Pondo’s Review: The Breedling & The City in The Garden

Absolute obedience, servitude, neutrality. These were the laws that once governed Bartholomew, an immortal soulcatcher, until one ill-fated night when he was forced to make a choice: rebel against his masters or reveal an ancient, dangerous secret.

He chose defiance.

Imprisoned for centuries as punishment for his decision, Bartholomew wastes away—until he creates an opportunity to escape. By a stroke of chance, Bartholomew finds himself in the human world and soon learns that breaking his bonds does not come without a price. Cut off from the grace that once ruled him, he must discover a new magic in 1930s Chicago.

Armed with only a cryptic message to give him direction, Bartholomew desperately tries to resume the mission he had started so long ago. Relying on the unlikely guidance of the streetwise orphan Charlie Reese, Bartholomew must navigate the depressed streets of the City in the Garden. But in order to solve this riddle, he must first discover if choice and fate are one in the same.

I picked this book up at Gen Con from Kimberlee Ann Bastian’s author table. The cover was what caught my eye initially, then I was hooked by the blurb on the back. I am pleased to share this book did not disappoint. On the night I finished reading it, I stayed up way too late simply so I could reach the end.

This book is a fabulous recreation of depression era America with a dash of magic. Bartholomew the Breedling is charming as he explores the land of Eden and his guide Charlie is difficult not to fall in love with. They are both strong characters that I instantly felt connected with. The attention to even the secondary characters was amazing as I could clearly picture each of them and was able to remember them throughout the entire book.

The pacing was perfect – I never felt the story rushed along or skipped past an important plot point. I love the idea of Fates, the Trickster and how everything ties in with what’s going on with mortals.

Highly recommend and I look forward to reading the second book.