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The City

The City [Kindle Edition]

Stella Gemmell
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £7.99
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Product Description


"This is an astonishing book and all the more amazing given that it is Stella Gemmell's debut. It combines extraordinary scope with first class characterization, devastating and visceral battles, a multi-layered plot and a tightly-focused narrative that keeps you reading, eager for the next page. The City is easily the best fantasy novel I've read in the last decade." JAMES BARCLAY, bestselling author of 'The Legends of the Raven'

Book Description

One of the legendary names in genre fiction returns - an astonishing debut fantasy novel from Stella Gemmell, wife of the late, great and bestselling David Gemmell...

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1595 KB
  • Print Length: 529 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0425264181
  • Publisher: Transworld Digital (25 April 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #7,708 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Stella Gemmell has a degree in politics and is a journalist. She was married to the internationally acclaimed and bestselling fantasy novelist David Gemmell and worked with him on his three 'Troy' novels, completing the final book, Troy: Fall of Kings, following his death in 2006. She lives and writes in an old rectory in East Sussex. The City is her first solo novel.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Welcome to The City 29 April 2013
I rather like the way that this book is split into a number of sections, each one focusing on a different level of society. The story begins at the very bottom with those poor souls who can descend no further. They barely survive in the ancient ruined sewers, living in the darkness and filth. Next the action moves to the ranks of the Immortal's armies. Finally we get to learn what is going on with the walls of the City itself. In each location we find numerous people who want to see an end to the current regime.

Often when I'm reading epic fantasy fiction, there tends to be a standout character, not so in the case of The City. This novel really works because it's an ensemble piece. There are a plethora of well-defined, superbly-executed characters that inhabit this novel. From Bartellus, the grizzled old man, who finds himself responsible for a child he never wanted, to Fell Aron Lee, the highly decorated soldier who has to face a growing realisation that the war he is fighting isn't the just cause he thought it was. The author breathes real life into these individuals making it impossible not to get caught up in their lives.

My only real criticism is that I don't think that I could recommend this to anyone with a short attention span, there is so much going on here. This novel demands you pay attention to everything that is going on in every single scene. For example there are a couple of characters who, for plot related reasons which I'll not divulge here, change their names. If you're going to get put off by things like that then you would be wise to give this a miss. Personally though, I loved it. Like the City itself, there are a myriad of layers in this story to discover.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As good a David! 27 April 2014
By Julia
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It was a worry, would Stella be as good as her husband David? The answer is a resounding yes! I thoroughly enjoyed this book finding it so difficult to put down that we were late out to dinner with friends, and then I picked it up again immediately on returning home. Her style is her own, not a copy of David's, and her story telling is also her own.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid Debut 22 April 2013
By Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
To be honest this is a book that took me a little while to get round to, not because I thought that there was going to be anything wrong with it, but with the closeness of Stella and David as a writing team I felt that there would be some touches of that old Gemmell magic that would tug at fond memories as well as the heart strings.

What unfurls within is a story that is something unique, something that takes her into a realm of her own in not only an imaginative world but also one that allows her to bring characters to life through the events that have shaped them. It has solid prose, quite a few twists and when backed with an overall arc that whilst at times slow, really gives the reader a story that will introduce her in her own right to the fantasy audience. All round I enjoyed this book and will look forward to seeing what she returns with.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Its Gemmell but not as we know it... 8 May 2013
I am sure almost every copy of The City has been sold to fans of the late, great D.G, hoping beyond hope that the magic he created was still, somehow, alive & well. I know that's exactly why I purchased it. I read the synopsis & it seemed good enough for me to buy into, so I did. The book is a traditional weighty tome & upon opening & seeing the large GEMMELL name inscribed on the cover I must say I was excited! I tried my best to give Mrs David Gemmell some leeway & told myself over & over that this would not be another Legend or Waylander. It really isnt.

However...much to my delight the book is well written, clever & in all honesty a more grown up novel than the majority of D.G's. I dont mean that at all disrespectfully but The City has to have your full attention as the story lines merge & blur constantly ensuring a good mix of fantasy, thriller & good old Gemmell magic! The start is definitely slow & any Gemmell fans will be thinking at around page 50 "this is average at best" but there was definitely something there, a sense that just around the corner it would jump into action, and to be fair it did. Somewhere between pages 50- 100 I found myself enjoying it immensely & from that point on I was totally & completely hooked.

