Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The City of Gold and Lead” as Want to Read:
The City of Gold and Lead
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The City of Gold and Lead

(The Tripods #2)

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  7,422 ratings  ·  340 reviews
Will, Beanpole, and Henry have managed to escape the Tripods. But instead of living in safety, in the small community of free people, they have chosen to embark upon a mission that may cost them their lives.
Paperback, 209 pages
Published April 2003 by Simon & Schuster Simon Pulse (first published 1967)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The City of Gold and Lead, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The City of Gold and Lead

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.07  · 
Rating details
 ·  7,422 ratings  ·  340 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The City of Gold and Lead
Nov 16, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having by the skin of their teeth survived a cross-continental walk to freedom from the mind-control of the Tripods, Will and his friends now volunteer to risk their lives by joining those who enter the alien city as slaves of the Masters. First they must make another arduous journey and then triumph at an athletic competition designed to select the best and strongest specimens to serve the invaders. But getting into the city is the least horrible of the dangers that wait for the boys... Tense a ...more
Jul 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This was always my favorite from this trilogy. Maybe it's because the terror is so immediate and the danger is distilled to its essence. The aliens are terrifying and real, their city has a personality of its own, and Will remains a fascinating and flawed hero. ...more
Woohoo, book 2 is done! Hopefully I can get the last book just to see how this trilogy is going to end.

The City of Gold and Lead was the main reason as to why I jumped into the Tripod Series. Mostly because it worked for a certain challenge but I always make the mistake of diving into series with random books and never starting from the beginning. Since it's 2020, and October, I'm trying to redeem myself but I'm honestly not sure how long that's going to last. So many books to dive into and so l
May 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
I have re-read these books several times over the years, and they have stood up quite well. They're quite suspenseful and interesting, without being over-the-top preachy, which a book like this easily could be. What stood out to me this time was their amazing economy. They're only around 100 pages each, yet they don't feel like slight books in any way. ...more
J.M. Hushour
Feb 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
This some badass, excellen' sci-fi, hee-ya. Book Two of the trilogy about a century from now when mankind is slave to the Tripods, giant war machines that control men through Caps which are ritualistically affixed to their skulls at adolescence. The three teenagers from the first book who make it to the White Mountains, where a small band of free people are trying to free the earth are at their zany hijinks again! This time they enter a pseudo-Olympics thing fake-Capped and get inside one of the ...more
Tentatively, Convenience
Oct 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
review of
John Christopher's The City of Gold and Lead
by tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE - October 9-13, 2020

This QUARANTYRANNY has really fucked my life up. Just sayin'. It's October & this is only the 13th review I've written so far this year. Compare that to 2018 when I wrote 77 reviews. Even writing this relatively simple one seems like a practically insurmountable task.

ANYWAY, this book is the 2nd in a series, a trilogy at 1st. I reviewed the beginning already, The White Mountains ( https://w
May 23, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: scifi, boys
The second book of the Tripods Trilogy, The City of Gold and Lead continues the science fiction adventure that began with The White Mountains. The world has been taken over by aliens who rule in large, three-legged machines. Humans are controlled by metal caps, which are melded to their skulls at the age of 14. Will, the main character, is a young man who is part of a small group of free men, who have escaped the capping process and live secretly in the mountains. In The City of Gold and Lead, W ...more
Dec 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This is the second installment in the Tripods trilogy. It is my favorite book of the trilogy and is still as much fun 20 years from when I first read it.

Will, Beanpole, and Henry are training for the games in hopes that one of them will make it into a city of the Tripods and be able to escape to provide vital intelligence to the human resistance.

The description of what happens in the Tripods city is amazing and interesting. I remember reading this when I was younger and finding it absolutely fas
B. Reese
Jun 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-books, ya
This was my favorite book in the series.

It gives us our first glimpse into the lives of the Masters, and what an unusual glimpse it is. The world building for the city is one of the most interesting takes on an alien society I've seen yet, even after having seen many since. The visuals conjured in my mind by the author's word are something I can still recall 20+ years after reading it.

