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The Relic Guild [Paperback]

Edward Cox
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
Price: 16.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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This title will be released on September 18, 2014.
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Kindle Edition 1.99  
Hardcover 17.45  
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Paperback, 18 Sep 2014 16.99  

Book Description

18 Sep 2014

Magic caused the war. Magic is forbidden. Magic will save us.

It was said the Labyrinth had once been the great meeting place, a sprawling city at the heart of an endless maze where a million humans hosted the Houses of the Aelfir. The Aelfir who had brought trade and riches, and a future full of promise. But when the Thaumaturgists, overlords of human and Aelfir alike, went to war, everything was ruined and the Labyrinth became an abandoned forbidden zone, where humans were trapped behind boundary walls 100 feet high.

Now the Aelfir are a distant memory and the Thaumaturgists have faded into myth. Young Clara struggles to survive in a dangerous and dysfunctional city, where eyes are keen, nights are long, and the use of magic is punishable by death. She hides in the shadows, fearful that someone will discover she is touched by magic. She knows her days are numbered. But when a strange man named Fabian Moor returns to the Labyrinth, Clara learns that magic serves a higher purpose and that some myths are much more deadly in the flesh.

The only people Clara can trust are the Relic Guild, a secret band of magickers sworn to protect the Labyrinth. But the Relic Guild are now too few. To truly defeat their old nemesis Moor, mightier help will be required. To save the Labyrinth - and the lives of one million humans - Clara and the Relic Guild must find a way to contact the worlds beyond their walls.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (18 Sep 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 147320030X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1473200302
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 15.2 x 3.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
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Product Description

Book Description

In the sealed Labyrinth, a young woman must find a way to control her magic and escape her prison in this remarkable debut fantasy.

About the Author

Edward Cox began writing stories at school as a way to pass time in boring lessons. With his first short story published in 2000, Edward spent much of the next decade earning a BA first class with honours in creative writing, and a Master degree in the same subject. He then went on to teach creative writing at the University of Bedfordshire.

Currently living in Essex with his wife and daughter, Edward is mostly surrounded by fine greenery and spiders the size of his hand. THE RELIC GUILD is his first completed novel, and it is the result of more than ten years of obsessive writing.

Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
3.3 out of 5 stars
This item has not been released yet and is not eligible to be reviewed. Reviews shown are from Amazon Vine™ members.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An Interesting Start to a New Series 7 July 2014
By B. D. Wilson VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
It's been a long time since I last reviewed anything on the Amazon Vine programme. In fact, I have only ever reviewed one item on it before, and that was five years ago. So it should certainly be seen as a compliment to Edward Cox that after all that time, I finally saw "The Relic Guild" as something worth breaking the silence for. The description intrigued me and I could instantly see the promise in it just based on the plot synopsis.

So was it worth it? Overall, my answer is "Yes", although I certainly would not say the book set my world on fire.

The novel kept my interest from start to finish, and had enough intrigue to make me keep turning the pages and find out where it was all leading. The majority of the "good" characters were interesting enough to make me root for them (although some, such as Clara, have back-stories which seem tacked on and irrelevant at the moment), while the majority of the "bad" characters, such as Fabian Moor, feel somewhat cardboard-ish at this stage. The world-building is pretty good, and Cox has done fairly well in staying away from many fantasy tropes, creating a world that has resemblances to our own in various stages of its development. The book has a detective-story feel to it at times, which is quite unusual but welcome for a fantasy novel, and the suspense certainly does grow as it proceeds towards its conclusion.

I would tend to agree with a previous reviewer that the novel ends on a little bit of an anti-climax, and I must also add that I'm not totally convinced by the format of interlacing the story with interludes that feature many of the same characters forty years earlier, as I didn't feel that they really added any tension or meaningful exposition for the present-day story.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun but flawed 14 July 2014
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is an interesting enough book, but I wound up feeling a bit disappointed with it. It's clearly meant to be the first of a series, and the challenge with that is always to write a tale that is both self-contained enough to make a complete story yet leaves enough open to make you come back. I felt this one erred too much on the side of leaving things open ended.

