The Breedling and the City in the Garden

The Breedling and the City in the Garden

by Kimberlee Ann Bastian


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Absolute obedience, servitude, neutrality.

These were the laws that once governed Bartholomew, an immortal soulcatcher, until one ill-fated night when he was forced to make a choice: rebel against his masters or reveal an ancient, dangerous secret.

He choose defiance.

Imprisoned for centuries as punishment for his decision, Bartholomew wastes away—until he creates an opportunity to escape. By a stroke of chance, Bartholomew finds himself in the human world and soon learns that breaking his bonds does not come without a price. Cut off from the grace that once ruled him, he must discover a new magic in 1930s Chicago.

Armed with only a cryptic message to give him direction, Bartholomew desperately tries to resume the mission he had started so long ago. Relying on the unlikely guidance of the streetwise orphan Charlie Reese, Bartholomew must navigate the depressed streets of the City in the Garden. But in order to solve this riddle, he must first discover if choice and fate are one in the same.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781945769047
Publisher: Kimberlee Bastian
Publication date: 09/20/2016
Series: Element Odysseys , #1
Pages: 282
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.64(d)

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The Breedling and the City in the Garden 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Evelina_AvalinahsBooks More than 1 year ago
"So, writer, what sort of tale will you tell me tonight?" "Well,reader, get yourself some strong tea and a nightlight, because I have a warm retro tale about street urchins in the 1930's and... magic." "My my, writer, that sure sounds swell!" "Brace yourself, reader, it truly is, even despite the somewhat cheesy dialogue." Okay. So you might be wondering why I'm starting it like that. I just wanted to give you a taste of the dialogues in this book. But really, apart from the slightly weird tone and the fact that everyone uses everyone's name in, like, every sentence, the book was good!It was that warm mixture of sepia photos, old coke ads, Chicago orphanages in the 30's, smart-aleck minority gangsters in pinstripe suits and immortal magical cats that change face color when they feel emotions. And hey, with all that vintage feel going on, maybe even the dialogue makes sense? We can all think of that tone of voice in a mock-pre-war radio ad. So the story goes something like this. Bartholomew is an ageless being, made for god knows what, downcast from god knows where (not in a bad way, though.) Really, the mythology in this book is quite complicated, but done quite well. It comes across like American Gods - loads of different things, the pantheon and the rules of the world vast and mighty, but somehow still connected with the thing here or there you might have heard it, perhaps in an old Irish nursery tale. Yes, it is complicated, but it makes you feel like this isn't the end and you'll find out more in the coming books. Which is all fine. Another thing I found truly refreshing was that our two main characters are young boys - teens, but not YA teens (I mean the tone). They are not girls (95% of the books right now seem to be about girls. It's good that we're reversing history, but… you know. I haven't read about boys in soooooo long!). They are also not grown women, nor are they grown men or superheroes. They are two lost orphan boys, not too special, just shabby, and I like reading about that. It was something I've forgotten people wrote about! (Is it just me..?) The story does fumble sometimes, sometimes it drags. The immortal being is clearly denser than you and me, because he can't see through things we can clearly see are going to happen in the story. The gangsters and thugs happen to unluckily be of my nationality, but hey.These flaws are mostly debut-related (apart from the gangsters, of course) and they don't get in the way of enjoying your reading experience.This is a quick good fantasy, moreover - a strong start to a series. Which is why I know that I'll be looking forward to the sequel as soon as it shows up. And if you're a fantasy fan, especially retro - go for it. I'm sure you'll enjoy! I have received this book in exchange to my honest review through NetGalley and that does not affect my review.
Yzabel More than 1 year ago
[NOTE: I received a copy of this book through NetGalley.] I thought I’d like this novel more. It has an interesting and probably complex mythos, juxtaposing our world and another, Elemental-like creator powers, a Fates triad, soulcatchers, the Devil, and quite a few more—something I wouldn’t have minded dive in more. However, the way information was revealed was strange: both an info-dump and confusing, which is an unfortunate mix. I don’t doubt that, had it been presented differently, I would’ve warmed up to it. I don’t mind a book starting in medias res, but here I felt I was thrown into a story without having enough background elements to fully grasp who the characters were, what their roles were, and why they were important. Stingy Jack, the Tales Teller, the Apothecary... After a while, it started to make sense, yet too late into the story for me to have been allowed to care about them, and too little (for instance, the relationship between Buck/Bartholomew and the Shepherdess is only made clearer right at the end; had it been manifest sooner, I may have cared about the Breedling a bit more, I suppose). Also, some of the decisions the characters made were odd, or at least presented in a way that that made them look like they came out of nowhere, or without subtlety. I was particularly unsure about Charlie’s ‘plan’ involving the speakeasy—it made sense in one way, but not considering the kind of people would go there, as if he couldn’t have thought about that (hint: precisely the kind of people Charlie didn’t want to see near Buck). The style was the other element that really bothered me. Omniscient point of view isn’t my favourite, so when it comes with a prose I don’t enjoy, I don’t do well with it. Dialogues