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City of Betrayal

(City of Spires #2)

4.35  ·  Rating details ·  139 ratings  ·  38 reviews
The whole city is searching for Hasryan—some for revenge and justice, others to save their friends. Yet no one knows where to find him except Lord Arathiel Brasten, who vanished 130 years ago only to magically return.

Lord Diel Dathirii’s struggle to free his city from the neighbouring imperialistic enclave is far from over. Enemies gather around him, and without allies in
Paperback, 528 pages
Published October 22nd 2017 by The Kraken Collective
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Average rating 4.35  · 
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 ·  139 ratings  ·  38 reviews

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Claudie Arseneault
May 27, 2017 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Can't wait to share the second installment of my City of Spires trilogy with everyone <3 ...more
RoAnna Sylver
Jun 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviews, gems
“We’ll find another way, won’t we?”
Garith’s mouth twisted in a grimace. “There’s always one,” he said, “but if I learned one thing yesterday, it’s to ask, ‘at what cost?’ before I dive.”
Yultes hadn’t expected anything so pessimistic from Garith, and his gaze slid to the half-empty bottle. A rough night for everyone involved. “If I learned one thing from your uncle, Garith, it’s that we have to dive anyway.”

* * *

...Can a review just be a very long, extended scream of joy and pain? Because, that
Sinead Anja (Huntress of Diverse Books)
Check out my book blog for more book reviews and other bookish posts!

This is a review of the second book of a series but there aren’t any spoilers in it!

I was so hyped about City of Betrayal, because I loved the first book, City of Strife, so much and I couldn’t wait for the sequel. I was lucky enough to receive an ARC and I decided to wait a bit to read it, so that I could enjoy it. After a few days, I couldn’t resist the temptation. I opened the book and was sucked into the story.

This book is
Kara Babcock
Yes, hello, hi, someone asked nicely on Twitter and got an eARC of City of Betrayal and that someone was me, but then I went and didn’t read it until near the publication date anyway because … busy … and not wanting to sit on my review, but also wanting to hype it up closer to publication. So, although this is an honest review, it most certainly is biased, because I liked City of Strife and I liked this one even more. Claudie Arseneault successfully dodges the dreaded “middle book syndrome” of t ...more
Jul 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, lgbtqiap, magical
I had the opportunity to read the two first books in the Isandor / City of Spires series by Claudie Arsenault. I will mostly mix my opinions of both the books, since they were both quite similar in build-up and characters and things like that. So this is a double-review! There will be no spoilers!


It took me a while to really get into the first book. This book features a lot of perspectives and for me, that was quite hard. In the first part of the book you get constantly introduced to new people
Chasia Lloyd
Apr 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Fans of City of Strife will enjoy returning to this series! In this super queer political fantasy, Claudie Arseneault covers a LOT of important topics like abuse, consent, intersectionality, and chosen family. Add in lots of sassy humor and quiet moments where characters just live their lives, City of Betrayal is very memorable.

Also I was super happy to see a glossary of characters at the back. ;_; City of Spires has a huuuuuuuuuge cast, so it was helpful to have a resource to double check my me
Feb 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this second book in the trilogy, much more than I expected. The author was able to focus on developing the characters, rather than the world, and the plot benefited from that attention. Worth reading! 4 stars
Sarah (CoolCurryBooks)
City of Betrayal is the sequel to City of Strife, a second-world political fantasy with an all queer cast. I recommend reading the series in order, as City of Betrayal picks up directly where the first book left off. Also, I’m not going to be able to avoid spoilers for the first book in this review, so if you haven’t read it, maybe mosey on over to my review of City of Strife.

All that out of the way? Yes? Okay, let there be spoilers…

Lord Diel’s still carrying out his quest to defeat Myrian influ
Feb 24, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Many of the same issues I had with the first, carried through to the second. Jarring slang, awkward phrasing, slow pace. However, once again, if you are looking for queer rep, this is the book for you. Special mention for not just showcasing one type of gender diversity, but many types and many different pronouns. Some of these characters are only in one scene, but it is representation not normally present even in queer literature. I appreciate the diversity and I think Arseneault made an effort ...more
This world! This is LGBTQIAP* fantasy with lots of magic, intrigue, banter, elves, and characters to fall head-over-heels for. I love how much value the characters place on their friendships and how well-developed each friendship is.

*I'm not using this as a synonym for gay. There is lesbian, bi, trans, queer, intersex, ace, aro, and pansexual rep. Yay!
Isaac Jones
Maybe I should've reread the first book before I read this. There were a few plot points and events I'd forgotten about.

-4.5 stars.
-Incredible development for the characters. Especially Yultes.
-Nevian's relationship with Efua was adorable.
-Vellien is adorable.
-Hellion can choke.
-Plot progression is good, and fairly unpredictable.
-Some scenes were really intense and some were really harrowing.
-Interesting development to the magic system.
-Kind of a difficult read. The first book makes you fall in
May 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
City of Betrayal was just as great as City of Strife, the first instalment in a fantasy series that masterfully combines a tale of city life, with its politics, merchants, and assassins, with the danger of an evil outer force, namely, an evil sorcerer who’s settled outside of Isandor within a hostile enclave of a foreign empire.

