Help me scratch an itch for a fantasy metropolis

  1. If you haven't read The Lies of Locke Lamora, now's the time! It's very city-based, with lots of flashbacks to Locke's urchin childhood.

  2. The first three books (a full narrative arc) in Michelle West’s House War series is exactly this. Scrappy orphan girl gathers together a gang of fellow street urchins complete with grouchy older mentor figure.

  3. Most of the Guardsmen books in Terry Pratchett's Discworld series would fit if you want some humor with your fantasy. I would also say the Ravnica novels from Magic the Gathering are super involved with city politics and though it's been a long time since I red them, I recall enjoying them.

  4. The Nights Watch books and Going Postal were my favourite Pratchett books. Really got you in deep into Ankh-Morpork. I’ll check out Ravnica, thanks

  5. The Tower of Babel series by Josiah Bancroft, the first book is Senlin Ascends. One gigantic tower with each layer like it’s own city.

  6. The Craft sequence by Max Gladstone are a series of loosely connected High Fantasy stories (where magic suffuses everything the way technology does in the real world) each happening in a gigantic metropolis with a unique flavor and twist. My favorite so far is Two Serpents Rise, a city powered by a slumbering snake god (inspired by native American mythology).

  7. I really enjoyed The Mask of Mirrors by M. A. Carrick about a young urchin/pickpocket who cons her way into a noble family by pretending to be their long lost niece in a very cool, almost Venetian city-state. The city has a ton of character and history and you get to see all sides of it. It's a great book!

  8. Dance of the Rings by Jane S. Fancher (Starts with Ring of Lightning). Not all the action is in the big city, but a lot is.

  9. Bioshock probably. It is definitely a metropolis setting. Underwater metropolis and an awful place. Tho it isn't about urchin story. It is a videogame.

  10. The Creature Court trilogy by Tansy Rayner Roberts has a very strong sense of place, and the city world building is really interesting and unique.

  11. You might enjoy The Thirteenth Hour by Trudie Skies! Had a very similar flair (tonnes more magic though), even with the "upper and lower" trope from Arcane! It's been one of my favourite reads this year :D

  12. Mordew by Alex Pheby is absolutely this, complete with Dickensian-style urchin, taverns, a zoo, a city within a city, and a sequel coming out this summer.

  13. Alot of the earlier books in Brust's Taltos series are set in an urban area though its considerably less steampunkish than Arcane.

  14. The War for The Rose Throne Series by Peter Mclean, not exactly a metropolis but very very fun. The usual tagline is peaky blinders with magic but it's a lot more fun

  15. Hello. I am writing a book called foreshadow, and it's rather similar to arcane, with a bunch of kick ass girls and fantasy Citys. It's still in the early stages but if you want to witness it being made before I try to publish it here it is.

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