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City of Night (House War Series #2)

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Overview

City of Night is the second novel in The House War, the story Michelle West's avid fans have been waiting to read for over a decade. In 1995, Michelle opened the way to a rich new fantasy universe with her Sacred Hunt duology, which brought readers from the insular kingdom of the Hunter Lords and their Hunt Brothers to the much broader landscape of the Essalieyan Empire, a realm with a long and bloody history, a kingdom ruled by the Twin Kings, themselves the sons of gods. It is also controlled by The Ten, the ...

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City of Night (House War Series #2)

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Overview

City of Night is the second novel in The House War, the story Michelle West's avid fans have been waiting to read for over a decade. In 1995, Michelle opened the way to a rich new fantasy universe with her Sacred Hunt duology, which brought readers from the insular kingdom of the Hunter Lords and their Hunt Brothers to the much broader landscape of the Essalieyan Empire, a realm with a long and bloody history, a kingdom ruled by the Twin Kings, themselves the sons of gods. It is also controlled by The Ten, the heads of the most influential Houses in Averalaan, the capital of the Empire.

The House War is the tale of the battle to control the most powerful of the ruling Houses in the Essalieyan Empire—House Terafin. But it is also the story of Jewel Markess (Jay to her friends). The Hidden City, the first volume of The House War, introduced us to the orphaned Jewel, rescued from a precarious existence in the slums of Averalaan by Rath, a man who turned away from his own family long years ago when his sister left home to join House Terafin. Now Rath's sister is The Terafin, head of House Terafin, while Rath has become a recluse, seeking and selling the valuable relics he finds amid the ruins of the ancient and deserted undercity that lies below the populous streets of the Averalaan holdings.

When Rath takes the orphaned Jay into his home, he reveals to her the mysterious undercity and its treasures. And then Jay begins to rescure other children—creating a den of her own—and they too begin to mine the undercity for items that can be converted to coin.

As City of Night opens, times have become even more desperate within Averalaan's hundred holdings. Street children have been disappearing, theft and violence have increased, and even Jewel and her den are finding it hard to make ends meet.

Though they have been living on their own for some time, Rath has remained their mentor and has continued to sell the items of value they find in the undercity. Then suddenly Rath orders them to avoid the undercity as much as possible. He himself has obviously become involved in something extremely dangerous. Yet Rath refuses to heed the warnings that Jewel's seer dreams have given her. For he has learned a bitter truth about Averalaan's undercity and the demonic activity that is escalating both there and in the mortal, surface level city as the worshipers and demonic servants of the Lord of the Hells strive to complete a ritual that will return their god to the mortal realm.

Rath now joins with the mages of the Order of Knowledge to wage a secret battle against this nearly unstoppable foe. He knows that his choice will see him targeted for death—or a far worse fate. In a last-ditch attempt to protect Jewel and her den-kin from what lies ahead, he provides them with a note of introduction to the head of House Terafin—the sister he'd sworn never to contact.

For only within the well-guarded walls of the Terafin manse will Jewel and her comrades stand any chance of escaping the unnatural forces reaching out to claim them...

