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City of Bones Paperback – Dec 1 2007

21 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 356 pages
  • Publisher: Lulu.Com (Dec 1 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1435705459
  • ISBN-13: 978-1435705456
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 499 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,208,014 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Wells's second novel (after The Element of Fire) is a delight: an SF adventure with complex characters, archeological puzzles, a dash of mental magic and a lot of fast-paced action. Khat and his partner, Sagai, make their living finding relics that survived the destruction of the Ancients and selling them to the highest bidders. Khat is a Krisman (a bioengineered human whose race was designed for the grueling desert environment most of his world has become), which places him even lower on the social scale than his foreign-born partner. The two are coerced into working with the Patrician Warder, Elen, who is searching out a specific relic for her mentor, the Master Warder. Warders have certain mental powers, although overusing these powers can cause them to go mad. The Master Warder believes that this particular relic will enhance his powers without causing insanity, but Khat and Elen discover that there is a terrible price to be paid for using the artifact, one that may bring about the final destruction of their already ailing planet. This finely crafted novel expertly combines several genres?SF, fantasy, horror?and, perhaps most impressive of all, even manages to avoid an overly sentimental ending.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Wells' second novel is a reasonably original postholocaust fantasy. The holocaust in this case caused the sea to dry up and left a good number of relics of the ancient days. There has grown up a trade in the latter, and as in all times and climes, archaeology attracts criminals, pretenders, and well-meaning amateurs as well as strict professionals. Mix those kinds of characters up in palace intrigue with mad or at least obsessive wizards, beautiful maidens, and a hunt for the Secret of the Remnant, and you have the makings of a decent adventure tale with an Arabian Nights flavor that Wells has the technical skill, as well as the verve and wit, to bring off quite nicely. Roland Green --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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By not4prophet on Dec 1 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"City of Bones" easily ranks as an above-average fantasy novel. Author Martha Wells does an excellent job of weaving together multiple plot lines. The story is set is harsh fantasy landscape, where civilization has mostly collapsed. There are only a few cities remaining, while the surrounding "waste" is inhabited by a variety of monsters and a type of mutant called "Krismen". The main character is a Kris named Khat who is hired by a patrician from the city of Charisat to lead an expedition to a relic, a gigantic structure built for an unknown reason by the now-vanished Ancients. However, this seemingly simple task soon turns deadly, and the characters are soon caught up in a dangerous race to find two more ancient objects that the Master Warder (the leader of a type of police force with magical powers in Charisat) is convinced will unlock the secrets of the ancients. The plot line remains intriguing to the very end, and Wells is constantly springing new surprises on us. While many fantasy novels tend to be entirely predictable, this one does an excellent job of not giving information away too soon, and I didn't have any luck at guessing what was about to happen. The book's climax is a decent effort, although I've read better.
While the plot aspect of the book is strong, I felt that there were some missed opportunities. The main male and female characters aren't particularly interesting, they're basically just copies of the stoic heroes that we've seen countless times before. Some of the minor characters, particularly a mysterious former warder named Constans, are a little bit more intriguing, but the author doesn't really seem to care much about the characterization aspect of writing. Another weakness is in setting.
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By Linz on Oct. 26 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I don't understand some of the reviews that this book has gotten in relation to Martha Well's other books. Granted that the Death of the Necromancer was incredible ,well, absolutly incredible. But those who say that City of Bones does not come close and that it is a waste of money...well I simply don't understand. City of Bones is a far more beautiful world. When you read it you aren't aware that it is a science fiction book because the world is so real. That's Martha Wells magic. The setting for Death of the Necromancer was also top rate. The only thing that I do believe that it bests City of Bones on is characterization. Elen is awesome but Madeline...shall we say steals the show? I guess what all this is suppose to say is that for those who love D.O.T.N the simple beauty of City of Bones should be so evident. And in its own way takes the reader's imagination out for a spin. I recommend this book above all other Martha Wells books. And then after this I would recommend all other Martha Wells book with the exception of Wheel of the Infinite. Get it from the Library first.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
...and a little bit of a waste of time. I DID manage to pull through it, though, and Wells' idea about a city made on different "levels" ( ; was actually a good one. Now if the plot could have done justice to the idea... Another problem is that there are too many capitalized words! A real maelstrom of pointless dialogue. I do not understand how the characters ended up saving the world. There was not a lot about Kit's (is that his name? I have read this book a while ago) "species." All-in-all, it could have been better, but with all the unecessary gloom and annoying magic...well, it wasn't as good as I expected. I can usually stand a lot of gloom but the setting made the mood seem a tad bit absurd. Still, if you have read all the books in the world besides this one and are bored to death, I suppose you ought to read it. And don't let me stop you from trying it and getting your own opinion about it--just don't buy the book. Borrow it from the library. It would be a waste of money--money that you could have used to buy one of George R. R. Martin's books, Patricia McKillip's, Frank Herbert's, Tad Williams', etc, etc.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Charisat is a tiered city in a post-apocalyptic world where the highest have private marble walkways lined with trees and the lowest struggle for water and life. One of the central activities of the city is the trade in relics from a better time, and one of the most knowledgeable trader in relics is the Kris runaway, Khat. When a young patrician hires him as a guide to one of the ancient places outside the city, he doesn't realize that his journey is about to disrupt his settled life and the lives of everyone around him. Some relics, apparently, are better left buried.
This is my second Martha Wells, and she doesn't disappoint. The writing is detailed and unpretentious, the world is believable and draws the reader in, and the characters are fully fleshed out enough to feel real. Recommend.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I usually can't read fantasy, because I can't suspend my disbelief enough to accept what I'm being told. Elves, magic, dragons, all that's fine; what I can't believe are the ridiculous societies and implausible politics that too many fantasy authors fall back on.
I loved City of Bones because it presented me with a society that worked coherently, drew sensible conclusions from the information presented to the reader, and provided an archaeological mystery which the reader can try to solve right along with the characters (which is a HUGE plus in ANY novel, as Ellery Queen readers can attest).
Perhaps I overintellectualize, but the point remains that I'm definitely going to look for Wells' other books now. That's the only recommendation that really matters in the end.
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