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City of Ruin

(Legends of the Red Sun #2)

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  553 ratings  ·  62 reviews
Villiren: a city of sin that is being torn apart from the inside. Hybrid creatures shamble through shadows and barely human gangs fight turf wars for control of the streets.

Amidst this chaos, Commander Brynd Lathraea, commander of the Night Guard, must plan the defence of Villiren against a race that has broken through from some other realm and already slaughtered hundreds
Hardcover, 470 pages
Published June 4th 2010 by Tor (first published 2010)
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3.71  · 
Rating details
 ·  553 ratings  ·  62 reviews

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4.5 to 5.0 stars. This is a fantastic sequel to the excellent Nights of Villjamur. Mr. Newton's world of Villjamur gets bigger and stranger, the fantasy/science fiction elements get even more interesting (reminding me at times of Jack Vance and China Mieville, which is high praise indeed), and the story explodes exponentially. All of the components that were great in the first book are even better here, including some really well thought out ideas and characters.I can not wait for the next insta ...more
Jul 22, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: my-books
This review was originally published on A Dribble of Ink

The New Weird. It’s that strange little literary movement that, according to Mark Charan Newton, is dead. And yet, he’s flying that mantle high, telling anyone who’ll listen that City of Ruin, the second volume of his Legends of the Red Sun series, has been let of its leash by virtue of a four book publishing deal; it’s going to be weirder, more true to Newton’s original vision of the sun-deprived Boreal Archipelago. Nights of Villjamur, Ne
Newton’s Nights of Villjamur was a somber moody success, almost like a fantasy novel that read like a Scandinavian crime novel. The second entry is louder, more packed with grotesquerie and invention, and more emotional. Gang wars, bizarre technology, dystopian politics, inter-dimensional war, weird ancient technology, mutant animal/human hybrids, religious fanaticism, homophobia, and vampires are packed in with the somber mood retained from the first book, in this wonderful revitalization of th ...more
Adrian Faulkner
May 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I'd enjoyed Nights of Villjamur but had issues with it.  A very good debut novel and a book I'm happy to recommend to people despite my slight issues with dialogue.  I was looking forward to City of Ruin.  If Newton could build and improve on Nights, then City of Ruin could prove to be a very good book.  At Eastercon, there was a group of us chatting about various novels and giving our honest opinion on them, outside the earshot of writers (although to be honest, no-one said anything there, that ...more
Feb 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: e-books, read-2011
5Stars.. It is a rare find to have a second novel eclipse that of the first, but that is exactly what Mark Charan Newton has done with the City of Ruin.

I love the New Weird and when it is done well by the greats like China Mieville and Jeff Vandermeer, it can be the most memorable of the fantasy genre. Mark Charan Newton has now put himself along the masters and added his own unique twists to it, kind of funny since he himself feels that the genre is dead. This book starts out very fast and has
Tudor Ciocarlie
Nov 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
Mark Charan Newton continues to infuse the Epic/High-Fantasy genre with New-Weird sensibilities in an excellent sequel to the Nights of Villjamur. And in its weirdness, City of Ruin almost becomes a post-singularity SF novel in the type of Ilium/Olympos by Dan Simmons.
Jan 12, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
hshafbfskjffjdfjfjf ugh just stayed up way too long to finish this, but that's what you do when your favorite character brushes with death about 2 dozen times

Formell ist Villiren Teil des Imperiums Jamur. In der Realität feiert die Stadt ihre Unabhängigkeit und funktioniert nach eigenen Regeln und Gesetzen. Jeder Hunger, jede Perversion kann befriedigt werden. Diesen Sündenpfuhl muss Brynd Lathraea, Kommandant der Nachtgarde, gegen eine brutale Invasion verteidigen. Nach der Entdeckung der fremdartigen, feindlichen Okun obliegt es Brynd, Villiren auf ihren Angriff vorzubereiten. Verzweifelt versucht er, Autoritäten und Bevölkerung von der Gefahr e
I took far too long reading this, and a lot of it was that the beginning is so slowly paced. I think the first hundred pages could have been sharply edited, and it would have made this book much more readable. I liked a lot of the themes, but I ended up not connecting with many of the characters, and by the time I was done, I was impatient enough that I rushed through the ending. Thankfully, there were enough interesting plot threads that I'd still like to finish the series, but I hope that the ...more
Ryan Mishap
Sep 06, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: adult-fantasy
People: An elite military commander who is albino and secretly gay, a rumel (reptilian humanoid) detective hiding out in a new city, on the trail of a killer, a half vampire gang lord having marriage trouble, his wife a cultist (user of ancient technology), a suspicious second in command conferring with a priest who condemns homosexuality, a psychopathic doctor who creates human/animal hybrids, a giant spider, crustacean warriors intent on attacking the city, a princess on the run from the evil ...more
Clay Kallam
Jul 15, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sf-fantasy
Finally, just a warning to those tempted to read “Nights of Villjamur” or “City of Ruin” (Bantam Spectra) by Mark Charan Newton: Though these are the first two books in a tetralogy, Bantam did not pick up the option for the last two, so the only way to finish the series is to order them from Great Britain.

