Promising ... feels one part thriller, one part procedural, and one part professional coming-of-age for its viewpoint character. Bolender writes action very well, building tension into every escalating encounter with infestations ... a fast-paced, exciting ride. And an entertaining one. I enjoyed it, and I’m looking forward to seeing what Bolender does next.
Though occasionally given to long expository passages, Bolender tends to illustrate rather than explain the world's workings, which have enough intricacy to fuel multiple sequels. Laura is an enjoyably flawed protagonist ... Though relatively young, Clae fills the mysterious mentor role perfectly, his secrets hidden behind literal dark curtains. City of Broken Magic shines most brightly in the interactions between the three Sweepers, and fantasy fans will hope for more exploits in Amicae.
With complex characters, political intrigue, and discussion of feminism and the caste system, debut author Bolender has written a novel that could translate easily to the screen. Readers will enjoy City of Broken Magic and its fresh spin on the fantasy genre.
Comes to life thanks to a no-frills, working-class point of view that immerses readers in the world of the Sweepers ... Amicae’s strict caste system is expertly woven into the fast-paced plot that will keep readers turning pages until the very end. This debut builds a fascinating setting that readers will want to keep coming back to.
The magic system is fascinating, but the worldbuilding can be confusing: a mix of seemingly late-19th or early-20th-century industrialization with a fashion sense right out of the late 1800s ... But, luckily, a lengthy history lesson at the midpoint will answer many readers' questions ... Overlong and rough around the edges but still promising.