- File Size: 1059 KB
- Print Length: 380 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publication Date: October 18, 2013
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00G3XIE2E
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,527,018 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
The City Darkens (Raud Grima Book 1) Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
It is rare to find a book that distinguishes itself, but The City Darkens has a voice all of its own and no shortage of creativity when interweaving gods with robots and fleshing out the religious and political issues that have reached a turning point amongst the people.
Myadar is content to raise her adorable son Bersi in the countryside. However, then her devious mother-in-law shows up and demand their appearance at court. This means reuniting with her cruel husband. As all loyal supporters of Game of Thrones’ Ned Stark know, going to court is always a very bad idea. However, Myadar has no choice and later watches in horror as her son is taken from her and used as a pawn against her to force her to toe the line with her husband’s political agenda. Luckily, Myadar begins to explore the world around her to create a space for her choices, choices that will change the fate of the court and their people in ways none of them, even Myadar, could expect.
This is an atmospheric novel that combines intrigue with passion. Myadar quickly grows on the reader as a capable heroine open to exploring her sexuality with multiple partners, several of whom she must tread carefully, as they have scheming motives of their own. All in all, this book succeeds at capturing an air of danger as Myadar must work fast to turn the tables on her enemies and navigate a just as swiftly changing world.
So if you are looking for a world to escape into, and the 1920s/diselpunk aesthetic sounds like the cat's pajamas to you - read this book!
The themes of social unrest, religious suppression and political agendas resonates with the modern world. Martin seems to be making some parallels with the machinations of political conservatives, with a clear feminist voices.
But somewhere along the way the extravagance and scope of the aristocratic society Mayadar finds herself in becomes overwhelming and too all-encompassing. Surely a 1920s society, no matter what the religious underpinnings, that is still so similar to our own history would have a healthy and vibrant middle class; however, in The City Darkens, we have the massive top-heavy royal court, and a somewhat hidden underclass of desperate and downtrodden.
Another disappointment was the author's treatment of sexuality and sex. There's rather a lot of sex in this book, and while that might get some potential readers' hearts racing, I thought it was a distraction to the main story, and it rather made the story less dimensional than it should have been. Reister's closeted homosexuality was realistic enough, and I didn't have a problem with that. But Mayadar's interaction with her sexual partners, and especially her tryst with the queen just amplifies the sexist trope that all women are at heart bi-sexual and can be made to enjoy sex no matter what the intent or context..a sort of "they just can't help themselves" cliche that does everyone, not just women, a disservice. Considering the otherwise positive feminist undertones to the book and it's hero, I found this to be a little baffling. Perhaps Martin was trying to show that a female hero can manipulate men with sex in the same tired and unfortunate fashion we've read that male heros do.
Although Mayadar's transformation from naive outlander to would-be action hero was a little rushed, I found I could wrap my head around it in the way Martin describes her character. She's a strong and intelligent woman, driven by a deep motivation to "rescue" her son. I found myself drawn into her anger and distress over the underclass, and then her (and her allies') budding revolutionary cause.
Despite some of the issues I've explained, I enjoyed the overall alternative universe this book introduces, and if the author does go on to complete the series, I hope she can anchor the story a bit better and improve upon a generally positive effort.
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