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The City's Son (The Skyscraper Throne) [Hardcover]

Tom Pollock
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
RRP: £12.99
Price: £10.39 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

2 Aug 2012 The Skyscraper Throne (Book 1)

Hidden under the surface of everyday London is a city of monsters and miracles, where wild train spirits stampede over the tracks and glass-skinned dancers with glowing veins light the streets.

When a devastating betrayal drives her from her home, graffiti artist Beth Bradley stumbles into the secret city, where she finds Filius Viae, London's ragged crown prince, just when he needs someone most. An ancient enemy has returned to the darkness under St Paul's Cathedral, bent on reigniting a centuries-old war, and Beth and Fil find themselves in a desperate race through a bizarre urban wonderland, searching for a way to save the city they both love.

The City's Son is the first book of The Skyscraper Throne trilogy: a story about family, friends and monsters, and how you can't always tell which is which.


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The City's Son (The Skyscraper Throne) + The Glass Republic (The Skyscraper Throne)
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 422 pages
  • Publisher: Jo Fletcher Books (2 Aug 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 178087006X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1780870069
  • Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 14.4 x 4.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 473,649 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Inventor of monsters, hugger of bears, shameless prevaricator (i.e. fiction writer) Tom Pollock may be spotted on a dancefloor above a blur that is believed to be his legs (although no evidence has been found to confirm this). Tom once unwittingly blinded a US Government satellite with the gleam from his head on a summer's day, he's still working his way out from under that one. He writes YA fantasy about strange creatures and unlikely friendships in the hidden corners of the city, he lives in London, and if you come grab him on Twitter at @tomhpollock he'd love to say hi.

Product Description

Review

'It's gritty, dynamic, and beautiful - I can't wait for more' Tessa Gratton.

'The imagination with which Pollock reinvigorates the city is astounding ... A wonderfully confident debut that will have even the most critical fantasy fans clamouring for more' Fantasy Book Review.

'Paints a wildly inventive portrait of a London that will fill you with fearsome delight ... The writing is electrifying, the characters fascinating' Karen Mahoney.

'An impeccably dark parable, endlessly inventive and utterly compelling' Mike Carey.

'He nails that spot between utterly normal and blood-curdlingly weird perfectly' John Courtenay Grimwood.

'Bold, and weird, and quite, quite wonderful, The City's Son is the very definition of urban fantasy. Just glorious' Adam Christopher.

'I'm in love with Tom Pollock's imagination ... If you enjoy escaping reality and riding through someone's often bizarre imagination, then this is the read for you' Dog Ear Discs.

'brilliant, original, and poetic' Fantasy Book Critic.

'oozing with charisma, beautifully detailed' Fantasy Book Addict.

From the Inside Flap

Hidden under the surface of everyday London is a city of monsters and miracles, where wild train spirits stampede over the tracks and glass-skinned dancers with glowing veins light the streets. When a devastating betrayal drives her from her home, graffiti artist Beth Bradley stumbles into the secret city, where she finds Filius Viae, London's ragged crown prince, just when he needs someone most. An ancient enemy has returned to the darkness under St Paul's Cathedral, bent on reigniting a centuries-old war, and Beth and Fil find themselves in a desperate race through a bizarre urban wonderland, searching for a way to save the city they both love. The City's Son is the first book of The Skyscraper Throne: a story about family, friends and monsters, and how you can't always tell which is which.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A rare imagination 13 Sep 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
It's always a real treat to read a debut novelist that can write so well and has a superb imagination. Pollack's view of an alternate London `that is all around us' might be gritty, dark, and tough, but it's bursting with positivity, too. The inhabitants of this alternate London-- even those whose deaths have been stolen from them--are generally upbeat and prepared to do their bit to save their city when it is threatened. With a little push, of course.

Other reviewers have already outlined the plot so I won't go into details. In some places the prose positively sparkles, while in other places you forget about the words and just allow their rhythm to carry you down into some very deep and very dark places. I thought the characters could have benefitted from some more `deep penetration' pov in places. Apart from this, and some mildly explanatory passages near the end, I would highly recommend this book for its pace, originality, and honesty. The ending isn't happy, but left me satisfied and looking forward to the next book in the series, The Glass Republic.

I will never walk through Stoke Newington cemetery again without looking at the headstones and statues and wondering what might lie behind them. As for the Docklands, well . . .
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The City's Son - Fantasy Book Review 1 Aug 2012
Format:Hardcover
London has forever been a city that inspires fiction. From the famous works of Charles Dickens and Arthur Conan Doyle to more recent releases such as Audrey Niffenegger's A Fearful Symmetry, England's capital has always been a popular setting for make-believe.

Over recent years, London has featured prominently in genre fiction, with the city cropping up as the host for ever-more imaginative escapades. In Sarah Silverwood's The Double-Edged Sword (Gollancz, 2010) multiple versions of the capital exist on different plains, each more mythical and fantastic than the previous, while in China Mieville's Unlundun (Tor, 2007) an extraordinary flipside to the city is uncovered by two twelve-year old school girls.

