Book Jacket


rank 2204
word count 21768
date submitted 24.08.2010
date updated 06.01.2011
genres: Fiction, Fantasy, Young Adult
classification: universal

Soul of the City

Paul Mather

Meg was born on the wrong side of the river, but fate gives her a chance to discover her true destiny.


Mordengard. An sprawling city where technology and magic are the driving forces. Meg was born on the wrong side of the river, in the industrial sprawl of southside. She lives in the Warrens, dreaming of something better. One day, a chance discovery forces her to make life changing decisions which carry her to the Tower of Applied Sorcery. There she learns about her own developing talents for magic, and about a terrible secret which strikes at the very soul of the city.

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magic sorcery fantasy spells demons robots automatons enforcers mordengard girl acadamy secrets adventure industrial urban factories victorian steam e...

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Eunice Attwood wrote 1304 days ago

You show great writing skills. You have woven some wonderful threads to make a captivating story. Nicely original with a strong main character. Backed with pleasure. Eunice - The Temple Dancer.

Duncan Watt wrote 1319 days ago

Hi Paul ...

Writing for young adults can be difficult as you have to chose your words carefully, but I think you have reached the right level for your target audience. Not sure where the plot is going from the amount posted, but in Meg you have a strong central character. Dialogue could do with a little polish but nothing seriously wrong. I read dialogue aloud for what looks good on papar does not always sound right.

Your novel would benefit a good proof read for errors but we all need that I think. 'Backed'. Regards ... Duncan.

Jen wrote 1321 days ago

Great setting - a little bit steampunky and a refreshing change from standard fantasy fare. Your writing is solid and the story is excellent. Post more chapters please, I need to see where it's going! :-)

Only nitpicks (apart from minor typos) I can find are in Chapter two where, 1) using tragic to describe Meg's sewing skills feels anachronistic and jars the reader out of the story for a monent and 2) when you switch from Meg's internal dialogue to her conversation with Seb the voice feels different - going from educated to street urchin in 0.5 seconds, which is disjointing for the first couple of sentences worth of conversation.

Backed with great pleasure!

K A Smith wrote 1324 days ago

A nicely thought out milieu, a protagonist with some hard choices and plenty of pluck, an atmospheric and engaging piece of fiction. I like this. Thank you. KA

CarolinaAl wrote 1324 days ago

An intelligent, fascinating fantasy. You skillfully captured my attention, and then my heart. Relatable characters. Interesting dialogue. Accomplished storytelling.Awesome world building. Artful writing. An inviting read. Backed.

Velbrun wrote 1325 days ago

Soul of the City

Meg, a great character thats easy to affiliate with quickly. your setting is well imagined and is a good vessel to carry the story along.

i like this story. it allows the reader to imagine megs surroundings without pounding into the readers imagination what exactly the author wants you to see (a flaw in many books lately).

your pitch is great and it got me reading immediately. i follow the three chapter rule - if it doesn't do it for me in that time then the delete button beckons! not in this case! i'd buy it for my library and i can't say anything better than that!

brilliant! keep up the good work!

The Book of Simon

Vanessa Darnleigh wrote 1325 days ago

'Tower of Applied Sorcery' = a bit Harry Potterish
No major issues here apart from punctuation which is erratic...this is not my genre but it does seem a bit familiar somehow...a movie perhaps?
Best wishes

scorselo wrote 1327 days ago

A wonderful imagination backed by solid writing skills Very strong MC develolped well and with good skills
An interesting blend of techno-magic


Tom Bye wrote 1328 days ago

enjoyed reading some of this book, real wizard of oz stuff and you show great imagination, very creative
PLEASEback mine if you like it

klouholmes wrote 1330 days ago

Hi Paul, Nicely constructed, giving the setting and details about Meg while she becomes a character I liked following. Her climbing and friendship with Seb and then the scenes in her household give a poignancy to the story. Yet her adventures with the boys and the Tower of Applied Sorcery stand out as plot snags. It looks like story with involving layers and it's invitingly written. Happy to shelve - Katherine (The Swan Bonnet)

djinnia wrote 1330 days ago

long?" meg hissed? Meg hissed(.)
applied scorcery ain't it? applied scorcery(,) ain't it?
spells wearing out. spells plural or spell is ??? apostrophe if spell is.
a steam press don't think(,) meg.