The characters we met in the first book continue to tell us the story through their different point of views and I was happy to be back with them. I like so many of them
Thank you to the author for sending me an eARC, enabling me to spend more time with characters I love without a painful wait until October.

I loved this installment. While events are definitely escalating to a finale, there were also lots of small character and relationship building moments deftly woven throughout. The complex variety of relationships between characters, both individually and in groups, is so gratifying to see when so many books focus on romantic relationships to the detriment o
Ian  Cann
Mar 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another superb fantasy thrill ride in the City of Spires trilogy, the characters all as relatable and knowable as they were last time out and the plot is well done and moves apace as the book develops. My only slight complaint is that I would liked to have seen more of Isandor itself, which didn't seem to exist too much outside the main settings - a small quibble mark you.

Again, the highlight is the gold standard queer rep - gay, lesbian, bi, trans, ace, enby - it's all here and done to a tee. C
Estance Moriarty
Aug 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was so epically amazing. I can't wait for the 3rd book.
This is so great. Just so so great.
Nicole Field
Apr 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Oh wow, I can definitely see why the author has decided to cut the final book of the trilogy into two books, and can I just say here how happy I am about that?? We will get to spend so much more time with these characters in this world!

This book was, if possible, even more amazing than the first. Having all the characters established, we now get to delve further into the relationships between them, and into their backstories, at the same time as the plot intensifies. This lead to an incredibly
This review also appears on my blog alexreadboooks

After Lord Arathiel Brasten rescued the assassin Hasryan from his execution, the entire city of Isandor is in turmoil. And even though it might mean his family’s certain doom, Lord Diel Dathirii releases Arathiel temporarily so he can help Diel’s niece Branwen in a desperate attempt to free the priest Varden from being tortured at the Myrian enclave.

Gooooood this book! I couldn’t wait to pick up the second part of the series as soon as I
Jan 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Originally posted here: Culmination Heaven

I finished the first book in the series and immediately needed the second one (read the first book's review here). I loved the first book and the second book didn't disappoint. It did a great job of continuing the story without being confusing or overly dependent. The characterization took a step up form the first book in my opinion, all of the characters seemed more real and developed further than the first book.

This book, again, wasn't a particularly h
This was better in some ways than the first book, in that the female characters had more page time, and in the overall plot moving forward.

I still dislike Larryn. Just when he was redeeming himself a little bit, he (view spoiler)
Logan Romjue
Sep 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This book is the second in the series, and served to really open up the world that Arseneault is exploring. The characters and interpersonal relationships that she explores are deep and heart-felt, and explore a very wide range of types of relationships (many in the LGBTQ+ community), and identity within those relationships. I really appreciate Arseneault’s ability to write complex characters that have massive faults that they are activity questioning and working on (for example, anger issues).

Feb 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
It might sound strange but it is a mark of how good this series is that 2/3 of the way through this book I was genuinely struggling - I cared so much for these characters that seeing them in such trouble genuinely hurt.

I love the way the characters are developed throughout the course of the story, they are not static stereotypes but they learn, grow and develop and you can really understand where their thought thinking and reactions come from.

The plot is great, moves along quickly and sets every
I love this series for so many reasons! It's so lovingly queer, and it's all about chosen family and people helping each other. I really enjoyed getting to know many of the characters much better in this second book. There's also lots of action and political intrigue, resolving some of the threads from the first book and opening new conflicts. I am really thrilled by the way this story acknowledges the reality that bad things happen and people do really terrible things, and yet still overall emb ...more
Jason Vanhee
Oct 17, 2019 rated it liked it
This is a classic middle book, full of all sorts of happenings but with almost everything being a bridge from the start to the finish. It's good, and the relationships between characters are touching and sweet, but...middle book.

I love all these characters, though, except the hateable ones, which I loath, and that's ideal and exactly as it should be.
Mar 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this one even more than the first! Solid High Fantasy but with an all-queer cast and lots of discussion of relationships of all kinds, including aromantic and asexual ones. Great world building and lots of great characters. Bring on the next one!
Leader of the Pack
May 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
City of Betrayal picks up where the first book left off, and immediately makes life more difficult for its band of characters. Book 3 promises an intense fight against some very unpleasant forces. I'm looking forward to it!
Jul 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
+0.5 stars because Diel and Jaeger are wonderful! The first book was a little too widespread for my liking, but this book felt more focused/the plots interacted more, so they became easier to care about.
Riska Sleepless
Oct 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
this was so well done, holy shit, I loved it so much. this is definitely a new favourite.
Nov 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: lgbtq-lit, fantasy, na-lit
I felt like the lack of characterization and world building was more obvious in the sequel and I struggled to get past it.
May 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: adult, lgbtqa
I am so sad that this book is so charming and now I am forced to wait for third book.
Jul 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
A CHARACTER GUIDE, YAS. (It's at the end of the book, check it out)

Also I really hope my ship sails in book 3 *fingers crossed*
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Claudie Arseneault is an asexual and aromantic-spectrum writer hailing from the very-French Québec City. Her long studies in biochemistry and immunology often sneak back into her science-fiction, and her love for sprawling casts invariably turns her novels into multi-storylined wonders. The most recent, City of Strife, came out on February 22, 2017! Claudie is a founding member of The Kraken Colle ...more

Other books in the series

City of Spires (2 books)
  • City of Strife (City of Spires, #1)

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