Fade to Black
By Francis Knight
(Orbit, Paperback, 9780316217682, 384pp.)
Publication Date: February 26, 2013
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From the depths of a valley rises the city of Mahala
It's a city built upwards, not across - where streets are built upon streets, buildings upon buildings. A city that the Ministry rules from the sunlit summit, and where the forsaken lurk in the darkness of Under.
Rojan Dizon doesn't mind staying in the shadows, because he's got things to hide. Things like being a pain-mage, with the forbidden power to draw magic from pain. But he can't hide for ever.
Because when Rojan stumbles upon the secrets lurking in the depths of the Pit, the fate of Mahala will depend on him using his magic. And unlucky for Rojan - this is going to hurt.
"Intensely realized and gripping."—Kirkus Reviews
"The persistent sense of lurking danger along with Rojan's inner conflict between apathy and authentic emotion contribute to an absorbing read."—RT Book Reviews
"Knight's debut recalls the vibrant, urban-based fantasies of China Miéville, Jay Lake, and Glen Cook. Combining traces of steampunk with urban noir fantasy, this story should appeal to fans of most fantasy variants."—Library Journal
"A brilliant adventure/mystery which totally lived up to the cover... A thoroughly enjoyable read with plenty of twists and turns, and darkness enough to make the title perfectly apt. Highly recommended."—thebookbag.co.uk
"Fade to Black is superb, and raises the benchmark quite high indeed for 2013's other debut fantasies. Very highly recommended."—Civilian Reader
"A savage stab at organised religion and social control... emotionally powerful."—Sun (UK) on Fade to Black