there are a few other technical errors, and i will point them out if you wish.

chapter two is really opening up the world and the mix of science and magic as the characters move through it. intriguing.


djinnia wrote 1330 days ago

"ha! fat chance." Laughed seb. old. . . "ha! fat chance(, or !) (l)aughed seb. (")old . . .
i'm sorry seb. i'm sorry(,) seb.
last Soul's Night.(")
"bye seb. watch "bye(,) seb. watch
"sorry mum." sorry(,) mum.

these are a few technical errors i saw as i read the first chapter which i've taken the liberty to point out. other than those minor glitches, i'm going on to chapter two to see what happens next.


missyfleming_22 wrote 1330 days ago

Fantastic!!You've created an amazing place, and described it perfectly. I want to visit! You've got a great writing style and it carries the reader along. Meg is a great character too, I ilked her immediately. I like that the city is, as you said, a blend of technology and magic. Great combo! I could feel it. I would definitely read on, so you won me over.


KW wrote 1330 days ago

I'd love to learn at the "Tower of Applied Sorcery." Perhaps, then, I could give up the day job. I'm sure Meg is the best. I agree with Andrew Burans, Meg is a memorable main character. Also, I agree with Zan that this has a lot of potential. I pity the father. Being a main breadwinner for my own family, I can feel for him. I wonder what is the terrible secret and where are the "new colonies?" Is there really work there? Go to New Grundsland? Find gold or diamonds, eh? You have an intriguing story here. I'll be back to read more. Backed for now.

KW wrote 1330 days ago

I'd love to learn at the "Tower of Applied Sorcery." Perhaps, then, I could give up the day job. I'm sure Meg is the best. I agree with Andrew Burans, Meg is a memorable main character. Also, I agree with Zan that this has a lot of potential. I pity the father. Being a main breadwinner for my own family, I can feel for him. I wonder what is the terrible secret and where are the "new colonies?" Is there really work there? Go to New Grundsland? Find gold or diamonds, eh? You have an intriguing story here. I'll be back to read more. Backed for now.

zan wrote 1331 days ago

Soul of the City

Paul Mather

I liked your short pitch. I think your long pitch could be better - the mention of magic and so on are common elements to so many books on here, I think if you could include a few extra details which would hint at why your book is different or unusual, personally, I think that would be a plus. But take with a pinch of salt of course as I am no expert . . . Anyway, Meg seems very likeable. I enjoyed her story so far. She is sympathetic. "She finished the last mouthful wishing there was bread to mop up the gravy . . . Sighing, she rose and washed out her bowl, before heading to her room to get ready for bed." I think there is a lot of potential in this work and your target readership should find this interesting. I did.

Barry Wenlock wrote 1331 days ago

Hi Paul, I think you've hit on something here. Something original and fresh for the YA market. Hurray!
I loved the opening with Meg's view across the city and then the neat dialogue with Seb. You reveal quite a bit in the next section with mum and dad and we feel really sympathetic to Meg and the family. I'll read more.
Good writing, backed with pleasure,

Andrew Burans wrote 1331 days ago

You have written a very interesting and unique storyline and created a most memorable main character in Meg. The dialogue is well written, the pace of your story flow nicely and your use of imagery is excellent. All of this along with your imaginative writing ensures that your fantasy will appeal to the YA audience. Backed with pleasure.

Andrew Burans
The Reluctant Warrior: The Beginning

J.S.Watts wrote 1331 days ago

Nicely written and although it's a bit of slow starter you've got a hook at the end of the chapter 1, so I don't think you need to hit the action right away in the first chapter.


