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Stella Gemmell

Stella GemmellStella Gemmell has a degree in politics and is a journalist. She was married to the internationally acclaimed and bestselling fantasy novelist David Gemmell and worked with him on his three ‘Troy’ novels, completing the final book, Troy: Fall of Kings, following his death in 2006. She lives and writes in an old rectory in East Sussex. The City is her first solo novel.

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City

City — (2013- 2016) In her debut solo novel, Stella Gemmell, coauthor of the “powerful” (Booklist) conclusion to David Gemmell’s Troy series, weaves a dark epic fantasy about a war-torn civilization and the immortal emperor who has it clutched in his evil grasp. The City is ancient, layers upon layers. Once a thriving metropolis, it has sprawled beyond its bounds, inciting endless wars with neighboring tribes and creating a barren wasteland of what was once green and productive. In the center of the City lives the emperor. Few have ever seen him, but those who have recall a man in his prime, though he should be very old. Some grimly speculate that he is no longer human, if he ever was. A small number have come to the desperate conclusion that the only way to stop the war is to end the emperor’s unnaturally long life. From the mazelike sewers below the City, where the poor struggle to stay alive in the dark, to the blood-soaked fields of battle, where few heroes manage to endure the never-ending siege, the rebels pin their hopes on one man—Shuskara. The emperor’s former general, he was betrayed long ago and is believed to be dead. But, under different aliases, he has survived, forsaking his City and hiding from his immortal foe. Now the time has come for him to engage in one final battle to free the City from the creature who dwells at its heart, pulling the strings that keep the land drenched in gore.

The City: Gemmell had me immersed in the story and characters from the very start

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The City by Stella Gemmell

For a novel titled The City, we see surprisingly little of the Stella Gemmell’s eponymous setting itself, save for its labyrinthine underground tunnels and sewers. But there’s no doubt the city sits at the center of this patiently-developed, detailed work thanks to its ongoing and seemingly endless war against the enemies that ring its lands and its internal dissensions as some of its most powerful citizens begin to chafe under the leadership of the Immortal.

The City begins from the point of view of a young brother (Elija) and sister (Emly) who live in one of the many communities in the sewers of the city. It’s a purposefully gritty and grim opening, as it sets the reader up with a particular view of the City — this is not a place that takes care of its most vulnerable and seeing it through these young children’s eyes we’re predispo... Read More