Jun 11, 2021

Review--The City of Zirdai by Maria V. Snyder


With her indomitable style, New York Times bestselling author Maria V. Snyder returns with an electric new fantasy series that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Through her courage and tenacity, Shyla Sun-Kissed has awoken the power of The Eyes of Tamburah. But this feat only marks the beginning of the challenges that the magical order, the Invisible Sword, faces to free the underground city of Zirdai.

Though they have allies among the monks and splinter cells inside the city, Shyla knows the Invisible Sword doesn't have the strength to win. With the group fracturing due to the strain of losses from their latest ordeal, thinly veiled suspicions and endless disagreements, it's up to Shyla to forge a new united order.

When both the draconian Water Prince and brutal Heliacal Priestess learn of Shyla's new powers, life becomes even more complicated as they will stop at nothing to capture Shyla and take the magic of The Eyes for themselves. Hunted at every turn and unable to hide, Shyla and the Invisible Sword must use every resource at their command - and unearth new ones - in their race to save the city from destruction. But their enemies always seem to be one step ahead. And the cost to win the battle may be more than Shyla would ever be willing to pay...


Maria V. Snyder returns to the exciting world of the Archives of the Invisible Sword with The City of Zirdai! Shyla thought she had problems before gaining the Eyes of Tamburah, but she's about to learn that there's always more trouble to follow! Maria spins yet another incredibly exciting tale that will have readers at the edge of their seats!

Shyla and the Invisible Swords are busy making their new headquarters in a new place, Shyla has also been busy doing a lot of recruiting trying to gain as many new members as she can so that when the day comes to take down the Water Prince and the Priestess the Invisible Sword will be well equipped. Shyla is also getting to know her strengths and abilities with her new powers.

Yet, all is not quite well. The Invisible Sword still members are still wary to trust Rendor who has been a stark figure at Shyla's side. Tensions begin to run higher and higher and soon, Rendor makes the decision to leave the Invisible Sword and Shyla doesn't stop him. 

If that wasn't enough, it seems every time the group tries to take a few steps forward, something bad is always waiting for them. Jayden still thinks it's Banqui's doing, laying the blame on him as being the still unknown traitor who seems to be selling them out to their enemy, but Shyla hates to think that her once best friend would do that to her, to them. A lot of time is spent trying to prepare for the looming battle with the enemies and all the harrowing encounters and betrayals and close calls that come before the epic showdown!

It was heartbreaking to see Shyla and Rendor separated after they finally got together so late into the first book. Rendor does make quiet appearances here and there, always seeming to help Shyla out on the sidelines but disappearing before she can see him.

There was a great deal of tension in this one! The mystery of the traitor was always at large. Shyla was dodging her enemies left and right. There was always a thick air of danger about and you never really knew what was going to happen next. Maria really knows how to draw a reader in and keep them riveted as she spins her stories.

Shyla is a very likeable character. She is working so hard to stand up for the little people and really is wanting to make things better for everyone and have it just be better for all in the city. The other characters in this world are just as likeable or unlikable depending on which side they stand on. Lol. The younger kids crack me up too, like Ilhan who befriends the rats and of course Mojag. Their voices come off very youthful and defiant! You gotta love the accuracy Maria takes with their voice.

Now for the romance, because you know I will always touch on that! Shyla and Rendor are separated for most of the book, yes, but you know Maria would never leave us hanging like that! And the sparse moments they get to spend together are all the more sweet and tender. They've a very a sweet and gentle romance growing between them and I always love it when things take time to build. You get to see those sweet tender moments in action and it's just so endearing.

There were quite a few shocking surprises in this one! The ending is especially riddle with jaw-droppers! I am definitely looking forward to the final book of the trilogy! The title is very telling, yet what it will entail for Shyla has yet to be seen and oh I am so glad we don't have to wait a full year for this one!! Two Maria V. Snyder books in one year makes me a very happy reader!

The City of Zirdai will take you on yet another adventure--literally-down under! The secretive levels that are beneath the ground to escape from the harsh sun only to encounter other horrors beneath the surface. If you've been looking for an exciting new fantasy read that differs from the usual, then look no further than the Archives of the Invisible Sword!

Overall Rating 5/5 stars

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