Book Review: City of Blades

City of BladesThe Booklover’s Rating:  ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

The best book I read in 2014 was Robert Jackson Bennett’s City of Stairs.  I wasn’t in the habit of reading fantasy, but had heard an interesting review of the book on NPR and thought that I would check it out.  The book was outstanding — a definite five hearts!

When City of Blades came out early this year, I couldn’t wait to read it as well.  I wasn’t disappointed.  Bennett has included all of the characters which I grew to love in  City of Stairs.  This is important.  Bennett’s characters are well-developed and he imbues them with qualities that endear them to the reader.  Very often, you just can’t identify with the characters making the story difficult to read.  Not so with General Mulaghesh, Sigrud, etc.

The story begins with a messenger coming to see the novel’s protagonist General Turyin Mulaghesh, in a bid to bring her out of retirement and get her aid in solving the disappearance of a Saypuri operative.  She accepts the mission. During her search General Mulaghesh, rumored war criminal and hero of the Battle of Bulikov, uncovers evidence of the divine in Voortyashtan, only this divinity is the goddess of war and death.

This second installment in Bennett’s Divine Cities series is as good as the first novel City of Stairs.  At this point, I’m not sure if I’m looking forward to Justin Cronin’s third installment in The Passage Trilogy or Robert Jackson Bennett’s third installment in The Divine Cities series.  What a wonderful dilemma for a reader to have!

Disclaimer:  I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Book Details:  Published by Broadway Books (January 26, 2016), 498 Pages, ISBN:  978-0553419719.

Book Review: City of Stairs

The City of StairsThe Booklover’s Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

At first look, City of Stairs did not appeal to me.  I decided to read it based on a review on npr.org.  It was the headline of the review that caught my interest and City of Stairs may be the best book I’ve read this year.

Robert Bennett Jackson’s city is cold, dark and grey.  He does a wonderful job of conveying the nature of Bulikov (the city of stairs) to the reader through his writing.  Only when Shara, the Saypuri spy, meets an Olvostani monk did I realize the genius of Jackson’s use of language (or the absence of it) to convey the bleakness of Bulikov.

Bulikov, center of Continental government, was once the most prosperous and powerful city in Bennett’s imagined world. The Continent ruled the world and Bulikov was the seat of the gods who ruled the Continent until Saypur, a neighboring nation, figured out a way to do the impossible.  The Saypuris discovered a weapon that could kill  gods and they did just that.  Bulikov was reduced to a city subjected to new rulers and new rulers have to make sure that the new ways they introduce are followed.  No mention of the former divinities was allowed and to require abandonment of your new citizen’s faith is to ask for trouble.

Fantasy is not a genre I read often and don’t always likeCity of Stairs ranks with Justin Cronin’s The Passage in terms of fantasy literature however.  It is a must read in my book and as the book jacket says  just wait till you meet Sigrud.

Book Details:  Published by Broadway Books (September 9, 2014), 448 pages, ISBN:  978-0804137171.