The co-op bookstore for avid readers
Book Cover for: City of Last Chances, Adrian Tchaikovsky

City of Last Chances

Adrian Tchaikovsky


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

Arthur C. Clarke winner and Sunday Times bestseller Adrian Tchaikovsky's triumphant return to fantasy with a darkly inventive portrait of a city under occupation and on the verge of revolution.

There has always been a darkness to Ilmar, but never more so than now. The city chafes under the heavy hand of the Palleseen occupation, the choke-hold of its criminal underworld, the boot of its factory owners, the weight of its wretched poor and the burden of its ancient curse.

What will be the spark that lights the conflagration?

Despite the city's refugees, wanderers, murderers, madmen, fanatics and thieves, the catalyst, as always, will be the Anchorwood - that dark grove of trees, that primeval remnant, that portal, when the moon is full, to strange and distant shores.

Ilmar, some say, is the worst place in the world and the gateway to a thousand worse places.

Ilmar, City of Long Shadows.

City of Bad Decisions.

City of Last Chances.

'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
'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

Book Details

  • Publisher: Head of Zeus -- An Adastra Book
  • Publish Date: May 2nd, 2023
  • Pages: 512
  • Language: English
  • Dimensions: 9.27in - 6.15in - 1.66in - 1.60lb
  • EAN: 9781801108423
  • Categories: Fantasy - Action & AdventureFantasy - Dark FantasyFantasy - Epic

About the Author

Tchaikovsky, Adrian: - Adrian Tchaikovsky is the author of Children of Time, the winner of the 30th Anniversary Arthur C. Clarke Award, the Sunday Times bestseller Shards of Earth and the BSFA Award-winning City of Last Chances. He 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.

Praise for this book

"Rich, inventive worldbuilding and nuanced intrigues will have fantasy readers on the edges of their seats." --Publishers Weekly

"Highly recommended for lovers of big sprawling sagas who don't want to wait years for a climactic conclusion." --Library Journal

"Clever and engaging fantasy." --Booklist starred review

"A gritty adventure fantasy of uncommon breadth, fashioning a universe brimming with magic and treachery... an accomplished, imaginative fantasy novel." --Foreword starred review

"Paints a vivid detailed backdrop and populates it with colorful 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." --SFX

"An intriguing tangle, dense, dark, ingenious, ironic, complex, often funny, and always smart." --Locus Magazine

"Adrian Tchaikovsky is a name synonymous with the kind of world-building that SFF demands. His deliciously descriptive prose has an unmatched ability to paint every corner of the worlds in his imagination with the kind of detail that invites the reader to become lovingly lost in an unfamiliar landscape and yet able to navigate every street by knowing the texture of every brick and the sound of every footstep. This finesse and clarity of detail in the world building is the rock on which Tchaikovsky has built the City of Last Chances . . . The threads of multiple extraneous plotlines intersect deliberately and invisibly to bring about a bigger picture, dimensioned in beautiful complexity." --SciFiNow


"Reading this was pure pleasure. . . . There's an Ursula Le Guin-like grace to his storytelling, to the shifting of cadences. Everything about this book suggests deliberate care in uniting epic fantasy's immersive world-building with the sharp, dislocating bursts of high-concept science fiction. I've never been so relieved to learn of an author's extensive back catalog. Ten out of 10, no notes." --New York Times on Elder Race

"Incandescently brilliant in its transformation of the classic motifs of space opera, Children of Time was without any hesitation or qualification one of the most enjoyable science fiction novels I have read in years." --Los Angeles Review of Books on Children of Time

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