As some of the other reviews have touched upon, The City is not the story of a Druss, or Skilgannon, rather the combined stories of multiple people attempting to change their lives. It works brilliantly & as a debut novel this has to be deemed a huge success. Personally I cant help but think that a main hero would have made it more mainstream in terms of critical acclaim & keeping her husbands fans onside but maybe Stella Gemmell will be a huge success in her own right with an audience made up from old Gemmell fans to many new ones.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Strange but enjoyable - well worth a read. 14 July 2014
By Matt
Format:Kindle Edition
Stella Gemmell’s The City is a strange book. It’s difficult to say why it’s strange without going into spoiler territory, but suffice to say that it is strange but the strangeness is a good thing — you never quite understand exactly what the book’s about until you get to the end, and that’s what keeps you reading.

On the face of it, the plot is simple enough. There’s an ancient city — only ever referred to as ‘The City’, even in dialogue — that has been at war with its many enemies, collectively known as ‘The Blues’, for years. The City has started to fall into ruin and its enemies have devised a plot to take down the emperor, Araeon ‘The Immortal’.

The plot involves a huge cast of characters, with suitably Heroic-Fantasy genre names like Bartellus, Fell Aron Lee, Marcellus Vincerus, Indaro, and Archange. Some characters even take second names, just in case the existing cast wasn’t comprehensive enough for you, and some even take second, and third, bodies (dum dum dummmmmm).

If the thought of so many characters concerns you, worry not, for as quickly as Gemmell introduces them, she often just as quickly dispatches them. Her writing may not be as brutal as George R.R. Martin’s, but she’s certainly as efficient in trimming down her cast. A fact the book benefits from as you get the feeling any peril in which the characters find themselves is real, which keeps things interesting.

There is a magic element to The City, but it’s fairly understated. We’re not talking about mages running around shooting fireballs from their fingers, lightning from their eyes, or… bees from their mouths (is that one? I’m not convinced that is one), but rather it focuses on just a few characters — a race known as The Serafim — who have peculiar abilities to do… what, exactly?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars I really love David Gemmel's books
I really love David Gemmel's books, and since Stella Gemmel had cooperated with him on the Trojan trilogy I thought I would get something inspired by his style and ability. Read more
Published 9 days ago by Ornulf Wang Sandaas
3.0 out of 5 stars ... the Author being the wife of one of my favorite writers.
Bought this due the Author being the wife of one of my favorite writers... a decent read, not quite as gripping as it might have been, but I'd probably read more.....
Published 10 days ago by M. Bates
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Oh Stella David would be so proud of you
Published 13 days ago by p.j.fifield
4.0 out of 5 stars Gripping mix of fantasy heroics
Excellent book picking up from where David Gemmell sadly left us. Great to have a world created in one volume, a lesson for those in this genre who can only think in trilogy... Read more
Published 23 days ago by MarkT
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning solo debut
Having being a huge fan of David was tempted and ready to be disappointed. However turned out to be absorbing and excellent. Loved the way the story wove and people developed. Read more
Published 24 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Stella Gemmell steps up.
The Gemmell story continues with Stella.
This is a great read with many story lines running in tamden, this leaves you wanting to get through so can get back to situation... Read more
Published 25 days ago by Steve
3.0 out of 5 stars a bit grim for my taste i didnt really like any of the people so...
a bit grim for my taste i didnt really like any of the people so difficult to identify with their problems
Published 28 days ago by nigel saunders
4.0 out of 5 stars City of the immortal
A fantasy novel. It is a complete and self contained story. It's not labelled as being part of a trilogy or a series, not does it appear to be since there is a lot of closure at... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Paul Tapner
4.0 out of 5 stars ... it disturbing in places but on the whole a good book. Look forward...
Found it disturbing in places but on the whole a good book . Look forward to reading more from Stella
Published 1 month ago by W H Nicholls
1.0 out of 5 stars why kids don't learn to read.
This is possibly the worst book that I have read in a long time, it just kept going with no real point until the last few chapters, at one point of reading this book I started to... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Ross McLeigh
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