The Nameless City by Faith Erin Hicks is a fast-flying read about Kaidu, a young teenager who is beginning training to be a fierce Dao. The group of boys are trained to fight in order to keep their people in control of the city. Kaidu feels anything but fierce after his first day of training. The only positive is that his father lives in the city too.
Kaidu doesn’t conform to expectations, and he begins venturing into the city on his own. He meets a skral girl called Rat whose parents were killed by the current ruler’s regime. They become friends as she teaches him how to run across the building tops in exchange for food.
Rat overhears a plan to kill the ruler and his son, and she is almost killed in her effort to alert someone at the palace. Luckily Kaidu’s lessons serve him well in helping to reveal the plan in time. And to save his friend. It seems that peace will stay in the city… for now.
This is a graphic novel with a message of compromise and being open to others; it will appeal to readers who enjoy a quick read with action. It is also a 2021 Intermediate Nutmeg nominee.