A Dark Age

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Erin Moriarty writes, Long ago, in the world of The Relic Master by Catherine Fisher, the powerful Makers made the world.Long ago, in the world of The Relic Master by Cath

Erin Moriarty writes, Long ago, in the world of The Relic Master by Catherine Fisher, the powerful Makers made the world.Long ago, in the world of The Relic Master by Catherine Fisher, the powerful Makers made the world. Their powerful relics are still strewn around, and the Order of keepers has devoted itself to finding those relics and keeping them safe. Unfortunately, the evil Watch has almost wiped out the Order.Raffi and his master Galen have been living in hiding for years, only coming out to find relics. But then a small-time warlord steals a relic from them, and declares that he will only give it back if Raffi and Galen bring back a Sekoi storyteller from the cursed dark city of Tasceron.Galen is fine with this, especially when they learn that the legendary Crow is in Tasceron. Since his powers have been crippled, he hopes the Crow can restore them. However, the two keepers have no idea that their travel companion Carys is a secret spy for the Watch — and that the Dark City holds shocking secrets about their world's past.The world of "The Dark City" is a grim one — Fisher crafts a gritty, rainy world, which has decayed into a sort of Dark Ages. Fisher carefully weaves in countless hints about the Makers, their relics, the Sekoi and the nature of this world.The biggest question is the magical powers shown by Galen and Raffi. Given what is revealed about their world, I'm not sure what these powers are or where they come from.It also stars an interesting trio of characters — there is Galen, a man obsessed by the loss of his powers, and desperate to somehow regain them. Carys is a rather cold-blooded spy, but one who slowly discovers the truth about the Watch as she travels. Raffi is the weakest of the three characters; he's just sort of THERE, trailing after Galen like a wet puppy.However, Fisher's writing is in top form. Her prose is richly descriptive, filling her story with mud, rain, misty green seas and nightmarish cities clouded with darkness. And while most of the story is devoted to the journey to find the Crow, the story still feels lean and uncluttered with filler or side-stories."The Dark City" is a richly-imagined, cleverly-written sci-fantasy story, and the big "to be continued" ending promises that there will be more.