The City of Dusk

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Pub Date 22 Mar 2022 | Archive Date 23 Mar 2022

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The realms are dying, and only the heirs can save the city - but at what cost.

The Four Realms - Life, Death, Light, and Darkness - all converge on the city of dusk. For each realm there is a god, and for each god there is an heir.

But the gods have withdrawn their favour from the once vibrant and thriving city. And without it, all the realms are dying.

Unwilling to stand by and watch the destruction, the four heirs-Risha, a necromancer struggling to keep the peace; Angelica, an elementalist with her eyes set on the throne; Taesia, a shadow-wielding rogue with rebellion in her heart; and Nik, a soldier who struggles to see the light- will sacrifice everything to save the city.

But their defiance will cost them dearly.

'For Sim's most devoted fans' - Publishers Weekly

'A lot to love' - Kirkus Reviews

The realms are dying, and only the heirs can save the city - but at what cost.

The Four Realms - Life, Death, Light, and Darkness - all converge on the city of dusk. For each realm there is a god, and...

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ISBN 9781399704090
PRICE £16.99 (GBP)

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Featured Reviews

There is not much more I could ask of The City of Dusk as a modern epic fantasy opener. Its cosmic worldbuilding is interesting and intricate without being hard to grasp (if anything, it is sometimes over-explained), but this is also real political fantasy: it genuinely feels like every character has their own conflicting motivations and ethics. The spectacular blockbuster plot is elevated by such an attention to character, where each of the major protagonists are vividly drawn and get to explore their own issues in relation to the constriction of family, duty, and power. I do think some of the secondary characters need a little fleshing out (the lining up of love interests feels particularly blunt), but that is what the followup is for - I am immensely excited to see where we go from here.

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“Starfell,” she said. A promise forged into the bones, into her own flesh and blood.


Gritty, Thrilling, Queer, Magical, deadly. This book is one that’s so enthralling it sends you into a book slump afterwards. 5✨ from me - it was originally 4 but I have not stopped thinking about this book

We follow a few different POVs most cantering around the heirs of the four major families in Nexus - each control a different magic, gifted by gods that have now sealed them off from the other worlds ( of which there are many ) as their world, people and city start to die.

Taesia Lastrider - resident badass, rule breaker, queen of shadows

Nicolas Cyr - soft boi with a sword, grapples with morality like nothing else

Angelica Mordova - perfect girl on the war path, will slap you and look perfect whilst doing it.

Risha Vakara - the actual sensible one, will kill if she has to but is more likely to offer a hot drink.

This book will fulfil all your morally grey protagonist dreams, there’s battles in ballgowns - daggers, stolen kisses, wars of succession, and a murder… plus plot twists that left me dizzy.

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I loved this book it was so well written with great character development, great worldbuilding anf a great storyline. I couldnt put it down and I can't wait to read more.

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I don’t know how I’m meant to read any other book ever again !! This book is an all-consuming expanse of dark gods and corrupted magic, rival houses and gripping characters, intense plots with mysterious twists. I cannot find a single thing to fault this book on.
Where do I even begin with my praises? Every single aspect of this book was incredible; the characters, the plot, the writing, the world-building, the magic system, the pacing, the twists. Every single aspect !!
This book is everything high fantasy should be and more, it is the epic fantasy I have always been waiting for!
World-building has always been my absolute favourite part of fantasy and this book did not disappoint! The world is so unique and interesting, full of opposing gods and intertwining realms. I loved working it all out and diving further and further into the mysteries of the world and unwinding each one, only to unravel the intrigue of more. The magic system is incredible and so complex and absorbing.
The writing is some of the most beautiful writing that I’ve ever read, every moment is packed full of emotion and meaning. I felt exactly what the characters were feeling, I felt their power and their rage and their pain, and it was glorious ! The descriptions were heart-wrenchingly beautiful; they made me just want to put my head in my hands and sob at their divineness. Stunning prose is sometimes so hard to achieve, but Tara Sim does so effortlessly and gracefully, sweeping you up in the moment so wholly. Every scene was so vivid, I watched everything play out so clearly in my mind, as if watching a film.
Normally I find myself checking what page I'm on (just out of habit) to see if I'm past certain markers, however I was too engrossed in this story to check. My mind was wrapped up in the scenes so intensely and I never wanted to put it down.
I knew from the beginning that I would fall in love with this book, (although I underestimated just quite how much) but I convinced myself I couldn't decide this was a 5 star book only 20 pages in, but every page I read further proved just how right I was. This book was a head-over-heels instant love for me and every sentence, every word, only dragged me in deeper into its depths. And, oh boy, do I wish I could stay there forever!
The characters are all incredibly complex and riddled with both compelling strengths and flaws. My favourite character was Taesia, but I adored and was fascinated with all the rest too!
There are seven intriguing points of view in this story. The author slips between them easily, conveying such skill as she writes all these characters so uniquely, showing their individual motivations and beliefs. Taesia is the second child of the Lastrider family, born of Nyx's blood, wielder of shadows. Dante is her older brother, the heir of house Lastrider, with secret practices of his own to keep. Angelica is heir of house Mardova, born of Deia's blood, an elementalist with a vocation for fire. Risha is heir of house Vakara, born of Thana's blood, a necromancer trying to break into another realm. Nikolas is heir of house Cyr, born of Phos's blood, wielder of light. Julian is a hunter with a mysterious gift. The boy is guided by the voice, tired and hungry.
There is so much action in this book, it’s full of mysteries and plot twists. The pacing was perfect, allowing for both important heartfelt scenes, yet making sure there was never a dull moment. Whenever it grew too quiet, I could feel the book whispering, this eager anticipation growing inside of me, waiting for the next strike. It was so much fun to read and I wanted desperately for it never to end!
I can’t believe how long I’ll have to wait for the next one!
Everyone go preorder this book RIGHT NOW, you won’t regret it, it’s the best epic fantasy you will ever read !! Thank you netgalley for sending me an e-arc, I will obviously also be getting my hands on a physical copy as soon as possible! :))))

