Relic Master: The Dark City by Catherine Fisher

Raffi doesn't quite know what to think, now that Galen has lost his power as a Relic Master. While he is still only an apprentice, Raffi must act as the guide and guard for both of them. They are sought out by a man claiming to be from a village where a relic has been found. Recklessly, as he has acted since the accident, Galen decides to follow the man. Raffi knows they must be cautious. The Watch is looking for them, hoping to gain their secrets of the Order. With the Makers gone, the followers of the Order have been hunted and exploited for their relics. It will be up to him to monitor their progress and guard against possible traps.

They make their way to the castle of Alberic, and quickly learn they have been tricked. This is a camp of thieves who only want to exploit Galen for his powers, and use him to recover something stolen from them. In the ensuing scuffle, one of their relics is taken. Galen begrudgingly agrees to search for the Sekoi responsible, while secretly pursuing his own motives. There are tales that the Crow is alive! The messenger of the Makers may still exist in Tasceron, and there may lie their only hope of recovering Galen's lost power, and fighting back against the Watch. The Crow may be the last hope for Anara.

On their journey, they encounter Carys: readers know she is a spy for the Watch. She claims to have lost her father to the Watch, and falls in with them. She has Raffi fooled for sure, but she is wary of Galen. On their trip, her faith is tested. She was always told that the Order's magic was trickery...but the things she has seen prove otherwise.

They finally arrive at Tasceron, the ruined city of the Makers. The city is shrouded in darkness, and fires still burn deep below the city, covering the whole expanse in smoke...and worse. There are creatures in the dark. The Sekoi they are searching for finds them, and leads them into the heart of Tasceron, to others of the Order. Will they find a way to restore Galen's powers before they are captured? Could the Crow still exist? Will everything fall apart under Carys' treachery?

Fisher had me at Incarceron, and I couldn't wait to pick up this series. There is a deep story here, the first book only scratches the surface. Get sucked into the world of Anara. Highly recommended for fantasy fans! Appropriate for middle school or high school, great recommend for fans of Percy Jackson.
"Carefully, he sifted the tiny scraps that had fallen, trying to find more.
'The Crow!' Raffi breathed the words in awe. 'Still alive!'
'Tesk died twenty years ago. That dates it.'
But Raffi could see the news had shaken Galen, stirred him deep. He wanted to ask more, about what it meant, but instead he picked up the ball carefully....'Once I saw an image of the Crow carrying such a glass ball in his mouth. A most secret sign," (Fisher pg. 100-101, 2011).
*Library Link*

If you liked this, check out:
The Lost Heiress by Catherine Fisher (Relic Master, Book #2)
Divergent by Veronica Roth
The Ruins of Gorlan by John Flanagan (Ranger's Apprentice, Book #1)

Fisher, Catherine. (2011). The Dark City. New York: Dial Books for Young Readers.


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