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The City of Silk and Steel Paperback – 15 May 2014

4.5 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (15 May 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575132671
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575132672
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 3.1 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 547,003 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

There's an intriguingly playful approach to the storytelling. There are rewards to be had for the patient reader. (SCI FI NOW)

A captivating book that carries you along on an entertaining journey. (SFX)

If you like classical feeling fantasy tales with modern complexities, which is enchanting, captivating and enjoyable then The City silk and Steel should be top of your list. (Gavin Pugh GAV READS)

Book Description

An ARABIAN NIGHTS-style fantasy by the acclaimed author of the Felix Castor novels - and his wife and daughter.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I'd had this book on my ever-growing to-be-reviewed list for the best part of a year, before finally getting around to it. The version I have was called `The Steel Seraglio' & was published by Canadian small press ChiZine Publications.
The fact that a new edition is currently available goes a little way towards making up for my taking so long to get around to reading this remarkable book.
The story, of a group of 365 concubines, plus servants & children, banished after a religious fanatic stages a coup and kills the Sultan and his family, is told in the style of the classic Arabian Nights stories, often featuring stories within stories, all told with a modern sensibility which never jars.
The main characters include: Rem, a librarian, who disguised herself as a boy to get the job; Zuleika, a pragmatic 14 year old girl who becomes a trained assassin; Anwar Das, a silver-tongued thief who seems to be able to lie his way out of anything and Gursoon, an older concubine who becomes the mother figure of the group.
The tone varies widely from dark to light, and back to dark, as the authors take us through each character's personal story. The telling of the way Hakkim, the fanatic, and his followers gradually builds their power base, and persecute those they perceive as corrupt and impure, slightly reminded me of scenes from the film, 'Cabaret' (adapted from the writing of Christopher Isherwood) detailing the rise of the Nazis in 1930s Germany. That this is melded perfectly with this Eastern influenced fantasy tale is impressive. Despite the fact that the book was co-written by three people (mother, father and daughter) I could spot little evidence of any sudden style changes. I'm told the current edition has been tweaked a little to make that transition between styles even smoother.
I really can't recommend this excellent book highly enough.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Do you like complex plots in interesting settings, told from multiple points of views? Then this might be for you. There are a lot of characters, but they are well-drawn and consistent. The setting is a welcome deviation from the usual default of medieval Europe - a fantastic version of 1001 Arabian Nights. Very nicely done, and I couldn't see the joins between the multiple authors.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Fantastic book although cannot tell if I am being fair as I live Mike Carey's writing full stop. Couldn't put it down, story made my laugh, cry and almost broke my heart - Mike Carey knows how to tell tales well
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A fabulous read with an amazing backdrop and well thought-through characters. Completely and utterly different to his previous work and, had it not been by Mike Carey, I probably wouldn't have read it at all (not usually my type of thang). However, it still shares the same enjoyable prose and energy as the Castor novels, but with more detail and twists!

I'm not going to go into the plot here, but suffice to say that I read this about a year ago and the imagery it conjured still lingers in my mind to this day.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
There is nothing I could write that would do justice to this book. It is not quite perfect, but for those few chapters where it seems to stumble and lose it's way it more than makes up for in the rest of the book. I loved it and am urging all my friends to read it.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An excellent fantasy and a delight in its wit and charm. Top drawer stuff. It has something of a 1001 nights about it, but it's a modern animal too. Well worth the time and money. I'll be recommending it to all of my friends.
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