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City of Last Chances


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Ilmar is a city under occupation and on the verge of revolution. A city about to go to war not only aginst its oppressors, but also against itself. Ideological zealots collide with criminal fraternities, an infernal industrial revolution with an ancient curse and, when the moon is full, a portal to strange and distant shores.

About the Author

Adrian Tchaikovsky was born in Lincolnshire before heading off to Reading to study psychology and zoology. He subsequently ended up in law and has worked as a legal executive in both Reading and Leeds, where he now lives. Married, he is a keen live role-player and occasional amateur actor and has trained in stage-fighting. He's the author of Children of Time, the winner of the 30th Anniversary Arthur C. Clarke Award, and the Sunday Times bestseller Shards of Earth.


Finesse and clarity of detail in the world building is the rock on which Tchaikovsky has built the City of Last Chances...the beauty of the story is in the slow and gentle unfolding of how the unrelated combine
*SciFi Now*

Paints a vivid detailed backdrop and populates it with colourful personalities and elaborate religious, political and economic systems... making a location the main character is a considerable challenge and it's testament to Tchaikovsky's skill that he can make it work

When things start to unravel, brilliant chaos ensues
*Daily Mail*

Has some of Tchaikovsky’s best prose… an absolutely fascinating study in human behaviour
*SF Crowsnest*

An intriguing tangle, dense, dark, ingenious, ironic, complex, often funny, and always smart

Endlessly creative... so much invention peeking around every corner
*Patrick Ness*

The rich, inventive worldbuilding and nuanced intrigues will have fantasy readers on the edges of their seats
*Publishers Weekly*

Ilmar is vividly alive with ideas, conflicts, and a sense of its own history – a truly breathtaking fantasy city, down every street a compelling story
*David Towsey*

A master at the height of his powers. This is epic symphonic fantasy, weaving a breakneck plot through a sumptuously dangerous world
*Ian Green*

An ambitious epic fantasy read that contains many quality elements and memorable characters… a unique reading experience
*Grimdark Magazine*

A powerful story about romanticism versus the truth of rebellion... It resonates with the world we live in today and is well worth investing your time in more than once
*The British Fantasy Society*

A gritty adventure fantasy of uncommon breadth, fashioning a universe brimming with magic and treachery
*Foreword Reviews, starred review*

Ilmar will live up to its many names in this clever and engaging fantasy
*Booklist, starred review*

[A] darkly comic but also potentially transformative guide to fantasyland

A wonderful twisty stew of a book with a cast of fascinating characters, set against the brilliantly realized city of Ilmar
*Django Wexler*

A triumph of a book: wildly imaginative, immediately immersive and hypnotically compelling
*Sharon Emmerichs*

Interesting and beautifully thought out... in terms of its scope, its ambition, and its ability to render a genuinely realistic view of a city on the cusp of revolution, City of Last Chances is immensely successful
*Nerds of a Feather*

A mosaic of a novel… Highly recommended to those who love books where the city feels like a character
*The Fantasy Inn*

As the story pulls back to reveal the whole of the fresco, I discovered that once again Tchaikovksy had treated me to a clever storyline that subverted expectations and rewarded my loyalty
*Geek Dad*

An absolute tour-de-force of a book... unpredictable and absorbing
*Birmingham Science Fiction Group*

Tchaikovsky skilfully immerses the reader into [his] rich and diverse world, where magic and machinery intertwine, and mysterious figures with barely glimpsed back-stories step onto, and then off, centre stage

PRAISE FOR BEAR HEAD: 'Adrian Tchaikovsky's dissection of Thompson's appeal and ghastly genius is the thoughtful highlight of this unashamedly thrilling escapade. You don't need to have read Dogs of War to enjoy Bear Head – but why deny yourself the pleasure?' The Times 'Funny, appalling, gruesome and uplifting (often at the same time), Bear Head is propelled by a cracking plot that balances dystopian satire with a palpable sense of moral peril' Daily Mail. 'An absolute whammy of a read, and a must for anyone who enjoys a smart, fast-paced, hugely entertaining blast of speculative fiction... This is one of those books where you can just throw yourself and abandon yourself to a fabulous story, knowing you will be entertained throughout' LoveReading. 'A rousing good read'

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