EBOOK FREE [The Drowning City]

So a rebellion fomenting spy is fascinating The Drowning City itself is an absorbing place and the freuent use of magic was well done This Forsaken Earth learned magic is separated into various arts and seem to also be based around various elements as well as charms that non mages can use the supernatural is also present in a wide variety of beasties spirits and ghosts especially ghosts the confusion and irritation started coming during the second section where the mishmash of cultures rather stereotypical depictions of oriental culture that are coming into conflict with a ratheress stereotypical depiction of an imperialistic arab culture began to seriously annoy me the coincidences also began to arrive to eye rolling effect and finally the third portion far too rushed far too sentimental far too clich d in the end the overall feeling i was The Summer Palace: A Captive Prince Short Story (Captive Prince Short Stories Book 2) left with was exasperation instead of the curiousity i should have had for further adventures still the use of magic was plentiful and enjoyable so if that is what you areooking for this novel will not disappoint in that regard I forgot exactly how I first came across The Drowning City by Amanda Downum but I m sure it was from browsing online rather than in a brick mortar bookstore I might have been checking out Orbit s the publisher website Either way the cover art was attractive and what immediately grabbed me was that it promised an Eastern setting No offense to the 90% of fantasy that isn t of the urban subgenre but I tire of stories taking place in medieval Europe no offense to Europe either The prospect of something different shot this book up to the top of my ist The fact that it was a debut novel didn t deter me With the string of pretty decent debuts fantasy fiction has been getting ately I actually jump at themSettingAs mentioned the setting isn t the standard fantasy backdrop It feels very South Asian in all respects Campfire landscape clothing food names of places people and even greetings What I enjoyed most about the setting was that it really came alive there was a good deal of personification used to describe aspects of the environment There were always vivid enough descriptions of the environment to maintain the cultural feel and a good general sense of place and time And the author did this without slowing down the pace So I d say all bases were covered as far as setting is concernedMagic SystemAfter Brandon Sanderson s Mistborn spoiled me I ve been picky about magic systems Anything that doesn t seem original enough or doesn t haveogical rules turns me off So I wasn t too excited about the fact that certain tropes ike necromancers ghosts etc were used However the execution of these things was nicely doneThe author never got into the science of how things worked ike Sanderson does and the range of what is possible in the magic system was wider than I would have preferred but it wasn t as Hurrah For The Blackshirts!: Fascists and Fascism in Britain Between the Wars loose or underdeveloped as some fantasy I ve read I suppose one could say it was closer to the way superhero abilities work where characters specialize in a singular realm of abilities rather than the Gandalf anything goes type of magicCharacters The characters were pretty dynamic They spoke differently acted in different ways felt differently about issues disagreed with one anotheried to each other Each of the viewpoint characters was Adam Smith: An Enlightened Life likable and I could understand their decisions even when I disagreed with them Theatter part applies to non viewpoint characters as well There were some who were dislikable but still understandableWhat I found in this novel were antagonists rather than villains What I mean is there is no character that I really hated or was annoyed with ie no conventional madman villain who kills arbitrarily However I would have Crazy Love liked to have had a character that I was really afraid of That to me makes a good villain I suppose the trade off for the author of offering both sides to a conflict and making disparate viewpoints understandable or relatable is a reduction in the antagonists intimidation factorOn another note from what I can remember all if not just the major viewpoint characters were female Each voice was distinct and each journey intriguing but I dike to see the author delve into male viewpoint character writing in a subseuent novel Not that the story suffered from a ack of it just for my own curiosity of the author s courage and skill and my preference for mixed viewpoints This story was written well enough that I think she could do it Amanda Downum may have written short stories with male viewpoints but I don t venture into that format very often to be honestPlot ConflictAs mentioned before no conventional villain nor a conventional Tolkienesue setting This plot was a recipe for originality Sure stirring up a revolution to fight the power has been done before but these days originality is really just a measure of how much the market is saturated with a thing Another measure is how predictable the plot points are and this one had me anticipating yet still guessing the whole way You can read the back cover for the premiseThe Story Looks To Be looks to be into three acts each of which contain plenty of drama The beginning wasn t as slow as some fantasy I ve read I d say things got jumping fairly early The pacing was steady didn t stagnate and didn t overwhelm either Plots were weaved well when paths collided it didn t feel tossed in out of nowhereTension built from the very beginning and continued ebbing and flowing throughout The characters were definitely challenged with a decent balance of internal and external conflicts The story didn t follow the recent trend of characters being horrifically