The City's Son  - Tom Pollock

I have to admit, I bumped this book up my TBR list because I discovered my local library branch has the second and third books of the trilogy, which meant if I liked this one then I could finish the whole thing off quite easily and quickly. Alas, I don't think I will be carrying on with this series - it wasn't bad but it also wasn't quite my thing.

 

The City's Son is about Beth, who is a teenage girl living in London with her father - after the death of her mother, her father has retreated into himself and left Beth to pretty much fend for herself. She only has one friend and they entertain themselves out of school hours by tagging places with graffiti. This one relationship on which Beth is relying falls apart when they graffiti their own school with a caricature of one of the teachers and Beth's friend turns her in (for reasons which we know, but which Beth doesn't). As a result, Beth effectively goes on the run and meets an odd young man called Filius Viae, who is waging a battle against the forces that threaten to overwhelm the city.

 

I struggled with this book for a couple of reasons. Firstly, the choice by the author of first person for Filius (and at least one other character, whose point of view we also get later on) and third person for Beth. Even after a couple of chapters of this, I was finding this affected my engagement with the story and I couldn't really see why this had been done. Secondly, I found some of the writing unnecessarily florid, to the point where it felt at times like the author was sacrificing clarity over what was actually happening for the sake of descriptive prose which again didn't really work for me.

 

That's just how it goes, sometimes... Anyway, the series continues with The Glass Republic but I won't be carrying on with it.