Laura (Madsen) McLain 's Reviews > The Dark City

The Dark City by Catherine Fisher
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's review
Mar 26, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: fantasy, young-adult, 2011

I was excited to get an ARC (Advance Reading Copy) of this novel. While I’ll read nearly any genre, fantasy is my first love. THE DARK CITY is the first in a series of four books to be released this summer; it will be followed by THE LOST HEIRESS in June, THE HIDDEN CORONET in July, and THE MARGRAVE in August. Wow, impressive marketing campaign!

The novel is categorized as young adult fantasy, although I’m actually not sure why it was designated YA. It could just as easily be shelved with adult fantasy. The main character’s age is never stated, but from context could be anywhere from fifteen to twenty.

The novel provides an excellent example for aspiring novelists learning the lesson of How To Write A First Chapter. We learn within the first few pages that this is a fantasy set somewhere other than our world (“The seven moons were all in the sky at once”); that the main character has magical abilities (“He let his third eye open and made tiny purple filaments of light spray from the central moon…”); that the main character has a personal conflict with his mentor (“It was no use talking to Galen”); that the characters belong to the Order of keepers and are being pursued by the Watch; and that the Order is concerned with technological relics (“They found a relic, as they were plowing. A tube. When you touch it, it hums. Small green lights move inside it”).

Raffael (Raffi) Morel is a young man apprenticed to Galen Harn, a cynical old man with wounded leg and damaged mind. They are keepers, member of a magical order dedicated to protecting the relics of a previous civilization. The Makers left behind cities, buildings, and technological equipment. The Order of keepers has been outlawed, with many keepers murdered and much knowledge lost.

Raffi and Galen travel to Tasceron, the abandoned city of the Makers. They are joined by a girl, Carys Arrin. Carys tells Raffi and Galen that she is tracking her abducted father, but the reader knows she is a member of the Watch, the governmental agency which hunts the keepers. Carys joins the others on their journey, and comes to question the beliefs of the Watch.

Tasceron is like the evil twin of Oz City: creepy, decrepit, and lawless. The city is cloaked in smoke from fires that have been burning deep underneath for decades. In the gloom hide Watch patrols—and worse monsters.

Looking forward to reading the rest of the series!

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Quotes Laura Liked

Catherine Fisher
“Even across the dark, even across the loss, even across the emptiness, soul will speak to soul”
Catherine Fisher, The Dark City

Reading Progress

03/31/2011 page 251
65.0% ""Even across the dark, even across the loss, even across the emptiness, soul will speak to soul.""

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