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Diamond City

(The City of Steel and Diamond #1)

3.59  ·  Rating details ·  721 ratings  ·  305 reviews
Good things don't happen to girls who come from nothing...unless they risk everything.

Fierce and ambitious, Aina Solís as sharp as her blade and as mysterious as the blood magic she protects. After the murder of her parents, Aina takes a job as an assassin to survive and finds a new family in those like her: the unwanted and forgotten.

Her boss is brutal and cold, with a qu
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published January 28th 2020 by Wednesday Books
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Average rating 3.59  · 
Rating details
 ·  721 ratings  ·  305 reviews

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Start your review of Diamond City (The City of Diamond and Steel, #1)
Chelsea Humphrey
May 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Chelsea by: St. Martin's Press
"Good things don't happen to girls who come from nothing... unless they risk everything."

Diamond City is a multifaceted YA fantasy that blends the aspects of many different types of magic systems into one plot, and while I've seen this as being a turnoff for some readers, I found it to work beautifully. Flores has given us a world filled with blood/elemental magic, a steampunk setting, and political unrest to breed a luscious, atmospheric tale of bloodshed and, ultimately, revenge. While I'm not
Jan 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs-read
Orphaned as a child, Aina Solis spent her early years living on the streets. She had no where to go and for years, no one to help guide, or protect her.

As you can imagine, her life wasn't easy. She was frequently afraid, hungry, hopeless, and even battled a drug addiction.

As Aina slid precariously towards rock bottom, a boy named Kohl Patel swooped in and offered her a way out; a new life.

Essentially a crime lord, Kohl trained Aina to be an assassin. Overtime, she becomes known as one of his sh
Amélie Zhao
Sep 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“Why did you help me?” she asked, trying to keep her voice from shaking.
His smile faded slightly. “Because good things don’t usually happen to girls who come from nothing.”
Aina cast her eyes downward. She was already well-aware of that.
He withdrew a dagger from a sheath inside his jacket and held it out to her. It was the sleekest blade she’d ever seen, with an onyx-black handle. She reached out to touch the handle with the tips of her fingers.
“Learn how to use this knife and I’ll make you into
alana ♡
Jan 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
"My sky and yours are not the same. Let me touch my sky."

This right here was a bloody good time! And when I say bloody I mean it because there was so much murder. Initially, I won't lie, the first thing that drew me into this book was the cover but then I read the synopsis and was so on board I couldn't wait to dive into this. Now that I'm done, I am DYING for the next book. Seriously, send help. The author does a fantastic job of immediately throwing you into the story full speed ahead and
Jan 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
This fantasy is one bloody one. Aina becomes an assassin to survive, and she's really good at it. Her fights are movie-ready (I could totally picture myself watching this book as a movie), full of action and bloody.

I love magic stories and this one is really good. It also shows another perspective on blood magic: none of the main characters can do magic, but their lives are still tainted by it.

Book 2 will be AWESOME, I'm so sure of it, since book 1 ends with a lot of promises (not a spoiler).

Sarah Swann
Jan 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
WOW! Don’t sleep on this one, it was fantastic! It’s full of action, political intrigue, religious issues, addiction, blood magic, WOLF SIZED SPIDERS! I loved every minute of it. The characters are great and so flawed and lovable at the same time. I absolutely loved this one!

*Huge thanks to the publisher for sending me an early copy to read and review!
Sep 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Listen here friends. I just started a new job and I work 55+ hours a week. So it took me 20 days to read Francesca's book. But let me tell you something, it was in my head every. single. day. regardless of whether or not I got the chance to read it. Aina is a heroine who knifes her way into your heart and stays there. You feel her struggle and pain with every line. You root for her, you cry for her, you scream for her. She is scarred and beautiful and real in every way. Her fear of spiders and t ...more
Katie Gallagher
Jan 27, 2020 rated it did not like it
For more fun bookish stuff, check out my blog!

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for sending me a free advanced reader copy of this book for an honest review. Diamond City debuted January 28th.

I requested an ARC for Diamond City because I’m a Sarah J. Maas fan, and (flawed though it may be) I think the conflicted lady assassin trope is pretty fun. The first chapter or two of Diamond City started in an okay spot, but it unfortunately went swiftly downhill from there. Where Maas was abl
Feb 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Diamond City by Francesca Flores is the first book in a new young adult fantasy duology series, City of Steel and Diamond. The world within Diamond City is one that is ruled by tyrants and full of dark magic with plenty of action.

