Title: The City of Dusk (The Dark Gods #1)
Author: Tara Sim
Publication Date: March 22, 2022
This dark epic fantasy follows the heirs of four noble houses—each gifted with a divine power—as they form a tenuous alliance to keep their kingdom from descending into a realm-shattering war.
The Four Realms—Life, Death, Light, and Darkness—all converge on the city of dusk. For each realm there is a god, and for each god there is an heir.
But the gods have withdrawn their favor from the once vibrant and thriving city. And without it, all the realms are dying.
Unwilling to stand by and watch the destruction, the four heirs—Risha, a necromancer struggling to keep the peace; Angelica, an elementalist with her eyes set on the throne; Taesia, a shadow-wielding rogue with rebellion in her heart; and Nik, a soldier who struggles to see the light—will sacrifice everything to save the city.
But their defiance will cost them dearly.
Why This Book
The City of Dusk felt like it straddled YA and adult, but features four heirs who all bear the blood of a different god, which gives them some interesting powers. As Godsnight approaches, they see an opportunity to re-open the ways to all the other worlds as their own is dying, but they’ll have to learn to trust each other.
Certainly there are other books I could have chosen, but I liked how all the main characters had different sexualities that were just a part of them and seemed perfectly normal in this world. There was no big deal that Angelica had a penchant for visiting, essentially, female prostitutes. The romance is not strong in this book, which was my favorite, but it was clear that different sexual orientations was normal and nothing to be remarked on.
My review: “I really liked how romance just wasn’t a big point in this book and that it instead focused on the tenuous relationships the heirs had with each other, their family relationships, and the surprising relationships they formed with other characters who mostly stood outside of their worlds but who nevertheless played big roles in the story”
Michelle from The Lesbian Review enjoyed it, adding “there isn’t a lot of focus on physical relationships in the story however, there is a wonderful amount of queer content as the main characters are: a bisexual woman, an ace woman, a lesbian woman, two bisexual men, and one pan man. These identities play into the story, but are not the focus of it”
Meredith from Lore of the Books rated it a 4, saying she “felt that the characters were all individualistic which is nice. They all had personalities even if I didn’t always like them”
Lynn from Lynn’s Book Blog gave it 2.5 stars, saying ” I liked the style of writing and yet I felt the story dragged its feet and for the actual length of the book I felt everything was a little vague, to such an extent that I find myself with more questions than answers about the world, the Sealing, the noble houses and the Conjuror.”
Julie from One Book More rated this 3 out of 5, saying “It is immersive, intricate, and detailed, and the author does a great job of creating vivid images of the world, magic system, culture, political machinations, social dynamics, and the four different noble houses.”
Anna and Charlotte from Reads Rainbow offered 5 reasons to read this, saying “Straight people? What are those? This is a book where basically no one is straight. And also, it’s a world where not being straight is never batted an eyelid at.”
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