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City of Shards

(Spellgiver #1)

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  60 ratings  ·  45 reviews
In the Wormpile district, gangs rule the streets, unwashed urchins assail each other with minor magic, and the people boil under the sway of a monstrous god. Deep within those decaying alleyways, the boy Larin shouts his tourette-like outbursts at random, explosions that have turned him into a pariah throughout the neighborhood. And while he’s protected from the gangs by h ...more
Kindle Edition, 336 pages
Published March 30th 2018 by Steve Rodgers (first published January 26th 2018)
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Steve Rodgers Hi Alejandro, this is Steve Rodgers, author of City of Shards. My name really is Steve Rodgers (i.e. not a pen name) :-). I haven't heard of the serie…moreHi Alejandro, this is Steve Rodgers, author of City of Shards. My name really is Steve Rodgers (i.e. not a pen name) :-). I haven't heard of the series you mention, but will check it out now. (less)
Steve Rodgers Hi Emily - Agree with Swiffer, the book was really intended for adults, though it features a young-ish protagonist and I've had a couple teenagers rea…moreHi Emily - Agree with Swiffer, the book was really intended for adults, though it features a young-ish protagonist and I've had a couple teenagers read it and give me enthusiastic comments. So I think it can appeal to an older young adult (if that makes sense), but it was primarily geared for adults. The subject matter is fairly mature.

The illustrator is just my cover designer, who I wanted to give credit for beautiful artwork. But there are no pictures in the book itself.(less)

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Jen/The Tolkien Gal/ジェニファー
Drop whatever fantasy you’re reading and pick up this book right now. And I know this is a long review, but hear me out. This is one of the best epic fantasy series in existence.

Image result for hear me out gif

I know, I know. Crazy statement to make. But sit back, relax and get some popcorn and read what I have to say about this amazing book, because Steve Rodgers needs all the support for his book that he can get. This book is breathtakingly awesome.

The Plot
“Would we have still succumbed to the Darkness Emja’s cloisters adher
Montzalee Wittmann
Mar 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
City of Shards (Spellgiver Book 1) by Steve Rodgers is a book I requested from NetGalley and the review is voluntary. This is such an epic saga about an orphan boy, his life, society and their strange religions, and who and what the purpose of this kid's life is to be. Characters are so incredibly interesting, the fantasy hooked me right away, and the world building is crazy good! ...more
+Digital arc gently provided by Netgalley and publishers in exchange for an honest review+

“Fate and free will are no enemies. They are two halves of the same circle.”
“And if I choose to resist fate?”
“You will choose, of your own free will, to follow your fate. Man’s free will becomes his destiny.”

What happen when you are the chosen one , the one intended to bring the end of the world?

Larin is an orphan who lives with his uncle, an old warrior gone down, in a city populated by gangs of th
Jul 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Note: This book is part of the SPFBO 4 competition, and its score has been graded on a different set of rules than the usual. This score might change over time as our team discusses which selections will move on to future rounds.

Steve Rodgers’ City of Shards, book one in the “Spellgiver” series, is a rewarding read. On the surface, the book is a coming-of-age tale that centers on a chosen slum-dwelling orphan trying to survive in a harsh city controlled by a creeping religious sect and a gang of
Aug 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Actual rating: 4.25/5

Kinech Aklad Vahrusen! *

Larin has a problem. Call it a magical Tourette syndrome - he reacts to stress with uncontrollable, three-word outbursts. Being a laughingstock is no fun, but things get worse. It turns out the words he repeats every time can unleash Haraf, Lord of Demons, who’s been imprisoned by Six-Legged Gods. Larin will have to play, unwillingly, an important role in this conflict.

Raised in a four-block area of a slum (known as a Wormpile) by his junkie, warri
Kal ★ Reader Voracious
Apr 14, 2018 marked it as dnf
Shelves: e-arc
ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

City of Shards is a fantasy book that I wanted to love: a new world, misunderstood magic, and mysterious pasts. I am in the minority, but I could not get into this book. I spent about 3 weeks struggling with the book to get to 25% but just did not ever become engaged. I cannot pinpoint a reason for this: the writing is good and the premise is interesting, but I never connected with the story.

