Anara is a dark world. Deserted, or so it seems. The Makers have left, but their power still lives in the Keepers - or the few who are still alive. The Watch hunts them, tortures them, kills them. Galen Harn and his apprentice Raffi are two of the very few still-living Keepers. Galen has lost his powers as the result of a bad accident and will do anything to get them back.
When the ultimate mission arises, one that means risking everything, Raffi must learn the power of faith, as they are ever hunted, and as they draw nearer and nearer to the dark and abandoned Tasceron, the City of the Makers.
My thoughts -
I first discovered Relic Master in January of 2011, when I came to the end of Sapphique and saw it advertised. As I'd just finished wiping my tears over Sapphique and marveling in its raw beauty and power and awesomeness, I was absolutely thrilled to learn that I would soon read more by this incredible author.
Catherine Fisher did not disappoint. And while I found The Dark City wasn't nearly as perfect as Incarceron and Sapphique, I can't help but love what this book holds. The writing was just beautiful... It's like old fairy-tale type writing, or a legend or something, and still it has a modern ring to it. I mean, who can do that? It's her little niche, and I absolutely love it.
Character notes -
This story comes from the perspectives of Raffi and Carys, but I felt like the book was more about Galen. It was his quest, his missing powers, his faith, that drove the story. Raffi, a scared 16-year-old, is not exactly a 3D character. He came across as flat, which really bummed me out because her other characters are really well done. Carys was interesting. I liked the tension she brought - and I still don't know if she's good or bad, which intrigues me.
Shean, the Sekoi, and Galen were all extremely fascinating, each in his own way and to his own purpose.
While Shean had a small part, he really held my attention in that short time. The Sekoi was so weird but way cool to read about! They are some of the most original creatures I've ever read about.
And Galen...he may have been a grumpy, bitter old man, but I cared for him. He was so desperate, so sad without his powers. When half of you is gone, something you have cultivated for years and years, you would be crazy not to go after it. Galen's faith, even without his powers, was strong, his prayers spoken in diligence, knowing he would be saved.
Story notes -
The story line was the strongest aspect of this book. It was full of interesting cities (the world building is phenomenal; I think that's Fisher's biggest strength). I was sucked in, wanting to explore this world Anara, totally engrossed. And boy, did I get my wish. Everything is well-described, while still leaving room for the reader's imagination.
The history of this world, from Creation on, was so fascinating that I can't wait to learn more in the next book. It was very well developed, with no holes. The Makers and the Crow all interest me greatly. The twists and turns in the story kept me thinking even after it was over, especially the end.
The religious aspects of this story were perfect and compelling. I found it related to Christianity in many wonderful ways; I was very encouraged, again, by Galen's faith. The prayers (answered or not) and the power of the Relics (the Makers' power) added a beauty I was not expecting...and it made the story even better.
Summing it up -
Dreamy. The whole book felt like a dream, and I was floating through it, an unseen spectator. It was as strange and as beautiful as a dream, too. I'm so excited for the 2nd book!
Nothing for the parents. 12+