Why did I get it: I had been curious about the Relic Master series for a long time, but a lot of the reviews I read left me with mixed feelings. After reading a lot of disappointing YA Fiction, I decided what the heck and gave the first book a try. I am so glad I did.
How I would rate it: 5 out of 5 stars.
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: From start to finish, I was enthralled by this book. It is just sort of thing I really wish I could have stumbled upon as a kid, but am still completely delighted to have discovered now.
I loved everything, especially the plotting, the pacing, and the world-building. The dilemmas that characters faced were intense, powerful, and believable. In terms of Galen, Raffi, and Carys, there was no way to keep from feeling for them as they struggled to overcome great hardships because of themselves, one another, and the situations they were thrust into. They were all quite likable too,and I cannot wait to read more about the Sekoi and his people.
Although I’m usually not a fan of pages that consist only of fragments from some non-existent text, scroll, or tome, I think The Dark City actually benefited from including so many of them since they actually added or enhanced the sections they proceeded. As both the keeper and apprentice headed toward their goal, the world became more and more vivid even as it became more and more complicated in terms of factions, magic, and the relics that need to be gathered in order to save the world from itself as well as a good percentage of its own people. There are a lot of mysteries left to puzzle out, and I am thrilled to find yet another YA novel that was about mentors, students, friendship, trust, and a really, really unique setting. The way Fisher combined technology, magic, science fiction, and fantasy was simply terrific and so well-done.
In conclusion, an excellent first book and one that ought to have come out in the states a long, long time ago. I think fans of any kind of fantasy will find something to enjoy here and ought to seriously consider taking a look at The Dark City. It is a short read and a vastly entertaining one. I for one can’t wait to read the rest of the Relic Master books and then as much Catherine Fisher as I can get my hands on.