the city of dusk – tara sim | arc review

The City of Dusk by Tara Sim

Series: The Dark Gods #1
Expected publication: March 22nd 2022 by Orbit
Age Range: Adult
Genre: Fantasy
Representation: LGBT


Rating: 3.5 out of 5.


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But the gods have withdrawn their favor from the once vibrant and thriving city.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


Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Centuries ago, life changed for the people in Vitae. The Sealing closed all the doors to the other universes causing Vitae inhabitants to be trapped within this world. 4 gods, 4 realms, 4 worlds. They are all on the same plane of existence. The consequences of The Sealing are slowly taking a toll on the people.

Our 4 main characters in The Dark Gods are heirs to their own Houses which correspond to the respective gods. Although Taesia isn’t the firstborn, she became the heir to the Lastrider House for some reason. Her family work as inter-emissaries of trade. While Taesia wields shadow, Nikolas from the House of Cyrs is bounded to light. The Cyrs is prominent in the militia. Since the Vakara House are necromancers, Risha naturally associates with death the most. Lastly, the Mardovas are the mages in the world. Angelica is an elementalist.

I took a long time reading The City of Dusk. While Tara Sim doesn’t bombard you with information about the world and the magic system, it still can be overwhelming at times since it’s an adult fantasy. The author did great in establishing the characters while building up the world. Also, I felt that things were quite slow at the beginning. But the plot ramps up as each of the characters started to gain knowledge about the truth.

A villainess potential, Taesia doesn’t walk the normal path. When a devastating event happened in her family, the Lastrider heir is desperate to do something. Taesia showed how ruthless she can be, time and time again, but she is also kind-hearted. I think she might be my favorite character in The City of Dusk

Nikolas was always reminded by his mother’s sad eyes and his father’s anger that he wasn’t supposed to be the heir. To Nikolas, Rian’s death is the greatest blow. He carries an immense amount of guilt which might be the reason why his powers were affected so much. 

For Risha, keeping the dead as the dead is getting harder each day. Despite the banning of Conjurations, the city is revolting and people are scheming. Risha’s family are necromancers and they have to deal with reanimated spirits that are malicious and dangerous. Without a proper solution, Risha is worried that her world will be overrun by spirits. 

Using instruments to access her powers is considered a downgrade to the people within Angelica’s world. As the Mardova heir, it’s disappointing to everyone that Angelica can’t do the basics. The person that’s freely voicing such an opinion is her mother. 

Taesia, Nikolas, Risha, and Angelica find themselves the pawns of a huge chess game. Who the puppeteer remains a question. On Godsnight, something huge is bound to happen. In the eyes of the public, the four heirs do not like each other. Privately though, their relations aren’t that bad. However, for the most part, the four main characters are doing their own things. Only gathering to discuss certain situations when needed. 

With the final moments of The City of Dusk, I’m looking forward to book two. I liked reading about each character’s perspective since it’s not just our four main characters. We get some chapters for secondary characters who will play a significant role somehow in the later parts. The mythological build-up of the gods and the explanation of The Sealing was interesting as well. 

That said, I do recommend The City of Dusk to readers who love fantasy. It did take a bit out of me to finish the book but Tara Sim’s a great storyteller. Every moment is taken to develop an element of the overall story.

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