Debut author Tom Pollock is merely the latest in a string of genre authors to utilise the capital as the setting for his fantasy frolics, but he does so with aplomb.

In The City's Son, London is a city falling apart (in more ways than one). Set primarily in the East End, where glass skyscrapers are emerging between the rubble and the abandoned, urban expanses of the Docklands reign, Pollock's tale presents London in its truest form. The contrast of modernisation, embodied by Canary Wharf and the city, with forgotten urban landscapes that stretch the length of the Thames, is deftly depicted, emphasising the city's jarring architectural and geographical juxtaposition as it stands today.

It is within this giant building site of a city that Beth, a rebellious graffiti-loving teenager, discovers a new life, one where sentient trains hunt her down, luminous glass people dance on estates and humans live forever trapped in bodies of stone. Voice-stealing spiders harvest human vocals and oil-soaked men flick cigarette lighters for fun.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
Every now and then, you find a book that makes you want to look around corners, peer over walls, climb into wardrobes, and climb down manholes seeking the world that must be there. A book that makes you believe again, for a little while.

This is one of those books.

Beth, a graffiti artist is excluded from school, and finds a strange young man who lets her see that world, and she takes it, heedless of the cost

This is a YA book, ostensibly, but it treats its reader right, to good & evil, love & loss, life & death, and trains.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars London's Hidden Face Revealed 31 July 2012
Format:Hardcover
I remember reading somewhere, years ago, that a city has many faces. I couldn't tell now where I read the phrase, but I liked the idea and it has always stayed with me. I've since come to the conclusion that when I'm reading well written urban fantasy the author is sharing tantalizing glimpses of these faces. The City's Son, the debut novel by Tom Pollock, is a great example of this phenomenon. As the plot unfolds the reader gets to discover what lies behind the façade of the London we are all so familiar with.

When Beth is first introduced she is already a creature of the streets in her own way. Unruly and unforgiving due to problems at home, she escapes via the sights and sounds of the city. A chance encounter reveals a hidden side of London and Beth finds herself in the midst of a turf war between two opposing forces. Beth's guide on this journey is the enigmatic Fil, part human and part something else. The relationship that develops between the two forms the core of the novel. Both are looking for answers to the mysteries in their lives and they very quickly form a strong bond.

Fil's mother, Mater Viae, is the goddess of London's streets. She is the embodiment of history and tradition, bricks and mortar. Mater Viae has existed since time immemorial. Meanwhile her opponent is known simply as Reach, the Crane King. Reach is driven by demolition and renovation; he draws his power from towers of glass and steel. These two characters opposing viewpoints work perfectly to illustrate the clash of cultures that has developed in this escalating cold war.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars The city's son
I randomly selected this book from my kindle hd store s special offers,I had never heard of this author but the blurb I read intrigued me ,so I started to read the book and after... Read more
Published 17 days ago by carol henderson
4.0 out of 5 stars Railwraiths, lightbulb militia, punishment priests, and scaffolding...
Railwraiths, lightbulb militia, punishment priests, and scaffolding wolves!

Tom Pollock did something marvelous with The City’s Son. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Tabitha @ My Shelf Confessions
3.0 out of 5 stars Only OK
After reading fantacy books for sixty years I would only rate this book as OK.there are better books on the Market
Published 1 month ago by colin helsby
5.0 out of 5 stars What a world...
Expelled from school, betrayed by her best friend and virtually ignored by her dad, who's never recovered from the death of her mum, Beth Bradley retreats to the sanctuary of the... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Liz Wilkins
5.0 out of 5 stars A dark and absorbing debut
A teenage graffiti artist and the son of an absent Goddess work together to defeat a monster that threatens present-day London in this dark and absorbing debut by Tom Pollock that... Read more
Published 5 months ago by C Welsh
2.0 out of 5 stars Big Disappointment
There are very few books which I can't face finishing but this turned out to be one of them - I had heard great things and opened my parcel eagerly when it arrived. Read more
Published 7 months ago by W. Taylor
2.0 out of 5 stars be aware this is a Young Adult book
If I`d been 50 years younger I would have loved it. As it was, I`ll leave this one to the Twilight fans. Nice book - but definitely for young teens.
Published 7 months ago by CB
5.0 out of 5 stars Forced me to write a review
I have read many good stories bursting with imaginative ideas and packed full of potential but they have been just a little lacking and I have often wished that a really good... Read more
Published 7 months ago by val reilly
4.0 out of 5 stars Skyscraper Throne book 1
The City's Son is an impressive debut and a great introduction to the Skyscraper Throne trilogy. Tom Pollock has taken the London we know and love and brought it to life with a... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Sarah (Feeling Fictional)
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Imagination tied to the Streets of London
Tom Pollock's imagination shines true in a wonderful book. The three main characters brilliantly developed and the landscape of London is vividly displayed throughout. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Paul Walsh
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