Published: January 7, 2020
Publisher: Tor Teen
Series: The Wells of Sorcery #2
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Pages: 368 (Hardcover)
My Rating: 4.5/5.0
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Django Wexler’s City of Stone and Silence is the second book in the cinematic fantasy Wells of Sorcery Trilogy featuring a fierce young woman skilled in the art of combat magic on an epic mission to steal a ghost ship.
After surviving the Vile Rot, Isoka, Meroe, and the rest of Soliton’s crew finally arrive at Soliton‘s mysterious destination, the Harbor—a city of great stone ziggurats, enshrouded in a ghostly veil of Eddica magic. And they’re not alone.
Royalty, monks, and madmen live in a precarious balance, and by night take shelter from monstrous living corpses. None know how to leave the Harbor, but if Isoka can’t find a way to capture Soliton and return it to the Emperor’s spymaster before a year is up, her sister’s Tori’s life will be forfeit.
But there’s more to Tori’s life back in Kahnzoka than the comfortable luxury Isoka intended for her. By night, she visits the lower wards, risking danger to help run a sanctuary for mage-bloods fleeing the Emperor’s iron fist. When she discovers that Isoka is missing, her search takes her deep in the mires of intrigue and revolution. And she has her own secret—the power of Kindre, the Well of Mind, which can bend others to its will. Though she’s spent her life denying this brutal magic, Tori will use whatever means she has to with Isoka’s fate on the line…
I realllly enjoy what I’ve read of Django Wexler’s writing and was quite excited to see how he handled the YA genre in Ship of Smoke and Steel. It was just as solid as his adult fantasy, though somewhat tamer for the younger audience and it was most definitely worth following. This newest installment was just as good as the first, if not better because we get more character POVs!
Isoka is still her bad to the bone self, leading the remaining crew of the ghost ship Soliton as it meanders its way around the world. Though it’s not so much meandering as it’s moving towards a strange destination hiding away amongst the ice caps and glacial regions of the world. Here awaits a whole new set of problems. Most exciting is that Isoka’s sister Tori now gets her own POV and it’s marvelous! Tori is a determined girl who clearly remembers her life on the streets before Isoka sent her to live a nicer life in one of the upper quarters. She sneaks out to help out at a lower quarter hospital and even helps to hide mages from the army which is risky business. She ends up saving a boy running from some checkpoint guards and well, her life gets a bit wild after that too. I loved the character development (especially for Tori!) and all the action and twisty parts of City of Stone and Silence.
I vaguely described the plot, but just know that it’s pretty spot on as far as entertainment goes. Lots of fight scenes, quite a few romantic bits, and you get to learn more about Soliton, the people that built it, and even get to see a bit of politics in Tori’s POV. It’s an intense and well paced book that has made me even more excited for the sequel. Maybe I’m biased because Wexler writes some great adult fantasy, or maybe his he’s just a better writer overall than the typical YA author, but this was a great book.