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The Blighted City

(The Fractured Tapestry #1)

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  91 ratings  ·  56 reviews
To challenge the gods is to invite their wrath. So it is written of Lachyla, the Blighted City, in the Codex of the Ages. But who reads codices? And who really believes the tall stories of the Taleweavers?
Dagra does. If it’s a story about the gods – even a dead god – he believes every word. When his sellsword team is offered a contract to cross the Deadlands and find a
Kindle Edition, 394 pages
Published (first published January 15th 2018)
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Average rating 4.10  · 
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 ·  91 ratings  ·  56 reviews

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Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Sep 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Every once in a while, I like to read a fantasy, and The Blighted City came highly recommended. I’m happy to say it was good, and I was hooked from the start!

The first in a series, The Blighted City is grimdark and takes on the “undead,” but it was so much more than what you think of as a zombie book. I find fantasies hard to describe at times because the creativity it takes to build a world is beyond the straightforward writing of which I’m capable. Just know that you will easily be taken to an
Jennifer (bunnyreads)
Feb 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book made it to the semi-finals in this years SPFBO and with good reason. It had to be one of the more interesting takes on the undead that I have read in awhile.

A quest to acquire a treasure goes to hell when the Freeblades- Oriken, Dagra, and Jalis enter the Blighted City of Lachyla to retrieve an heirloom.

What seemed like was going to be a pretty standard story- item retrieval in a creepy city that for a very good reason, no one goes to anymore, surprised me by becoming something deeper
Nick Borrelli
Aug 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Click here for my full review:

Ever since Author Mark Lawrence began his Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off contest in 2015, I have been reading some absolute gems in the Fantasy genre that may not have ever gotten the notoriety they richly deserve had it not been for SPFBO. I have gone off in the past with regard to how wonderful this development has been for Fantasy and also the book industry in general. So many of the books entered in this year's SPFB
Rebekah Teller
Nov 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Blighted City checks a lot of boxes for me. The action scenes are vivid and fast-paced. The characters are varied and detailed, the settings rich and immersive. There's a real sense of foreboding from the outset of the story, and the author delivers on giving the reader a horrifying adventure.

The plot takes awhile to get going, though not to the detriment of the reading experience. If the pace seems slow to you in the beginning, my advice is to keep reading. We follow three groups: 1) three
C.T. Phipps
Jul 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, grimdark

BLIGHTED CITY is a fantasy which involves a juxtaposition of two things which you normally don't see much of: a biohazard horror setting and a fantasy world. Basically, it's a series which could best be described as THE LAST OF US, THE SHADOWS OF INNSMOUTH, meets your typical DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS dragon crawl. Even then, it's not a very good description and you could draw parallels to many other works.

The premise is a group of mercenaries (called "Freeblades") are hired by a woman to retrieve
Cameron Johnston
Sep 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book has many of the things that I love in fantasy: adventuring parties, exploration of ruins and crypts, and weird magic and monsters. What's not to love about a group of mercenaries hired to delve into a forgotten city (marked with a skull on the map) and discovering that some dark legends are true? The description and feel of the city is dark and foreboding and I really appreciated that it wasn't an outright hack and slash novel, but instead focuses on exploration, characters, and their ...more
Jul 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I cannot overstate how much I enjoyed this novel. It is an absolutely stunning read and not to be missed by lovers of epic fantasy. I will be shocked if this doesn't gain recognition as a classic in the genre.

The world was vividly brought to life by the author - and it's a very interesting place to be! The characters are three-dimensional, each having strengths and weaknesses. The scenery - geography, architecture, and culture - are all fleshed out enough that the language and setting are clear
Short Version: If you're looking for a D&D style adventure with a bit of a creepy vibe/forbidden city feeling, this is the book for you. For more details, read on.

The Blighted City is part of the The Fractured Tapestry series. There's a title prior to The Blighted City called The Night of the Taking, but that appears to be a short story. There were several parts in The Blighted City where it felt like it was playing off some prior history or story, especially surrounding the half human-half jotu
Allan Batchelder
Dec 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing

This is a very enjoyable read with surprising depth. The premise, on its surface, is one we're all familiar with -- adventuring/mercenary party is hired to travel to ruins (or, in this case, a cursed city) to retrieve an item. But Kaelen makes so much more out of the scenario than that. His story touches on questions of faith, love, aging, immortality, loyalty, and more. It is, ultimately, a rather profound novel and more than a little melancholy. But don't let that stop you from reading.
Jun 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
RTC. Slice of life.
Feb 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Find this review at Forever Lost in Literature!

