City of Bones Kindle Edition
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|Length: 458 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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About the Author
- Publication Date : December 24, 2007
- File Size : 866 KB
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Publisher : Lulu.com (December 24, 2007)
- Print Length : 458 pages
- ASIN : B002DPV4JG
- Simultaneous Device Usage : Unlimited
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Language: : English
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #45,215 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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To me, sci-fan is pragmatic fantasy in which the real and the unreal blend seamlessly to create impossible worlds that we nevertheless accept as possible. Dune, by Frank Herbert is probably the best known example of sci-fan, closely followed by Tad Williams' Otherland. And then there's Robin Hobb's Farseer saga. It's more fantasy than science, and yet the life-cycle of the dragons is no more unbelievable than the metamorphosis of caterpillars into butterflies.
Well now I have a new sci-fan author to add to my pantheon - Martha Wells.
In The City of Bones, Wells tells the story of a young Krismen called Khat. He's part of a species that was biologically engineered to survive in the Wastes after the land burned and the seas boiled away. But there are human survivors of the destruction as well, and the two species exist in an uneasy alliance against the deadly creatures of the Wastes.
Khat lives in Charisat, a human city, making a precarious living as a relic trader. Relic traders are like a combination of archeologist/palentologist/anthropologist, with a bit of a conman/thief added in, and relics are fragments from the lost world of the Ancients.
That would have been more than enough to grab my attention, but Wells weaves in history, politics, conspiracy, intrigue and a bit of classic who-dunnit to make the story an absolute page-turner. I loved it.
If you like sci-fan too then I strongly recommend The City of Bones.
I had previously read the author's MurderBot series and loved them. So I decided to take a stroll in Fantasy, and loved this book too! The fantasy is minimal enough to be believable (within the context) but also at times powerful enough to drive the plot. Happily, the fantasy is not overbearing nor heavy handed.
The characters are a delightful mixture and our heroes an unlikely company. We have Sagai, a learned man that cannot be a Scholar. And Khat, who is not allowed to be a citizen, and barely tolerated within the city. Yet Khat is the one with the most knowledge, especially about the relics they buy and sell together. How these two men get strangely involved with Even, a Warder for the city, and even more strangely get intertwined with subplots and plots and betrayal and politics... Well, that's why you are reading the book! Enjoy! I certainly did!
but it's not quite perfect. some of the world-building elements are rather contrived and don't seem to make any sense except how they advance the plot. i'm convinced the part about kris men having a "pouch" was put into the novel solely to get the author out of a plot hole. the part about warder's going mad if they use too much magic, while a fascinating idea, was never really explained either and seemed to only be in the book to make the character of constans seem more mysterious. too many plot elements just get abandoned near the end of the book, like the whole thing with the character lushan never really gets resolved. but the biggest problem, for me anyway, was that the big revelation scene when khat and arad read the book and learn the truth about the "inhabitants of the west" simply made no sense at all to me. i think the reader was supposed to be shocked along with the characters, but i didn't even understand what they were talking about. as a result, the finale of the book seems kind of anticlimactic because i never really understood what was happening.
but the writing is solid, the characters are well written and believable, and overall i thought the book was really great, it just had a few things that bothered me enough to give it four stars instead of five.
Bottom line: highly recommended for fantasy fans who like to read about exotic worlds and likable protagonist.
Top reviews from other countries
Our protagonist is Khat, who is a member of a race of people called krismen and we discover that they are the result of genetic engineering done by people wielding magic a long time previously. Khat lives in the city of Charisat and makes a living selling the relics left behind by those magic wielders and also trying to stay alive is quite an effort in a place where his people's bones are literally used for fortune telling. Khat ends up being hired because of his expertise and quickly finds himself in over his head in a scheme where the people he thinks are doing things for the right reason are actually jeopardising the safety of the entire world.
What I really liked about this book is the relationship between Khat and Elen, the woman who hires him, which could so easily have become yet another predictable romantic interlude. In City of Bones, however, both Khat and Elen are quite prickly and guarded individuals and continue to act according to their nature. More writers should take account of this, because it feels much more realistic (to me, at least) than throwing characters into a relationship because they 'ought to' be in one. As I've come to expect from Martha Wells, this is a well-written and solidly drawn novel that kept me turning the pages and which made me glad I still have more of her books to discover.