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Summary

Paris in the aftermath of the Great Magicians War. Its streets are lined with haunted ruins, Notre-Dame is a burnt-out shell, and the Seine runs black, thick with ashes and rubble.

Yet life continues among the wreckage. The citizens retain their irrepressible appetite for novelty and distraction, and The Great Houses still vie for dominion over France's once grand capital.

House Silverspires, previously the leader of those power games, now lies in disarray. Its magic is ailing; its founder, Morningstar, has been missing for decades; and now something from the shadows stalks its people inside their very own walls.

Within the House, three very different people must come together: a naive but powerful Fallen, an alchemist with a self-destructive addiction, and a resentful young man wielding spells from the Far East. They may be Silverspires' salvation or the architects of its last, irreversible fall....

©2015 Aliette de Bodard (P)2015 Orion Publishing Group

What members say

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Lulu
  • LONDON, United Kingdom
  • 06-04-16

Dark, An Acquired Taste

I did not enjoy the book; it was so dark and grim with no respite for warmth, light, love or victory. The characters were not well developed, if at all and there's no sufficient explanation as to the emergence and state of being of the world so described in the story. As a reader, you're left with so many unanswered questions, unable to comfortably connect all the characters; it is almost as if you were eavesdropping or merely stumbled upon a discussion or tale which you were never intended to be privy to. This is a story with no proper beginning or end and one you'll either hate or struggle to like.
This is not a book I'd recommend or read ever again.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Bloody great!

Lovely world building, a murder mystery that rattles along and a satisfying if bittersweet ending.

Narration was good and understandable at X1.5 playback speed.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Not much to invest in.

Downloaded this mainly on the strength of it being a Peter Kenny narration. As always his performance is excellent.

Was a bit dissapointed with the book as a whole though. Didn't particularly like any of the characters, although in fairness I don't think the reader is expected to. The main disappointment was the plot. It didn't really go anywhere. The main plot was ultimately the development of various characters but I didn't really care...

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Enjoyable Series

The premise is great, as are the characters & setting, but some of the internal monologue is ordinary in comparison... most annoying of all is the fact the tension - as enjoyable & necessary as it is - is based upon a series of easily forgiven misunderstandings that could be avoided or remedied quote simply.
All that said, we'll worth a read / listen.

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Required heading

I kinda struggled with this one. Great ideas but I got distracted & lost the plot often.