The Nameless City coverEvery nation that invades the City gives it a new name. But before long, new invaders arrive and the City changes hands once again. The natives don’t let themselves get caught up in the unending wars. To them, their home is the Nameless City, and those who try to name it are forever outsiders.

Kaidu is one such outsider. He’s a Dao born and bred–a member of the latest occupying nation. Rat is a native of the Nameless City. At first, she hates Kai for everything he stands for, but his love of his new home may be the one thing that can bring these two unlikely friends together. Let’s hope so, because the fate of the Nameless City rests in their hands.

  • First Second, April 06 2016
  • SC and HC, 240 pages, 6″ x 9″
  • ISBN 978-1626721579
  • SC $14.99, HC $21.99
  • Order online: Amazon

The Nameless City stands out for bringing lessons of equality and tolerance in a fun and exciting manner. The main characters are from extreme opposites of the social scale but learn to bond over their similarities and shared experiences while working through their differences. Teaching their strengths to uplift the other’s weaknesses. Hard work leads to progress and ultimately success.

The Nameless City interior 1

But that would be terribly boring and preachy if it wasn’t wrapped in an exciting tale of intrigue, action and adventure. Kaidu’s father is a general and allows us as readers into the goings on of the imperial palace and brings the friendship of our characters in context with the goings on of the city. We all want the underdog to succeed. And while we follow our leads through their adventures it’s the adults in their life that are shaping the narrative.

The Nameless City interior 2

It’s truly an all ages work. Take it all or whatever portion is available to the age and understanding of the reader, it adds up to an entertaining read. The characters are multi-faceted, and are defined by the sum of their words and actions; no cookie cutter heroes or villains here. Kaidu and Rat are young and that appeals to children and young adults, but their lack of experience and desire for knowledge present opportunities for growth and development we wouldn’t otherwise see from adult characters.

The Nameless City interior 3

Hicks presents a fluid and detailed graphic narrative. Every panel is an opportunity to further define the Nameless City and give it real presence. One of her strengths is expression and the characters tell so much from their facial and body expressions. It’s a smaller size book and pages can have up to eight panels, but that’s to tighten the shot onto the character or pan out to present an emotion or significant moment. It flows well.

Bellaire’s colour is effective and uniform, in that they tie together scenes with tones and backgrounds.

Overall The Nameless City is a fun and entertaining read with fluid characters, engaging dialogue and a page-turning plot. It closes with a “to be continued” so we can look forward to The Stone Heart.