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City of Hope and Despair

by: Ian Whates


“Adventures in a nightmare citadel – a story that hits the ground running and doesn’t let up.”
– Liz Williams

Welcome back to the City of 100 Rows… where the nightmare has only just begun.

File Under: Fantasy [ Towering City | Ancient Secrets | Assassins & Gods | Soul Thief! ]

Book two in the City of a Hundred Rows series



The ancient city of Thaiburley is a vast, multi-tiered metropolis, where the poor live in the City Below, and Demons are said to dwell in the Upper Heights. The street-nick Tom must find the source of the great river Thair and perhaps learn the secret of his own strange powers… The assassin Dewar must redeem himself… The Prime Master desperately seeks the cure for bone flu – a mysterious and deadly malady that is striking down the talented in Thaiburley’s highest Rows… Kat, the renegade nick, forms an uneasy alliance with her sister Charveve, and the two lead the Tattooed Men through the dark streets of the City Below in search of the Soul Thief: the evil monster that murdered their mother and consigned both girls to the gladitorial hellhole known as the Pits… Welcome back to Thaiburley, the City of 100 Rows, the City of Dreams… where the nightmare has only just begun…
Publication date



Angry Robot Books


Angry Robot

Cover Art

Craig Bridges ;


City of a Hundred Rows

City of Hope and Despair

Paperback, Ebook

Paperback ISBN




Ian Whates lives in a comfortable home down a quiet cul-de-sac in an idyllic Cambridgeshire village, which he shares with his partner Helen and their pets – Honey the golden cocker spaniel, Calvin the tailless black cat and Inky the goldfish (sadly, Binky died a few years ago).

Ian’s love of science fiction began while he was still at school, manifesting itself when he produced an SF murder mystery as homework after being set the essay title “The Language of Shakespeare”, much to the bemusement of his English teacher. Also while at school, Ian was awarded The Lord Mayor’s Prize for English, in a competition open to all the schools in London. His first published stories appeared in the late 1980s, but it was not until the early 2000s that he began to pursue writing with any seriousness, joining the Northampton SF Writers Group in 2004 after being introduced to its chairman, Ian Watson. In 2006 Ian launched independent publisher NewCon Press, quite by accident. That same year he also resumed submitting short stories, selling some 25 to various venues by the time May 2008 arrived, including two to the science journal Nature. Another story, “The Gift of Joy”, even found its way onto the shortlist for the BSFA Awards in 2008… and it didn’t come last! This success surprised the author even more than the awards and accolades accumulated by his various NewCon Press anthologies. Ian is currently a director of the British Science Fiction Association and has chaired the organisation since Spring 2008. He also served a term as the Regional Overseas Director of the Science Fiction Writers of America (SFWA) before stepping down in 2010.

“Born story-teller Ian Whates takes us on a gripping, terrifying trip-of-a-lifetime, through the heights and depths of the exotically grim city of Thaiburley, in this excellent fantasy thriller.”
– World Fantasy Award-winning author, Tanith Lee

“This novel is one I would heartily recommend; City of Hope and Despair is a fantastic book, full of emotional ups and downs, turmoil and adventure, drawn with a steady, deft hand by Whates, whose authorial control is magnificent. I really want to see where this series is going.”
Libris Leonis

City of Hope & Despair moves fast and is a page turner with everything that made City Dreams and Nightmares entertaining.”
– Liviu Suciu,

Praise for City of Dreams & Nightmares

“Whates’s assured prose, slick pacing and inventive imagination make for a gripping read. His first novel is the work of a born storyteller.”
The Guardian

City of Dreams & Nightmare grabs you pretty much from the first page and then you really do not want to put it down since it just twists and turns and the threads following the main characters above are all deftly handled with very smooth jumps and several crucial interludes following the ‘true movers and shakers’ of the novel. Highly recommended as a strong A and a fun, page turning sff adventure that will enchant all fans of such.”
Fantasy Book Critic

“There is such a great deal to recommend about this book from the imaginative elements like the cyborg type creatures and common use of magic and the incidental touches that Ian describes, to the strange city with it’s myriad levels and unusual inhabitants. There is also a real sense of a living, breathing city with insights into the various ways [the city of] Thaiburley works… City of Dreams & Nightmare is a brilliantly executed novel, perfectly paced, beautifully described and a true joy to read.”

“The gothic-noir feel of the urban landscape adds atmosphere to the plot and informs the personality of the entire book… possibly the most amazing and mind-blowing cityscape I have yet encountered.”
– Temple Library Reviews

“A wondrous and ingenious read. Highly plotted with multiple point-of-view characters set loose in a mega-city that might not be a city at all but a living creature. Whates’ imagination is energetic and enchanting and similarities to the novels of Ian Watts, Michael Moorcock, China Mièville, and Mervyn Peake inevitable.”
– Hub Magazine

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