Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Edi's Spotlight: City of Ruin by Mark Charan Newton

Hello this is ediFanoB. I silenced the rest of my brain inhabitants (Bona, Fide, Bona Fide and Kotm) for this review.
It is really exhausting for me to read books in PDF format. But in some cases I make exceptions. And in following case it has been more than worth to read the PDF.
Only one week to go until the publishing date of the second book in the Legends of the Red Sun saga by Mark Charan Newton. Mark has been so kind to provide me a PDF copy of City of Ruin (June 2010) [ISBN-13: 978-0230712591].
Short Description
"Viliren: a city of sin that is being torn apart from the inside. Hybrid creatures shamble through shadows and barely human gangs fight turf wars for control of the streets.
Amidst this chaos, Commander Brynd Adaol, commander of the Night Guard, must plan the defence of Viliren against a race that has broken through from some other realm and already slaughtered hundreds of thousands of the Empire's people.

When a Night Guard soldier goes missing, Brynd requests help from the recently arrived Inquisitor Jeryd. He discovers this is not the only disappearance the streets of Villiren. It seems that a serial killer of the most horrific kind is on the loose, taking hundreds of people from their own homes. A killer that cannot possibly be human.

The entire population of Villiren must unite to face an impossible surge of violent and unnatural enemies or the city will fall.

But how can anyone save a city that is already a ruin?" [Source]
Welcome back to the second visit of a town under the Red Sun. This time we head more north. It is getting colder and it snows more often.

After the events in Villjamur

--- EXCUSE me, you didn't read Nights of Villjamur ? Why? You never read a fantasy book before? OK. That is the only apology I accept. Anyway you are lucky because the paperback of Nights of Villjamur (2010) [ISBN-13: 978-0330461665] will be published too next week. Buy both books and say good bye for some days ---

we enter now the city of Villiren. Compared to Villjamur, Villiren is not that dominant. Also the atmosphere is different.
"And I used to think those nights in Villjamur were full of freak shows, Jeryd thought. This place is twice as bad."
A lot of people don't really care what is going on. They try to survive.
"When someone has no future, they look in the other direction."
Beside this mass we have upper-class, soldiers, do-gooder and the underbelly. Each of them has their own motives.

A new town means new people. Fortunately there are some people who left Villjamur and travelled to Villiren.
We meet again two main characters from Villjamur: Night Guard Commander Brynd Lathraea and Investigator Jeryd with his wife Marysa. Brynd has been commanded to prepare Villiren against an invasion. Investigator Jeryd should take care of the increasing violence in the city. Of course we meet new characters like Mallum, a big number of the underbelly, his wife Beami, who experiments with relics. Bellis, Abaris and Ramon from the Order of the Grey Hair , who have some knowledge about human fear and spiders. Not to forget the do-gooder with their sublime motives and some more.
The stories of these people are interwoven like a spiderweb. They cross their ways. They change from fiend to friend and vice versa.

Beside the plot lines in the city we follow a group of people- Rika, Eir, Randur and Denlin - who fled from Villjamur and now are on their way to Villiren. They meet Artemisia, seven foot tall, black hair, pale blue skin and eyes like charcoal......

One important thing for me is that Mark presents several main characters who are believable and lovable - I must say I enjoyed especially the darker ones - and he does something which you do not find that often: You are not sure whether which characters will survive or not. And as in Villjamur Mark shows his talent to make alive his "grey" characters and the world they inhabit.

The writing style fits perfectly to the pace, complexity and atmosphere of the story.

City of Ruin is that good, you can read it even as a stand alone book. On the other hand Mark delivers more information about the world, answers questions and leave us with new ones.

City of Ruin is far more than a fantasy story. It contains obvious traces of crime, mystery, horror and even a whiff of urban fantasy. You get a lot of action, fair amount of military action, crossing plot lines, intrigues, superstition, betrayal, secrets and surprises.

At the end of a review I try to summarize my impressions in a few words. You know things like stunning, awesome, gripping, intriguing, amazing, gorgeous and so on. To be honest the all apply in this case.
But this time I want to be simple and unpretentious.

City of Ruin
is definitely one of the fantasy highlights in 2010

And what should you do when you read a sentence like the above one:
Buy Read Enjoy

Attention, Attention, Attention: Don't read the book in dark and old houses if you are afraid of spiders....

Let me finish my review with the very first sentence of the book which gives you a hint of what to expect:
"It entered the deep night, a spider reaching taller than a soldier."


Seak (Bryce L.) said...

I'm one of those sad saps who hasn't read Nights of Villjamur yet. In my defense it's not officially out in the states yet. But this sounds like an amazing sequel. Good to hear. Great review, thanks.

ediFanoB said...

No problem. Nights of Villjamur paperback will be published in first week of June 2010. Both books are great reads.

Murf61 said...

Good review! It is a great book, deserves an award in my view!

ediFanoB said...


an excellent read. I think you are right with the award.

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