Sunday 9 July 2023

Book Review: City of Bones by Martha Wells (Fantasy)

Title: City of Bones
Author: Martha Wells
Publisher: Tor
Publication Date: 5 September 2023 (1995)
Pages: 392
Format: eBook - EPUB
Genre: Fantasy
Source: ARC via NetGalley

The city of Charisat, a tiered monolith of the Ancients’ design, sits on the edge of the vast desert known as the Waste. Khat, a member of a humanoid race created by the Ancients to survive in the Waste, and Sagai, his human partner, are relic dealers working in the bottom tiers of society, trying to stay one step ahead of the Trade Inspectors.

When Khat is hired by the all-powerful Warders to find relics believed to be part of one of the Ancients' arcane engines, he, and his party, begin unravelling the mysteries of an age-old technology.

This they expected.

They soon find themselves as the last line of defense between the suffering masses of Charisat and a fanatical cult, bent on unleashing an evil upon the city with an undying thirst for bone.

That, they did not expect.

City of Bones was an okay fantasy read. I first discovered Martha Wells through the Murderbot books, and this is now the second standalone of hers (reissued) that I've read. I love Murderbot, but so far her other works have been, for me, simply okay and not mindblowing. City of Bones had an interesting premise and there was nothing I can pinpoint that was 'wrong' with it per se; it just didn't captivate me in any way, and I read through only half invested in the characters and action. Perhaps it's because I am always expecting a Murderbot-style of writing from her books, whereas it seems that her earlier works are far more 'traditional', without that dry humour I love from Murderbot. If you are a big fantasy fan, there is likely to be something of interest to you in City of Bones, but if you are only coming to the book as a fan of Murderbot, then there is a chance it won't tick all the boxes for you. I am giving in 3.5 stars.

I received this book as a free eBook ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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