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City of Bones cover art

City of Bones

By: Martha Wells
Narrated by: Kyle McCarley
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Publisher's Summary

Khat, a member of a humanoid race created by the Ancients to survive in the Waste, and Sagai, his human partner, are relic dealers working on the edge of society, trying to stay one step ahead of the Trade Inspectors and to support Sagai's family. When Khat is hired to find relics believed to be part of one of the Ancients' arcane engines, they are both reluctant to become involved. But the request comes from the Warders, powerful mages who serve Charisat's Elector.

Khat soon discovers that the deadly politics of Charisat's upper tiers aren't the only danger. The relics the Warders want are the key to an Ancient magic of unknown power, and, as all the inhabitants of Charisat know, no one understands the Ancients' magic.

©1995 Martha Wells (P)2013 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"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." ( Publishers Weekly Starred Review)

What listeners say about City of Bones

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

An epic quest and an immersive world

I tried this book after really loving the Murderbot series. This is very different but also very similar. As every other review of this book says, the world building is immensely detailed but not boring or alienating. It's immersive.

Like murderbot, Wells gives us detailed insight into the inner workings of the protagonist and the classist/racist (?) world he inhabits with the power relationships always at the forefront and entwining itself around every plot aspect.

I had some questions but overall found the journey much more satisfying than the destination.

The narration was fine if a little robotic.. You do settle into the cadence though

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Outstanding

Martha Wells is an outstanding author of originality, prose and incredible imagination. Her plots are never obvious, her characters so well drawn and full of life, cunning, romance, and genuine goodness. I am amazed that she is not as well known as others authors in the sci-fi fantasy genres as she is most certainly of a higher standard than most. I love her books which never fail to keep one on the edge of one’s seat and leave you feeling satisfied yet wanting more. This book may have been one of her first novels back in the 90s but the world building is so believable and dramatically drawn that you can almost feel the intense heat of the city and desert and easily identify with the fear of the creatures that inhabit these places. A great book that never fails to disappoint.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Fantasy that gets you from the first….

Hard to stop listening to this stand alone story. Martha Wells spins another super imaginative tale where the underdogs feature as the heroes. Love it!

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Enjoyable post apocalypse fantasy

Martha Wells is such a wonderful world builder. This is one of her earlier efforts. Bone prophecies, relic hunters and ghost spirits on a post-apocalyptic world that is mostly desert littered with bones and sand and an ancient mystery tied by magic. A clever protagonist who is an outsider in the city. Very enjoyable with solid narration. (The Raksura novels are my favourites though :)

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Best original story in years

City of Bones is the best original story I have read in years. Excellent world building a complex and plausible system of economics, and politics in a society still recovering from an unimaginable cataclysm. Left me wishing for more.

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Original and refreshing

Enjoyable characters and well paced, and never seems to run out of ideas. Allows you to figure things out for yourself rather than been nauseatingly obvious. An enjoyable thoughtful read.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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Such originality

I’ve listened to many different titles from Martha Wells. She is so original. I really loved this book and her diversity in her books.

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Not my cup of tea

I didn't really enjoy it, the main character is to hidden / untrusting to develop at all. Spent most of the book wanting it to finish, just plain boring

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