In One Word

In One Word, The City of Broken Magic by Mirah Bolender is…

city of broken magic

  • Published in 2018 by Tor Books
  • Format: Audiobook
    • Narrator: Natalie Naudus
    • Listening speed: 1.25x
  • Listening time: 5 lethargic days


  • The most difficult choice out of all the Dancing with Fantasy and Sci challenges. I’m not just picking books that fulfil the challenge but books that are written by female authors if I can. So, I went with another of Annemieke’s recommendation.
  • A promising opening from the infection’s point of view but it was ruined when the POV switched to Laura. One of the main attractions of the book for me was a main character who shares my name but her voice just rubs me up the wrong way. She always comes off as bratty and inconsiderate to everyone and doesn’t give me much reason to root for her. Clae isn’t that much better. He’s a badass sweeper, there’s no doubt, but he’s just a bit too angry and prickly for my taste. His threats don’t sound at all clever or convincing. Okane is probably the most interesting out of the three. If only it was from his POV. Maybe, it might be the audiobook who speaks like a teenager with an irritating inflection at the end of each sentence. Perhaps, the physical book would be better.
  • Really Lovecraftian beasts with a fair amount of J-horror elements thrown in. The story of how they came to be is pretty interesting too.
  • Rather decent world building. There’s a fair amount of clumsy delivery in the form of making Laura recite excerpts from history books from memory but the history of Amacae, their relationship with the other city states and how objectively stupid the council is. I wish it could have been shown a little better with some more clashes with the anti-sweepers rather than a spat or two with an council member hopeful.
  • Yet to really get going as a story yet. We’re verging into guided tour of the world with some sideplots going on. Some of the plots are interesting too e.g. the Sullivans encroaching on sweeper territory, the sweepers being slowly edged out and Amacae under constant threat of attack but none of them got the focus they needed.
  • It only starts to pick up about two thirds of the way through. I knew something would go wrong once they had their backs turned. I had a feeling that would happen too.
  • Need to give the fight your full attention because it’s very easy to lose track of things.
  • Got around to ending it eventually. It took too long to get there but, when we get to the conclusion, the important things are rushed through and yet it still takes too long!

Goodreads Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Did you agree with my rating? Can you think of a better word to describe it? Please let me know with a like, share or comment.

2 thoughts on “In One Word, The City of Broken Magic by Mirah Bolender is…”

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