The Nameless City
by Faith Erin Hicks
Cover Artist: Hilary Sycamore
Review by Gayle Surrette
First Second Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9781626721562
Date: 05 April 2016 List Price $14.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK
Kaidu, Kai to his friends, has traveled to the city of Daidu to be with his father. He learns that he must learn to fight and fight well as a warrior. This is not what he expected things to be for him. When his father takes him on a short trip into the city, he has a young girl pointed out to him and gets a quick lesson in what life is like.
Later, when Kai finds that he must make his own way in the city, he actually meets the young girl his father had pointed out to him. She tells him her name is Rat. She challenges him and they begin to learn about each other.
Meanwhile, there are politics, plots, danger, misunderstandings, and a bit of rebellion to spice up the story. These items are actually part and parcel of what has made the characters into the people they have become and on which their actions hinge.
There's plenty of action throughout and the book is a real page turner that's hard to put down until you read the last page and wonder what will happen next. There will be two more books in this series and I for one look forward to learning more about Kai, Rat, and the Nameless City.
The artwork is colorful and the action seems to flow from cell to cell and page to page effortlessly. The characters are easily identifiable and not lost in the crowd scenes; though I will admit when Kai is in a group of the boys his own age I had to pay more attention to pick him out of the crowd. The cells and panels are not overly ornate, you can readily determine what's happening, where they are, and yet still enjoy the richness of the setting. When there is a flashback, the art has a slightly gray tinge to it and is not as vibrant as the 'here-and-now' scenes so you know something is different in case you miss the change.
All in all, interesting characters, a story with a lot of heart, and words and art that work together to keep readers turning the pages and hoping for more volumes in the future.