Book Review: The City of Dusk by Tara Sim

About the Book:

Title: The City of Dusk

Author: Tara Sim

Series: The Dark Gods

Page Length: 512

Publication Date: March 22, 2022

Publisher: Orbit

Synopsis: Set in a gorgeous world of bone and shadow magic, of vengeful gods and defiant chosen ones, The City of Dusk is the first in a dark epic fantasy trilogy that follows the four heirs of four noble houses—each gifted with a divine power—as they form a tenuous alliance to keep their kingdom from descending into a realm-shattering war.

The Four Realms—Life, Death, Light, and Darkness—all converge on the city of dusk. For each realm there is a god, and for each god there is an heir.

But the gods have withdrawn their favor from the once vibrant and thriving city. And without it, all the realms are dying.

Unwilling to stand by and watch the destruction, the four heirs—Risha, a necromancer struggling to keep the peace; Angelica, an elementalist with her eyes set on the throne; Taesia, a shadow-wielding rogue with rebellion in her heart; and Nik, a soldier who struggles to see the light— will sacrifice everything to save the city.

But their defiance will cost them dearly.

LINKS:   Goodreads   |    Amazon

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My Review:

The City of Dusk is the first book in The Dark Gods series. I have mixed feelings about this book because there were some aspects that I really liked and others that fell a bit flat for me. The premise is so intriguing, and the story has a creepy, dark mood, which I really liked. I also loved the world-building. It is immersive, intricate, and detailed, and the author does a great job of creating vivid images of the world, magic system, culture, political machinations, social dynamics, and the four different noble houses.

I also like that the story is told from many points of view. All of the characters are layered and complex, and each has such a unique story to tell. As they are members of the four different houses, they have complex relationships with each other – sometimes friends, other times enemies- and the exploration of these connections throughout the story is really intriguing. They are all so compelling and interesting, and each voice is distinct and strong. I like that you get to understand all of their different goals and motivations and how they work with and against each other to achieve their respective goals.

I did feel like the pacing was inconsistent. The story felt very slow at times, and I had a hard time getting into the story. It did pick up for a while but then became rather slow-paced again. I prefer stories with more even pacing, so this was a frustration for me. I struggled to stay focused on the story until closer to the end where the pacing and action picked up a lot. That being said, the battle scenes are epic, and the last 20% of the story is great.

The story has political intrigue, a little bit of romance, secrets, betrayals, and several shocking revelations, which I enjoyed. I think readers who enjoy dark, epic fantasy with excellent world-building and characters might enjoy the story, especially if they don’t mind slow-paced, slow-burning novels. Thanks so much to NetGalley and Orbit Books for providing me with an advanced copy of the book. All thoughts are my own.


Favorite Parts:

  • The characters.
  • The world building.


I would recommend this book to readers who like slow-burning, dark NA fantasy.

4 thoughts on “Book Review: The City of Dusk by Tara Sim

  1. I’m around 60% into this one and agree with you about the pacing. But I also love the characterization and dark atmosphere. Had no idea it was this long before I started it – I’m in a time crunch with my March NetGalley books!

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