THE GOLDEN CITY
Unlike many fantasy novels that get mired in overly detailed worldbuilding, Cheney’s The Golden City pulls readers in right off the bat, as the story kicks off with our heroine in a desperate situation that will leave you rooting for her almost instantly. Oriana’s “extra” abilities are thoroughly intriguing and readers will love the crackling banter and working relationship between Oriana and Duilio. The only thing that had this reviewer stopping every so often was the occasional confusion brought on by elaborate words and character names, which can make it difficult to keep track of who’s who in the cast (though that may be a bit easier for seasoned fantasy fans).
Oriana Paredes belongs to the sereia (sea people), who have been banned from the Golden City. Oriana, however, has been a spy among the elite, feeding information back to the sereia. When she and her friend are kidnapped and left to drown, it is her sereia heritage that allows Oriana to live and vow revenge. And it’s with the aim of vengeance that she joins forces with the very hot and very powerful Duilio. Both are carrying secrets, and both play important roles — to their world and to each other. (ROC, Nov., 384 pp., $15.00)