And though the first two are reasonably good – a struggling society set on a world where the environment is collapsing – I don’t think they’re good enough to go to the trouble of getting books
Jul 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
City of Ruin picks up where Nights of Villjamur leaves off. The city of Villien and the planet that it is on is being invaded. This novel is part steam-punk, part-fantasy and part Sci-Fi rolled into an entertaining story. Humans, reptile beings called “Rummels” and a bird-like race share the world that is faced with threats from these unknown invaders and a mysterious killer within the city. The plot consists of several story arcs interwoven into one overall story, that come closer together as t ...more
Jan 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, kindle
This is a great book and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I rank it as one my all-time favourite reads. MarkCN has again written about strong male and female characters, who are complex and interesting. I like the way he brings in ideas from other genres to mix with fantasy. He has created a very imaginative, multi-layered world full of different histories, societies and all sorts of creatures. I am really looking forward to the next book!!!
Jan 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Well done, Mr. Newton. Well done, indeed.
Daniel Cardoso
Mar 31, 2011 rated it really liked it
Very good, lots of anti-homophobia, anti-misogyny, anti-xenophobia.
Adam Whitehead
Dec 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Jamur Empire is riven by internal turmoil and the threat of external invasion. Chancellor Urtica has usurped the throne and seized control of the capital, Villjamur, but the rightful empress, Rika, has fled the city with her sister Eir and their protector, the redoubtable swordsman and con-artist Randur. They decide to head for the far northern city of Villiren, where their potential ally Commander Brynd Lathraea of the Night Guard and his loyal troops have been dispatched, but the journey i ...more
Jan 13, 2010 rated it really liked it
The ice age that loomed over Nights of Villjamur has begun and with it a new, and unprecedented threat has arrived at the empire’s edges. Dispatched to the crumbling city of Villiren Commander Brynd, the albino leader of the elite Night Guard, must unite the Jamur military with the desperate, destitute, and shady citizens of the titular City of Ruins in order to stave off the coming invasion. As if things weren’t bad enough something stalks the people of Villiren and it is up to the hardworking ...more
The sequel to Nights of Villjamur. The action has moved to another train wreck of a city, where things are just as bad, if not worse. The worldbuilding continues top-notch, and the plot rolls on, horrifying and fascinating. This reminds me a lot of the Shadows of the Apt series, where things are just going terribly all the time, but you're so engrossed in the characters and the world that you just can't stop reading.
Jun 20, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Book 2 in the series: it wasn't great but it was a little better than the first one. This author somehow thought that throwing together a variety of fantasy characters would make the book great. He forgot that them being in the book actually had to make sense, which it did not. I am still shaking my head at the chaos of this book.
Dave-Brendon Burgh
Mar 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Mark was awesome enough to send me a PDF copy of City of Ruin, and although it took me a while to read it (about 3 weeks), I’m really glad I did; not only is it an excellent sequel to Nights of Villjamur, it’s also capable of standing on it’s own as an excellent Epic Fantasy / New Weird novel. :-)

Nights of Villjamur took us to the central city of the Jamur Empire, showing us a world and characters having to contend with a coming Ice Age and much more besides. This book had an incredible atmosphe
Dec 18, 2011 rated it it was ok
Well, this has a pretty cover. Mark Newton's City of Ruin is the second book of Legends of the Red Sun. I reviewed the first book, Nights of Villjamur, couple of days ago and gave it 3. I hoped that that the second book would have gotten rid of couple of annoying factors, but while it did so it also added a considerable number of new ones. City of Ruin is about the same length as it's prdecessor, 467 pages.

