Magic caused the war. Magic is forbidden. Magic will save us.
It was said the Labyrinth had once been the great meeting place, a sprawling city at the heart of an endless maze where a million humans hosted the Houses of the Aelfir. The Aelfir who had brought trade and riches, and a future full of promise. But when the Thaumaturgists, overlords of human and Aelfir alike, went to war, everything was ruined and the Labyrinth became an abandoned forbidden zone, where humans were trapped behind boundary walls 100 feet high.
Now the Aelfir are a distant memory and the Thaumaturgists have faded into myth. Young Clara struggles to survive in a dangerous and dysfunctional city, where eyes are keen, nights are long, and the use of magic is punishable by death. She hides in the shadows, fearful that someone will discover she is touched by magic. She knows her days are numbered. But when a strange man named Fabian Moor returns to the Labyrinth, Clara learns that magic serves a higher purpose and that some myths are much more deadly in the flesh.
The only people Clara can trust are the Relic Guild, a secret band of magickers sworn to protect the Labyrinth. But the Relic Guild are now too few. To truly defeat their old nemesis Moor, mightier help will be required. To save the Labyrinth – and the lives of one million humans – Clara and the Relic Guild must find a way to contact the worlds beyond their walls.
Debut author Ed Cox has created a lush, detailed world while also hinting at a larger backstory that will be revealed in volumes to come
an exiting blend of steampunk, fantasy, horror and pulp adventure....The relic Guild is an intriguing, original and enjoying book
I soon found myself engaged in the richness of Labrys Town and its varied residents. The story structure itself was split between many different perspectives and two different timelines, but this never felt confusing. Instead it was this structure that drew me in, wondering what had happened in the past that would lead to the events in the present
Fantasy Book Review
Overall this is a high concept fantasy packed with ideas, weird and wonderful characters and a mix of styles, at times evoking noir, urban fantasy, flavours of steampunk (in the depiction of anachronistic technology) and grotesque body-horror David Cronenberg would be proud of. Thought you knew where modern fantasy was at? The Relic Guild will challenge your assumptions.
British Fantasy Society
Edward Cox writes one heck of a scary, intriguing ride and right now I'm finding it rather moreish
The Book Bag
The Relic Guild is like a twisting, looping, and flipping ride of a cosmic roller-wonder coaster and who knows where the author is going to take us in future books. I found that there was touches of an almost 2000AD influence with The Retrospective (a dangerous no mans land outside the labyrinth) being a kind of Cursed Earth and the novel did, at times, have a Doctor Who feel to it.
I loved this book, it's a unique read that's an action packed and magic fuelled delight of well written prose. It's epic and worth each and every page
Gizmo's Book Shelf
f you're looking for a fantasy with plenty of original ideas, where the world is detailed and dark, where the characters intrigue and delight and where the plot draws you in and takes you on a magical journey then I think I've found the book for you. Edward Cox's debut novel, 'The Relic Guild' is a real page-turner of a book and I'm already impatient for the next book in the series.
The Relic Guild is an awesome book and that doesn't even come close.... if you are looking for a something refreshing to read pick it up, if you are looking for a next read, pick it up. Well, make sure this book is the next thing that touches your hands, you don't want to miss out on it! BRING BOOK TWO!
The Book Plank
This is an exciting debut from a writer who plainly loves what he has made and I'm looking forward to the sequel already.
This is smart, energetic fantasy that grips you from page one and delivers a genuinely memorable experience.
The Eloquent Page
If you like your fantasy gothic (though not overly grimdark) in atmosphere, populated by interesting and varied characters, and a fast-but-not-rushed pace, thenThe Relic Guild is for you. I really enjoyed this, and can't wait for the second in the series, and to see how the characters, world and story develop.
A brilliant first novel from Cox. With a well thought out plot and imaginative characters....An engaging new fantasy novel that is well worth a read.
A terrific debut novel, with plenty of scope for expansion and some really good world-building. Most importantly, lots of fun.
Joanne M Harris, author of Gospel of Loki