Black City Saint

Written by Richard A. Knaak
Review by John Kachuba

The latest from prolific New York Times bestselling author Richard A. Knaak, Black City Saint is a fast-paced mash-up of fantasy and history. Set in Prohibition-era Chicago, its unlikely cast – including a cursed Roman emperor ghost, incorporeal dragons, paranormal detectives, and a shapeshifter from the Feirie realm trapped inside a dog’s body – battles the forces of the Wyld, the darkest of the Feiriefolk.

Nick Medea, better known to history as St. George, has spent more than sixteen hundred years guarding the Gate that separates the Feirie realm from the mortal. But since the night his inner dragon set the city of Chicago afire, the Gate has remained open to the evil forces of the Wyld, who have figured out how to use the Prohibition gang warfare to their own advantage. Nick must fight not only the Wyld but also the violence of his inner dragon as he tries to close the Gate.

Knaak is a master of urban fantasy and makes good use of his historical and mythological research. Still, with such a menagerie of wild characters, some readers may have to work a little harder to understand their backstories and be able to integrate them into the narrative. The effort is worth it; Black City Saint is an interesting and entertaining read and shouldn’t be missed by readers of fantasy.