The Nameless City

Faith Erin Hicks

Book - 2016

Every time it is invaded the City gets a new name, but to the natives in is the Nameless City, and they survive by not letting themselves get involved--but now the fate of the City rests in the hands of Rat, a native, and Kaidu, one of the Dao, the latest occupiers, and the two must somehow work together if the City is to survive.

Saved in:

Children's Room Show me where

jGRAPHIC NOVEL/Hicks/Nameless
vol. 1: 1 / 2 copies available
vol. 2: 1 / 2 copies available
vol. 3: 1 / 2 copies available

Bookmobile Children's Show me where

jGRAPHIC NOVEL/Hicks/Nameless
vol. 1: 1 / 1 copies available
vol. 2: 1 / 1 copies available
Location Call Number   Status
Children's Room jGRAPHIC NOVEL/Hicks/Nameless v. 1 Due Jun 7, 2022
Children's Room jGRAPHIC NOVEL/Hicks/Nameless v. 1 Checked In
Children's Room jGRAPHIC NOVEL/Hicks/Nameless v. 2 Due Jun 7, 2022
Children's Room jGRAPHIC NOVEL/Hicks/Nameless v. 2 Checked In
Children's Room jGRAPHIC NOVEL/Hicks/Nameless v. 3 Checked In
Children's Room jGRAPHIC NOVEL/Hicks/Nameless v. 3 Due Jun 7, 2022
Bookmobile Children's jGRAPHIC NOVEL/Hicks/Nameless v. 1 Checked In
Bookmobile Children's jGRAPHIC NOVEL/Hicks/Nameless v. 2 Checked In
Comics (Graphic works)
Fantasy comics
Graphic novels
New York, New York : First Second 2016-
First edition
Physical Description
volumes : color illustrations ; 23 cm
Main Author
Faith Erin Hicks (author)
Other Authors
Jordie Bellaire (colorist)
  • v. 1.
  • The Nameless City
  • v. 2.
  • The Stone heart
  • v. 3.
  • The divided Earth
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* The titular city of Hicks' series opener goes by many names. Set in a highly desirable location, the city, which resembles thirteenth-century China, has cycled through conquerors, all of whom call it something new. Its permanent residents watch those rulers come and go and call it the Nameless City. Kai, son of a general in the current conquering army, the Dao, has just arrived, and he is dazzled by the place, especially the girl he sees racing across the rooftops. That girl—Rat—is one of the conquered, and through their friendship, Hicks teases out the city's complex dynamics. Resentments toward the Dao are simmering, and privileged Kai is mostly oblivious until Rat starts training him in her parkourlike moves. Remarkably, Hicks conveys these dynamics without much exposition, relying instead on visual cues, expressive faces and gestures, and subtext. Meanwhile, the primary story—fueled by cinematic action, some well-timed comical stumbles, and a nefarious plot against the Dao—is just as compelling. All of these elements are brilliantly integrated in Hicks' detailed, expansive, beautifully colored artwork, which handles dense cityscapes filled with tiled roofs just as handily as it does meaningful glances. With comprehensive world building, well-rounded characters, and entertaining action, this expertly executed story will find a home with a wide variety of readers, all of whom will be eagerly awaiting the next installment. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Hicks (Friends with Boys) sets this trilogy opener in an imaginary city whose architecture and dress have a Tibetan air. The city has been conquered by successive nations who grind its native inhabitants underfoot; it's now ruled by the Dao. Kaidu, a Dao boy, arrives for military training and befriends a street girl named Rat. Despite her resentment ("I don't want to know the name of any Dao," she snarls when he introduces himself), she agrees to teach Kaidu how to traverse the city's rooftops in exchange for food. Their secret forays expose Kaidu to the city's darker truths, while Rat struggles with a sense that their friendship betrays the memory of her parents, who were killed by the Dao. When the two learn of an assassination plot, loyalties shift and the pace vaults from brisk to blazing. Hicks's sequential artwork is polished, and though males hold nearly all the political power, the female characters are mighty warriors the men respect (and sometimes fear). An emphasis on the way geography can determine political fate gives Hicks's saga significant depth. Ages 9–up. Agent: Bernadette Baker-Baughman, Victoria Sanders & Associates. (Apr.) [Page ]. Copyright 2016 PWxyz LLC

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 4–6—Rat and Kaidu meet on the streets of the Nameless City. They are from different worlds: Kaidu is from the Dao clan, the current occupiers of the city, and Rat is a girl living on the streets and struggling to survive under Dao rule. But they form a fast friendship traversing the city using parkourlike exploring. As they get to know each other, they delve into the secrets of the Nameless City's history and come to realize that the only chance the city might have to survive is through unity instead of endless conquest. Though this is a visually appealing, action-packed story from a talented graphic novel artist, the seemingly deliberate lack of any cultural context is distracting and problematic. The story seems to take place in a Chinese-inspired world featuring Chinese junk ships, Chinese-style clothes, and words such as Dao, Yisun, Liao, and Yanjing, yet there is no further evidence that the setting is indeed China or anywhere in Central Asia. This appropriation of disparate elements of Chinese culture comes across as opportunistic; the author's fictional world borrows specific cultural aspects and ignores others strictly for the purpose of storytelling. This makes for a hollow and unsatisfying read on place and culture, and it keeps readers at a distance. Even the name of the book hints at a historically fraught practice: the continued occupation of the city is cited as the reason it is "nameless." Readers will be left wondering which people first named the place. VERDICT The borrowing of vaguely Asian-influenced cultural markers without deeper engagement or authenticity is too troubling to overlook. Not recommended.—Angie Manfredi, Los Alamos County Library System, NM [Page 155]. (c) Copyright 2016 Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Unable to share the apathy of residents whose city has been overtaken in so many wars that they do not bother to name it, outsider Kaidu, a member of the latest occupying nation, clashes with native Kai before forging an unexpected friendship over mutual causes. Original.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Every nation that invades the City gives it a new name. But before long, new invaders arrive and the City changes hands once again. The natives don't let themselves get caught up in the unending wars. To them, their home is the Nameless City, and those who try to name it are forever outsiders. Kaidu is one such outsider. He's a Dao born and bred--a member of the latest occupying nation. Rat is a native of the Nameless City. At first, she hates Kai for everything he stands for, but his love of his new home may be the one thing that can bring these two unlikely friends together. Let's hope so, because the fate of the Nameless City rests in their hands.