Aina Solís was orphaned when she was young and became a servant of the man who rescued her turning Aina into one of his assassins as she grew older. Aina however has no plans to serve her boss forever and has taken to doing her own illegal trade on the side to one day f
The Nerd Daily
Jan 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Vinny MS

Featuring the journey of a fierce heroine in the magical yet vicious world of Kosín, Francesca Flores’ fantasy debut novel, Diamond City, is going to blow your mind with its action-packed story, fast-paced plot, and scene-stealing characters. Being the first book in a series, Diamond City follows the story of Aina Solís and her dangerous quests as an assassin along with some unlikely allies that she never expected to have. Confused betwe
h o l l i s
Dec 06, 2019 marked it as did-not-finish
Shelves: arc, ebook
DNF at 19%

Yet another "best assassin evah" character who, just in general, feels both unlikely and unlikeable and I wasn't buying what she was trying to sell. A (sorry, I know not everything should be compared to it, buuuut..) SIX OF CROWS-esque gang of criminals and spies and killers. A world that has a religion, and magic, where both seem to be illegal, with also a shitton of diamonds floating around but also they are being sold on the black market, and yet I had no sense of the why or how or
Patty (IheartYA311)
This was a multifaceted, well-written, action packed ride. I thought it was going to be a quick and easy read, but it wasn't. Watch out for those twists and turns! I felt major Ace of Shades vibes (which I loved.) I enjoyed the character development, but sometimes the story was so detailed that it bogged down the pace a tad. I wasn't fond of the timeline transitions as a few were abrupt. I really liked the smart, sassy, and strong-willed main character. I'm curious as to what (if anything) will ...more
Hang on tight for this one, from start to finish it is non-stop tension, action and fabulous character interaction! Even more of an attention-getter is that the heroine is not your typical good girl! Aina is a master thief and assassin, raised on the streets after her parents’ murder in a city that is as terrifying as it is fascinating.

Taken in by the cold-hearted leader of a gang of young thugs, Aina strives to be the best at what she does, sadly, all for the praise and acceptance of someone wh
DNF 37%

It's been five days and I just can't engage with this book. No matter how hard I try, it's simply not doing it for me so I'm going to have to throw in the towel.

I'm having the biggest struggle with Aina. I understood when picking this up that she was a hired assassin and there would be morally grey characters, but if that's the case you have to somehow make me empathize/sympathize with these people to care what happens to them. The heroine's parents were slaughtered right in front of her
June Hur
Sep 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Finished reading this fast-paced book about a heroine I constantly found myself rooting for. I'm still on vacation so once I can collect my thoughts, will share more in detail.

Review to come!

Nov 08, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy
I hesitated to enter the goodreads giveaway for this one because it sounded awfully YA, but it wasn't labeled as such, and who am I to resist fantasy set in an industrializing city?* So enter it I did, and I won, and friends, it was awfully YA,** and it was not for me. I tried to keep that in mind and evaluate it on its own merits, but even still, I couldn't do it. It's one of those books that doesn't tell you anything once if it can tell you a dozen times instead, and even then it can't keep it ...more
Namera [The Literary Invertebrate]
ARC received in exchange for an honest review - thank you!

DNF at 52%. Well, nobody can accuse me of not trying to like this book.

The heroine, 18-year-old Aina Solis, is an assassin in the city of... somewhere. She works for Kohl (aka a blond Kaz Brekker) and is given the duty of killing a wealthy young man. Together with her friend Teo, she infiltrates his house and commits the murder - but soon discovers that she messed up. Now, Kohl and the entire city have turned on her while she desp
Jun 16, 2019 rated it did not like it
“Kill or be killed. Magic or industry. Nothing could coexist— steel and smoke never left room for nuance.”

I don’t know how to say this any other way but I will always be honest with my reviews.

This book was terrible.

Now, this is just my opinion. What is so powerful about books is that someone will fall in love with this world. But that someone was not me.

This book is one part the main character wondering if her dead parents would be proud of her even though she is an actual murderer.

Sep 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was super excited about this book and it did not disappoint!

