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I Belong

Review: Black City Saint by Richard A. Knaak

Black City SaintTitle: Black City Saint

Author: Richard A. Knaak

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Series: Black City Saint (Book #1)

Publication Date: March 1, 2016

Format: Paperback, 390 Pages

ISBN-10: 1633881369 (Pyr)

ISBN-13: 978-1633881365 (Pyr)

Reviewed by: Roxanne


For more than sixteen hundred years, Nick Medea has followed and guarded the Gate that keeps the mortal realm and that of Feirie separate, seeking in vain absolution for the fatal errors he made when he slew the dragon. All that while, he has tried and failed to keep the woman he loves from dying over and over.

Yet in the fifty years since the Night the Dragon Breathed over the city of Chicago, the Gate has not only remained fixed, but open to the trespasses of the Wyld, the darkest of the Feiriefolk. Not only does that mean an evil resurrected from Nick’s own past, but the reincarnation of his lost Cleolinda, a reincarnation destined once more to die.

Nick must turn inward to that which he distrusts the most: the Dragon, the beast he slew when he was still only Saint George. He must turn to the monster residing in him, now a part of him…but ever seeking escape.

The gang war brewing between Prohibition bootleggers may be the least of his concerns. If Nick cannot prevent an old evil from opening the way between realms…then not only might Chicago face a fate worse than the Great Fire, but so will the rest of the mortal realm.

Quick & Dirty: Saint George and the Dragon are the gatekeepers and something is trying to break through the gate.

Opening Sentence: The old, black Model T touring car rumbling past the lone street lamp across from her house had seen better days, but it served the needs of the two young gaily dressed couples heading toward the sounds of jazz in the distance.

Excerpt: No

The Review:

Nick Medea helps people, really he just rids places of unwanted visitors. When he receives a call from a woman called Claryce he already knows trouble is brewing. When he arrives at the place she is staying he sees all the signs that Oberon is not as dead as he thought he was. Plus, she is reaching across the gate as well, and he knows if he can’t hunt Oberon down and stop him that she will come through and lay waste to everything in her attempt to destroy him.

Once Nick lays eyes on Claryce he knows that she is the reincarnation of Cleolinda, and he has watched her die many times over in the last 1600 years. Nick sees a picture of her employer holding one of the cards and it is clear that her boss is an agent of Oberon. Nick must turn to his only allies, a dragon he killed that he doesn’t trust, a shapershifter who used to be one of her hunter’s, and a hunter turned into a monk.

It becomes clear that Oberon is searching for the artifacts Nick had with him when he was killed for his faith. The armor and the spear that he was buried with that later was taken from his grave. As he tries to keep Claryce safe and find the missing artifacts can he keep Chicago safe as well? Will he fail and watch her die again? Will Chicago burn again if the dragon takes control?

This is an interesting mix of Christain and old world beliefs and I was intrigued and sold. Saint George (okay, I can’t quite complete that thought, not that it is a huge spoiler, but still I hate spoilers) is still kicking nearly 1600 years after his famous battle in which he slew the dragon. It turned out the dragon had been cursed to be a gatekeeper. Keeping Feirie separate from the human world. The last time Nick fought Oberon, Chicago burned.

I also found the reincarnation aspect intriguing as well as the various names she had all starting with C. I notice the oddest things. Nick really believes he is cursed and considering how many times he falls in love with the same woman and watches her die every time, I can see why he feels that way. This was a great start to the series and I am really looking forward to reading the sequel.

Notable Scene:

“The dragon raged more, furious at so much detail given, even if so much remained hidden from her. With all the magic surrounding me, there was no way I could avoid telling her something. Whichever of Oberon’s followers was behind this had discovered her first and intended from the beginning to toss her into the situation. My best hope was to convince her of the partial truth and pray that it would serve to scare her away. I had no choice but to face my foe, but I still believed there might be a small chance of keeping this incarnation of the princess alive.”

Black City Saint:

1. Black City Saint

2. Black City Demon


FTC Advisory: Pyr/Penguin Random House provided me with a copy of Black City Saint. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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2 Responses to “Review: Black City Saint by Richard A. Knaak

  1. Penny OlsonNo Gravatar

    I like the interesting combination of St. George and the Dragon and Chicago gangsters.

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  2. RoxanneNo Gravatar
    Author Comment

    It is really good and very interesting and a bit different!

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