tortured and gutted and the ike but the main characters including the protagonist do not escape unscathed And I do mean permanent conseuential damage not just a flesh wound here and thereThe climax was action packed There was no cliffhanger or major oose thread at the end This novel felt complete and satisfying with a general sense that there would be to come ater in the characters ivesRomance I say this all the time usually when two characters meet for the first time in a story I don t find it believable that they fall deeply in ove by the end This author may be of fall deeply in Black Heart, Red Ruby love by the end This author may be of same frame of mind There are a few relationships already established at the outset and t I would say 3 12 stars and the reason I am being generous this was the writers first novel There was definitely room for improvement My biggest complain was theack of a glossary so I found myself a bit twisted around by the names and words she used in her story If you are going to create a world with as much culture as she did WRITE A GLOSSARY Seriously It was frustratingI ike the main characters because she doesn t sit around feeling sorry for herself however I felt that there could be about her I think that she created too many characters of focus that she kind of neglected the important one her main character Also when you are creating a story ine that is based upon myth of the people you have to spend time than some obscure referencesFor a first novel it held New Plant Parent: Learn the Ways of Plant Parenthood lots of promise and I think with time she will become an amazing fantasy writer especially if she adds a glossary to her books Like who is who what the heck that word means and the different groups. And theonger she stays in this monsoon drenched city the intrigue she uncovers even the dead are plotting As the waters rise and the dams crack Isyllt must choose between her mission and the city she came to sav. Pre RBRS 12This is a serviceable fantasy There was nothing I can point to that was awful or wrong but it was justplain If I d read it a few years back I probably would ve iked it uite a bit I m just not wild about multi volume epics just because they re multi volume epics anyThe author renames cultures for her world mostly Filipinos and Egyptians but there were also Romans and I think Russians maybe that one popped up in the 2nd book I can t remember the new names so I l use the old ones A Roman necromancer comes to the Egyptian conuered Filipino empire in order to stir up rebellion See the Romans feared indications of the Egyptians continuing empire building turning towards them and thought to pre emtively halt these expansionist plans before they re acted upon The necromancer her name is Isyllt is accompanied by a pair of bodyguards a native American tank of a man and his Filipino co warrior They meet a half breed magic student who has what becomes an important connection to the river and another mage who is than he seems The Filipino warrior abandons her charge to join the rebellion There is a nearby volcanoDownum does explore patriotism with her rival rebel groups one pursuing economic disruption and the other using violence against foreigners and collaborators Is the connection to the and important than family Is it a betrayal to make the best of the situation instead of fighting and dying Also just about all her strong characters strong in will strong in power not too strongly described are women There were uite a few different combinations of mother daughter conflictI thought many most of the revelations were too convenient someone coming in with an overheard remark or vital piece of info just in time It took uite a while for things to unfold which could ve been compressed with writing as in not chewing over every movement but using transitions such as and then or a few hours ЯED later Isyllt was injured and for most of theast half of the book and it was wearying to read of another burn on her already slashed arm with the stabbed handAh I forgot about the necromancy There are a bunch of rules of what can and can t be done with that power It just didn t glow I don t know that it was because of the author s style but it felt as mundane as pulling out a hammer to nail something down instead of awe inspiring despite everyone turning white with fear when they realized what Isyllt could do I think it s meIt was an okay book I hear the next one is much better Two things make this book for me 1 interesting worldbuilding and 2 oh my god the female characters They re everywhere Doing everything With ike complexity And depth And differing motivationsIn fact I think this book fails the reverse Bechdel test I don t think there are two male characters who have conversations about anything other than the women in this book and I find the change so unexpected and delightful I m beside myself Extra bonus of all the women but one who is the mainest of the three or so main characters but omg not the only woman being non white There s pretty clear parallels here Europeans East Asians Arabs and some of the broad sweeping racial generalizations constructed by the plot of this book Arabs are the oppressing empire the Asians are oppressed downtrodden and vicious Europeans are the outsiderspotential saviors skirt the ine of being dodgy However given the work the author has done in pushing women beyond the context of the stereotypical Female Fantasy Novel Tropes I m willing to give her the benefit of the doubt to the next book to see how things develop with these various cultures All in all a political INTRIGUE PLOT DRIVEN BY STRONG WORLDBUILDING AND AN INTRIGUING plot driven by strong worldbuilding and an intriguing of magic and death with heaps and heaps of female characters of magic and death with heaps and heaps of female characters interesting things I first read this ages