Fairyloot Adult #2: The City of Dusk

At the end of last year, Fairyloot announced that they were going to launch a new product in March 2022, namely the Adult Fantasy Book-Only subscription.
While their standard subscription focuses on Young-Adult fantasy with extra goodies, this subscription would only contain fantasy books intended for an adult audience. That box would then contain only a book, with no extras.

As a subscriber to their regular YA subscription, I was given priority to sign up for this new service and as a book and fantasy enthusiast I couldn’t resist of course.

In April it was already time for the second edition of the Fairyloot adult. I only received this box at the beginning of May, but I usually only get my monthly fairyloots at the end of the month or the beginning of the following month.

The theme for April was Divine Power and the book would be perfect for readers who enjoy bone and shadow magic, vengeful gods and defiant chosen ones.
The book that eventually came out of the box was one I hadn’t heard off previously, but the author’s name did ring a bell.

Tara Sim’s The City of Dusk.
The reason the author’s name sounded familiar to me is because I received a Young Adult book from her in an Owlcrate a few years ago, one that I still haven’t read to this day *ahem*

Anyway, the City of Dusk. This time too Fairyloot did a fantastic job with their edition.
First and foremost there is the cover, which differs from the standard edition due to the inversion in colors. This is exactly the same trick they used for their first adult book, The Atlas Six, but one that I personally think is very successful.

I don’t know what the rest of the standard hardcover edition of this book looks like, but I suspect it doesn’t contain as many extras as this edition.
In addition to the unique cover, this edition also comes with spray-painted edges, a design on the endpapers and the same design in gold foil on the hard cover on the front. The book also has a ribbon bookmark and is signed by the author.
A really nice edition! The only downside I find is that the pattern in gold foil on the front, was not repeated on the hard cover on the back and it is just uniform black. Seems like a missed opportunity to me.
But hey, that’s nitpicking. It is and remains a beautiful piece. But what about the content?
I really try my best to read these new additions to my bookshelf in a timely fashion and I finsihed this one in July, just two months after I hauled it.

Sim, Tara – The City of Dusk (The Dark Gods #1) ★★★★

Genre: Fantasy

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 favor 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.

It took me a while to really get into the story. There’s a lot going on and a lot you need to wrap your head around. There are a lot of character perspectives, that each belong to a different house, which in turn each has its own specific magic system linked to a deity in its own special realm. So it took me quite some time to get used to all these perspectives and details connected to each. I used the beginning list of characters and houses for this quite a lot, but another thing that helped me was the way the different perspectives were set up. The fact that they are all situated in the same place at the same time, means that events often get told multiple times, but from another point of view. Some might find this repetitiveness tedious, but for me this was a plus point to start getting everything and everyone clear in my head.

I’m not going to lie, because of the slow start and steep learning curve, I was quite worried that I just never would be able to get into it. But I’m so glad that I pushed through it, because once things got rolling, it really got rolling.
The story told is truly of epic proportions, with lots of mysteries to uncover, steeped in adventure and danger, wrapped in political intrigue and topped off by truly fleshed-out diverse characters.

The City of Dusk really is an extremely compelling and gripping start of a dark fantasy. My only complaint would be that it ends in a way that’s not entirely satisfying. One part of the conflict is resolved, but a huge new quest opens just at the close of the book. I expected this, since it is a start of a series, but I still was somewhat bummed out that I have to wait for the sequel to come out. And isn’t that the biggest complement for a story, that you want to stay in it and learn more?

In conclusion, I thoroughly enjoyed this book, despite its slow start, and can’t wait to see how this story continues!