I am absolutely loving this series, and so when the third (not final!) book in it appeared on NetGalley I jumped on the chance to read it!
So many thanks to the author, as well as Orbit for the review copy!
Enter a city of dragons and darkness.
The Godswar has come to Guerdon, dividing the city between three occupying powers. While the fragile Armistice holds back the gods, other forces seek to extend their influence. The criminal dragons of the Ghierdana ally with the surviving thieves – including Spar Idgeson, once heir to the Brotherhood of Thieves, now transformed into the living stone of the New City.
Meanwhile, far across the sea, Spar’s friend Carillon Thay travels towards the legendary land of Khebesh, but she, too, becomes enmeshed in the schemes of the Ghierdana – and in her own past. Can she find what she wants when even the gods seek vengeance against her?
“Am I the prophesied one who’ll restore the world to balance? No, Carillon Thay, we’re not all chosen by destiny. I’m good, but I’m not some fabled arch-mage.”
This is the continuing story of the city of Guerdon, among other things, and some of its various residents. In this volume, tensions in Guerdon are high, because the city is split between several factions. In this case, the New City is currently occupied by the Ghierdana, a group of dragon-worshiping pirates who are hell bent on shifting the trade of a special alchemical ingredient through them and them alone. And in their efforts, there are many shenanigans.
I enjoy New Weird, as a genre, and this series definitely qualifies in my opinion. It reads somewhat like Miéville’s Bas-Lag series. It has some fantastic vocabulary, to start, but that’s not why Guerdon reminds me of New Crobuzon. It takes place in a city that is dark, grim, rather corrupt, and full of monsters, gods, and miracles. A plague that turns men to stone, candle-men made out of the corpses of thieves that patrol the city for other thieves, and underground ghouls who eat the dead are just some of the daily sights in this city.
The characters have come a long way in the last few books. My favorite character is still Rat, who has become rather important as a ghoul since the first book. I still love reading about Spar and Cari, and this book definitely left me with feelings about the two of them. It also introduced a new character, Rasce, who is the Chosen of the Dragon. Basically, he is the guy that the head of the dragons in the area has chosen to lead their people. Rasce develops a lot over the course of this book, and I went through an entire gamut of emotions about him from start to finish.
It was well written, paced very well, and full of all kinds of creepy adventures. This, like Bas-Lag, are the sort of creepy, gritty, and very unique stories that I can’t stop reading even when they get a bit gross. Hanrahan has made these characters that I can’t stop cheering for even though I know that they are mostly quite morally grey. I just want more and more and more.
I definitely can’t wait to see what is next in this series, because this one left me with questions. 4.5/5 stars!~