were often stilted, with characters telling about their past as if they were reading from a book (I never expected Charlie to speak the way he did), and a lot of telling instead of showing. Since there were a lot of heated feelings in the story (grief, tension between gangs, wariness, simmering violence, threats...), this ‘telling’ was all the more obvious. Nevertheless, there were good parts in the novel. Charlie especially was a relatable character: not perfect for sure, torn between his desire to follow his mother’s wishes (by helping those younger than him) and his wish to be free to live a life of his own—and yet, his natural tendencies always carry him towards taking care of others. He had to go through a lot, dealing with his grief while trying to follow his sense of duty, and no matter what, I definitely cannot fault a person for accepting their responsibilities. I don’t think I’ll pick the second book though. It’s more a 1.5/2-star read for me.
Faerie-bookworm More than 1 year ago
Title: The Breedling and the City in the Garden Author: Kimberlee Ann Bastian Genre: YA Historical Fantasy Format: Ebook Pages: 233 Rating: 5 Heat: 0 Thoughts: Very interesting story. I enjoyed the history of it, and the characters were great. So many different personalities that fit so well within the story and era. Great writing that made it seem so real, at times I wondered if I was reading a non-fiction book. Very descriptive yet not overly so. And with so many surprises it made for a fun read. I look forward to reading the next book just to see where it goes, what adventure it will take me on. There's just enough magic/fantasy that it's obvious that this is fiction but so much history that at times it's makes you wonder "is this real?". The story is about Bartholomew but is focused mostly on Charlie, so we know Charlie has a big part to play in this. I can't wait to read the next book! Please note that I received a complimentary copy of this work and chose to write a review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this magical story, full of mystery & whimsy. D McGough
JBronder More than 1 year ago
Bartholomew is a Breedling, an immortal being that guides spirits to the afterlife. He is also charged with finding the Creaters of the world. But when he finds one he doesn’t tell where they are at. For that, he has been imprisoned for centuries by the Fates. One day he finds a way to magically escape and finds himself in Chicago during the 1930’s. There he is a teenager, Buck, that is taken under the wing of a young orphan, Charlie Reese. Bartholomew/Buck needs to finish his original orders but he has do to so without letting the mortals realize that he is different. This is hard since the last time he was on Earth was 200 years earlier and really stands out. This is an interesting joining of mythology and history. I liked the mix of mythology in Bartholomew’s world but I have to say that I felt like I was missing part of the story when I started the book. Chicago in 1934 is dirty, gritty and you can’t help but feeling for Charlie as he tries to protect Buck. I liked watching as Buck tried to protect Charlie while still trying to not tip Charlie off to the other world. I liked the mixing of mythology and history. I admit that you have to suspend belief for parts of the story and not expect several things to be wrapped up at the end of the story. This is a first in a series and the ending leaves enough open for the second book to start. I did like this story and I would like to see what happens in the next book. I received The Breedling and the City in the Garden from iRead Book Tours for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.
BookwormforKids More than 1 year ago
By mixing elements of mythology, Christianity and imaginative fantasy into the harsher street life of a 1930 Chicago, an intriguing world is formed which promises a fantastic ride. Bartholomew is a Breedling who has managed to do the impossible--escape the thumb of the Fates. With the help of the mortal and orphaned Charlie Reese, Bartholomew must solve the riddle to remember his own mission before he can bring about the change that might save them all. If nothing else, this is a book with a wonderfully described world. The 1930 Chicago streets come to life so vividly that the smells, atmosphere and tastes are almost tangible. Not only is this due to lovely--and at times, poetic--descriptions and attention to detail, but also to Charlie Reese's character. As an orphan determined to follow his mother's words that he should watch over those smaller than him, he is simply a character to fall in love with. He's sharp witted, has a heart deeper than the sea and has suffered enough to gain an appreciation for the important things in life. Bartholomew, aka Buck, is more awkward. Much of this has to do with his several thousand year old age and lack of experience in the 'real' world. His uncertainty comes across so clearly that it hurts. Unlike Charlie, Buck always is an arm reach away and is a little harder to sympathize with. This becomes even more obvious as other characters in Chicago come to life with strong personalities, easy to picture and understand. Much of Buck's distance also has to do with the complex fantasy world he originates from. The background is multi-layered and complex, making it original and interesting but also, at times, hard to understand. Although several points were left foggy even at the end, it was still a plot worthy to get lost in. There just has to be some acceptance that some things aren't clear, which with fantasy, isn't necessarily out of place. There is never a boring moment, and the story was a delight to read. It's written in third person and dives without warning from one character's point of view into another's. This was a bit jolting at times, but also made it easier to understand some of the more difficult situations. Plus, it brought some of the side characters to life in a way which enriches the scenes. This is a story young adults as well as older ones are sure to enjoy and I'm looking forward to see where the story goes next. I received a complimentary copy and wanted to leave my thoughts.