Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Book Shelf: Tarnished City (Dark Gifts #2) by Vic James

"A thrilling Orwellian vision of Britain, with a rebellious Hunger Games heart, Tarnished City is the second title in Vic James's electrifying Dark Gifts Trilogy, following Gilded Cage.

A corrupted city
A dark dream of power

Luke is a prisoner, condemned for a murder he didn’t commit. Abi is a fugitive, desperate to free him before magic breaks his mind. But as the Jardines tighten their grip on a turbulent Britain, brother and sister face a fight greater than their own.

New alliances and old feuds will remake the nation, leaving Abi and Luke questioning everything – and everyone – they know. And as Silyen Jardine hungers for the forgotten Skill of the legendary Wonder King, the country’s darkest hour approaches. Freedom and knowledge both come at a cost. So who will pay the price?"

More info on Goodreads.....


Tarnished City is the second novel in the Dark Gifts series by Vic James and is another darkly thrilling tale featuring a world of inequity, injustice and powerful individuals that is full of political intrigue, betrayal and a rebellion that burns stronger with the turn of every page.

In a corrupt and alternate Britain, those in possession of special abilities known as Skill are held in high esteem and lord over their unSkillfull counterparts. As commoners struggle in their day to day lives and are expected to participate in ten years’ worth of slave days, those with Skill live in wealth and opulence, high above those they deem less. Ever since beginning their slave days, things have gone from bad to worse for siblings Abi and Luke. Luke has been condemned and imprisoned in an inescapable castle for his role in an Equal controlled assassination and Abi is a fugitive as she attempts to prove her brother is nothing but a pawn in the plans of others. Torn between who they can trust and who isn’t as they appear, Abi and Luke find themselves caught up in a dangerous rebellion and the desires of entitled lords who will do anything to secure their positions of power. Even if it means killing in order to do so…..

After getting off to a slow start with Gilded Cage, I have come to enjoy the turn of the 20th century aristocratic vibe that runs through this series and that Vic James explores with each instalment. Blending danger and powerful abilities with historic monuments, estates and mannerisms give the series a noble aura and James weaves brutal moments and shocking atrocities into the storyline to keep things forward moving and her readers on their toes.

Told in the third person, Tarnished City follows a number of characters who as a collective bring a lot to the story. There’s such a diverse collection of personalities within the series that it offers a lot of different perspectives and points of views that you can follow. Some are fairly obvious such as Abi’s and Luke’s, but characters such as Silyen Jardine really pique my interest as I try to understand the workings of their minds and what their reasoning’s for many of their actions are. I know Silyen’s working an angle, but I just don’t know what yet; is he friend or foe? It’s really not clear, and this and other characters motivations make for some interesting reading and story development.

Admittedly some characters I like more than others including Coira whose history and heritage I’m keen to learn more about and Garver who is strangely one of my favourite characters and who I’m hoping to see big things from after the ending of book two. I’m hoping this means some changes and developments are in store for him.

Author Vic James keeps a lot close to her chest and includes some unexpected betrayals and revelations in Tarnished City. As far as I’m concerned, Tarnished City was better than the first novel in my eyes and am hopeful that streak will continue.

With the thrilling final chapters of Tarnished City shocking and more than one character losing their life throughout the course of Tarnished City, I can’t wait to see what happens next in the third instalment and am sure James will once more keep me on my toes!

Source: Sent for review by publisher (Thank you guys!)
Publisher: Pan Macmillan Australia
Format: Paperback
Australian RRP: $12.99
Release Date: September 7th 2017
Purchase: Bookworld | Booktopia | The Book Depository | Amazon
Final Thoughts: I enjoyed Tarnished City much more than I actually did the first book in this series. I feel the series is getting better and am looking forward to the release of the next novel to see what happens next!


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