goes live on June 20, 2018

"She used to think 'courage' was a reckless, slightly stupid thing. She understood it a little better now. It was doing what was right, even when every shred of self-preservation screamed against it."

Wow! There are literally no words that I have right now to describe what I have just read. I really enjoyed Gilded Cage, the first book in this trilogy and was really looking forward to continuing with Tarnished City. I in no way expe
Kirsty (Amethyst Bookwyrm)
Thanks to Netgalley and Pan Macmillan for giving me this book to review.

Tarnished city is a really good YA paranormal dystopian novel which is even darker and violent and the previous book Gilded Cage. It is fast paced and with all of its twists, political manoeuvring and unpredictability it makes you not want to put the book down. It did not suffer from middle book syndrome and I felt the characters have become more interesting and those who were a bit two-dimensional in the first book have dev
Sep 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, dystopia, ya
I love how the Dark Gifts series is a YA trilogy that does not understimate the reader. It is a complex story with nuanced characters, and that has lots of parallels with the world we live in. A lovely combination of "I can't put it down" and "I don't want it to end". I will be rereading the first too installments in preparation for the release of Bright Ruin

(Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the review copy!)
Sep 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The more I think I have figured out, the less I do. I’m not sure who is good or not at this point, but I feel like a big reveal is coming
Dec 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great followup in an amazing series.
I´m starting to like that there is no real love couple, its actually refreshing to read something that isn´t mainly focused on romantic love.
Liz Overberg
A lot happens in this book; it's refreshingly full of action and plot, for a second book in a series.

There are a few new settings, including a mysterious estate for condemned prisoners, which offered (for me) the most interesting chapters.

Heavy on politics and light on romance, and pretty long at 400+ pages, this sequel may not hold the interest of as many readers as the first book did.

Things also get a bit more gruesome. There are several graphic deaths and some fairly disturbing crimes are
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Tubby & Coo's Get...: March 2018 Not-So-YA Book Club: Tarnished City 1 13 Mar 05, 2018 09:58AM  

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Vic lives in London’s Notting Hill, but her life is more action-adventure than rom-com.

She studied History and English at Merton College, Oxford where Tolkien was once professor. Relocating to Rome, she completed her doctorate in the Vatican Secret Archives (they’re nothing like The Da Vinci Code), then spent five years living in Tokyo where she learned Japanese and worked as a journalist. She now

Other books in the series

Dark Gifts (3 books)
  • Gilded Cage (Dark Gifts, #1)
  • Bright Ruin (Dark Gifts #3)

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