The Hanging City

47North: Amazon. Aug. 2023. 350p. ISBN 9781662512162. $28.99. FANTASY
After years on her own, 19-year-old Lark has run out of places to hide from her cruel father. Her only chance to escape him forever is to beg for sanctuary in Cagmar, the troll city under the Empyrean Bridge. Having been driven from the sun by humans, trolls have no love for their weaker counterparts, but Lark, armed with her unusual ability to inflict fear, is allowed to live in Cagmar as a slayer, protecting the city against monstrous canyon creatures. Lark is determined to make Cagmar her home and finds friends in humans and trolls alike. The brutal nature of the troll society is tempered by Lark’s acceptance of the hanging city’s denizens. In a society that values physical strength above all, Lark discovers there is also great strength in her loyalty to the people she cares about. Holmberg’s (Heir of Uncertain Magic) worldbuilding is detailed and dystopian but still possesses the same enchantment as tales told once upon a time.
VERDICT For fans of T. Kingfisher, this sweet story of belonging is a romantic twist on the classic bridge-troll fairy tale.
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