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The Etched City Paperback – 1 Feb 2003

4.3 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 332 pages
  • Publisher: Prime Books (1 Feb. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 189481522X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1894815222
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 15.8 x 2.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,530,218 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'...a rare beast - a fantasy novel that's refreshingly new and different.*****5 Stars' -- SFX --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

Brimming with imagination and surreal imagery, an outstanding first fantasy novel --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
"Have you seen a split cranium, growing flowers like a window box? I saw that, a mere hour ago."

The promise of this little quote atop the blurb was delivered within the pages of KJ Bishop's excellent novel.

It's not a perfect book. I spent the first few chapters wondering where the plot was going - but I was so engrossed in the superbly-drawn world and characters that I didn't really care.

When the plot did emerge, it did so with a dangerous smirk. It begins with Raule, in the desert. She bumps into an old associate, Gwynn, and together they flee the desert and their enemies to the city of Ashamoil. There things get weird. Gywnn is the main character there, though Raule's story continues to be told in the sidelines and intertwines with Gwynn's at times. A gunslinger currently employed as the henchman of a slave trader, Gwynn is surprised to find himself depicted in an etching. He becomes determined to track down the etching's artist and, with the aid of a delightfully trippy scene where he gets high, he finds her. While he becomes closer to the strange artist Beth, his 'career' runs into trouble. It is with Beth, though, that the weirdness happens. It's hard to describe. Think of warped, chimeran dreams brushing against reality, and you're close to the focus of this book.

This is a book I heartily recommend to anyone who is sick of the Tolkien-esque clichés still bouncing around, and who wants to read something dark and weird and wonderful. KJ Bishop is an example of what fantasy writers are capable of when they're not afraid to do something new.
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Format: Paperback
The Etched City is difficult to categorise. One first gets the impression of reading a heroic fantasy a la Robert E Howard after which one thinks Mad Max. Think swords, guns and a smattering of sorcery in a brutal, filthy city of corsets and carts.
The book is about Gwynn and Raule, a killer and a doctor unfortunate enough to have been involved in a failed revolution. Now fugitives from the victors, they escape to the city of Ashamoil where they merge with society.
Gwynn is a paradoxical thug at home both cutting throats and in the theatre, with an unusual amount of good luck. Raule is more like an excavated husk, a good phycisian without a soul. They both decant to opposite ends of the social scale and their acquaintance is uneasy, and often hostile.
The central idea is really interesting, but I can't go into that without spoilers.
The book starts a bit slow, and while it is well worth finishing there are some definite preachy bits I could have done without.
It also delves into the Victorian Era level of technology and sensibilities which has become fashonable these days. At least there are no dirigibles!
I bought this book because of comparisons with the excellent Perdido Street Station by China Mieville but to be honest there is really no comparison.
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Format: Paperback
I had no expectations coming into this book only that my daughter told me to read it and I'm so glad I did. It was beautifully written and haunting and nothing like the fantasy books I had read before. The story line is a simple one with the two main characters on a parallel journey and only meeting few times along the way, but the story lingers in my mind and the ending is one of those that makes ponder. Very surreal but very wonderful.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a must for the sci-fi enthusiasts. The amazing city jungles and convoluted characters are so delicately portrayed that you won't stop reading this until you reach the back cover. What makes it more amazing is that the author actually draws too, and to see, after reading the book, the portray of the main character and find out that beautifully drawn picture in your head has a real-life tween it's just amazing. I really enjoyed the book, it has created a perfect little world I can rover into from time to time.
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Format: Paperback
This whole novel feels a bit like an extended exercise in creative writing. There is no real plot-line running consistently through the whole novel and what we have is various goings-on centred loosely around the same couple of characters rather than a coherent story with a beginning, middle and end. A few of the scenes feel as if they only exist to allow the author to try her hand at writing a night scene, or at describing architecture, or how our feelings for our lovers change over time, or whatever. But despite that, this is a fine first novel and the author shows clear talent and real originality and invention. I look forward to her future books.
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