Larin is an orphan that lives with his dr
Jun 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was given an ARC by Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

We are introduced to Larin a young boy living in the worst part of town with his uncle who has a severe drug addiction but yet manages to be one the most awesome fighters the world has ever seen. Larin suffers violent outburst in which he yells the same three words and this seems to be a great source of entertainment for the neighborhood's thugs and bullies.  Larin has few friends and spends most his time reading
I received an ARC copy of this book from NetGalley

I saw this book on NetGalley and decided at first to skip it because I'm just so picky about high fantasy. Skip to a few weeks later and it was recommended to me by a friend who was absolutely raving about it! It's amazing! Six stars! So I figured I might as well give it a shot. Apparently I'm very much in the minority here, but I just could not get into it.

There's nothing technically *wrong* with this book and I wish I could give it 3 stars beca
Mar 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing

Publishing Date: March 2018

Publisher: JKS


Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 4.8/5

Publisher’s Description: The Wormpile district is the official canker on the capital’s bottom, a place where the people boil under the sway of a monstrous god. There, 16-year old Larin suffers from a magical outbursts, shouting nonsense words into decaying alleyways. Protected from the gangs by his drug-addicted warrior uncle Akul, Larin’s only friends are an outcast thie
Mar 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is an intricate dark fantasy that's really hard to put down. The book beautifully develops the world while blending in action to keep the plot moving. It's a very elegantly written fantasy, and the end will leave you begging for the next book! ...more
Ashleigh Gauch
Apr 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
City of Shards is the debut novel in Steve Rodgers’ Spellgiver series, an epic fantasy with strong sword and sorcery overtones. I’d initially tried to get the review out for release day on the 30th, as the author was kind enough to provide me a review copy, but unexpected guests delayed my ability to finish it.

And boy was I upset about the delay!

The book opens with the story of Larin, a young orphan boy taken in by his uncle Akul, who resides in the temple of Emja, the supreme human god. When he
Angela Boord
Oct 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: indie, fantasy
City of Shards reminded me a little of 80's/90's fantasy. There's a lot of world-building in this novel, so if you're a fan of fantasy that includes big nasty cities, odd creatures, alien cultures, vengeful gods, evil villians, big magic, and wizard battles, you'll probably like this book.

I picked it up because I was interested in the main character, Larin. In the blurb for the book, he's described as having a kind of "magical Tourette's Syndrome" that causes him to shout a particular phrase fo
Aug 17, 2018 rated it it was ok
tl;dr: This book would make a really great 1/3 of an epic fantasy book, but not of an epic fantasy trilogy.

At first I was really impressed at the technical quality of the writing and how deep and compelling the worldbuilding appeared to be. I was sucked almost immediately into the story and into the life of Larin, a street urchin living in a ghetto, but with an obvious sense of destiny about him. I was at the edge of my seat, expecting shit to go down at any moment. But the more of the story I
Books Forward
Apr 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Welcome to Spellgiver, the divided world where power rises from the moon’s phases and the language of magic is assembled from the ruins of a long-dead race.

Reminiscent of the work of Brent Weeks, Steve Rodger’s debut novel creates a fascinating world where the power structures of Seridor, Tanbar, and the Northlands live in fear and ignorance of each other. Like all the best fantasy novels, “City of Shards” challenges worldviews by presenting them in a new universe and touching on themes of soci
Marissa DeCuir
Apr 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I just couldn't put down this dark epic fantasy! Perfect for anyone who enjoys the classic elements of high fantasy but also enjoys the grittier sociopolitical complexity of low fantasy. ...more
Mar 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A fascinating debut fantasy book. Fans of Lord of the Rings and of Greek mythology will find something to love.
Mar 01, 2018 added it
Shelves: fantasy
A battle looms between the Gods and their human and indigen proxies. At the same time competing currents within both camps threaten their internal unity. Larin, a young man full of undisciplined, unmediated magic may be the only hope for either side. It's all very dramatic stuff, the characterisation and plotting is excellent, and the world-building blends familiar fantasy tropes with aspects recalling elements as disparate as Rice Burroughs' Barsoom and the Aztec Empire.