The good news is that there is enough here to make a second venture in the series worth a punt, so hopefully holding on for the later developments will pay off. There's some excellent world building and the characters are easy to root for. As the result of a catastrophic war the humans are trapped inside the city at the centre of the Labyrinth, unable to escape. Magic has been banned, with the Relic Guild responsible for controlling any illegal use. But the Relic Guild has dwindled to a shell of its former self and when an old enemy returns to the city, a young girl called Clara gets pulled into the crisis...

The problem was that there is a lot of seemingly irrelevant detail and character information which I can only assume is there to pay off in later books (at least I hope so, otherwise it really is irrelevant!). The ending comes quite abruptly and is a little unsatisfying for that. It's a promising start but I think needs to kep the second volume a bit more contained.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Formulaic first episode of a serial 6 July 2014
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Imagine a world where nothing is quite what it seems: there are allegories of our own experience, but all the technology is subtly different; the characters also have their own variations, with aspects of Talent; the universe/environment is a cleverly distorted mirror of what we are accustomed to; events are split between two time-streams forty years apart; there are even blurred lines between who are the heroes and the villains. The quality of the English is good with very little re-reading required to glean the meaning. It draws us along nicely as a good book should.

But that familiar and basic underlying fantasy formula is all we are offered, and the story just slowly fizzles away and then sputters out like a damp squib. Why? Because the plot is badly formed and woolly, the initially promising character development founders, and worst of all, despite about a hundred thousand words of padding the book stops abruptly in mid-flow. This leaves one with a strong disappointment, the realisation of having been cheated out of an ending with the waste of several hours that could have been better spent elsewhere.

It might have deserved four stars if much of the unnecessary verbiage had been stripped out and a worthwhile conclusion added, such as might be found at the end of the first volume in a series; but as merely the first few chapters of a serial there is only half a book here, so it can only expect at the most two stars.

The Relic Guild is either unfinished or a cynical attempt to make us keep on buying yet another "Next Exciting Episode" of a long serial. I don't do Soaps, not even in the Fantasy genre. If I had not been given this as a Vine proof copy I would have been angry at losing my hard-earned on this rip-off. As it stands it is just my time that has been stolen.

I will not be buying any further episodes.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but able to put it down 29 July 2014
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I enjoyed this book although it took me longer than expected to read as it never really grabbed me. I can't say I'm a fan of steampunk as a genre but I did enjoy the interaction of magic and out of place science. Edward Cox employs the literary device of taking his story back and forwards in time with the effect that you are constantly reading about the same characters but in different contexts which took a little getting used to. The book is very well written with well developed characters but I found myself disappointed with the open ending, I would have preferred an element of resolution rather than the author just hitting the pause button. It left me frustrated because I suspect unless it us already written the next instalment will be a long time coming.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A pleasant yarn
Edward Cox has created a world of magic, but a world where magic is shunned by most. The story itself straddles two timelines, the present, which follows a young shape-shifter and... Read more
Published 6 days ago by Bee of Good Cheer
3.0 out of 5 stars More scene setting than novel.
I found this book left me on the fence for an opinion.

On the one hand it's well written with believable characters and plenty of scope for story advancement. Read more
Published 29 days ago by Ren
2.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't get going, and is only part one
Hmm, I struggled with this, so much so that after reading about a third I gave up and forgot about it for a few weeks. Read more
Published 1 month ago by DebB
3.0 out of 5 stars Not recommended.
I'm giving this three stars only because I can't give it two and half. The start of the book did not grab me, but I thought I would give it a bit of time to warm up. It hasn't. Read more
Published 1 month ago by C. C. Chivers
4.0 out of 5 stars Welcome to Labrys Town
A fantasy novel. It runs for four hundred and fifty three pages. It is divided into twenty chapters and a prologue. [Although technically prologue isn't the right word for it. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Paul Tapner
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable Fantasy!
I found this a really readable book.
Set in "Labrys Town" in an imagined world where humans are confined to the town by an enormous maze, this is really two stories... Read more
Published 2 months ago by T. Walker
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