I think this book is also interesting in that it reveals that the evil alien overlords aren't all completely e
Feb 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2008
My favourite of the series. For me, it seemed the author was drawing a correlation between the aliens (called the Master's) and human beings. Very good character developement for a kids book. I liked that the protagonist was flawed and pointedly so - I thought that was unusual for a kids book OR for that matter an adult book. ...more
Nadine Jones
I read this book when I was a kid back in the 70s, not realizing that it was book 2 of a trilogy. Now I've decided to go back and read them in order. All I could remember from my first reading was giant triangular aliens (I think I made that part up), a green domed city, and a boy escaping underwater.

This held up pretty well to a re-read. Yes it's a bit dated, but I think it can be viewed as a (under appreciated) classic now.

To my surprise, in the author's preface to my edition, he says that wh
Steve Groves
May 12, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Some gripping as well as sad moment. Reading this aloud at night to the family and they continue to talk and speculate about what might happen in the story.
An Odd1
Mar 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
One foot follows another, steady, against gravity, hardship. Overall sad struggle for boy. Hero plods, writing does not. Friends, old and new, are killed by aliens. In few years, Earth will be converted to poison.

Fate of mankind looks bleak. We suffer events to see impetuous boy grow patient, cross bridge for sequel. How else will we know if reckless lazy selfish child learns qualities demonstrated by fellows, matures? (Spoilers have another reason.)

Will, trained as boxer, narrates being chosen
D.M. Dutcher
Second book of the Tripods trilogy, where the plot thickens in darker ways.

For all their resistance, the people of the White Mountains barely know anything of the tripods. Who they are, what their plans are, and how they can fight them. So they devise a plan, win the annual games of the Capped, the games where Will lost Eloise to the tripods in the first place. Get taken, spy on them, and come back alive.

Will, Beanpole, and a boy named Fritz are chosen, and after several dangers, they arrive at
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Philippa Dowding
The cover of this book still makes me shivery with fear and delight. I found the entire trilogy at the bottom of a bookshelf in a recent office clear-out, the originals from my childhood. They're first editions too, which made me briefly think I shouldn't be reading them which I quickly dismissed, what are books for if not to be read and enjoyed? Anyway, I remember this book even more clearly than the first one, The White Mountains (review link at bottom), because the terror and fascination of t ...more
Nov 14, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2014
Instead of putting my notes into a nicely-organized review, I'll just post my notes. This book is horrible. Here's why.

-continues to be disempowering toward children - particularly toward boys.
-increases the victim-blaming, with the author repeatedly making the characters accept blaming themselves for the violence of others.
-how are the capped still violent when the caps pacify all emotion and interest? Plothole to assure his creepy victim-blaming.
-starting to feel repetitive, with how horribly
Feb 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction-series
Picked up where the first book left off, and leaves things for a final book. That said, this is a solid middle-of-the-trilogy entry, better than the first book. We learn about the aliens, and Will learns more about himself. Finished this on the plane, then started (and finished) the third and final book.

The aliens Christopher has created are well detailed. While the initial idea of a tripod came from HG Wells, the physiology is developed (and believable) by this author. We get a glimpse of their
Scott Anderson
Dec 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-16-30
The second in the Tripods series, this book follows Will and Beanpole as they leave their mountain home and try to win a competition of games that will allow them to enter the mysterious city of the tripods. While inside the city, they learn about their captors the Masters and look for a way to defeat them.

