IndieReader Approved


Peter Gribble’s THREAT (The City of the Magicians Book 1) explores a fantasy world containing cloak and dagger intrigue, diverse and interesting characters, telepaths, cultists, eye popping scenery, and a magic drenched city at the heart of it all.

From page one of Peter Gribble’s THREAT (The City of the Magicians Book 1)–where readers are greeted with a beautiful drawn city map and a few bite-sized historical and poetic passages–it is clear they are about to be immersed in another world, one that engages the imagination and whets the appetite. The first chapter is awash in unfamiliar names and complex relationships, but solidly grounded by immediately likable protagonists: the dry and erudite Sas, and the shrewd and curious Lalya. A scholar and inexperienced civil servant, Sas find his temporary position on the city’s council almost terminally boring. But powerful forces change everything when he is chosen to negotiate for the fate of the city in a war in the making with a barbarian King. And for young Lalya, what starts with the sudden disappearance of a friend quickly becomes more sinister and dangerous than she could have ever imagined as she is drawn deep into a secret organization.

Gribble weaves these mirrored tales with clear, engaging writing and panache. While Sas is pulled down the path of the ruling class’s bureaucratic machinations, Lalya is thrust into that of a mysterious shadow government. Will they stay pawns, buffeted about by greater wills, or does fate have more in store for them? Cults, invading barbarian hordes, telepaths, and more – readers will be unable to look away as both Sas and Lalya are inexorably drawn into a world of high stakes intrigue where they will take part in shaping the very future of the City of Magicians. And through the eyes of these captivating characters the true star of the book is revealed–The City of Magicians itself–a bustling, urban eco system where the streets and citizens are utterly steeped in magic. Auguries, divinations, and omens are as commonplace as weather predictions or gossip. But this city with history and magic coursing through it like blood has very few true magicians left and the story is set in a time after the grand and terrible workings of great magics, when the City of Magicians is full instead of bureaucrats, tourists, and pilgrims. But as Sas and Lalya each become more deeply entangled in the cloak and dagger intrigues, the lifeblood of the city comes bubbling up to to meet them.

Peter Gribble’s THREAT (The City of the Magicians Book 1) is an exquisitely crafted, richly textured world of magic and mystery, with settings and mood so exceptionally well visualized that fans of science fiction and fantasy should not pass up the chance to walk inside.

~Lauren Napoli
for IndieReader

Threat is the first installment in the epic fantasy series The City of the Magicians by Peter Gribble, a story filled with magic, exceptionally developed characters, and an immersive setting that sucks the reader in with its irresistible spell. The story features two compelling characters thrust into a whirlwind of intrigue and a sophisticated game of power. Lalya is the city librarian who is in search of the manuscript of her deceased lover. She is blackmailed by a secret society with a sinister plot and a devious plan for the city, but there are dark forces circling closer and closer to her, ready to devour her. Sas works for the city council and is not excited about his position until he is suddenly chosen to negotiate with the barbarians. These two characters are targeted by sinister forces, each of them treading a dangerous path. But can they outwit their enemies and can the city’s strategist, Shoan, draw the shadowy forces out into the light?

Peter Gribble is a great storyteller with a unique gift for crafting strong scenes of conflict, and characters that are multilayered and believable. The intrigue is palpable and, as the reader follows these compelling, elaborately developed characters, they unravel the mystery about the City of Magicians. The setting is a well-imagined world with a lot of surprising revelations for readers. The political intrigue fuels the plot and the world-building is impeccably accomplished, unveiling a world where telepaths, cultists, barbarians, and magicians co-exist. But the ever-looming sense of threat is a plot element that the author uses to build suspense and keep readers guessing what will happen next in the story. Apart from the beautiful writing, the robustly written characters, and the strong setting, Peter Gribble has the ability to immerse readers in a world that is well-imagined and sculpted. Having enjoyed Threat immensely, I am looking forward to the next installment in the series.

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A real page-turner!

4.0 rating
June 28, 2024

“Threat” is the first book in Peter Gribble’s The City of the Magicians series, and it captivates readers from the get-go with its blend of intrigue, strategy, and vivid world-building. Set in a city of pacifist magicians facing an impending barbarian invasion, this novel ties together the fates of three compelling characters, each struggling with unique challenges and inner demons.
Sas, an unlikely hero chosen for a telepathic mission, is endearing in his self-doubt and relatable in his journey toward self-discovery. His internal monologue, questioning the wisdom of his selections, adds a layer of authenticity and vulnerability to his character.
Lalya, a determined librarian ensnared by a secret society, brings a touch of noir to the story. Her quest for her deceased lover’s manuscript pulls her into a web of blackmail and betrayal. Lalya’s struggles highlight the novel’s themes of loyalty, trust, and the cost of betrayal, making her one of the more complex and fascinating characters.
Shoan, the City’s Strategic Mastermind, embodies wisdom and foresight. His awareness of the lurking opposition adds suspense to the narrative. However, unexpected twists test his strategic prowess, underscoring the age-old saying that even the best-laid plans can go awry.
Peter Gribble’s world-building is top-notch, creating a vivid and immersive setting that feels fantastical yet somehow familiar. The City of the Magicians is brought to life with rich descriptions and a well-plotted societal structure that intrigues and engages the reader.
The plot, driven by the impending barbarian invasion and the intricate strategies to counter it, keeps the reader on the edge of their seat. Gribble balances action with introspection, ensuring that each character’s personal journey is as compelling as the overall conflict.
As some of the language is created in the author’s vivid imagination, certain readers will benefit from a bit of note-taking to keep the names, places, and events straight. I don’t consider this problematic, as I generally take notes until I become familiar with the cast and settings.
While “Threat” concludes with a satisfying ending, it leaves enough threads untied to make readers eager for the next book in the series, “Within.” The mystery, strategy, and character development blend makes this a must-read for science fiction and fantasy fans.
“Threat” is a cleverly written fantasy novel that showcases Peter Gribble’s excellent world-building skills. It’s perfect for readers who enjoy intricate plots, deep character exploration, and a blend of fantasy and science fiction elements. As soon as you turn the last page, prepare to dive into Book Two, “Within.” I doubt you will stop there. Book Three, “Quickening,” has also been released.
I received a copy of the book for a tour. This review is my honest, unbiased opinion.


A Must Read

5.0 rating
July 26, 2021

Got immersed into the world the author has crafted. The elaborately developed characters leave a powerful spell on readers. You won’t stop.


Can’t wait for second book

5.0 rating
January 26, 2021

A very good read.

Andy G

The City of the Magicians: Threat

5.0 rating
January 2, 2021

Peter Gribble weaves an intricate tapestry of mystery and intrigue that kept me up long into the night. Be swept away into a world where all is not as it seems in this cleverly written novel. The satisfying ending left me wanting more.

SD Jackson

Reviews summary

4.8 rating
4.8 out of 5 stars (based on 4 reviews)
Very good25%

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