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Publisher's Summary

A tale of family bonds, royal power, and the truth that threatens it all, from World Fantasy Award-winner Tobias S. Buckell.

“You shall not suffer a librarian to live.”

Growing up in Ninetha, Lilith has known this law all her life. The city’s every need is provided for by a god-machine called the cornucopia, which can produce food, clothing, anything in response to a thought. The gods provided this bounty on one condition: that humanity give up reading and writing. 

Then, a librarian, an actual seeker of forbidden written knowledge, walks through the gates of the citadel, his very presence unraveling the life Lilith has known. She learns her father, the Lord Musketeer himself, has been harboring a secret - one that turns Ninetha against Lilith’s family. 

Forced to flee, forced to throw in her lot with the librarian, Lilith uncovers even greater secrets - about the lie her life has been, and about the very nature of their world.

©2021 Tobias S. Buckell (P)2021 Audible Originals, LLC.

About the Creator

Called "violent, poetic and compulsively readable" by Maclean’s, science fiction author Tobias S. Buckell is a New York Times best-selling writer and World Fantasy Award winner born in the Caribbean. He grew up in Grenada and spent time in the British and US Virgin Islands, and the islands he lived on influence much of his work.
His Xenowealth series begins with Crystal Rain. Along with other stand-alone novels and his nearly 100 stories, his works have been translated into 19 languages. He has been nominated for awards including Hugo, Nebula, World Fantasy, and the Astounding Award for Best New Writer. His latest novel is The Tangled Lands, written with Paolo Bacigalupi, which The Washington Post describes as "a rich and haunting novel that explores a world where magic is forbidden."
Buckell lives in Bluffton, Ohio, with his wife and two daughters. He teaches creative writing at Bluffton University and is also an instructor at the Stonecoast MFA in Creative Writing program.

About the Performer

Earphones Award winner, Janina Edwards, is a graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, and recorded her first audiobook in 1987. She excels in voicing and portraying authentic characters of the African Diaspora (West Africa, Southern US, and West Indies). She is a two-time finalist for the prestigious Audie Award. In addition to audiobooks, Janina’s voice can be heard in corporate, educational, and meditative recordings.

What listeners say about A Stranger in the Citadel

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Great hook, horrible execution

“You shall not suffer a librarian to live”? Sounded like a great way to start a dystopian sci-fi book. Unfortunately, this was a shallow, implausible, and nonsensical YA listen... with unnecessary and out of place F bombs. If it had embraced the cheese, this would have made a great 70s Star Trek episode, you know the one where idiot humans have forgotten their past and blindly follow an invisible God’s rules in a world that turns out to be an ancient asteroid ship? (episode “For the world is hollow” if you want to watch it) That hour long episode was better written than this mess.

This is a world where Cornucopia machines whip up food, clothes, and supplies for humans, in exchange for the promise to never read and write. The rationale for such a deal is never satisfactorily explained. Nor is it explained why humans haven’t just devolved, but they’ve devolved to Medieval times with castles and boom sticks. Lilith is a Musketress (because a. Musketeer is gender specific?!) supposedly trained to fight, who spends 90% of the book failing miserably at fighting. She supposedly has this great family, yet each and every one of them lies to her about everything, once again for no plausible reason. The most interesting character is the Librarian, who ends up being equally ignorant of their world and brings yet another nonsensical plot about a terminator-archangel who also functions based upon a nonsensical purpose. I finished this only because it was free and a relatively short 7 hrs.

For a better written post-apocalypse, a hero-shall-rise, mystery epic starring a strong leading lady, try the Wells of Sorcery trilogy beginning with Ship of Smoke and Steel. It’s unique and engaging, even though it also leaves quite a few plots/ mysteries unexplained after the first book. It’s also clean of Fx (both the cussing and the act). However, it does have TV level violence, and felt oddly like Escape From NY + Clash of the Titans + Last Air Bender. I thought it full credit-worthy.

24 people found this helpful

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Willful Ignorance

So, let me say first off the main character drove me nuts. She had the worst case of willful ignorance that I've seen, except in movies. With that aside the narrator did a great job displaying all the characters foibles in their dialect and demeanor. Her narration
and the authors descriptions allowed me to see the characters in my head. Those elements allowed me to have an idea of where the story was going on, and I did not see it coming when it all when it turned left. As far as the side cast goes everyone else is just looking in the other direction avoiding what they know. So in the end, fun story with fanatics, swindler, librarians, and the willfully ignorant.

18 people found this helpful

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Dumb

i had to stop it 15 minutes before the end. just couldn't take it anymore. way too corny of a story and wanted to slap the main character most of the time. i listen to all kinds of books while i'm woodworking to keep me company and i have a very low bar while I'm sanding. this was too much. i am now a dumber person thanks to this book.

8 people found this helpful

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Decent concept. Unlikeable protagonist.(spoilers)

The main character in this book is a warrior princess in training. I understand a character being arrogant, but she doesn’t believe anything anymore tells her despite seeing evidence with her own eyes. She is literally in a room with all of her older siblings who have protected her for her entire life and just doesn’t believe them, why would they lie? Does she try to check the information for herself no. Repeat throughout the entire book. She barely believes the truth when it is right in front of her face and indisputable. Once the truth is confirmed she still wants to do the wrong thing. The only thing that makes the character not an absolute horror show is the fact that they don’t want to take life if not for that they would have been an absolutely irredeemable colonizer. Most unsympathetic female character I have ever seen.

8 people found this helpful

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Feels unfinished

Although I genuinely enjoyed this book, I was left feeling dissatisfied and frustrated. It feels more like the prologue to a tale than the tale itself. So many interesting concepts and cultures were just barely touched on that really deserve to be fleshed out and explored. What happened to the earth? Who or what are the archangel? Where do we go from here?

7 people found this helpful

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This has been the Geatest book I've heard yet.

I listen to audio books all day but this has been the best by far, great telling, deep meaning great depth. I love it and will share it with many. I also love the settings made me feel as though it was familiar and yet new.

4 people found this helpful

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Make it a movie but go deeper

Loved it but would like to know more about the past of the people and archangels but would make a movie that I would watch over and over I haven’t wanted to see a part 2 of something so bad for a long time I’d take another book if you have one that’s goes deeper in on the past present and future of this amazing story

4 people found this helpful

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pretty good!

it's what I expected from a free book! good read I would recommend quite entertaining.

2 people found this helpful

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Good premise. Wish it was more in depth.

Interesting overall. I feel like the world could be expanded upon. I found it rather thought provoking.

Narration is good.

2 people found this helpful

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A great, entertaining listen

This was a great story. The author created a world that is totally original with an unpredictable plot. I loved it!

2 people found this helpful