Review: The City of Dusk by Tara Sim





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But the gods have withdrawn their favor from the once vibrant and thriving city.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.


I’ve had The City of Dusk by Tara Sim in my Audible library for over a year, but I never found the time to dive into it. My TBR list just kept growing as I have a weakness for adding new books to it (the bane of my existence, sigh!). However, when Obit sent me an advance copy of the second installment of The Dark Gods, The Midnight Kingdom, it finally pushed me to give it a shot. And let me tell you, I regret waiting this long because this book was absolutely amazing.

I thoroughly enjoyed the world building in The City of Dusk. It was rich with vivid descriptions and intricate details, allowing me to immerse myself fully in its setting. The characters were also expertly developed, with each one feeling multi-dimensional and fully realized. It was clear that Tara dedicated considerable effort to crafting a unique and compelling magic system, which added an extra layer of fascination to the story. The plot itself was solid, engaging me from start to finish, and the character arcs were skillfully woven together, making their journeys all the more captivating. Overall, I was truly impressed by the level of care and skill that went into the writing of this book.

However, I must admit that I was a tiny bit disappointed about the political system portrayed in The City of Dusk. Despite the book’s length, I found myself lacking a clear understanding of the specific roles the Houses played within the political structure. Additionally, it was unclear whether there existed a separate governing body aside from the Houses and King Ferdinand, which left me somewhat puzzled. Moreover, I struggled to grasp the connection between religious leadership and the overall governing system. These aspects could have been better elucidated to provide a more cohesive understanding of the political landscape within Vitae.

The characters and their respective character arcs in The City of Dusk were masterfully executed. Taesia, Angelica, Risha, Nikolas, Dante, and Julian, the protagonists of the story, were all brilliantly crafted characters that were simply impossible not to fall in love with. Each of them had a distinct and compelling story arc, stemming from their diverse backgrounds, personal flaws, familial issues, and individual responsibilities. It was truly captivating to witness their growth and development throughout the narrative, as they grappled with their own unique challenges and undertook personal journeys that resonated deeply with the reader. While I did notice that Teasia received more prominent attention compared to the other characters, I can’t really complain too much about it. Personally, I happened to find Teasia to be my favorite character among the entire cast, as she exuded an incredible level of badassery. Her strength, courage, and overall demeanor resonated with me, making her a truly captivating character.

The plot twists in The City of Dusk were undeniably solid and managed to catch me off guard for the most part. While there were a few instances where I had a hunch that something unexpected was brewing, it didn’t diminish my enjoyment of the book in any way. In fact, it added to the overall excitement and anticipation as I eagerly awaited how these twists would unfold. Even when I had a sense of what might be coming, the execution and delivery of the plot twists were still satisfying and kept me thoroughly engaged. Ultimately, the surprises and unexpected turns in the story only enhanced my reading experience rather than detracting from it.

I am so glad I finally got to read The City of Dusk and do feel like an idiot for not doing so sooner. I am extremely excited to discover where the story will take me next and to witness how Tara Sim continues to expand the already captivating world she has created, in Midnight Kingdom.

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