The storytelling is better than in the first book and at the beginning I felt that this bo
Ole Imsen
Jun 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
The second book in a series can be a tricky one, but Newton pulls it of with his effort. We pick up the story a short while after the events of Nights of Villjamur. All the main characters have relocated, and most of them is now to be found in the city of Villiren.

Newton doesn't waste any time here. By the end of the first chapter we are already re-introduced to some of the main characters from book one, and have gotten our first glimpse of their new situation.
Again most of the story is bound
Dec 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of those rare books where the second book in the series is far better than the first. When I was browsig the shelves at the now defunct Borders, I picked up City of Ruin instead of The Nights of Villjamur not realizing it was a series. After realizing it when I got home, I went back and got the first one.

City of Ruin picks up right where Nights of Villjamur left off. This time, our merry cast of detectives are relocated to Villiren, a city that is rife with racial and gang tensions.
Goran Zidar
Aug 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
Put simply it is a really good read.

The world that Mark has created is really unique in its mix of magic and technology (or more correctly technology interpreted as magic), and the races that inhabit it are different from the typical fantasy fare. It is set in a frozen city on the edge of the world facing the threat of attack from a brutal yet mysterious enemy and is populated by gritty characters with their own demons and their own agenda.

There are several storylines interwoven, the war, a murd
Nov 24, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting continuation of the series. I like that the overall plot is picking up. I would have liked to see more of the Jamur sisters than we did. The butcher was really evil and delicious as a character, very Jack the Ripper.

What is really neat about sci-fi/fantasy as genres is that there is so much room to explore philosophy, ethics, religion, science, and social mores in a context that really allows questions to arise and be answered. However, in this, the author does his audience a disser
May 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
Part two of Newton's series is infinitely more strange than the first. Though it takes place away from the city of Villjamur, which feels somewhat strange, there is some real progress to the story, and its scope is magnified to a mindboggling degree.

The influence of "New Weird" aspects is greater in this novel than in the first, and it adds a lot of interesting potential to the story.

The strange enemy introduced in Nights of Villjamur represent the biggest threat, and though we are shown some m
Neil Pearson
Aug 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
Book two of "Legends of the Red Sun" features a new city; Villiren and it makes Villjamur look like a utopia. An invasion is immenent and the first half of the book does a good job of making us question whether the city deserves to be saved. The second half is like a fantasy version of" Black Hawk Down" or "Saving Private Ryan" which despite having many "WTF?" action/monster scenes is still grounded with the devastating and often banal loss of life. This volume also starts to hint there is far m ...more
Jan 20, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Villiren is a city under siege: from unknown alien armies outside and criminal gangs and mysterious killers inside. really, it is enough to give the army commander and the police inspector headaches.

And the reader one as well for the first half of the book.

Again, Newton provides a lively setting and then sits back and lets it do not very much for quite a while. Inspector Jeryd wanders about eating pastries and wondering about bad meat, which Commander Brynd anxiously sends scouts to the north a
Jun 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
Mark continues to take us further within his strange world where humans meet with other races. Some protagonists stay the same but the focus moves. Again its a city but this time a new, more dangerous and definitely weird city.
Throughout the book the treat of off world invaders is constantly present and thankfully Mark lets most of the working out how to combat this threat come from the city inhabitants and their perserverence.
The book focuses on the struggles of individuals and their ability to
May 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
I might be one of the few who liked the first in the series better. I enjoyed the weirdness, but it felt like it came at the expense of the pace. Especially as how the last book set up a conflict with the invading army--it seemed as though this one should start with it, but no serious confrontation happened until the very end. It felt like padding. I also think this book lacked the subtlety that Nights had. While some of the characters are quite complex, their motivations are rather blatantly to ...more
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Mark Charan Newton was born in 1981, and holds a degree in Environmental Science. After working in bookselling, he moved into editorial positions at imprints covering film and media tie-in fiction, and later, science fiction and fantasy. He currently lives and works in Nottingham. His major label debut is Nights of Villjamur, which is published by Tor UK (Pan Macmillan) and Bantam Spectra (Random ...more

Other books in the series

Legends of the Red Sun (4 books)
  • Nights of Villjamur (Legends of the Red Sun, #1)
  • The Book of Transformations (Legends of the Red Sun, #3)
  • The Broken Isles (Legends of the Red Sun, # 4)