The Blighted City is an ambitious dark fantasy that mixes a variety of different fantastic elements to create a unique and engaging story. It's also yet another fantastic self-published fantasy that also made it to the semi-finals of Mark Lawrence's SPFBO4, a well-earned spot.

The Blighted City has a few different storylines to follow over the course of the book, all of which I found equally interesting. The story starts out with a bit of a semi-trad
Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)
3.5 Stars
The beginning of this novel read like a classic dungeon crawler and I absolutely loved it.

The atmosphere surrounding the undead city was fantastic. I adored reading the descriptions of death and decay, which were wonderfully eerie. While definitely fantasy, not horror, those creepier elements played into my love for darker fiction. There was a wonderful sense of unease as the characters ventured into the mythic, godless lands surrounding the Blighted City.

As a D&D player, I always love
Lee Conley
Jan 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: to-review, spfbo-18
The Blighted City
Scott Kaelen

The Blighted city, is an intriguing adventure tale, it has fast paced action scenes, unfolding love stories, a sad reflection on life and death, well written undead it ticked a lot of boxes for me.
Another of my top SPFBO picks here, I particularly like this one as several of the themes are similar to my own books, notably it is a fantasy with (I hate the word) zombies. So straight away I was intrigued and had also heard some good things so I couldn’t not give it a
Calvin Park
Aug 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spfbo-2018
The Blighted City by Scott Kaelen has a lot to love. This is a dark quest fantasy with a deep, engaging setting and an engaging plot that connects to that setting and the history of it in convincing ways. Kaelen has given us a world that I hope he continues to explore and honors us with the opportunity to read more and more stories in this setting.

Kaelen begins his tome with what appears to be a standard fetch quest. A team of mercenaries/treasure hunters/swords for hire are contracted to retri
Susan Hampson
Sep 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: author-reads
What a pearl this story is! I absolutely fell in love with the new language that this author uses in his book. It just made it so much more authentic. The Taleweavers are storytellers, the Sellswords of course a sort of mercenary paid to do a particular dangerous job where they could face some sort of enemy and have to fight. The book is full of such words, the thing is you know straightaway what they are.
Three Sellswords are hired to travel through the Deadlands to the Blighted City and retriev
The Scribblings
Jul 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle
An elderly woman hires a group of mercenaries to retrieve a family heirloom for her. But to earn their reward they have to travel to a city abandoned centuries ago and find the grave it was buried in.

The Blighted City is ostensibly a fantasy novel and it certainly has all the requisite trappings. But there are also a number of other aspects to it. There are elements of a bio-hazard suspense novel, the dangers of narrow thinking & knee-jerk reactions, how different people perceive religion and a
The Nerd Book Review
This was a book the author reached out to me and asked if I would like to receive an ARC a few months ago. I finally got around to it and was rewarded with a great read.
4.5 stars for me but closer to the 5* than the 4*. There is a typical journey that’s a little slow but does contain some action so it wasn’t too bad.
The basic premise is our main characters are members of a guild of mercenary/guardsmen type people who will do protection jobs and retrieval, basically whatever is needed since the
Tom Lloyd
A fun fantasy romp of swordsmen (and women), the undead and a little light grave-robbing, all told with real heart. There were missteps along the way, but it kept my attention as the pages went by (not so easy a thing for me these days) and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The background idea of the city was a good one that was properly developed too, not some half-baked explanation but a rounded and thoughtful approach to it all including the implications for those caught up in events. While the story ...more
Bookwyrm Speaks
Nov 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is one of those books I had recommended to me by friends, and had in my To Be Read pile for a while. It just got lost in the shuffle of a lot of books hitting me at the same time for review. When the audiobook came out, I was offered a copy to review and decided now was a good time to see if the recommends panned out. I'm happy to say they were. In a crowded marketplace of fetch quests and chosen one narratives, this one takes some of those tropes and turns them right on their head, leading ...more
Martin Owton
Aug 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Solidy constructed, well-characterised and enjoyable fantasy adventure that harks back to the classic sword and sorcery tales of Lieber and Wagner. I particularly like that the stakes are not "the kingdom/empire/world as we know it" needing saving from the Dark Lord/Evil mage/Emperor of the Night. The antagonists are also given real motives and developed as people. If the central characters fail in their quest then their lives are on the line, but the world keeps turning. What stops it being 5 s ...more
Ollie Bowdoin
Jan 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Review to come soon. Audiobook was soooooo good. I dont know this book isn't more well known, as it's an all around Amazing book. ...more
Mar 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Scott Kaelen's The Blighted City is a tale of fantastic adventure full of ancient ruins, strange monsters, horror and intrigue. It's like a classic tabletop module in literary form -- the heroes meet up in a bar and are set upon a dangerous quest that becomes more and more complicated as they go. It's an exciting read, and I highly recommend it.