ago and uickly followed it up with the second book but then didn t get onto reading the third book So I felt The Lost Art of Reading Natures Signs like I needed to refresh my memory The first book wasn t my favourite and I still think the second is probably stronger but the idea of a spy necromancer running around fomenting rebellion remains pretty darn cool The cultures are aittle bit umm They feel Moreno like very obvious analogues But I give Guy Gavriel Kay a pass for that so Amanda Downum can have it too and mostly her mythology hangs together and everything works so that s fineIssylt is a pretty awesome main character though her relationship with Kiril still doesn t entirely make sense to me and I don t feelike I can root for her to actually get what she wants in that regard He s older than her and they probably shouldn t have been in a relationship at all Still there s something to be said also for her perspective that it s her decision and he shouldn t shelter her from the conseuences of it People do that with women real and fictional far too oftenZhivrin is Monsieur Pain less appealing as a character but her arc works well and her ending has a perfect bittersweetness Iove how it s foreshadowed as well Xinai well I feel A Spark of Light: the fearless new novel from the Number One bestselling author like she oress got what was coming to her I can sympathise to some extent with anger at imperialism and the damage it can do but I don t understand fighting back against that at any cost Particularly not when the cost is your own peopleBoth times I ve read this book I ve finished it in almost one sitting so that s something else to be said for it But now onwardsOriginally reviewed for The Bibliophibian Originally reviewed at Bookwraiths The Drowning City by Amanda Downing is an ambitious book with a penchant for compelling prose and a gray characters centered in a beautifully rendered city with a Southeast Asian flavor While it did not fully realize its potential I must give credit to the author for aiming high and nearly reaching her What If lofty goalsSymir The Drowning City A trading metropolis filled with pirates revolutionaries and spies constantly in fear of being washed away by the mighty Mir River or destroyed by theurking volcano nearby Only magically wards holding back certain annihilation The dearly bought peace allowing revolutionary fever to seethe to the surface threatening to blow the city apartWhen Isyllt Iskaldur and her two bodyguards Adam and Xinai sail into the grand harbor they know that the city is a ticking time bomb In fact that is why they have come for the Assari Empire s covetous eyes have been wandering toward her northern neighbors and only internal problems will stop the Empire s inevitable invasion And Isyllt master necromancer and spy intends to fan the flames of unrest until just such an event rips Symir apartOnce settled Isyllt s ocal contact with the rebels uickly becomes an idealistic youth named Zhirin This young woman having been caught up in the revolutionary spirits of the city by her relationship with a young man And though Zhirin s family has grown prosperous by cooperating with the Empire she is willing to risk it all to aid Isyllt in providing aid to the rebels unaware that her benefactor s motives might not be completely altruisticMeanwhile Isyllt s guard Xinai finds that returning home to Symir has affected her than she ever imagined Her path taking her away from her companions and back to the people who aided her escape to the north after her village was massacred by the Imperials and. Symir the Drowning City home to exiles and expatriates pirates and smugglers And violent revolutionaries who will stop at nothing to overthrow the corrupt Imperial governmentFor Isyllt Iskaldur necromancer and spy. .
Their ocal collaborators so The Exhaustion Breakthrough: Unmask the Hidden Reasons You're Tired and Beat Fatigue for Good long ago The unexpected ghosts of the past uickly catching Xinai up in the spirit of revolution andeading ehr down a road she never expected to takeFrom this combustible mixture circumstances uickly spiral out of control More than one revolutionary group fighting against imperial occupation Their methods very different one willing to kill enemy and innocent alike while the other seeks a Supplemental Book less destructive path to freedom Isyllt forced to fight against her own conscious as her actions escalate events pushing the unaware citizens toward a struggle that will cause untold destruction and death Her use of the unsuspecting Zhirin causing than aittle guilt Events Hark! The Herald Angels Scream leading to a near inevitable endWithout a doubt Amanda Downum does an excellent job in The Drowning City of creating theiving breathing city of Symir It is vividly described amazingly realistic and hopelessly wracked with division and revolutionary violence The clashing views of the citizens whether Imperial rebel collaborator or neutral individual wonderfully explored especially the emotional struggles of characters after suicide bombings kill innocents The senseless deaths the catalyst for much soul searching and than a Colloquial Polish: The Complete Course for Beginners little self justification as characters reconcile their own guilt with their desires to free their city or protect their country from invasion I can t say I always agreed with their decisions but they were powerful and grippingAnother triumph here is Isyllt and her necrotic talents This smooth as silk spy one cool customer calculated yet emotional deadly yet compassionate Her talent for necromancy deftly done by Downum with enough explanation to give her ghostly magic a feel of reality yet not so much as to strip it of its tantalizing mystery With so much still unrevealed about her I can t wait to read about herBut this was not a perfect book Far from it From tedious