The City’s Son

Hidden under the surface of everyday London is a city of monsters and miracles, where wild train spirits stampede over the tracks and glass-skinned dancers with glowing veins light the streets.

When a devastating betrayal drives her from her home, graffiti artist Beth Bradley stumbles into the secret city, where she finds Filius Viae, London’s ragged crown prince, just when he needs someone most. An ancient enemy has returned to the darkness under St Paul’s Cathedral, bent on reigniting a centuries-old war, and Beth and Fil find themselves in a desperate race through a bizarre urban wonderland, searching for a way to save the city they both love.

The City’s Son is the first book of The Skyscraper Throne: a story about family,friends and monsters, and how you can’t always tell which is which.

“Gorgeously written and brimming with bizarre urban creatures, this darkly imagined and sometimes painful tale should delight fans of Neil Gaiman, China Miéville, and Holly Black” – Publishers Weekly, Starred Review.

“An impeccably dark parable, endlessly inventive and utterly compelling” – Mike Carey, author of The Unwritten, Lucifer and X-Men

“I cannot say enough times that you need to read this book. Intelligent, true to its genre, and the most fun thing I’ve read this fall.” – San Francisco Book Review.

“Vivid, inventive and truly weird.” – Daily Mail

Should you feel so inclined you can pick one up at Amazon here, Waterstones here, or Indiebound here.



29 thoughts on “The City’s Son

  1. i’m halfway through and i can’t put it down. i haven’t been so captivated by a book since reading The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern – thank you for creating such a visually mesmerizing read! it such a beautiful take on London; the characters, the places…everything! thanks again!

  2. I just finished the book last night and CANNOT wait for the next book! All the characters were really easy for me to relate with. Best book I’ve read in a while! Loved the setting and the background of the characters. Syfy-fantasy books are my all-time favorite reads so it was REALLY easy to get into. Thanks for the awesome book!!

  3. The City’s Son – thank the gods it came to the U.S. This is without a doubt the best-written YA sci-fi/fantasy novel I have read in years. I love your style of world-building; from the first moment, I was captured by the descriptions, and the rich sense of mythology that pervades every interaction in the book. I am secretly jealous of your imagination, and absolutely in love with this series. I will definitely be teaching it to my secondary ed students as something they need to include in their class lists for contemporary young adult literature!

  4. Fantastic book Tom! It’s Not often I pick up a book knowing nothing about it but found myself completely immersed. On my commute to work nearly missed my stop a couple of times, so ‘unputadownable’…. Can’t wait for what happens next.. Thank you. Angela (not a YA, more a mid YA, but hey!) x

  5. It’s being a long time since a book is able to thrill me like The City’s Son; the lovable characters and their realness, the weirdness-in-a-good-way of the urban magic of London, and the way the novel ends is amazing (for me at least since, in my opinion, since I just like endings like that).
    Did I just broke an unspoken rule by mentioning, albeit only superficially, the ending in the comments? Hope not!
    The thing I don’t get is why many readers found the first half of the novel confusing; yes Fil and his alternate London is strange and alien and people complained of the lack of explanations for it but it doesn’t seem to concern me at all and I managed to simply accept the weirdness of it as it is and didn’t attempt to define anything or whatsoever (probably because I, as a reader, is just a mere bystander and not involved). The only thing I found questionable is Beth’s own lack of questioning (she lives in the story after all) when thrusted into Fil’s world where things will obviously contradict us mundies’ logic/scientific way of thinking but I guessed this is due to her unconscious awareness of such magic due to her life as a street girl and ‘magical’ graffiti artist.
    However, there is are some things that I wanted to ask you; why is Fil called ‘Urchin’ in US editions? Are there any other differences between the Brit/US editions other than the name?
    And am I using too much semi-colons?

    PS I think the model used to portray Fil on one of the covers is much too buff considering that Fil in the novel is skinny (he is right?)

    1. Hi Li Jong,

      He is *totally* way too buff on that US cover in my opinion, but obviously when it comes to character visualisation your mileage may vary.

