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The Dark City #1 (Relic Master) Hardcover – May 17, 2011

4.2 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews
Book 1 of 4 in the Relic Master Series

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Catherine Fisher is an acclaimed novelist and poet, and has written many fantasy books for young people, including the popular "Oracle Betrayed" series. She lives in Wales.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: HL540L (What's this?)
  • Series: Relic Master (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Dial Books; 1St Edition edition (May 17, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780803736733
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803736733
  • ASIN: 0803736738
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #207,755 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 17, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Catherine Fisher is one of those authors who, even if a story isn't the best, still creates a unique, hauntingly vivid world. "The Dark City" is a pretty good example of what she can do -- she crafts a grim, rainy sci-fi/fantasy story with a startling twist, set on a world that is slowly dissolving into darkness.

Long ago, the powerful Makers made the world, except for the Sekoi (who existed before that). Their powerful relics are still strewn around, and the Order of keepers has devoted itself to finding those relics and keeping them safe. Unfortunately, the evil totalitarian Watch has almost wiped out the Order.

Raffi and his master Galen have been living in hiding for years, only coming out to find relics. But then a small-time warlord steals a relic from them, and declares that he will only give it back if Raffi and Galen bring back a Sekoi storyteller from the cursed dark city of Tasceron.

Galen is fine with this, especially when they learn that the legendary Crow is in Tasceron. Since his powers have been crippled, he hopes the Crow can restore it. However, the two keepers have no idea that their travel companion Carys is a secret spy for the Watch -- and that the Dark City holds shocking secrets about their world's past.

The world of "The Dark City" is a pretty grim one -- Fisher crafts a gritty, rainy world, which has decayed into a sort of totalitarian Dark Ages. And while I won't mention what the twist involving this world is, Fisher carefully weaves in countless hints about the Makers, their relics, the Sekoi and the nature of this world.

The biggest problem is the magical powers shown by Galen and Raffi. Given what is revealed about their world, I'm not sure what these powers are or where they come from.
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Format: Hardcover
The Dark City, the first book in Catherine Fisher's new rapid-release series Relic Master, hints at greatness, but it's not quite there yet. There's a lot of world-building happening and groundwork being laid. The story in The Dark City itself is good, but the possible revelations to come could be epic.

Galen and Raffi's quest to find the The Crow takes us on a wonderful journey through Anara, learning how this world works. While I tried to enjoy the adventure, I found myself fixated on the relics and what they could possibility be. The relics, unknown and powerful technology, in a world seemingly devoid of tech demanded my attention. The relics are one of those details that seem so utterly important, but go without explanation (because the characters themselves don't know) for the entire book.

I wasn't sold on The Dark City until the very end of the book. Not quite a reveal, but a possible indication that my most wished for explanation may be true was enough to make me need the next book. Lucky, this series is to be released a book a month over the course of the summer so I won't have long to wait.

The people and the places in The Dark City weren't quite enough to make me want to continue the series, but that ending pushed all the right buttons, making me sure that there is something more going on here. Something amazing in the works. I wish I could have been this excited the whole book. The Dark City comes together in the end and I can't help but want to read the next book.
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Format: Hardcover
I love magic and mayhem. YA fantasy novel, Relic Master- The Dark City by Catherine Fisher has both. This 376 page book, published by Dial, is the first in a four part series. And the really cool thing, all 4 books come out this summer. #1 The Dark City- May 17, 2011. #2 The Lost Heiress - June 14, 2011. #3 The Hidden Coronet - July 12, 2011 and #4 The Margrave- Aug. 9, 2011.

The Story- Anara is a strange world where members of the "Order" are being hunted to the death by the "Watch". Once a group worshipped by many, now they are magical relic hunters on the run. This story concerns Relic Master Raffi, who has lost his powers and his apprentice, Galen. Together they travel into the dark city of Tasceron, a place of fire and evil, to find an ancient artifact that will hopefully save the Order and restore Raffi's powers.

My Thoughts- This is a quick read and I really enjoyed the fast pace. With the other three books coming out soon, it is the perfect length. I was fascinated by the world of Anara, I kept thinking that it was a post apocalyptic Earth, mostly due to all the technological relics that are found. It wasn't until the very last chapters that I realized I was wrong. Plus, the ending leads perfectly into the second book, I am so excited to see if the "Masters" come back. I wish there'd been more use of magic, I was a bit uncertain to what powers the Order actually have. The sense lines confused me. Are they ley lines? If there'd been more magic thrown around I would have had a better understanding. But, still, it did keep me guessing and I really want to read book two to find out what happens. Even though it's YA, I think older middle readers will love the book too.

For Parents: A little bit of violence as the Watchers hunt the Order, but nothing bad. All other aspects were fine.
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