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Kagama -The Literaturevixen

I love reading everything from fantasy to historical romances. On a constant quest for more books to read.





City of Bones - Martha Wells

In a place where an ancient holocaust devastated civilization and caused most of the world's water to evaporate, a new civilization has arisen--where sand ships cross the deserts between city-states, where bones are used to work magic of all kinds. Charisat is the greatest of city-states, the Imperial seat where your status is determined by how high up the tiers of the city you live. K


Khat is a trader and sometime thief, one of a race genetically altered to survive in these new conditions.


Elen is a scholar and a lady who is investigating the ancient ruins, looking for the secrets of their magic. Together they must solve a mystery involving a fanatical cult whose members are trying to unleash an evil that will topple Charisat--and from there, destroy the world again


 I found that I quite liked Martha Wells "The Cloud Roads" and decided that some day I would try and read through her backlist.


So I picked up "City of Bones" were we find that our main character is Khat is an outsider in the city of Charisat because he is a krismen. His people the krismen were created/genetically engineenered to survive in the harsh desert called the Waste.This causes him to be treated like a second class citizen by many,luckily he has enough survival skills for people who wish him harm to think twice before they try anything.


But other people also seek him out because of his skill as a relic hunter of the Ancients artifacts. The Ancients were mysterious beings who vanished but they left behind items wich are highly prized by the inhabitants of Charisat and its neighbours.


One day he accepts an assignment to escort a Warden (a magic user) across the waste to one of the Ancients ruins.On the way they are assaulted by pirates,people who have been driven out of Charisat and turned to piracy to survive.


In the progress of fighting off the pirates the Warden is hurt and after removing the veil that most upperclass people wear Khat discovers that he is actually a she and reveals her name to be Elen,apprentice to the Master Warden.


After they are joined by other wardens and travels back to Charisat,Khat is tasked by the Master Warden with finding two very important relics with the help of Elen.


Seems simple enough...if it werent for the fact that others are also interested in acquiring them...

While reading this book I recognized many themes from the Raksura series and at times Khat reminded me strongly of Moon in personality.

Furthermore the  author seems to be fond of the matriarchial society (also used in the Raksura series) Here its just mentioned as being one of the reasons Khat left his family and fellow krismen.

Another thing I couldnt help but make a comparison with the Raksura series was how the author incorporated an agressive female,in a way to reverse gender roles maybe?


Khat is even taken advantage of by a female character

(not Elen) not so much rape as he just lies back and let he have her way with him.Its not described in great detail. I was a bit disgusted by this...but it doesnt seemed to be such a big deal with Khat.It just threw me off.

(show spoiler)


I also wish that Khats relatives had gotten more than a walk on appearance,by the end of the book their relationship is still unresolved.


And (view spoiler)even though the end was fitting

I hated to see him leave Elen :( 

(show spoiler)


City of Bones is a standalone book so there isnt even the hope of a sequel,so i guess I have to be philisophical about it.

I didnt love this book but while I was reading it I was immersed in it,and the world building is pretty impressive. Just because of that it deserves a two and a half star  rating.