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The City of the Golden Sun
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ISBN-10: 1-55404-198-8
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy/SF
eBook Length: 116 Pages
Published: November 2004

From inside the flap

The City of the Golden Sun is the sequel to the well-received childrenís fantasy adventure novel, The Fishermanís Son. In the first book, the main character, Wiley O?Mara, rescued six boys trapped in an ancient city submerged beneath the ocean. Now he and the other boys return to ?The City of the Golden Sun.? Once there, Wiley takes a backseat to Keegan, the son of King Reginauld, and to the magnificence of the ancient city itself. Wiley and his friends immerse themselves in the daily life of the city, so that both Wiley and the reader can truly experience ?The City of the Golden Sun.? In the third book, it will be up to Wiley and the boys to bring news of this ancient culture to the now impoverished island.

The fictional city is based on extensive research into ancient Greece and Rome, theories about a possible Atlantis, and Ireland. The City of the Golden Sun includes elements of all these places, and much more

Reviews and Awards

Rebecca Brown, Editor and Publisher of

Another grand adventure from Marilyn Peake that will keep young readers glued to the pages. Often intensely lyrical, gigglingly funny & always magical, with sea creatures galore, Humpback Whales, Porpoises & Turtles, oh my..!


Jennie S. Bev, Author and Managing Editor,

Childhood adventure, friendship, courage and compassion are the theme of this sequel, which is depicted with detailed and colorful setting and strong narration. Author Peakeís story telling ability is remarkable; readers can be easily taken seamlessly into the underwater city where dolphins and fishes live harmoniously with people.
? Author Peake, once again, captivates the readers with vivid imagination and enormous details so realistic that the readers could feel as if they experience the adventure by themselves.
I will not be surprised if the trilogy becomes best-selling childrenís books. The author deserves it.
Tracy Farnsworth,
THE CITY OF THE GOLDEN SUN continues Wileyís adventures with the talking, magical dolphins and the Atlantis-like world to which he was introduced in THE FISHERMANíS SON.  It is very apparent how much research was spent on the history of Atlantis.  Marilyn Peakeís vivid imagery shines through.  My ten-year-old son, an avid fantasy reader, loves these books.  The writing is absorbing and the characters are easy to relate to.  There are more adventures to follow, and I am eager to read what happens next.  With praise coming from the master of fantasy, Piers Anthony, you know that Marilyn Peake is an author to watch.
Sharon Schulz-Elsing, Curled Up With a Good Book (
Building on the message of The Fishermanís Son to "drink deeply," The City of the Golden Sun reminds readers young and old to live life to its fullest, to recognize the glory of our time on Earth, to bring beauty forth wherever we find ourselves planted. This book has the feel of a middle book, and is indeed the bridge between The Fishermanís Son and the final book in the Wiley O?Mara trilogy. How Wiley and the boys from the City will deal with what they learn under the waves is something Marilyn Peakeís readers - for now - will only be able to anticipate.
Cheryl McCann,
The City of the Golden Sun is beautifully written and paints the picture with words and the imagination takes over. It is sure to delight young readers over and over with its rich adventure tale. I highly recommend it. Look for the next book in the sequel.
Kevin Tipple, The Blue Iris Journal:
Picking up right where The Fishermanís Son left off, this sequel proves to be just as enjoyable and well written with no let down at all in reading quality.
What follows is a rich fantasy tale of exploration as the boys go back in time to The City of the Golden Sun. As before, the writing is clear, the descriptions compelling, and the tale vivid as most of the action takes place in the distant past in a time that could have been. Like the first book, this sequel appeals to young and old.
Like The Fishermanís Son, this fun story is perfect for the pre-teen reader. With a minimum of violence, plenty of action, and lots of history, as well as a continuing appreciation for nature, beauty and magic, the reader is swept away. Wileyís maturity as a character continues to grow and this sequel follows nicely the original novel with no gaps in the tale or changes in writing style.

