The Hidden City
Daw, Mar 2008, $24.95
Although Rath considers himself a businessman, most people classify him as a scavenger of antiques in the undercity; he sells his finds to dealers who have clients desiring objects from before the Blood Wars. A reclusive loner who believes he needs no one, not even his family; he helps a homeless sick child Jewel by taking her into his abode and nursing her back to health. She informs him that when he goes out tonight to sell artifacts, he will be followed. Forewarned, he spots the hunters and spends hours trying to allude them.
In the days that follow, Jewel finds orphans whom she sees in her visions and brings them to Rath’s home. Much to his surprise he allows them to stay. When invisible beings follow Rath, he uses magically constructed weapons to transmit them back to Hell because they are demons disguised as men. Further circumstances lead Rath and Jewel to believe that the demons have a plan for the empire and that they have roles in the upcoming conflict
This is a fantastic epic fantasy filled with intrigue and mystery that fans of Kate Elliot will appreciate. Michelle West has created a vivid world that readers will believe exists with them in it. Rath and Jewel are fully developed characters who have a form of PTSD as each has suffered trauma and pain. Together they make a formidable force ready to oppose the demonization of the empire.