Very imaginative, told in the style of Jules Verne with a particular knack for describing alien science and technology. It's a great story with a focus on the action, I loved these books as a
Nov 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
The second in the White Mountains trilogy, this is the book where the rebel children must infiltrate the enemy complex and learn the aliens' weaknesses. Don't read this one without first having read The White Mountains, and likewise, don't read it without finishing the story off with The Pool of Fire. All three books are very important to the set. And you must read the set! This was one of the best sets of books I've ever read. ...more
Iris Penfield
Feb 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book was even more satisfying than the first of the trilogy. I read through it very quickly. You get to find out what a tripod really is and my assumption was all wrong. This book brings out many emotions in the reader as the young teen boys go through cruel and demeaning treatment in the city of the tripods.
Mar 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I've read this book multiple times, and every time, it make me feel like my life is easy compared to the main character's, and that if he can rise up to his challenges, I should be able to rise up to my own. Very motivating. This series is worth reading. ...more
Anthony Ventrello
Mar 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Like "The White Mountains" this book grabs the reader from page one and and doesn't let go until the end. Even then, it doesn't let go as you will run to the nearest library or bookstore and want to get the next book. ...more
Dec 14, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I just reread this trilogy after many years and wow it was better than ever! Apparently there is even another book… so I will have to check it out too.
Kat  Hooper
May 14, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook
reviewing soon at ...more
I read a lot of science fiction on my own, most of it decidedly appropriate only for late teens or adults. This one I read aloud with a 12-year old. Comparing it with other science fiction that I read for my own enjoyment, The City of Gold and Lead, like The White Mountains before it, is in an entirely different category. Young adult fiction (or middle-school fiction) is categorically different. It is not simply science fiction minus the adult themes. I think that a lot of the pulp and Golden A ...more
David B
Feb 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Three young men seek entry to one of the strongholds of the extraterrestrial Masters who have conquered the earth. Two are successful, and they strive to learn as much as possible about the enemy so that they may report back to the last existing colony of free humans. I preferred this novel to the previous one, "The White Mountains." Both novels share the same deficiency, a tendency to relate certain events too sketchily and a failure to develop key characters, in this case the German boy, Fritz ...more
Jim Becker
Oct 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just a really good story from a series by Christopher
Celeste M
Oct 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The story is about these two boys named Beanpole and Henry who managed to escape the Tripods. The males are turned into slaves while the females are killed and preserved for Masters to admire. Will and his companions are hopeful to enter the city so they can get information about the Tripods. During Fritz, abusing from his master, Will finds out more stuff about the aliens from his Master. The theme that I gathered from reading this book was that it doesn't hurt you to try new things because onc ...more
David Nichols
Feb 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed, sci-fi
In this second volume of John Christopher's classic SF trilogy, Will Parker and his fellow free men organize their first offensive against the Tripods: an attempt to infiltrate the mysterious overlords' domed city on the Rhine. After many adventures on the river, and participating in the Games where humans are chosen to work in the city, Will and his companion Fritz pass through the walls and learn the Tripods' secrets: 1) that the Masters who controlled the Tripods were, in fact, creatures from ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Taran Wanderer (The Chronicles of Prydain, #4)
  • Moccasin Trail
  • The Devil's Children
  • Heartsease
  • The Dream Catcher (Arc One, #2)
  • The Tunnel Under the World
  • The Wizards of Sevendor: An Anthology (The Spellmonger #12.5)
  • Space Trap
  • گیله‌مرد
  • نوبت عاشقی
  • The Dark Design (Riverworld, #3)
  • Feathered Serpent, Part 1 (Tennis Shoes, #3)
  • Confessions of a Teenage Baboon
  • On the Road with Charles Kuralt
  • کبریت خیس
  • زاده اضطراب جهان: ۱۵۰ شعر از ۱۲ شاعر اروپایی
  • شازده حمام
  • Law Made Simple
See similar books…
Sam Youd was born in Huyton, Lancashire in April 1922, during an unseasonable snowstorm.

As a boy, he was devoted to the newly emergent genre of science-fiction: ‘In the early thirties,’ he later wrote, ‘we knew just enough about the solar system for its possibilities to be a magnet to the imagination.’

Over the following decades, his imagination flowed from science-fiction into general novels, cric

Other books in the series

The Tripods (4 books)
  • When the Tripods Came
  • The White Mountains (The Tripods, #1)
  • The Pool of Fire

News & Interviews

'Tis the season of the beach read, that herald of summer sun and vacation vibes! Whether you're the type of reader who has very strict rules...
7 likes · 1 comments
“One enjoys friendship most when times are good, when the sun shines and the world is kind. But it is the sharing of adversity that knits men together.” 11 likes
“It is no good being able to make a rabbit pie, unless you can first catch your rabbit.” 1 likes
More quotes…