Thursday, October 14, 2010

City Under the Sand

City Under the Sand takes place in the post-apocalyptic fantasy world of Athas. It’s a world were arcane magic has reduced the once lush and vibrant landscape to lifeless sand dunes and windswept rocks. The main character, Aric, is a half-elf blacksmith with an unusual mental ability to “hear” metal. Aric’s heritage makes him a social outcast in his home city, Nibenay. Despite being shunned by both humans and elves, Aric has become a master weaponsmith. Additionally, Aric suspects that some hidden force has been looking after him throughout his life.

Aric’s relative safety and comfort, as a craftsman, is disturbed when he is conscripted by the Sorcerer-King of Nibenay to accompany an expedition to explore ancient ruined city. Rumors hint at the existence of a large stockpile of iron or steel hidden within the ruins; metal that Aric is expected to locate using his special ability. Aric fears he will be disposed of after his job is done.
           The members of the Sorcerer-King’s court begin maneuvering to take credit for recovering the stockpile of metal, hoping to garner his favor. It is quickly revealed that things are not as they seem. Something is buried beneath the ruined city that is better left undisturbed. 
Throughout the novel, Aric and his companions struggle with questions of identity and morality as they try to make sense of the harsh, uncaring world in which they live. In addition, Aric’s unseen guardian reveals itself to be something far from what he ever imagined it to be.

City Under the Sand will definitely appeal to fans and players of the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game as this novel’s release coincides with the release of D&D game materials that allow game play in the world of Athas. Regardless of City Under the Sand’s RPG connection, it is an exciting read. This is a great pick if you’re looking for a well-paced fantasy novel that breaks many of the fantasy genre’s norms.

Stop by the library today to check this one out or visit our website and place it on hold.

If you like this book you should check out The Prism Pentad series of books by Troy Denning.  These were the first books to be set in the world of Athas. In order the titleas are: The Verdant Passage, The Crimson Legion, The Amber Enchantress, The Obsidian Oracle, and The Cerulean Storm.

If you have read any of these novels and are interested in writing a short review send us an email or tweet us!

-Adam Delaura

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