Review: City of Dusk by Tara Sim

The City of Dusk is a fun adult fantasy with YA-crossover appeal, intriguing, expansive worldbuilding, and a well-developed cast, but it sometimes felt like it was doing too much.

Four noble houses – Lastrider, Vakara, Mordova, and Cyr – are gifted with divine power from their gods. Even with this power they watch as their city, Nexus, crumbles after the gods sealed away their realm. A plague of Conjuration magic spikes in the city as the dead walk and the threat of demon-summoning lingers on the horizon. Despite the danger, Conjuration magic might be their saviour. Taesia and her brother Dante uncover a plan to use the magic to save their city, but they’ll need to bring all the houses together.

The worldbuilding in The City of Dusk was fantastic; it was complex, well-developed and immersive. Despite the necromancy, the threat of death, shadow magic, and murder this doesn’t slip into grimdark, which gives it a lighter voice that offers a YA-crossover appeal. Some readers might be disappointed by the new adult atmosphere, but it helps make this long, detail-heavy book more readable and compelling. At the same time, the large cast does significantly slow down the pace of this read. If you enjoy the characters, this is great – if you don’t, you’re going to struggle. The characters were complex, and their development was interesting, but they aren’t always the most compelling. Occasionally it felt like The City of Dusk was doing too much, and it would have benefited from more depth and less breadth in its people and world. This was an enjoyable read that slowly unravels into an intriguing ending; it wasn’t perfect, but I know I’ll be picking up the next book in the series.

Thanks to Orbit and Netgalley for providing me with an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

Author Information

Tara Sim is the author of the upcoming CITY OF DUSK (Orbit), as well as the SCAVENGE THE STARS duology (Little, Brown) and the TIMEKEEPER trilogy (Sky Pony Press). She can often be found in the wilds of the Bay Area, California.

When she’s not writing about magic, murder, and mayhem, Tara spends her time drinking tea, wrangling cats, and lurking in bookstores.

Tara is represented by Victoria Marini at Irene Goodman Literary Agency.

Name pronunciation: “tar-ah” (not “terr-ah”).

Get this book

If you want to remember to check out this book you should Add to Goodreads!

You can pre/order the book from retail sites such as Blackwell’s & Waterstones

I’d recommend checking out your local indie bookshop!

see you next time! Luminosity Library

4 thoughts on “Review: City of Dusk by Tara Sim

  1. I absolutely agree! The world building is amazing, but there are too many characters, so the story got bogged down too much. Though I did like the way it ended. I’m intrigued about the second book, but a little nervous it might try to do too much again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah like it was just doing too much and the cast were almost too connected? Like having to see how everyone reacted to the same info over and over was v repetitive, I enjoyed the writing more generally and I’m really hoping the second book will have ironed out those negatives but we’ll have to see

      Liked by 1 person

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