The take on the undead menace is clever, the characterization is all really lifelike, the world is intriguingly detailed with all sorts of interesting ti
Jan 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
What started as a pretty straight forward adventure story took a crazy turn and became a extremely wild ride.

It started with a fairly simple premise. A client wanted a burial stone retrieved from the city of Lachyla. The city is beyond the death head symbol on current maps and no one has traveled there in quite some time. This leaves the mystery of what will be encountered along the way pretty open. A team of Freeblades, Jalis, Oriken and Dagra accept the job and the adventure begins. Along the
Sharon Lash
Jan 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Judy Ferrell
May 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
The dead can live.

This book starts slow. Hang on! It gets better. It's action packed with all the fighting you could ever wish for. And you get a mystery besides. Scott Kaelen has given us a world where the impossible is very much possible and often likely.
A.M. Justice
Nov 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spfbo
4.5 stars

Blighted City begins with a quest and ends with a beautiful contemplation of filial love, loyalty, duty, and grief in a story that blazes a trail out of standard epic fantasy into a really fresh, original science fantasy narrative. We begin with an old woman who hires some mercenaries to retrieve a family heirloom from a tomb. Journeymen swordsmen and lifelong friends Dagra and Oriken follow Jalis, their blademistress, into the wilds, where they encounter hostile monsters and challengin
David Oliver
Jul 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thoroughly entertaining undead fantasy.

First off, my thanks to Scott for providing me his book for a non-biased review.

The Blighted City is an entertaining mix of fantasy with a great cast of characters. From a tavernmaster half giant to a dual wielding blade mistress who takes no nonsense and a man who, to paraphrase Korg, has a pretty special and intimate relationship with his hat.

The novel is a stand alone book, yet manages to fit in substantial wold building without massive info dumps. Esse
Jun 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Blighted City is a tale about a mercenary trio. They are given the task of finding and retriving a family heirloom from a crypt. They decided to brave the blighted city, a place called Lachyla which has a reputation thatkeeps most people away. Will they be successful on their quest? Read this great story to find out.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author via Voracious Readers Only
Marco Tosolini
May 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Full disclosure I got the novel through the TBRindR thing which means I got it for free which does little to change my thoughts on it (even though as you saw in the rating already I really liked it)
The Blighted City is a novel that I feel is less about the characters and more about the bonds between them or the groups they form and how the past and current situation can affect that and yes I know that sounds cheesy but please hear me out!
When starting this book I took it for an simple adventure
This book has an interesting premise, many enjoyable characters, and some technical and logical problems that prevent it from being excellent.

The basic concept is pure pulp fantasy - group of sell-swords are hired to enter a forbidding, abandoned place to retrieve lost treasures. Where it starts to get interesting is when they arrive, and learn just what "abandoned" means in this context.

Where the book shines is in its interactions between the main characters. Mainly between the three freeblades
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Epic fantasy author. Scott's published works include The Blighted City (SPFBO semi-finalist and IAA finalist) and The Nameless And The Fallen. His interests include etymology, prehistoric Earth, the universe, science fiction, fantasy and horror. His favourite shows include Stargate, Star Trek and Red Dwarf. ...more

Other books in the series

The Fractured Tapestry (2 books)
  • The Nameless And The Fallen (The Fractured Tapestry #2)

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