Early Review: Black City Saint (Black City Saint #1) by Richard A. Knaak
I received this book for free from the mentioned source in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book nor the content of my review.
Black City Saint by Richard A. Knaak
Series: Black City Saint #1
Published by: Prometheus Books-Pyr on March 1st 2016
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Source: Author Submitted
View on: Goodreads
About the Book:
For more than sixteen hundred years, Nick Medea has followed and guarded the Gate that keeps the mortal realm and that of Feirie separate, seeking in vain absolution for the fatal errors he made when he slew the dragon. All that while, he has tried and failed to keep the woman he loves from dying over and over.
Yet in the fifty years since the Night the Dragon Breathed over the city of Chicago, the Gate has not only remained fixed, but open to the trespasses of the Wyld, the darkest of the Feiriefolk. Not only does that mean an evil resurrected from Nick’s own past, but the reincarnation of his lost Cleolinda, a reincarnation destined once more to die.
Nick must turn inward to that which he distrusts the most: the Dragon, the beast he slew when he was still only Saint George. He must turn to the monster residing in him, now a part of him…but ever seeking escape.
The gang war brewing between Prohibition bootleggers may be the least of his concerns. If Nick cannot prevent an old evil from opening the way between realms…then not only might Chicago face a fate worse than the Great Fire, but so will the rest of the mortal realm.
BLACK CITY SAINT is the newest novel from fantasy author Richard A. Knaak. This story is action packed, set in Chicago in the roaring 20s, and is full of amazing characters. Who could ask for more?
Nick Medea is not exactly who he says he is. Sure, he goes to people’s homes and eradicates their paranormal problems, but he’s much more than that. Many, many years ago, Nick was St. George, dragon slayer. Now, it is his job as the Gatekeeper to make sure that creatures from the world of Feirie stay on their side of the Gate, not to interfere with the mortal world. However, when Nick starts to notice more and more unusual cases, it’s clear that something big is on its way. On top of trying to make sure the Gate stays safe, he also must attempt to keep Claryce safe, a woman who, although she has only met Nick once, is not entirely unfamiliar.
I really enjoyed the whole concept for this novel. Anytime there’s a rift between our world and the world of the Feirie/supernatural/what have you, I am sold. Luckily for me, Knaak did not disappoint. While the whole story is set in Chicago, with one very brief trip to Feirie, Knaak has managed to create an amazingly magical world. Along with Nick, there are several helpers who have been exiled from Feirie, plus a ghostly acquaintance who offers up his advice, whether Nick wants it or not. If I had one disappointment from the book, it’s that I wanted to know more about these other characters. I enjoyed Nick and Claryce, but the whole cast of characters was really amazing.
Nick was an interesting hero. He became the Gatekeeper when he slayed the dragon, who was the previous Gatekeeper. The only thing is, the dragon is now living within Nick, which provides some interesting conversations, to say the least. Nick, being immortal, has followed the Gate around for centuries, doing his duty to Feirie and Her Lady who rules it. Some other companions include Fetch, a lycanthrope who was exiled from Feirie, the ghost of Diocles, the emperor who originally killed Nick, and Kravayik, another Feirie exile. Of the three, Fetch was by far my favorite with his determination to use all of the hip new slang he picks up on. While Nick is extremely capable of taking care of himself, and the Gate, he always has Fetch at his side, ready to help when needed.
And then there’s Claryce. Claryce originally starts out as another one of Nick’s clients, but she becomes so much more. While she doesn’t know it, Claryce is a reincarnation of a woman Nick knew a long time ago. Unfortunately for Claryce, her past lives have died horribly every time. Nick is determined not to let that happen to her again. What I really loved about Claryce though? She wasn’t useless! Nick tries very hard to keep her out of harms way and protected, but Claryce is apparently not a very good listener. But when she does get in the middle of things, she can actually help! She can defend herself, and fight, and she doesn’t just cower in a corner and cry, and I loved that about her!
The book was well written, although I wish there had been a little more world building. Not to say that there wasn’t a lot, but I wanted to know more about the connection between our world and Feirie. Why does the Gate exist? How often have there been issues of this nature? Who was the Gatekeeper before the dragon? What is life like in Feirie vs our world? Things of that nature. But the action scenes were great, full of mobsters and Feirie creatures and easy to follow what was happening.
I am going to give BLACK CITY SAINT 4 out of 5 controllers. It was a great read that left me wanting more.