beginning to uninspiring romantic plots to unrealistic outcomes there were than a few elements which caused this narrative to underperform And toward the end even the mesmerizingocal itself served as a distraction than a compliment to the narrative draining whatever momentum the story had achieved As I said earlier Amanda Downum aimed high with this novel but she just wasn t uite able to pull everything together to reach the full potential of this storyFilled with mystery and magic set in a wonderfully envisioned world The Drowning City was an entertaining ook at terrorism in a fantasy setting and its ead character Isyllt has all the traits of developing into a memorable character No the novel did not completely satisfy me but I will still be searching for the next book in the series interested to see how Amanda Downum continues to develop this intriguing world I can t read this It sounded great so great I spent wasted one of my precious 2011 book buying slots on it don t ask Or do if you want a Bidadari yang Mengembara long explanation The setting is interesting seemsike there is a political intrigue plot and the tone of the story overall reminded me a bit of early Flewelling All of these are good things for me But the writing was driving me mad till I finally decided to just uit and go read something elseProbably it s me not the author Red River Girl lots of people seem to have been able to process the writing on this book Me I just had to reread paragraph after paragraph to make sure who a pronoun refers to or if the strange made up word is one that already has been referred to or is a place in the map or what on earth it means It was almost a chore to read this since I had to make a conscious concerted effort to try to understand the foreign words withittle pay off for that effort Examples Short jerky sentence structure Like this But worse Sentences without verbs Erratic pronouns Or non existent ones Sometimes you do not know who the pronouns in sentences are if it is the character we started the paragraph with and who is the PoV for the scene or if it is somebody else mentioned in paragraph I think sometimes it s one sometimes the other Particles also sometimes elided And now Rahal al Seth sat the Lion Throne Uh Sentences which just seem clumsy to me things La strada delle croci like Ward postsined the road simple charms to keep predators away and something else a spell to hold the stones steady if the earth shook Or things ike Whatever Native Families Had Lived families had ived were The Ballad of Dorothy Wordsworth long gone I do not think the native families were indeterminate or in infinite number Whatever anyway Personal pet peeve it might very well be just me some repetitiveness in the firstines of chapters Chapter 2 Isyllt and Adam crossed chapter 3 Isyllt and Adam found chapter 4 Isyllt woke Chapter 6 Isyllt And Adam Returned Later It Changes To 6 Isyllt and Adam returned Later it changes to Zirhin something hopefully Zirhin develops a brain in the ater parts of the series I had some problem with the plot in bits of Zirhin s PoV I made my way through And ast but not Pretty Reckless (All Saints High, least the total overdose of made up words and concepts with veryittle contextual information to allow us to remember what is the meaning or to keep track of what Sivahara Selafa n or meliket refer toSo a few chapters and I do not care to keep reading There is a story here almost surely but the way that story is being told just put me off Next Again I wish Goodreads had a slightly granular rating system because this novel is a very solid 35Amanada Downum s debut is of everything than I was honestly expecting strongly executed vividly described willing to blow was honestly expecting strongly executed vividly described willing to blow and everything sky high in a startling climax Not many first time novelists are willing to smash an intricate setting but Downum fuses confidence with unpredictability and goes for the gusto in her ast act The Drowning City is an intriguing blend of espionage murder mystery culture clash and colonial criticism Some of the moral argument oses its tension when one of the story s factions drops all pretense of restraint and goes on a kill crazy rampage but as far as first novel problems go that s a mild blemish This is a brisk well calculated and atmospheric novel I wish I d read it sooner Isyllt Iskaldur Necromancer and not to put too fine a point on it spy sent to the city of Symir with a couple of bodyguards to stir up trouble and incite the The West Transformed locals to rebellion against the rival government that rules the area Because that always works out so well Naturally complications ensue There are wheels within wheels factions within factions ghosts rebel and otherwise and all manner of unexpected challengesThis was one I ve had my eye on for a while I m glad I finally took the plunge I m also glad that I waitedong enough that after finishing the first book I could jump straight to the second and then the third The characters are interesting complex and often conflicted the setting has a distinctly Southeast Asian feel that s well conveyed by carefully chosen details and the magic although present is never without cost well it started okay this review will be rather short and ame because honestly the good parts of the novel were fairly short and the rest was rather ame the first third starts out well and i was willing to suspend any criticism of the surprisingly weepy protagonist because the atmosphere was wonderfully evoked and the protagonist s profession a necromancer who is al. The brewing revolution is a chance to prove herself to her crown All she has to do is find and finance the revolutionaries and help topple the palaces of Symir But she is torn between her new friends and her duties. .

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