Book Review: The Dark City by Catherine Fisher

THE DARK CITY by Catherine Fisher
Series: Relic Master, #1
Publication Date: May 12th 2011 by Dial

Summary: Welcome to Anara, a world mysteriously crumbling to devastation, where nothing is what it seems: Ancient relics emit technologically advanced powers, members of the old Order are hunted by the governing Watch yet revered by the people, and the great energy that connects all seems to also be destroying all. The only hope for the world lies in Galen, a man of the old Order and a Keeper of relics, and his sixteen-year-old apprentice, Raffi. They know of a secret relic with great power that has been hidden for centuries. As they search for it, they will be tested beyond their limits. For there are monsters, some human, some not, that also want the relic’s power and will stop at nothing to get it.

Review Overview:

  • Great world building
  • Quick easy read
  • Beautiful book – I have the ARC but the final copy will probably be 10x better!

If it weren’t for the fact that I received this for review from Library Thing, I probably would not have picked it up. I usually don’t go for heavy fantasy, but I was curious about Catherine Fisher. Author of the Incarceron series, I’ve heard many good things about her other books and I’ve been meaning to pick them up. Despite my qualms about heavy fantasy, THE DARK CITY was very enjoyable for me – which can only mean that lovers of fantasy can only like this book even more.

What I loved about this book was its ability to suck me in. Even if I only started reading in short intervals, I found it amazing that Fisher was able to pull me straight in. The book was a quick and easy read. The pages just flew by and before I knew it, I had already finished the book. THE DARK CITY looked lengthy, but the combination of bigger than usual font, and photographs before the start of each chapter really takes up a lot of space after a while. Not that I’m complaining… The ARC I received was just absolutely gorgeous. The cover itself is shiny and the photographs of the stars before each chapter was something I looked forward to.

Though I’m not a huge fantasy reader, I have to give Fisher props for her fantastic world building. My imagination went wild with her vivid descriptions of relics and Anara. It did take me a while to get into the whole magic of the story, but I think that’s the reluctant fantasy reader in me. But once I tamed down my resistance, I fully welcomed the world of Anara and the magic of the Keepers.

Since it’s written in third person for the most part, it was tough to connect with any of the characters. We are given a glimpse into the thoughts of Carys, however, since she does write a journal every so often throughout the book. I was intrigued with her personal conflicts about what was right and wrong. She was really the only character in the book that went through a lot of changes as the story progressed. I hope that in the later books we learn more about Raffi.

I would definitely recommend that fans of Catherine Fisher pick this up, as well as those who love stories with heavy fantasy and adventure elements. Though THE DARK CITY is the first in a four-part series, each subsequent book is due to release this summer! The wait won’t be long, and fans will have something to look forward to all throughout summer!


  1. Fisher is one of my allll time favorite authors EVER and I’m just dying to get my hands on this! :) You really should read Incarceron! :D (It and Sapphique are two out of five books I would save if I could only save five…seriously.)

  2. Oy, my brain fried after Saphique. Is it me or British author are just very good at building their own worlds? Hehe I think Fisher is really talented but like your it’s not something I would pick for myself.

  3. Excellent review! I’m so glad I read it because I had put this book on my TBR, but didn’t think much about it. The cover is ok and the page count scared me away. I’m so happy to read what you said about it not feeling long. Thanks!

    1. The page count is not a problem. There really are so many filler pages with just pictures of the sky with quotes. And the font? HUGE. It’s a lot shorter than it seems.

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