The City of the Golden Sun (Excerpt)

In The City of the Golden Sun, there is beauty ...
(From Chapter 9)
The boys walked down to the beach. Neil ran ahead, delighted with the world around him. He ran barefoot along the sandy path that led from Wileyís backyard to the beach. He slapped the soles of his feet on long, flattened, green stalks of grass. He kicked sand into the air and let it slide between his toes. He chased after butterflies. He spent time picking small, red wildflowers that grew along the way. He pushed a bunch of the brightly colored flowers against his nose and breathed in the perfume. He smiled and laughed at the fragrance.
Wiley thought how easily this child had become lost in time. No worries. No cares. It was as though Neil felt he would be reunited with his parents and his home simply by going to the beach.

(From Chapter 9)
Keegan clutched the golden stem of the goblet. He felt power melt from the cup into his hand. He felt reunited with his family, his city, his time period. He looked away from Wiley and out to sea.
As he walked to the waterís edge, he had the feeling of d?j? vu. All looked so familiar. The blue-green water, the pure white froth that rolled itself into curls and tumbled toward the beach. The gigantic black rocks that stood like small islands in the liquid emerald sea. The brilliance of the sun as it broke upon the water and shimmered in all directions.
Keegan looked at the far horizon. Clouds in many shapes floated across the clear blue sky. He remembered spending long hours as a young child looking up into the clouds, finding shapes of things he knew. As he thought about this, he absentmindedly noticed a whale floating by, then a horse, then a chariot.

In The City of the Golden Sun, there is war ...
(From Chapter 21)
Keegan saw it first. He pointed toward the harbor for the neighboring village. In an unmistakably agitated voice, he asked, ?Whatís that??
Calder was the first to answer, ?A ship! Whose sails are those??
The boys studied the ship. It was huge. Made from dark wood with ornate carvings along the railings, and a huge carved wooden dragon on the front. The dragon had been painted green with red, orange and yellow fire billowing from its mouth. On either side of the ship, toward the front, a blue eye had been painted, ever watchful, the warriors? hope for protection. A massive sail curved outward as the wind gave it life and blew the ship swiftly toward shore. The white sail swelled, revealing a large black X with a red star in its center.
?That ship is from the island we trade with!?
Kingston interrupted him, ?But itís a war ship!?
Arthur noticed the teams of men rowing the vessel. ?Why are they coming here??
Wiley looked behind him at the feasting and celebrating city. The noise of celebration drowned out all noise from the approaching boat. íShould we tell the men in the mines??
Kingston was the first to answer, ?No! They?ll start yelling at us and call attention to themselves from the men sailing in on that ship.?
Calder spoke next, ?If the men coming in on that ship have bad intentions, the men in the mine will know about it soon.?
Suddenly, Wiley ran from behind a tree and hid behind another one closer to the edge of the thicket. He pointed. ?Look! Look over there! What is that??
Calder answered him, ?Itís a light! Itís blindingly bright! But where is it coming from? What is it??
The boys searched the landscape for a clue. Nevin saw it first. ?Look over there! Look! Look! What is that??
On a mountain slope rising above the village was a huge object, a mirror shaped like a bowl on a moving stand. The bowl was standing on its side, with the bottom center of the bowl facing toward the approaching ship. The sunís rays poured into the mirror bowl like streams of glowing hot liquid.
Focused, the sun reflected outward toward the ship. As the boys watched, the sail ignited. The red star lit up brilliantly; then turned to ash floating on the wind. Shortly after that, the entire ship exploded into flames.
The men in the mine kept working, hearing only the noise from the Festival.