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Julie Watkins
This second installment of The House Wars series opens with Angel, an orphaned youngster on a mission and a quest to find answers about his father. Then the narrative's focus abruptly changes, and the reader finds Angel to be part of a group of youngsters under the leadership of Jewel Markess, whose story essentially dominates the remainder of the book. Once herself an orphaned child banished to the streets of Averalaan, Jewel is determined to help other ill-fated youngsters in the capital city. In doing so she has formed her own unusual family. With help from Rath, the man that saved her, Jewel has taught her "den" to survive while eking out a meager living from selling items they find in the underground hidden city. Now her dreams are foretelling of supernatural evil occurrences. Around her, violence is increasing and street children are mysteriously disappearing. For Jewel and her motley kin to have any chance of survival, Rath must be willing to sacrifice not only his personal pride regarding his estranged sister but also his life in an explosive demonic confrontation. The story is compelling and certainly spares no descriptive details. The unexpected and complete about-face concerning Angel, however, remains unexplained, and at times the extensive descriptions distract rather than enrich. It is overall an interesting but slightly unsatisfying read. For background knowledge of the characters and saga, this reviewer recommends first reading the initial book in this series, The Hidden City (DAW, 2009). Reviewer: Julie Watkins
Library Journal
Self-exiled from the powerful House Terafin, the man called Rath rescues Jewel, an orphan girl who, in turn, rescues other children and brings them to Rath and safety. When the disappearances of children in the city of Averalaan hit close to home, Rath sends Jewel to his sister, head of House Terafin, while he joins with mages from the Order of Knowledge to combat a demonic threat to the Essalieyan Empire. The sequel to The Hidden City weaves together many plot threads and expands the cast of characters to include a young man bent on completing his dead father's quest. VERDICT Well written with strong young people taking center stage, this is a good fantasy series for young adults as well as adult readers.
Publishers Weekly - Library Journal
Book two in Michelle West's House War series starts with Angel's quest to complete the mission of his exiled father, and then takes a sharp turn when he meets up with Jewel and her "den"-a self-chosen tribe of street urchins, precocious by necessity. Angel all but fades into the background for the rest of the book while we follow Jewel's efforts to feed her adopted charges and keep them safe even as the undercity where they scavenge for saleable goods becomes a source of supernatural danger. Then Old Rath, Jewel's sometime-mentor, takes center stage with his mission to kill demons and to expose their infiltration of the ranks of the powerful-something he can do only by dying and allowing an impersonator to try to fool his estranged sister, now the head of a powerful clan. He pulls off a posthumous coup to protect Jewel and her visions. West's point-of-view shifts are vertiginous. No doubt over the course of the series all these threads will intertwine, but new readers are likely to be feel frustrated by all the loose ends left hanging in the meantime.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780756406448
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/4/2011
  • Series: House War Series , #2
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 560
  • Sales rank: 431,805
  • Product dimensions: 4.20 (w) x 6.70 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Meet the Author


Michelle West is the author of three interconnected series: The Sacred Hunt duology, the six-volume Sun Sword series, and The House War novels. She has published numerous short stories, as well as fantasty novels, under her maiden name, Michelle Sagara. She was a two-time nominee for the Campbell Award. She works part-time at BAKKA Books, one of Toronto's larger bookstores, and writes a column for The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. She can contacted via her website, michellesagara.com. 
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 27 )
Rating Distribution

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(19)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 27 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 25, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    super action oriented investigative fantasy

    In the capital city of Essalieyam Empire Averalaan lies the under city beneath the streets. Very few of the surface dwellers know that life below ground exists. Rath, estranged from his family, seeks valuables from the land below to sell to those above. Also seeking valuables from the undercity in order to survive are the nomadic, street urchins led by Jewell "Jay" Markess. She is a grateful to Rath for taking her off the streets and mentoring her on how to live off the undercity treasures.

    Life inside of Averalaan is getting harder. Children are disappearing without a trace including some from Jay's den. There's a demon dissonance hovering over the city and Rath investigates what is going on. His inquiries lead to Lord Cordufar and his mistress; bot of whom are not human and dangerous to Rath, Jay and others. He also learns that a demon can take over the body of a person and retain their memories. Jay is a seer who has three identical visions of Cordufar's mistress. This is significant as it spells out danger especially when Jay also has visions that Rath will die unless he takes precautions to prevent a demon from subsuming him Jay tries to keep Rath safe while he attempts to insure her future if he dies.

    This is a super action oriented investigative fantasy in an incredible world as Michelle West makes her empire and capital seem as if it comes from ancient history books rather than her imagination. The cast is strong especially the lead couple who are clearly devoted to one another with each wanting to keep the other safe. However, , it is the city and its undercity that spellbinds the audience as no one knows what is coming to the surface from below.

    Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2013

    Slow confusing start

    The start was slow. The very beginning had me confused, I had to stop twice to make sure I was reading the correct book. Once the story picked up I found this to be a book I didn't want to put down.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 2, 2012

    Amberheats bio

    Name: Amberheat Rank:Warrior/Queen Pelt White with golden tabby marks and gold tipped ears. Eyes: Amber Kits Lightningkit Crush:Vinestorm Mate:none but my kit needs a father....well really quick before she knows

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2012

    Cloudyspots bio

    Name: Cloudyspots. Rank: Medicine Cat. Gender: She-cat. Pelt: Silver and grey with cloud patterns. Eyes: Amber/hazel. Crush: None. Mate: None. Kits: None.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2012

    Zjsksk

    Kks

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  • Posted April 25, 2012

    Great Read!. Highly Recommend

    Great Read!. Highly Recommend

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2012

    Wonderfully told addition to the saga

    I love these books and this one did not disappoint

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 27 Customer Reviews

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