The Dark City by Catherine Fisher

Summary: In Anara, the members of the old Order revere the Makers of the world and collect and protect the relics the Makers left scattered across the land. The current governing body, known as the Watch, however, insists that the Makers do not exist and that the members of the Order do not possess the powers they claim. The Watch has hunted down and destroyed most of the Order. Galen Harn and his apprentice Raffi therefore live in hiding, secretly collecting relics when the people, who still believe, call upon them. Now Galen has received a message leading him in the direction of the Crow, the legendary messenger between the Order and the Makers. Galen believes if he can reach the Crow, he can ask the Makers to return and set the world aright. A member of the Watch, however, tracks his every movement. The first in the Relic Master series.

Review: Any reader of fantasy will find The Dark City familiar. It contains standard fare such as a quest, magic, and an oppressive government, as well as stock characters such as the gruff magician, his inexperienced apprentice, a greedy ruler, and more. The plot itself is predictable, especially if one has read Fisher before and knows the way her mind works. Despite all this, the story proves gripping. Fisher has created an intriguing world in which those of different races and different faiths must learn to work together in order to survive, but also in order to discover the truth about their world. Although Fisher herself never directly broaches the topics of belief, prejudice, or even freedom, she does give her readers much to ponder through the different attitudes taken by her characters. Hopefully she will continue to explore these topics in the subsequent books.

First Published: 1998 (published 2011 in the U.S.)

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