      Really glad you liked the end and the characters! And you aren’t the first to say Beth takes to her new milieu a little too easily. I guess my only defence is that I didn’t want to do thew whole ‘I can’t believe my eyes’ thing, because it tends to bore me when I read it, but I probably did err to far the other way.

      thanks for stopping by!



  6. Hi, Tom!
    I saw your book in my recent trip to London. It screamed: buy me, buy me! but I hesitated and the oportunity went away. My question is, is the trilogy going to be translated into another languages? (like Spanish, for example).

  7. Too excited for this series, can’t wait to find out what’s in store for the future of underground London and it’s people! Haha
    Also, love your story-telling! You have an amazing imagination, really looking forward to re-visiting it.

  8. Dear Mr Pollock/Tom (don’t know how familiar I should be),

    I’m from Germany and luckily I found the skyscraper throne in the library of my hometown. I often read it in the tram for the right feeling.;)
    Firstly I want to thank you earnestly for having written this wonderful, fascinating, suspenseful book: I absolutely loved it – still I have quite high demands – and therefore was worried up to the last page that there may be a plot twist or an ending I wouldn’t like so this story would be ruined for me – but there wasn’t. I’m used to refuse sories with gloomy atmosphere – for my life’s gloomy enough, hehe – but your story always kept the right balance between dark and lighter parts. There were so many things I liked about it that I don’t know where to start. However, I didn’t really find it weird like obviously many others do. I seemed to me that all these persons and beings you described just had to be the way they are, that it’s just logical this way. Yet I was very impressed by your imagination, all these unique creatures, just wow, I couldn’t have made up just one like them. It’s easy to create cool and pretty, even weird characters with peculiar traits that still appear flat since it is obvious that the author wants them to impress the reader in a certain way but your figures always seemed realistic to me. I loved the way you used to describe settings and feelings that made it so easy to feel with the characters. Also the fact that Beth wasn’t like omg-wtf all the time quickly didn’t seem strange to me anymore for Beth simply is a really special person who has gone through a lot and in the situation that Fil found her just had other things in mind than wondering about abnormal phenomenons. Well, and let me add that I also found the German translation perfect for the story – I should tell this the translator, I know. The hard, rough German sound just fits the book’s atmosphere very well (I’d also dare to say better than English although it’s about London.;). I once visited the city and now I can’t wait to go there again and look for Gleisgeister, Bordsteinpriester, Gemäuermänner and all the others.
    Thanks again, the time your book deviated me from my exam preparations was worth every minute. I’m excitedly looking forward to the translation of the sequels.

    Kind regards,

  9. It was an amazing book but I think it could do without the sexuality. It’s just an opinion but I think others will agree as well.

  10. This world is so refreshing! It is so different from the many fantasy worlds that I have read about. Thank you for letting me see London in whole new light- I now imaging Electra and her sister dancing while riding the bus at night. Though, I have to say this book did challenge the extent of my imagination; I didn’t like reading this book at night for fear of discrediting the book if I read it with tired, bleary eyes (since I have a habit of skimming over the details when I get too into a book).

    Thank you again for writing such a incredible book!! =)

  11. I heard of this book from a friend who lives in London and it looks awesome. Is it going to be translated into Spanish? Please, please, say yes!

  12. I’m so in love with this book, its characters and its jagged, stony world. Your imagination blows me away, sir. The series would make a fantastic anime. So…make that happen, please!

  13. Hello, Mr. Pollock! I adored the story (though I felt Fil fell a little flat as a character) and worldbuilding, and absolutely loved Pen.
    However, I was brought to this book by my search of animate inanimate objects in fiction. While the Railwraiths, Gutterglass, the Sodiumites/Whities, and Mater Viae fill this description, you mention skyscrapers as “all the children of Reach”, implying that they are alive. Though I haven’t read Glass Republic yet, so I don’t know the worldbuilding, I’m curious if you plan on making them characters in an upcoming novel? They would’ve been a great addition when Beth was fighting Reach, giving her more of a reason to hesitate.

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