"Stella Gemmell's skills as an author are immediately apparent. There's a sophistication in the story-telling as the episodic structure commands attention and engagement from the readers ...the most satisfying, intelligent and enthralling epic fantasy I've read in many a year. It stands comparison with the finest writers currently developing and exploring the enthralling balance between realism and heroism in the epic fantasy tradition that David Gemmell pioneered." -- JULIET McKENNA "An astonishing book and all the more amazing given that it is Stella Gemmell's debut ... combines extraordinary scope with first class characterization, devastating and visceral battles, a multi-layered plot and a tightly-focused narrative that keeps you reading, eager for the next page. The City is easily the best fantasy novel I've read in the last decade." -- JAMES BARCLAY "A sweeping novel of great power ... filled with eloquent, textured prose highlighting powerful emotions and beings of great power. Stella Gemmell is a writer with an engaging voice." TOR.COM "Gemmell's volcanic imagination ... erupts into pyrotechnics of description and unstoppable lava flows of intrigue, sweeping us along to the white-hot conclusion." -- Tom Holt SFX magazine "A brutally visual world ... vivid, motivated characters each with a heartbreaking history ... thrilling and devastating ... a true epic" SCIFI NOW
Stella 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.
Built up over the millennia, layer upon layer, the City is ancient and vast. Over the centuries, it has sprawled beyond its walls, the cause of constant war with neighbouring peoples and kingdoms, laying waste to what was once green and fertile. And at the heart of the City resides the emperor. Few have ever seen him. Those who have remember a man in his prime and yet he should be very old. Some speculate that he is no longer human, others wonder if indeed he ever truly was. And a small number have come to a desperate conclusion: that the only way to stop the ceaseless slaughter is to end the emperor's unnaturally long life. From the rotting, flood-ruined catacombs beneath the City where the poor struggle to stay alive to the blood-soaked fields of battle where so few heroes survive, these rebels pin their hopes on one man. A man who was once the emperor's foremost general. A man, a revered soldier, who could lead an uprising and unite the City. But a man who was betrayed, imprisoned, tortured and is now believed to be dead...