From page one of Peter Gribble’s THREAT (The City of the Magicians Book 1)–where readers are greeted with a beautiful drawn city map and a few bite-sized historical and poetic passages–it is clear they are about to be immersed in another world, one that engages the imagination and whets the appetite. The first chapter is awash in unfamiliar names and complex relationships, but solidly grounded by immediately likable protagonists: the dry and erudite Sas, and the shrewd and curious Lalya. A scholar and inexperienced civil servant, Sas find his temporary position on the city’s council almost terminally boring. But powerful forces change everything when he is chosen to negotiate for the fate of the city in a war in the making with a barbarian King. And for young Lalya, what starts with the sudden disappearance of a friend quickly becomes more sinister and dangerous than she could have ever imagined as she is drawn deep into a secret organization.
Gribble weaves these mirrored tales with clear, engaging writing and panache. While Sas is pulled down the path of the ruling class’s bureaucratic machinations, Lalya is thrust into that of a mysterious shadow government. Will they stay pawns, buffeted about by greater wills, or does fate have more in store for them? Cults, invading barbarian hordes, telepaths, and more – readers will be unable to look away as both Sas and Lalya are inexorably drawn into a world of high stakes intrigue where they will take part in shaping the very future of the City of Magicians. And through the eyes of these captivating characters the true star of the book is revealed–The City of Magicians itself–a bustling, urban eco system where the streets and citizens are utterly steeped in magic. Auguries, divinations, and omens are as commonplace as weather predictions or gossip. But this city with history and magic coursing through it like blood has very few true magicians left and the story is set in a time after the grand and terrible workings of great magics, when the City of Magicians is full instead of bureaucrats, tourists, and pilgrims. But as Sas and Lalya each become more deeply entangled in the cloak and dagger intrigues, the lifeblood of the city comes bubbling up to to meet them.
Peter Gribble’s THREAT (The City of the Magicians Book 1) is an exquisitely crafted, richly textured world of magic and mystery, with settings and mood so exceptionally well visualized that fans of science fiction and fantasy should not pass up the chance to walk inside.
~Lauren Napoli for IndieReader