Title: Shadow City
Author: Francesca Flores
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Publication Date: January 26, 2021
Page Count: 394
My rating: 3 stars
About the book:
Francesca Flores’ Shadow City is the stunning action-packed conclusion to The City of Diamond and Steel duology.
Aina Solís has fought her way to the top of criminal ranks in the city of Kosín by wresting control of an assassin empire owned by her old boss, Kohl. She never has to fear losing her home and returning to life on the streets again—except Kohl, the man who tried to ruin her life, will do anything to get his empire back. Aina sets out to kill him before he can kill her.
But Alsane Bautix, the old army general who was banned from his seat in the government after Aina revealed his corruption, is working to take back power by destroying anyone who stands in his way. With a new civil war on the horizon and all their lives at risk, the only way for Aina to protect her home is to join up with the only other criminal more notorious than her: Kohl himself.
As Bautix’s attacks increase, Aina and Kohl work together to stop his incoming weapons shipments and his plans to take back the Tower of Steel. To defeat them both, Aina will resort to betrayal, poison, and a deadly type of magic that hasn’t been used in years.
Through narrow alleys, across train rooftops, and deep in the city’s tunnels, Aina and Kohl will test each other’s strengths and limits, each of them knowing that once Bautix is dead, they’ll still have to face each other. If she manages to kill him, she’ll finally have the freedom she wants—but it might forever mark her as his shadow in a city where only the strongest survive.
Shadow City by Francesca Flores is the second book in the young adult fantasy The City of Steel and Diamond duology. As with most fantasy reads this second book picks up the story after the ending of the first so they are best enjoyed in order and not as a standalone.
The world within The City of Steel and Diamond duology is one that is ruled by tyrants and full of dark magic with plenty of action. Aina Solís was orphaned when she was young and became a servant of the man who rescued her turning Aina into one of his assassins as she grew older. Aina however has no plans to serve her boss forever and has taken to doing her own illegal trade on the side to one day free herself. When Aina’s boss gives her an opportunity to hit one big mark to buy her freedom things don’t go as planned leaving Aina in his sights next.
The City of Steel and Diamond duology is a dark and gritty fantasy. The books are action packed to keep the pages turning along the way. However, that also led to this second book being a bit lower in rating from the first in my opinion. This one drops a reader right back into the story and I’d like to have seen a bit more of a refresher being so long between books for me. Otherwise this one was a nice wrap up to the story that started in Diamond City, the first book of the duology.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
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About the author:
Francesca Flores is the author of DIAMOND CITY and SHADOW CITY (Jan 26 2021). Raised in Pittsburgh, she read every fantasy book she could get her hands on and started writing her own stories at a young age. When she’s not writing or reading, Francesca enjoys traveling, dancing ballet and jazz, practicing trapeze and contortion, and visiting parks and trails around San Francisco, where she currently resides.
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