In The City of the Golden Sun, there is recreation ...
(From Chapter 23)
Keegan and his friends passed between the marble columns and filled a long marble bench that his father had reserved for them. Keegan turned around to look at his father, then back toward the race, while he decided what to do.
His attention was momentarily captured by the chariot race. On another day, the race would have captured his heart and mind and filled his soul with dreams. Today, it simply distracted him by its sheer power and thunder.
There were five charioteers today. Five men, five horses, five chariots, five sets of brightly decorated costumes flying by like a splash of thunderous color in the wind. Onto each chariot was painted a unique shield design. The same design was tattooed on the chest and upper right arm of the man driving the vehicle.
Keegan and Wiley noticed that their favorite charioteer was in the race: Tyrone the Tempestuous. His shield, the boys thought, was magnificent: deep blue with the design of gathering storm clouds along the top and a black, whirling funnel cloud in the middle.
The chariots raced around the center island filled with thick, green grass. Brown dust, thrown up into the air by the horses? galloping hooves, floated over the island. Tyrone the Tempestuous, in his deep blue chariot trimmed with black lines, led the group. His horse, Rain Cloud, pounded out a thunderous war cry on the earthen track.
Close behind him raced Clayborne the Beast in his red chariot emblazoned with a picture of a fire-breathing dragon. His horse, Fire Breath, pounded out clouds of smoke around his strong black hoofs, as though setting the earth to smolder.
A short distance behind, Maxwell the Marvelous flew through the wind in his black chariot imprinted with white stars. His shield held half a moon, stars, and several planets. His horse, Golden Fury, stretched his legs, glistening in the sun, racing as though trying to reach the sunset itself by dinnertime.
A fairly significant distance behind the other three charioteers, came Radburn the Bear. His horse, Bear Claw, pulled a yellow chariot painted with the face of a bear on the back. The two sides displayed a black shield containing a white bear claw.
Behind Radburn and Bear Claw, raced Duncan the Daring and his horse, White Wind. A pure white stallion, White Wind had injured his leg earlier in the day and was having difficulty hauling the chariot as glistening and white in color as newly fallen snow. Small clouds of brown dust rose up and sprinkled onto the chariot, as though the earth had been turned upside down, dust falling from the sky on snow that had always existed.
Nevin pointed to the racetrack. ?Look, Tyrone and Rain Cloud are winning!?

In The City of the Golden Sun, there are the warmth and closeness of family ...
(From Chapter 26)
After eating a fish dinner smothered in thick, spicy sauce, Nevin and Neil sat around the kitchen table with their parents, playing a game of Chariots. The game had been Neilís idea. After the family had removed their dishes from the table and his mother had cleaned the surface, Neil ran to his bedroom and returned with the Chariots board game. He laid the decorated stone slab on the table, begging everyone to play.
His father had said that that was a great idea. Since the chariot races had been cancelled along with the rest of todayís Festival, their family would carry on the tradition of chariot races on the day of the Festival of the Sun. With a smile on his face and his chest puffed up with pride, Neil ran back into his bedroom, and then returned with handfuls of small objects: two dice and seven miniature stone chariots.
?Pick a color!? Neil threw the chariots onto the table.
Neilís mother winced. ?Careful, Neil, don?t chip them!?
íSorry. Well, pick a color, everyone!? After a moment of silence, Neil blurted out, ?Wait! Me first! I want the blue one, like the chariot of Tyrone the Tempestuous!?
?Thatís fine. Here, take it.? Nevin handed his younger brother the miniature chariot made of blue stone. ?I?ll take the red chariot.?
Neilís eyes lit up with delight. ?Like Clayborne the Beast!?
Nevin laughed. ?I suppose so.?
Neilís father chose the black chariot.
Neil jumped up and down. ?Like Maxwell the Marvelous! Mother, what do you want??
?I?ll take the yellow one.?
Both Neil and Nevin started laughing.
?Whatís wrong with that??
?Yellow is Radburn the Bear!?
Neilís mother looked at him with furrowed eyebrows. ?And whatís wrong with that??
Neilís father leaned toward his wife, smiled at his sons, and stated quietly, ?Radburn the Bear was losing the race, along with Duncan the Daring whose horse, White Wind, had an injured leg.?
?Oh, thatís not good. What if I pick purple??
Neil laughed at the suggestion. ?There was no purple chariot in the race today!?
?Well, I?ll take purple then. That way, you won?t know if my chariot was winning or losing.?
Neil looked at his mother with a puzzled expression.
?I just like purple. I?ll take purple.?
Chariots was a board game for young children. The board held a picture of a stadium racetrack divided into different color squares. The object was to roll the two dice, move your chariot game piece forward as many squares as the number indicated on the dice, and then follow the directions on the square on which your chariot landed. The first player to reach the finish line on the game board would win the game.
Neilís copy of the Chariots game was an especially nice one, given to him by his father. It was made of marble with inlaid stone squares making up the racetrack. The chariots were likewise made from different types of stone, and the dice were made from clear crystal with black circular markings.
Neil and Nevinís mother picked up the purple chariot from the table and handed the crystal dice to Neil. ?Youngest first. Neil, you go first. Nevin, you go second.?
Their father laughed. ?Youngest first? I guess I?m last again!?