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The Immortal City

(The Sacred Dark #2)

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  54 ratings  ·  21 reviews
Sometimes you just have to jump.

The second book in The Sacred Dark series, a lush fantasy romance by acclaimed author May Peterson.

I don’t remember you…

Reborn as an immortal with miraculous healing powers, Ari remembers nothing of his past life. His entire world now consists of the cold mountainside city of Serenity. Ruled with an iron fist. Violent.


I may never reme
Published August 3rd 2020 by Carina Press
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Average rating 3.80  · 
Rating details
 ·  54 ratings  ·  21 reviews

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K.J. Charles
An epic fantasy romance with a setting so well developed it feels as strong as the characters. The author writes the world and magic of this series with incredible confidence and depth--there's never a sense that what's on the page is all there is; we just know there's massive amounts of untold history and theology and past spooling out, unsaid. (Which is a very good thing. My least favourite thing is a fantasy world where the author make you read endless self-indulgent silmarillioning; my secon ...more
Jul 22, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc, m-m
I've given this a C+ at AAR

I read and reviewed May Peterson’s début novel Lord of the Last Heartbeat last year, and although I liked the concept behind the story, the world it was set in, and the main characters, I found the author’s overly florid writing-style difficult to navigate; the words got in the way of the story to the extent that it was almost impossible, at times, to work out what was happening, and the language was so overblown and dense that it was hard to picture the events in my m
I think the most important thing for me to say up front is that KJ Charles also liked this book and if you won’t take my word for it, listen to KJ Charles. Please go buy it, or request it from your local library. I received this as an arc from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I’ve thought a lot about how to describe this treasure of a book. I keep coming up with movies for comparison. Imagine if Wim Wenders’ Wings of Desire, Blade Runner, Momento and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mi
Jul 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, lgbtq, sff, queer-men
received a copy of The Immortal City from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Immortal City by May Peterson is an adult fantasy romance and the second book in The Sacred Dark series. Despite being in a series, The Immortal City can be read as a standalone, as it focuses on different characters in a different part of the world than book one, Lord of the Last Heartbeat.

The titular immortal city is Serenity, an isolated mountainside city occupied primarily by the living
Aug 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
I received this as an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

How to put my thoughts about this book into words.

Its daring - dangerously imaginative. We explore a city (both lost and removed from time) within a world we only catch glimpses of. Like Ari - one of our main protagonists, we don’t fully know what is happening around us until 63% of the way through the story. May Peterson somehow makes that work.

Ari, an immortal re-awoken in the city of Serenity, who has lost all of his
Nicole Field
Apr 19, 2021 rated it really liked it
I liked this book even more than the previous one, Lord of the Last Heartbeat. For me, the amnesia plot wasn't a problem, nor was the dark setting of the novel, which basically takes place in an alternate version of a world that exists for those after death. Sort of. In any case, I'm glad that there were content warnings at the start.

Ari is a dove-soul which basically means he has died as a human in the past and then come back to life again. This only happens with those who have some sort of i
Penny Aimes
Jan 27, 2021 rated it really liked it
I reread this recently getting hyped up for the upcoming sequel, the Calyx Charm, and now that the plot is straight in my head again I can write a review!

Despite being set in the same fantasy world as the previous novel, Lord of the Last Heartbeat, The Immortal City starts in a completely new place with new characters; the connection to Rhodry emerges only slowly, but the same mythology of moonspirits and Living-Again are prominent from the first page, full of vivid, unearthly imagery and lovabl
Robin Mandell
Dystopian Fantasy

First, the fight scenes are tremendous - well-written, suspense-filled, and rivetting. They were also supremely well set up; I was so engaged with the battles because I cared what happened to the characters.
For all that excitement, this book is bleak. I was intrigued, but I think it was bleaker than I could handle right now when the real world is so fractured.
Feb 28, 2021 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dnf
DNF at 61%. The world building was intriguing, hence the two stars, but the author's writing style just doesn't do it for me. ...more
Lisa The Novel Approach
May Peterson’s debut novel, Lord of the Last Heartbeat, was an absolute stunner, lush in its world building and written in a lavish prose that complemented the dream-like quality of the story. To say that she repeated that success in her latest novel, The Immortal City, would be true, but this book is in no way a mere replica of the last. It’s stunning in its own right, in the landscapes she draws, the characters she creates, and she has left me anxious, yet again, for the next book in the serie ...more
Leigh Kramer
Nov 01, 2020 marked it as dnf
DNF at 48%