Burgio wrote 1331 days ago

This is a good fantasy story. Meg is a good main character; she reminds me of a female Harry Potter. Because of that, I think you’ll find a wide audience for this among schoolagers and young teens who want to follow a girl heroine (why should Harry get all the good lines?). I’m happy to add it to my shelf. If you have a moment, would you look at mine (Grain of Salt)? I’m in 3rd place but only holding on by my teeth. Burgio

soutexmex wrote 1331 days ago

Paul: do apologize for this spam comment but I did BACK your book. Though my book is currently on the Ed's Desk, I can still use your comments on my book before the end of this month. Thanks - cheers!

The Obergemau Key

Christian Piatt wrote 1332 days ago

A creatively presented coming-of-age story. My two modest suggestions are to consider speeding up the pace by shortening sentences and paragraphs wherever possible. Second, consider infusing the beginning with a bit more of a conflict to unravel or some other drama, given that this genre tends to command action and plot over description, in my experience.

A well written piece in all. I think you're on the way to a strong story.
Best of luck with your book. Backed.
Christian Piatt

KClark64 wrote 1332 days ago

This is well-written. You have a couple of typos in the first chapter, but nothing too bad. Toward the end of the chapter you do manage some emotion without getting too maudlin. Nicely done.

The only concern I have with this is that you're not getting to the action very quickly. Personally, I don't have a problem with that in the grand scheme of things, but agents today (and presumably readers) want the book to get going right away. I'm just afraid that the first chapter, as good as it is, might be a problem in that regard.

Anyway, I do like this. Good luck.

Kevin Clark
(Will of God)

celticwriter wrote 1332 days ago

Hi Paul, very cool read. Love the genre. You tell a delightful tale.

jack & charmian london

Walden Carrington wrote 1332 days ago

Soul of the City has a protagonist who is sure to appeal to young adults. Meg's thoughts and feelings as well as her surroundings are conveyed well in the prose. I look forward to seeing the complete work. Backed.

name falied moderation wrote 1332 days ago

Dear PAul

loved your short and long pitch both really sell your book which they are meant too so CONGRATS, and love the way you write. Your ability with words to craft an orginal read is amazing. the characters have decided to take up permanent residence but i will insist they leave soom to go home. ha! I have to wonder on this site at the
creations that come from peoples heads and of course the immense talent of those like yourself to animate
such colorful characters. I truly wish I had half your talent.

Please take a moment to look, COMMENT which is important to me, and BACK my book. if not that is OK

The VERY best of luck to you

The Letter

fh wrote 1332 days ago

Hi Paul and welcome to authonomy,
A snappy pitch and the narrative reads well inside the first chapter. Nice dialogue with solid characters. An interesting subject and so far (from what I've read) promises to be an exciting book. Happy to back this. Please, when you have a moment, would you mind taking a look at my novel? Thanks

Jim Darcy wrote 1332 days ago

This reads very well and Meg and Seb are well developed characters, lovingly drawn. Dialogue is good and there is enough description to ground the reader without swamping them. Only niggle? You are fond of the sprawl! :)
Jim Darcy
The Firelord's Crown

SusieGulick wrote 1332 days ago

Dear Paul, I love your heroine & her determination to accomplish her purposes :) - if everyone had that drive, it would sure be a better world. :) Your pitch sucked me in & your tight paragraphs & dialogue kept me reading. :) Great write. :) I've backed your book :) - hope you'll take a moment to back my 2 memoir books. :) Thanks. :) Love, Susie :)

This is information from authonomy (so beware of any other untrue information you may receive that is spam & not quotes of authonomy):
"When you back a book, it only improves the ranking of that book, not yours. However, the author whose book you are backing may decide to back your book also, in which case yes, your ranking would be improved"
"Every time you place a book on your bookshelf, your recommendation pushes the book up the rankings. And while that book sits on your bookshelf, your reputation as a talent spotter increases depending on how well that book performs."