Tuesday, March 12, 2019

City of Broken Magic

City of Broken Magic is the first book in the new Chronicles of Amicae series by Mirah Bolender. Released 20th Nov 2018 by Tor, it's 400 pages and available in paperback, ebook, and audio formats.

The world building is interesting with some nice twists. The cities are more like disconnected independent city-states. The female protagonist is fascinated by other cities and collects pictures of other cityscapes to use in a collage in her room. Although introduced as a fairly rigid male dominated society, there are strong female characters in positions of power who seem to be flouting the system without especial repercussions. I don't know if the author plans to address that in future or if it's just a tacked on background, but I did find it somewhat odd/jarring.

The monsters are very nasty indeed. The introductory scene in the book was creepy/horrifying enough that I had deep reservations about reading further.  I persisted and did enjoy the book. I did, admittedly, find the pacing and development a tad slow, but overall a well made story. This is the first of a multi-book story arc, so there are a fair number of dangling plot elements at the end of book 1.

There is some rough language but nothing more extreme than the average modern NA fantasy.  There is very little romantic content, just some mild teasing and banter, with a small bi-acceptance dialogue worked in, which I thought was nice. The dialogue is well written (although a bit over-the-top snarky now and then).

It often takes a couple books for a new series to really find its way. I'll be sticking with this one for another book or two before making a decision.

Three and a half stars rounded up for the quality of the writing. Especially impressive for a first time author.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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