Nameless City [Book 1] by Faith Erin Hicks
Okay, so I’m warning you right up front: This is just the first of a trilogy. And YES, it’s fabulous, stupendous FUN. Which means you’re going to immediately want more. Since the first installment just hit shelves last month, who knows when the next will be available?! Waiting is going to terribly difficult. Just sayin’ …
Welcome to the titular Nameless City. More accurately, it’s “the city of a thousand names” because it was “named over and over, and no conquerors can name it for long.” For now, the Dao claim dominion – and they’ve managed to keep peaceful control for a (relatively) surprisingly long time.
Kaidu has just arrived in the Nameless City, joining other sons of the Dao elite to be trained and groomed for future positions of power. He’s lived his whole life with his mother in the “homelands,” hearing about but having never known his father, the revered General Andren. Their first-ever meeting seems overly casual, as Andren ever so nonchalantly picks Kai out of a crowd of trainees and takes him for a walk through the city streets.
Kai’s first encounter with the native citizens is shockingly bleak – the children are hungry, dirty, and clearly deprived and mistreated. He’s ignored by the locals, shunned for being of the ruling class. His first glimpse of Rat is from a distance, but something about her will send Kai back to find her again and again. Antagonism turns to true friendship, and the unlikely pair will need to navigate rooftops, holy gardens, secret libraries, underground rivers, and more, to protect the Nameless City from being razed yet again …
Eisner-winning creator Faith Erin Hicks’s latest is one fast and furious adventure. Mystery, murder, secret pasts, family dysfunction, first love, rival factions, the legacy of colonialism, elites vs. locals, and, and, and – all that’s in there and more. Panels keep moving, the excitement is infectious: we’re talking instant addiction indeed.
Hicks can’t get Book 2 out fast enough – yep, that “To be continued” warning at book’s end is both a buzz killer and utterly promising relief. When, oh when …?
Readers: Middle Grade, Young Adult