Big news! LibraryThing is now free to all! Read the blog post and discuss the change on Talk.
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.


The Etched City (2003)

by K. J. Bishop

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
8182918,533 (3.8)64
"Combine equal parts of Stephen King's Dark Tower series and Chine Miéville's Perdido Street Station, throw in a dash of Aubrey BeardsleyandJ.K. Huysmans, and you'll get some idea of this disturbing, decadent first novel."--Publishers Weekly Gwynn and Raule are rebels on the run, with little in common except being on the losing side of a hard-fought war. Gwynn is a gunslinger from the north, a loner, a survivor . . . a killer. Raule is a wandering surgeon, a healer who still believes in just--and lost--causes. Bound by a desire to escape the ghosts of the past, together they flee to the teeming city of Ashamoil, where Raule plies her trade among the desperate and destitute, and Gwynn becomes bodyguard and assassin for the household of a corrupt magnate. There, in the saving and taking of lives, they find themselves immersed in a world where art infects life, dream and waking fuse, and splendid and frightening miracles begin to bloom . . . "The plot, with its stories-within-stories and its offhand descriptions of wonders and prodigies, brings to mind the works of Italo Calvino and Jorge Luis Borges."--Locus… (more)
  1. 50
    Perdido Street Station by China Miéville (Jarandel)
    Jarandel: Similar dark, steampunk-ish urban environments that sometime veer into the horrific and fantastical.
  2. 30
    The Alchemy of Stone by Ekaterina Sedia (rarm)
  3. 00
    City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett (Euryale)
  4. 00
    A Book of Tongues by Gemma Files (ligature)
  5. 00
    The Scar by China Miéville (lottpoet)

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 64 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
I picked up this book because I had read reviews that recommended it for fans of China Mieville. While I can't really see much of a similarity in the two authors' writing styles, I did definitely like The Etched City very very much. I'm impressed that it's a first novel (and disappointed that there's not yet any more books by Bishop to read!) I hope she's busy writing right now!
The Etched City is the story of two ex-mercenaries, companions who life threw together - but who are two very different people. Both escape the dusty desert, one step ahead of trouble, seeking somethng better. Raule becomes a doctor to the poor, while Gwynn ends up as man-at-arms to a ruthless slaver. However, their personalities are not as black-and-white as their professions might indicate - although they are not necessarily friends. Raule knws she is emotionally damaged, and is weirdly drawn to collecting deformed fetuses... whle Gwynn quests after a mysterious artist of unearthly beauty, and becomed divided between her and the unsavory work he does... The Etched City doesn't have a strictly delineated plot, but its variegated threads weave themselves together wonderfully.
Complex, dark, and gritty, with moments of brilliant surreality, discursions on the topics of art and religion, love and compassion... I can only hope for more like this. ( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
The start of the novel is superb and I was hooked and excited immediately. The opening reminded me much of Half-Made World and thoroughly enjoying the author's accomplished writing, I settled myself in for a fantastic journey.

But then, suddenly it's 3 years later and the characters have moved from the desert to the lush tropical city of Ashamoil. Raule's story diminishes altogether and what follows is more turgid soliloquies than a Shakespeare tragedy.

Evocative, at times surreal, the story drifts from the esoteric to a laudanum dream and without any real resolve or sense of completeness. I found the last three-quarters sagged aimlessly.

Bishop can write, and write beautifully, but I felt more like I was peeking in on someone's private dream than and welcome participant of an embracing experience. ( )
  StaticBlaq | Apr 26, 2015 |
Loved it. Unsettling, disorienting, and disturbingly familiar. Like one of those weird awesome fever dreams you try to hang on to. Only written better. ( )
  JohnnyPanic13 | Apr 3, 2013 |
Loved it. Unsettling, disorienting, and disturbingly familiar. Like one of those weird awesome fever dreams you try to hang on to. Only written better. ( )
  JohnnyPanic13 | Apr 3, 2013 |
Dark Fantasy

*note to self. Copy from A. (2 copies!)
  velvetink | Mar 31, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
K. J. Bishopprimary authorall editionscalculated
Lacorte, EleonoraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Youll, PaulCoversecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
I despise and execrate pride and the indecent delights of that extinguishing irony which disjoints the precision of our thought.
--Lautréamont, Poésies
For Stuart
First words
There were no milestones in the Copper Country.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Quick Links

Popular covers


Average: (3.8)
1 3
2 11
2.5 9
3 41
3.5 25
4 71
4.5 12
5 48

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 148,061,037 books! | Top bar: Always visible