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Oh crikey! "The City of Dusk" is an incredible read!! I just adored it. The plot, the characters, the setting, the writing - all absolutely superb. Twists I truly did not see coming had me gasping in disbelief. This book should be on everyone's to be read list. The good news? It's only the first in a trilogy. The bad news? We have to wait for book 2!! Send distractions. I need them until book 2 is published.

My thanks to the author, publisher, and NetGalley. This review was written voluntarily and is entirely my own, unbiased, opinion.

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A big big thank you to Netgalley for providing me with an advanced copy of City of Dusk by Tara Sim.

I don't even know how to properly begin. This story is so big and so well blended together. It starts off in a realm where a blessed king rules over a city with the help of four gods-blessed families. These families each have the blood of a specific god in their veins, allowing them dominion over a specific area of the realm. There is House Mordova who control the elements, and the hier of this house is Angelica. House Cyr controls light. The Cyr heir is Nikolas. House Vakara have dominion over the dead and the heir to the house is Risha. Last, but not least, House Lastrider - controlling shadows. The heir to this house being Taesia.

This was a multiple point of view novel without having any stagnant areas. The plot of the book evolves quite rapidly and keeps the reader guessing with enough reveals of the overall picture to make you want to keep reading way past your bedtime. The characters themselves go through character developments really well, and it's nice to see how some respond well to some of the challenges and others fall apart. Some of the side characters were definitely favourites and I will fight anyone who tries to hurt my favourite one!

I'm super excited to see this book released. It's a really dark and action packed bridge between YA and adult fantasy without a strong romance element to it. And I'm deeply curious to see where this arc goes in the next one!

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A rich, layered fantasy perfect for the fans of the "Shades of magic" series. Delightfully queer, with multiple cultures, realms and magic systems, this book was a fascinating and emotional first installment in a series i already can't wait to be developed further! I loved most of the characters, especially the girls: Teasia and Angelica, with their sass and rage and monstrousity, and Brailee and Risha, who just need to be protected at all costs. I loved how, even though we only see the characters drom a few different families all living in the same city, the world never felt boring and i loved all the cultural details about the otherworldly refugees and their culture, as well as the culture of Vitae. The relationships are complex and i'm excited to see how they'll change in the next books. I'm especially excited about the potential romantic subplots, which were mostly hinted at throughthout the book; they were subtle enough not to irritate or distract from the actual plot, but engaging enough for me to be emotional over them! The element of gods was delicious and exactly what i wanted from a book so heavily based in fictional religions, i can't wait to learn more about the gods, their past, their plans and to see all the ways they will ruin the character's lives! I'm honestly mad i read this book early and have to wait such a long time for the sequel!!!

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Thank you to netgalley and the publisher for early access to this title! Wow! I immediately went to order a hardback copy of this book from another country I loved it that much! Such a thrilling story and I am so excited for the release as I know it will be hugely popular! I absolutely loved it!

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The City of Dusk is a fascinating first book in a dark epic fantasy trilogy, The Dark Gods !

Four realms. Four gods. Four noble houses. The realms were once connected, but not anymore. The portals are closed and the gods have abandoned their people.

The story is set in the realm of Vitae - more specifically in Nexus, known as the city of dusk, capital of the kingdom of Vaega, and follows the heirs of the four noble houses, each gifted with a divine power descending from their god.

Dante and Taesia of House Lastrider, masters of the Shades, a visionary charmer and a rogue free spirit.
Nikolas of House Cyr, soldier of the Light, searching for his own light.
Angelica of House Mardova, power-hungry Elementalist eyeing the throne.
Risha of House Vakara, Necromancer, fighting to keep the dead away from the living.
And Julian Luca, Hunter, with a strange power nobody has heard of.

