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City of Last Chances
City of Last Chances

City of Last Chances



496 Pages, 5.75 x 9

Formats: Cloth, Trade Paper

Trade Paper, (CA $29.99)

Publication Date: May 2023

ISBN 9781801108430

Rights: CA

Head of Zeus US (May 2023)
Head of Zeus

Available from local and national retailers throughout the US.


Arthur C. Clarke winner 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.

Praise for Adrian Tchaikovsky:
'Brilliant science fiction and far out worldbuilding' James McAvoy
'Entertaining, smart, surprising and unexpectedly human' Patrick Ness
'A refreshingly new take on post-dystopia civilizations, with the smartest evolutionary worldbuilding you'll ever read' Peter F. Hamilton


"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

Author Biography

Adrian Tchaikovsky 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. He's the author of Children of Time, the winner of the 30th Anniversary Arthur C. Clarke Award, and the Sunday Times bestseller Shards of Earth.