The Legend trilogy is one of my favorite dystopian/fantasy series and this book gave me such wonderful Legend vibes! It had the same kind of strong, fleshed out and morally grey characters and the same kind of creative and unique world building, plus a thrilling magical heist plot. I’m definitely hoping for a sequel to this magical and engaging story!
Stolen City is a character driven fantasy story told from four perspectives – the two twin thieves and mages Arian and Liam, the weaver Cavar and Zephyr, the former royal knight turned traitor – and takes place in the city of Leithon which is under Imperial occupation. Arian steals magical artifacts for the Resistance, whereas Liam mostly tries to heal his wounds and not draw any attention to him. Zephyr made a choice that she has to live with and that made her hated by most of her former friends and family, but she had her good reasons for it. When the mysterious Cavar approaches the twins with a job offer, it will set a string of events and revelation in motion that will change all of their lives.
I did enjoy the four POVs, but it made it take a little longer to get into the story and start rooting for all of the characters and to fully understand all of their backgrounds, past griefs and traumas, and reasons behind their actions. I immediately took Cavar to my heart – I loved his sarcasm and wit and his tender heart. I also loved Arian for being so headstrong and badass, but it took longer to warm up to Zephyr and Liam. But now I’m most excited to follow their storylines in the sequel (certainly there will be a sequel, right?)!
I also really enjoyed the complex and unique world building, with the occupied city where magic has been outlawed, but is smoldering in the background and you know it cannot be kept at bay for much longer. There were a lot of twists and surprises when magic started to come into play and old generational traumas and secrets were revealed. There was also so much entertaining court politics and intriguing family secrets, and the writing style as very witty and action filled. I really enjoyed following how the resistance kept growing stronger by each heist (there was a lot of wonderful Robin Hood and Six of Crows vibes in the way the resistance kept foiling the imperial rulers). I would have loved to get a little more backstory to the weavers and the clans, but hopefully that will come in a following book…
All in all, Stolen City was a wonderful new YA fantasy with magical heists and thievery, a unique world building and amazing fleshed out characters each with their own struggles. There were also some really sweet romances, as well as new and past heartbreaks, that kept you invested all the way through. Highly recommended to fans of Legend or Six of Crows, and I can’t wait for a sequel!
Thank you to Xpresso Tours and NetGalley for the free review copy and blog tour invitation! All opinions are my own and I am leaving my honest review voluntarily.
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Elisa A. Bonnin
All 1 Star 2 Stars 3 Stars 4 Stars 5 Stars Abbi Glines Abdi Nazemian Adam Silvera Adib Khorram Aiden Thomas Aisha Saeed Aislinn Brophy AJ Collins Alexandra Christo Alex Beltran Alexene Farol Follmuth Alexis Hall Alex Kelly Alex Sanchez Alice Dolman Alice Oseman Ali Hazelwood Alison Cochrun Al Riske Alwyn Hamilton Amanda Ferreira A. Meredith Walters Amy Aislin Amy Harmon Amy S. Foster Amy Spalding André Aciman Andy V Roamer Angie Thomas Annabeth Albert A. Poland Ashley Poston Ashley Woodfolk Ashlyn Kane Audrey Coulthurst Becca Fitzpatrick Becky Albertalli Benjamin Alire Saenz Beth Bolden Bill Konigsberg B.L. Maxwell Briar Prescott Bri Spicer Brooke Skipstone Cale Dietrich Casey McQuiston Cassandra Clare C.F. White C.G. Drews Charli Meadows Chris Bedell Ciara Smyth Clarissa Pattern C.L. Beaumont Colette Davison Colleen Hoover Crystal Frasier C.S. Pacat Daven McQueen David Biddle David Yoon Dean Atta Debbie McGowan Debbie Rigaud Debbie Schrack Deborah Harkness Delia Owens D.G. Carothers Dhonielle Clayton Douglas Stuart Dustin Thao Elisa A. Bonnin Elizabeth Acevedo Elizabeth Arroyo Elle Kennedy Elle Wright E. Lockhart Emily M. Danforth Emily Mims Erin Watt Ernest Cline Evan J. Corbin Eve Morton Everina Maxwell Evie Dunmore Felice Stevens Grace Williams Gwen Martin Hanya Yanagihara Hayden Stone Heather Truett H.E. Edgmon Hettie Bell Holly Black Hope Irving Hudson Lin Ingrid Sterling Jacqueline Lee Jacqueline Woodson James L. Sutter Jamie Deacon Jandy Nelson Jax Calder Jay Hogan Jeanette Winterson Jeff Zentner Jen Bailey Jenna Evans Welch Jenn Burke Jennifer E. Smith Jennifer G. Edelson Jennifer Gilmore Jennifer Iacopelli Jennifer Kropf Jennifer Niven Jenny Downham Jenny Han Jeremy Ray Jesse H. Reign Joelle Lynne John Green Jonny Garza Villa Julianne Donaldson Julian Winters Kacen Callender Kami Garcia Kara Leigh Miller Kasie West Kate Larkindale Katharine McGee Kathleen Mareé KD Casey Kendall Grey Kevin Van Whye Kiley Reid Kim Fielding Kim Holden Kim Liggett Kitty Bardot Kris Ripper K.S. Marsden Laura Hall Laura Pavlov Laura Silverman Lauren James Laurie Frankel Leah Johnson Lee Matthew Goldberg Leigh Bardugo Leylah Attar Lisa Henry Lisa Williamson Lisa Wingate Liv Rancourt Liz Plum Lola Noire Lynn Michaels Mackenzi Lee Madeline Miller Magdalena Di Sotru Maggie Doolin Maggie Stiefvater Malin Persson Giolito Malorie Blackman Margaret Stohl Marie Lu Mary E. Pearson Mason Deaver Matthew R. Corr Melina Marchetta Meredith Russo Miel Moreland Mila Gray Miranda Kenneally Moa Backe Astot Morgan James M. Tasia Nancy Garden Natalie Haynes Nicholas Sparks Nicola Yoon Nic Starr Nic Stone Nina Kenwood Nita Tyndall Nora Sakavic N.R. Walker Owen Lach Penny Aimes Phil Stamper Quinn Anderson Rachael Brownell Rachael Lippincott Rachel Hawkins Rainbow Rowell Ray Stoeve Renée Dahlia Rhiannon Wilde Riley Hart River Braun Roan Parrish Robin Gow Roseanne A. Brown Rowan MacKemsley Ruby Moone Ruta Sepetys Ryan La Sala Sally Green Sally Rooney Sarah J. Maas Sarah Waters Sarina Bowen Sasha Laurens Saundra Mitchell Saxon James Serena Bell Shannon O’Connor Sidney Bell Simone Elkeles Siryn Sueng Sophia DeRise Sophia Soames Sophie Gonzales S.R. Lane Stephen Chbosky Stephenie Meyer Steven Salvatore Susan Mac Nicol Suzanne Collins Tahereh Mafi Tal Bauer Tamara Girardi Teagan Hunter Terry J. Benton-Walker Tiffany D. Jackson Timothy Janovsky T.J. Klune T.L. Bradford Tobly McSmith Tomasz Jedrowski Tomi Adeyemi Tracy Deonn Val Wise Veronica Rossi Veronica Roth V.E. Schwab Victor Dixen Victoria Aveyard V.L. Stuart Wesley Chu Xan Van Rooyen Yamile Saied Méndez