The Houses have a rocky history and antagnize each other, but if they want to save their city, the heirs have to work together, overcoming their complex personal relationships. The characters are not black and white, but various shades of grey - and willing to go to extremes to accomplish their goals.

This book is big, and has multiple plotlines, which makes the pacing a bit slow in parts of it. But it's all part of the bigger picture, and it pays out for a dramatic, breathtaking final part.
The worldbuilding is very detailed, from the garments and the weapons to the societal groups and the different way each of our characters sees the world.
The romantic subplots are not as prominent as I expected, but it's the first book of a trilogy, so you can expect more of it in the next books!
The magic system is interesting, the gods are terrifying and some scenes are really dark.

If I had to pick a favourite character, that would be Dante, and then Nikolas - especially when he was letting his guard now with a certain minor (or is he?) character.

The City of Dusk is another Tara Sim masterpiece after the Timekeeper series !

Thank you NetGalley and Orbit for the ARC!

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Fantasy has always been one of my favourite genres. I grew up with stories of magic and adventures, those that took you to different worlds full of extraordinary characters and enticing mysteries…

It’s safe to say that ‘The City of Dusk’ is a new favourite, one of those stories that seem to check all the boxes of things I love in a high fantasy story.

In this book, we follow Taesia, Nikolas, Angelica and Risha, heirs to the four important houses in Vaega, those families who have a connections with the four gods who rule each of the four realms (life, death, light and darkness). When a series of strange events lead them to discover a terrible truth (that their realm is dying), they will have to put aside their parents quarrels for the crown of Vaega, and work together to save the four realms before it’s too late.

‘The City Of Dusk’ is a solid foundation for this high fantasy trilogy. The worldbuilding shines in this first instalment, where we meet not just these characters, but these four realms and its legends and mysteries. The different magic systems prove real dedication, how carefully Tara Sim had threaded every single detail of this story to bring up a whole tapestry full of lights and shadows.

The mysteries introduced in this book are compelling, big puzzles full of intrigue that are put together carefully, showing a new shade in this world full of grey characters that are trying their best to find answers and protect those around them.

And it’s in the main characters where we can find the heart of the story. Each of them has a special ability, a power that ties them to one of the unruly gods that populate these worlds. Each of them has a weight over their shoulders, something that haunts them and moves them forward.

Many things will change in this journey full of action packed moments and more quieter scenes full of reflection and big thoughts.

Everything leads to an epic conclusion that raises the stakes. A legendary show down that will change everything, not just for our main characters, but to the four realms too!

This conclusion will leave the pieces ready for a sequel that promises surprises, exciting adventures, and more journeys for each of these characters. I’m definitely eager to read that second book once it comes out next year!

(So yeah… I totally recommend it! )

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This was a highly anticipated read for me and I was really looking forward to getting stuck in.
This book was full of magic in a well written plot line. As the first of a new series, it definitely sets the bar.
The characters are written in a way that makes them easy to connect/relate with, which I find sometimes authors miss.
Definitely recommend this book and I'll be preordering my copy!

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Thanks to Netgalley and Hodder & Stoughton for providing this eARC in exchange for an honest review.

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Wow wow wow - I don’t even know where to begin with this. This is a very layered , multi-dimensional tome of a book. There is a lot to take in - lots of characters, lots of world building, lots of abilities, and a heck of a lot of plot.

It is very heavy on the plot but also on the character building, which is what I love most. Our 4 main characters have different abilities, are aligned to different gods and are heirs to their houses. They are also all vying in various degrees to be the sole heirs to the kingdom, which just happens to be dying. There is a lot of politics and machinations at play. Just when you think you’ve figured out where the storyline is going we are thrown in a whole other direction. This could have been 2 books with the level of complexity and action and plot twists.

Character wise I love Taesia. She goes from being devil may care, I’m the spare - so nobody bother me, to accepting responsibility for her actions and other people. I love the point of her self realisation where she fully owns her strengths and flaws. She’s the epitome of morally grey as she does some bad things but doesn’t flinch from her actions or deny them - I can’t help but love her. I also think she’s the strongest, most badass, of the lot. I can’t wait to see how her storyline develops further in the next book.

All the main characters have an arc and show character development (the book is certainly long and detailed enough to give them that). The pacing was a little slow in the beginning but once it got into its stride I couldn’t put it down and read it all in one go. My heart was pounding at the end with all the action scenes. It was a little convoluted as soo much was happening at the same time. I almost feel like I need to read the end again to fully grasp everything that happened.

All in I really enjoyed this and i’m going to go up from my original 4.25 to 4.5 because I literally couldn’t put it down.

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