It's great stuff, and it
Mar 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An enthralling read by turns suspenseful, moving, and thought provoking. I would liken this book to China Mieville meets Gene Wolfe. A richly imagined secondary world fantasy where different sorts who worship different gods are not getting along well at all, a world imbued with magic through the orb that rules the night sky, Spellgiver. It’s a messed up world and these characters have some serious issues, but they could be people I know. Among this menagerie, differently-abled street urchin Lari ...more
Carlisa Cramer
Feb 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-ive-edited
A really well-written and -developed fantasy novel!
Chukwudi O.
Jul 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Welcome to the City of Shards. Three tools you need to embark on a journey into this book: An intensely curious mind, well-honed attention to detail, and an actively functioning imagination.
Steve Rodgers’ world takes you into a world of magic, sorcery, wizardry and spell-binding. However, what you experience is much more than that. So if you think you are only going to experience magic within the pages of the book, then you are in for a howler. Much like the popular meme - do not take alcohol if
Payal Sinha
May 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
City of Shards is a spellbinding novel centered around an orphan boy Larin. Larin lives with his uncle Akul inside a temple premises a lonely and cursed life. Since early childhood he had these intense outbursts that left him tired and bewildered. Hence, the only hope according to his uncle is to keep him hidden. To combat the loneliness Larin takes to reading forbidden books from the temple's library. There he comes across words that fuel his anger and his outbursts. Larin further comes to know ...more
Perry Morris
Jun 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is an amazing fantasy epic. I fully endorse it. Steve Rodgers has created a complex and intriguing world with original creatures that are unique and really fire the imagination. I love the way the indigen race have eight pods on the front and back and they can...
Lindsey Roberts
Apr 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Original Review Here

I was delighted to be approved for an ARC for City of Shards: it sounded my type of book and I had seen positive reviews already.

It was exactly my kind of book; fantasy; magic; gods waging war and the main character being the underdog in over his head.

Larin is cursed with shouting a phrase – one he ultimately understands makes him a servant of a Demon. His life is lonely and isolated, ruled by fear – his uncle offers protection, but a crime-lord rules his district and no one
Nov 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: spfbo
Review to come for SPFBO 4
Mark Barsotti
Jan 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
As a ravenous reader since childhood, I've read and enjoyed more epic fantasy than your average Joe (admittedly, that's not saying much), but it's not a genre I particularly seek out. The tropes/archetypes give me pause - an innocent seeker on a journey/quest to personal enlightenment and great power, enough to remake a Kingdom/World; imperiled friends & love interests; villains so loathsome they're be shunned in the Third Reich; and so on.

Rare writers (the molasses-paced Mr. Martin springs to m
May 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
ARC provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

City of Shards is basically a coming-of-age novel about a strange boy named Larin, who has been having weird outbursts followed by the chanting of three foreign words ever since he was 10. He was adopted by his uncle, Akul, who did everything to keep this strange habit of Larin out of other people's sight, confining her nephew in a four-blocks part of a garbage city called Wormpile. Soon it turns out that he is the servant of a demon God
Jul 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I finished the book in one sitting. I think that's pretty damn important since I only got up once for chocolate cake.

You may know my niece as Jen The Tolkien Gal who often writes snarky and aggressive reviews for poor books, and worships those she loved. I have no clue about where the bugger she got that from.

My precocious and honestly too gregarious niece nagged me for about a week to read City of Shards. I gave in after the fifteenth email, chocolate cake in one hand and surrender in the other
Paige Green
Aug 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for free. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Rating: 3/5

Publication Date: March 30, 2018

Genre: Fantasy

Recommended Age: 15+ (violence, gore, some mature themes)

Pages: 268

Author Website

Amazon Link

Synopsis: In the gang-ridden Wormpile District, 16-year-old Larin shouts nonsense words into the decaying alleyways, a magical tourette’s syndrome that has brought him grief from every neighborhood thug. Protected from the worst beatings by his drug-addicted warrior
Jack Keener
Mar 29, 2018 rated it liked it
I read the first three chapters as part of a teaser. It was very well done fantasy even if a never really understood what the Wormpile even was. It intrigued me to know the boy's curse and to know more about the world he lived in. ...more
Seregil of Rhiminee
Jul 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Originally published at Risingshadow.

Steve Rodgers' City of Shards is the first novel in the Spellgiver series of independently published high fantasy novels. It's a refreshingly different kind of a fantasy novel that has plenty of magic and intriguing gods to satisfy the needs of readers who are looking for a captivating and magical story. I was positively surprised by this novel, because it's entertaining and has been written out of love for storytelling. When I began to read it, I had no idea
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