I loved Lord of the Last Heartbeat and was eager to see how the series would continue. This is very different in tone from LotLH. This makes sense. It’s about different characters with very different personalities. Also, Ari, our narrator, has amnesia. Not only does he have no idea who he was before he came to Serenity, there’s no one there (save the person who took his memories for a price) who can remind him. However, Ari’s confusion about who he was before and why he’d have paid to
Pam Faste aka Peejakers
Oct 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wow, this was a real break-your-heart-and-put it-back-together-again story, especially at the end. Its fantasy with mythic & mystical overtones, a star-crossed love story made of stolen moments of tenderness and passion that starts in the most swoonily romantic way, it's full of intriguing mysteries, gripping & well choreographed action scenes, and fantastic world-building. The setting is also as much of a character as the characters. Serenity struck me as a kind of ... coldly dystopian Heaven-t ...more
S.C. Perri
Aug 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
I've read Lord of the Last Heartbeat as well, and I think that I liked this one best. The Immortal City has incredibly lush writing and atmospheric world building, but even more than that I appreciated the way my two favorite genres are combined in this story. It's been difficult for me to find books that feel like truly Fantasy AND Romance, without one genre or the other taking precedence and either reducing the Fantasy elements to background, or cutting the Romance down to a subplot. This book ...more
Joscelyn Smith
Aug 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This author hooked me on their work with Lord of the Last Heartbeat and just doubled down with the Immortal City. Just the premise of the storyline, Ari being reborn as a dove-soul with healing abilities, drew me in. This wonderfully imagined world is utterly fascinating and highly entertaining. Ari and Hei were wonderfully complex characters and I loved watching them connect and interact with each other. I really enjoyed this return visit to the world of the Sacred Dark and I hope I don't have ...more
Dec 13, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

Technically, I skipped to the end. I found this book too dense with uncertainty and dark undercurrents to enjoy. The main character wasn’t enough of a personality to keep me invested in his story, but I think the discovering (or re-discovering) of his personality is a huge plot point. If I could use one word to describe what I read of this book, it would be “murky.” Not for me.
Nikki Fisher
Aug 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned-on-kindle
Wow! I enjoyed this book much better than the author’s first. I found the worldbuilding logic and plot twists more consistent, rewarding, and better explained than in “Lord of the Last Heartbeat.” And Hei and Ari, my goodness, my heart ♥️ I read it in less than 24 hours. I could hardly put it down.
Nov 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
I liked this one very much. I think it's a better book than the first one. which it turns out I don't actually remember all that much. This one felt more cohesive and I liked the characters and second chance romance things going on. Also liked that it took the separate efforts of more than one character to resolve the last fight/problem.
Aug 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is the second book in a series and it's excellent.
Great character development and world building, excellent storytelling and style of writing.
It's a complex and layered story, engrossing and highly enjoyable.
I can't wait for the next book by this author, strongly recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
Dec 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
A compelling story that had me gripped. I adored the world building and the descriptive skills were fantastic. I have a perfect image in my head of all the places described. I loved the build up to the relationship and the way it worked with his amnesia although I did wonder about the ethical basis invoked.
Overall I found this a very thought provoking and high concept story that will reward rereads.
Harlequin Books
Fantasy Romance, Alternate World Fantasy, Romance, Male/Male Romance, Dark Fantasy, Romantic Fantasy
The Sacred Dark (Book #2)
Nov 10, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020, fantasy, lgbt, romance
It was... ok? A little bit confusing, I didn’t understand the world-like-city but it was ok.
Kendra Lawrence
rated it liked it
Sep 22, 2020
rated it really liked it
Aug 31, 2020
Marianne E. Zaren
rated it did not like it
Sep 26, 2020
Jamie Lock
rated it it was amazing
Aug 05, 2020
C.C. Almon
rated it liked it
Oct 05, 2020
Tasha Turner
rated it really liked it
Dec 30, 2020
Robin Barletta
rated it it was amazing
Aug 20, 2020
rated it liked it
Sep 07, 2020
rated it liked it
Sep 11, 2020
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May Peterson is rumored to be some kind of magical creature, but exactly which kind is still debated by scholars. While they sort that out, May busies herself as a romance and fantasy author and freelance editor. May has always had a deep fondness for books, animation, and comics. She’s drawn toward both writing and reading stories that are magical, hopeful, and distinctive, as well as those that ...more

Other books in the series

The Sacred Dark (3 books)
  • Lord of the Last Heartbeat (The Sacred Dark, #1)
  • The Calyx Charm (The Sacred Dark #3)

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