It's entertaining, fast-paced, and action-packed with characters that are easy to root for. But what I loved the most about this book is its themes of classism and how this is incorporated quite seamlessly and effectively into the story.
Laura (crofteereader)
Jan 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars

An action-packed (seriously, there are so many cool knife and gun fight sequences, as well as elaborate breaking-and-entering scenes) debut about a girl rising above humble beginnings - first as an assassin and later as a revolutionary. By focusing so much on the action and filling in the background in bits and pieces, the plot can't help but move forward at a gallop, which kept me going even when I didn't really feel like reading. The downside of this style (and part of this may be bec
Katie Zhao
Jan 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“Learn how to use this knife and I’ll make you into something.”

Just read that line and tell me it doesn't give you chills. CHILLSSSSS.

I had the pleasure of reading an early draft of Francesca Flores' debut, DIAMOND CITY. I know it has changed quite a lot since then - but even in that very early draft, I knew I was reading something incredibly special.

DIAMOND CITY follows assassin Aina through a smoky world where one must not be afraid to get down and dirty in order to live. From writing tense, h
Sep 11, 2019 marked it as owned-to-read
ooooh my arc came

Jan 20, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020-interested
Diamond City is a action-packed YA urban fantasy following a street kid-turned assassin as she navigates the complex realities of her city and plenty of danger. While not all of this was quite my cup of tea, I'm impressed with the detailed world-building and thoughtful depiction of class inequality, religious persecution, toxic relationships, and trauma. While this was a little action-heavy for my taste and I didn't entirely love Aina as a main character, I think a lot of readers will really enj ...more
Jan 06, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebook, arc, january-2021
This was such a fun fantasy, following esteemed assassin Aina after she is given the chance of a lifetime from her boss--a big job that, if she succeeds, will give her enough money and freedom to open her own business.

I really enjoyed following Aina through this story. She is both ruthless and compassionate, and those two sides of her battle back and forth through the book as she tries to discover who she really is, and who she wants to be. Her sidekicks made up a wonderful cast of side characte
The Candid Cover (Olivia & Lori)
Full Review on The Candid Cover

Diamond City by Francesca Flores is a book I had been anticipating due to its supposed action and dark magic. The premise interested me, and I enjoyed the idea of an assassination gone wrong and some unlikely allies. Despite this, many elements of the story are quite flat, including the main character and the setting, and I was ultimately unimpressed.

This book follows Aina, an assassin working for the man who took her in after the death of her parents. She is given
Dec 27, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arcs, owned, 2020-reads
Okay, that took awhile, but at least I finished it in 2020!

Full RTC
Rebecca Whaley
Jan 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
OMG I adored it! Aina is phenomenal! I the world building is exceptional! I could literally see myself there. I couldn't ask for more! I absolutely found a new favorite! Definitely check this out! ...more
Justin Turczak
Oct 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
None stop action from start to finish and just a great world. Side characters were great especially teo. Can’t wait for book 2
CW (The Quiet Pond) ✨
Although this story has great action and an interesting main character, unfortunately Diamond City was a miss for me - and I'm sad because I really wished that I loved this.

- Follows Aina, an orphan who was adopted by a 'crime boss' and trained to become an assassin. When a failed assassination attempt puts her life in danger, she is pulled into a corrupt plot and helps her target's younger brother.
- What I liked best was the main character - Aina is an interesting heroine, and I liked that the
Erin Arkin
Jan 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2020
Review to come!
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Francesca Flores is a writer, traveler and linguist. Raised in Pittsburgh, she read every fantasy book she could get her hands on and started writing her own stories at a young age. She began writing Diamond City while working as a corporate travel manager. When she's not writing or reading, Francesca enjoys traveling, dancing ballet and jazz, practicing trapeze and contortion, and visiting parks ...more

Other books in the series

The City of Steel and Diamond (2 books)
  • Shadow City (The City of Diamond and Steel, #2)

Articles featuring this book

Hispanic Heritage Month is the perfect time to relish the latest works from beloved Hispanic and Latinx authors like Isabel Allende, Natalia...
138 likes · 98 comments
“She’d fallen for Kohl, wrapping her life around his to the point where it nearly killed her, all because he’d shown her some kindness. He’d promised her the world, he’d promised she’d never fall again—and then he’d removed the world from under feet so all she could do was fall.” 0 likes
“When love was the last thing given on Kosín’s streets, it was hard to tell the real thing from something toxic.” 0 likes
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