Title: Diamond City (The City of Diamond and Steel #1)
Author: Francesca Flores
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Publication date: January 28th, 2020
Good things don’t happen to girls who come from nothing…unless they risk everything.
Fierce and ambitious, Aina Solís as sharp as her blade and as mysterious as the blood magic she protects. After the murder of her parents, Aina takes a job as an assassin to survive and finds a new family in those like her: the unwanted and forgotten.
Her boss is brutal and cold, with a questionable sense of morality, but he provides a place for people with nowhere else to go. And makes sure they stay there.
DIAMOND CITY: built by magic, ruled by tyrants, and in desperate need of saving. It is a world full of dark forces and hidden agendas, old rivalries and lethal new enemies.
To claim a future for herself in a world that doesn’t want her to survive, Aina will have to win a game of murder and conspiracy—and risk losing everything.
Full of action, romance and dark magic, book one of Francesca Flores’ breathtaking fantasy duology will leave readers eager for more!
Diamond City is the first book in the City of Diamond and Steel duology, and the sequel actually just released last month! You can read my review for Shadow City here. Our MC Aina is an assassin, trained by her boss to be a Blade after her parents are murdered. Aina is tasked with killing a wealthy merchant, but when things go wrong she finds herself on the run from her boss, the police, and other gangs. She teams up with the brother of her mark after he goes missing shortly after the botched assassination attempt. Aina finds herself in under her head with conspiracy, magic, and corruption.
The easy comparison for this duo is Throne of Glass and Graceling. Female assassins, no nonsense, badass, and competent murderers. There’s the beginning of a found family type story, with a lot of action. But the magic system in this book is very different, and not explained very well. It isn’t the main focus of the story, so there isn’t much background provided. I appreciate the mental growth Aina goes through during this story, as well as the unique arc of putting her in an alliance with the brother of the man she tried to kill. I found that very interesting as it played out.
There is almost no romance in this story. There is some subtle hinting to where a romance could go, but it’s the first YA Fantasy I’ve read in a long time that had no romance to speak of. It was a refreshing change of pace, and kept the story more focused on the plotting and action. I’m interested to see where the romances could possibly go in the sequel, if there is any!
If you’re looking for a Sarah J Maas esque story, this duo would be a great fit. There is morally grey characters and a lot of violence, so beware if gore isn’t your thing! Also, these covers are insanely gorgeous, yet simple, yet exactly portray the stories. Wednesday Design kills it again!
Happy reading, folks!