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Literature / City Trilogy

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The City Trilogy is a series of adult horror/thriller books by Irish author Darren Shan. The trilogy take place in a metropolis called The City, ruled by a crimelord only known as the Cardinal.

The books of the trilogy:

  • Procession of the Dead
  • Hell’s Horizon
  • City of the Snakes

The series are told from First-Person Perspective, just like most of the Author's earlier works, with two tellers.

The first book tells the story of how the Cardinal manipulates Capac Raimi, testing him to see if he's a worthy successor.The second book's events are taking place during the same time period as the first's, but from the Point of View of Al Jeery, a soldier in the Cardinal's personal army, and the son of the Cardinal's number one assassin.The third book takes place ten years later than the first two, tying the fates of the City, Raimi and Jeery together.


This series provides examples of:

  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: Where the villac lives.
  • Ax-Crazy: Paucar Wami. It's questionable whether he's actually insane or party to violently Blue and Orange Morality.
  • Back from the Dead: All of the Ayuamarcans have the faces of dead people resurrected by the Villac, with their personalities replaced by ones dreamed up by the Cardinal.
  • Badass Grandpa: Despite being into his late 70-ies, the Cardinal almost killed Raimi. This is after Raimi broke several of the Cardinal's ribs by kicking him while he was asleep!
    • Also Ford Tasso. See below at the Determinator.
    • Paucar Wami, 'tho being The Ageless doesn't hurt.
    • Al Jeery himself is well into his fifties by the third book, yet he could take out entire squads of security personel barehanded if he had to, does hundreds of push-ups and other exercises day-by-day and he's not even The Ageless!
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  • Bald of Evil: Paucar Wami.
  • Brains and Brawn: The old Cardinal lead the city and the organisation by silencing everyone who opposed him immediately. Capac tries to do it by outsmarting his enemies, using force only when necessary.
  • Becoming the Mask: Deconstructed. Once Al decides to play his father, he still can't bring himself to kill innocents. Instead, he becomes a Blood Knight.
  • City with No Name
  • Crapsack World: The City.
  • The Dragon: Ford Tasso is this to the Cardinal and later Capac Raimi. Paucar Wami supposedly filled this role in the past as a hitman outside the Cardinal's regular forces, but Procession of the Dead and Hell's Horizon both show him returning to the City from years abroad.
  • The Determinator: Most of the named characters.
    • The Cardinal himself.
    • Paucar Wami.
    • Al Jeery.
    • Ford Tasso. In the third book the Old Soldier came back from retirement to lead The Mafia, despite he was crippled by cerebral haemorrhage years earlier. Despite his right side is almost completely non-functional, he still could choke a much younger criminal, who called him a joke.
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  • The Dreaded: The Cardinal is this for almost everyone in the City. The only ones who disagree would give the title to Paucar Wami; even the Cardinal is visibly disturbed upon learning that Paucar Wami has been in town for some time without anyone realizing it.
  • Driven to Suicide: The Cardinal. Conchita, too, though she doesn't realize it.
  • Everyone Calls Him The Cardinal: His real name is Ferdinand Dorak. Capac Raimi later kills him and takes the title.
  • Establishing Character Moment The Cardinal's happens off-screen, but is narrated by Capac Raimi. When an Arab Oil Sheikh sent a messenger, a member of his own family, the Cardinal greeted him while receiving oral sex from a prostitute. The messenger was so dumbfounded, he couldn't tell the message. The Cardinal lost his temper, and literally threw the guy out of the window from the 15th floor! Serves as an establishing moment for both the Cardinal and Capac, who aspires to replace the Cardinal as the City's top criminal.
    • Paucar Wami's was onscreen. Capac Raimi is sent to solve a dispute with a small but dangerous hood. Before the discussion can even start, Wami leaps in and kills the criminal and his bodyguards in an instant. He lets Capac and his companions live when he hears they're working for the Cardinal, wanting to send a message that he's back in town after years working abroad.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Paucar Wami is the father of Al Jeery.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Despite being only a few of them, it's too complicated to list the reasons why. The Cardinal is usually a safe bet, though, and Bill Casey ends up being the villain of Hell's Horizon.
  • Meaningful Name: Certain Ayuamarcans bear the names of the Incan months.
  • My Greatest Failure: The Cardinal considers both Inti Maimi's to be this.
  • Resurrective Immortality: Capac Raimi. It's his unique power as an Ayuamarcan, though the Cardinal wasn't completely sure it would work.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Paucar Wami will not hesitate to kill anyone for any reason. He finds it fun, so why hold back?
  • You Monster!: Paucar Wami is considered to be this. He kills children without remorse, both For the Evulz and as a part of his job.


Example of: