My Favorite Books

The Walking Drum
Ender's Game
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
The Curse of Chalion
The Name of the Wind
Chronicles of the Black Company
The Faded Sun Trilogy
The Tar-Aiym Krang

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Review: City of Dawn

City of Dawn City of Dawn by Kat Ross
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Previous Review of City of Storms
Previous Review of City of Wolves
Previous Review of City of Keys

The final installment of four (4) for what is now one of my favorite fantasy series. Alexei and Malach were forced (aka teleported) into the desert of the Southern Continent where the Masdar League is organized into seven (7) emirates with a passing familiarity to the society that emerged in the Arabian Peninsula. This new venue enabled Kat Ross to continue with one of my favorite elements of the series … the world building … which was so good I didn’t want the story to end yet. Now far from home and separated from their allies, Alexei and Malach form an uneasy truce to rescue Malahc’s daughter Rachel from powerful renegade mage (nihilism) Balaur. Along the way we see a remarkable transformation of both men. Meanwhile Kasia, Dantarion, Nikola and Nataya team up with the surviving witches and a few mages to take a slow boat to their rescue. Every now and then we also check in with Mikhail and Morvana back home just for fun (and I did enjoy the developing relationship there a lot).

Of course, Balaur (now possessing his granddaughters body) is now looking for the City of Dreams where a dragon goddess is put into an enchanted sleep by her rebellious son Gavriel and his witch companion Cathrynne and sealed in the City needing seven (7) keys (artifacts) to release her. Each of his confederates searches for different reasons, and this may ultimately pit them against each other at the end; until then, they are united enough to thwart our heroes at nearly every turn. Slowly all parties eventually converge for a surprising showdown and a very satisfactory ending. I almost didn’t want it all to end, so the follow up chapters validating my shipping fantasies was a nice touch.

I was given this free advance reader copy (ARC) ebook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.
#CityOfStorms #Nightmarked #BookSirens

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My Ratings Explained ...

  • [ ***** ] Amazing Read - Perfect story, exciting, engrossing, well developed complex characters, solid plot with few to no holes, descriptive environments and place settings, great mystery elements, realistic dialogue, believable reactions and behaviors; a favorite that I can re-read many times.
  • [ **** ] Great Read - Highly entertaining and enjoyable, exciting storyline, well developed characters and settings, a few discrepancies but nothing that can’t be overlooked. Some aspect of the story was new/refreshing to me and/or intriguing. Recommended for everyone.
  • [ *** ] Good Read - Solid story with a 'good' ending, or has some other redeeming feature. Limited character development and/or over reliance on tropes. Noticeable discrepancies in world building and/or dialog/behavior that were distracting. I connected enough with the characters/world to read the entire series. Most of the books I read for fun are here. Recommended for fans of the genre.
  • [ ** ] Okay Read - Suitable for a brief, afternoon escape … flat or shallow characters with little to no development. Over the top character dialog and/or behavior. Poor world building with significant issues and/or mistakes indicating poor research. Excessive use of trivial detail, info dumps and/or pontification. Any issues with the story/characters are offset by some other aspect that I enjoyed. Not very memorable. May only appeal to a niche group of readers. Recommended for some (YMMV).
  • [ * ] Bad Read - Awkward and/or confusing writing style. Poor world building and/or unbelievable (or unlikeable) characters. Victimization, gaslighting, blatant abuse, unnecessary violence, child endangerment, or any other highly objectionable behaviors by Main characters. I didn't connect with the story at all; significant aspects of this story irritated me enough that I struggled to finished it. Series was abandoned. Not recommended.