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Book Review: Strangers in the High City

Table of Contents

“Dwarf Gladiators. Elven Holy Warriors. Men and women powered by the gods themselves.

These are the kinds of characters you will fall in love with in Strangers in the High City.

The Lunar Gods have abandoned their children. In their absence the world has grown cold. The Covenant, a nation that was meant to unite Elves, Dwarves and Humankind, is broken. The dwarves are forced to endlessly produce resources to support The Covenant’s unending hunger for expansion. The Covenant’s caste system continues to divide its once proud human citizens. The elves have grown disinterested in the toils of the humans choosing instead to live in their own lands. It’s all coming to a boiling point where there is no turning back.

Follow the strangers that inhabit this land as they fight for a place in it…

Gareth Stormkin a farm boy in search of adventure. Little does he know it will soon find him at a great price.

Auric Redbeard a dwarf that has finally earned his place as a citizen of The Covenant.

Ruxson a stable hand on a mad quest for revenge.

This tale is for the fantasy lover, the reader looking for characters to fall in love with and worlds to discover.”

Title: Strangers in the High City

Series: Children of the Lunar Gods #1

Author: J.E. Cabrera

Page Count: 495

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 4.0/5.0

Date Read: August 4th, 2023

Strangers in the High City was my nineteenth SPFBO-9 read. This one didn’t quite make my original top twenty from that list but it was close to doing so. I thought the cover and the blurb booth seemed interesting to me. As with many of my SPFBO-9 TBR I wasn’t sure exactly when I’d get to this one. That decision was made easier when Dom from Dominish Books mentioned he had this on his list as well. We decided to do a small buddy read on it together for August. You can find Dom’s video review here.
Before I get into my usual three topics, I want to preface this by saying the story and characters from Strangers in the High City were right up my alley! This read and hopefully this story still has a lot of potential in my mind. Unfortunately, the copy that I read from Kindle Unlimited had a lot of editing issues throughout the book. This included sentences back tracking mid point before continuing on and names of characters or other items changing at one point or another during the book. I’m not sure if the version I had was not a final version or if the print had some further updates that didn’t make it to the digital or not. I felt it could have used another solid pass through a proofreader for sure. This issue brought my overall rating down a bit. Even with that being said, I still enjoyed this story so much!
The pacing was good as far as the story went. We didn’t really have any difficult names to get used to. The various editing issues did trip me up several times. Either I’d have to reread something or I found myself looking back at my notes on how a name was spelled previously. This is really where the bulk my rating lost it’s points.
The worldbuilding building was really good. We have a lot going on in this read. We have different regions, cultures, races and fighting styles. There is definitely room to expand this world going forward. But even if that is just diving more into these different cultures and religions alone could be really interesting. There is definitely a good amount of political intrigue going on with Strangers in the High City.
The character development was another really strong point to this read. Even though we had some characters introduced at one point or another and then seemly forgotten there were some really memorable ones. And the twists along the way with several characters made things both interesting and enjoyable for me. The ending just blew my mind though!
In the end I still have high hopes for this series and I hope the authors works gets the necessary editing it truly deserves. As I said there is so much potential there right now. I’d also love to see more of a presence from the author on social media one way or another to interact with. I really couldn’t find much in the way of how to communicate with him. In his website’s mailing list page was under construction.
As far as recommendations go, if you can deal with the editing issues I mentioned above, there is a really good fantasy story to be enjoyed here. I’ll myself will be keeping an eye on this author and series in hopes it continues with that added bit of love going forward.

World Building 4.5/5
Pacing 3/5
Character Development 4.5/5

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Chad Barnard

Owner/Operator of The Hiking Reader Blog. Sharing thoughts on books and hiking trails and trying to find ways to continue to incorporate both hobbies together.

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