Title: City of Stairs (The Divine Cities #1)
Author: Robert Jackson Bennett
Page Count: 466
My Rating: 4.5 TURTLES: A really great read, I highly recommend!
City of Stairs on Amazon
An atmospheric and intrigue-filled novel of dead gods, buried histories, and a mysterious, protean city--from one of America's most acclaimed young fantasy writers.
The city of Bulikov once wielded the powers of the gods to conquer the world, enslaving and brutalizing millions—until its divine protectors were killed. Now Bulikov has become just another colonial outpost of the world's new geopolitical power, but the surreal landscape of the city itself—first shaped, now shattered, by the thousands of miracles its guardians once worked upon it—stands as a constant, haunting reminder of its former supremacy.
Into this broken city steps Shara Thivani. Officially, the unassuming young woman is just another junior diplomat sent by Bulikov's oppressors. Unofficially, she is one of her country's most accomplished spies, dispatched to catch a murderer. But as Shara pursues the killer, she starts to suspect that the beings who ruled this terrible place may not be as dead as they seem—and that Bulikov's cruel reign may not yet be over.
Thank you to Blogging for Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.
I don't often have get the pleasure of reading a book where I really can't think of anything negative to say. City of Stairs is easily my favorite read of the summer if not 2015. I have had this on my shelf for a while and had not read it because of the length and obvious complexity of a spy novel set in a fantasy world. I started it on a camping trip and I read almost the first half in one sitting (and I am a horribly slow reader). The world of this story is so complete that I was immediately enthralled. On top of this the author does an excellent job bringing the reader in, revealing bits and pieces of it at a time and not overwhelming his audience with a giant info-dump.
The characters where interesting, dynamic, and I found myself really invested in them. I loved that the hero of this story was a women who used more wits than brawn, but I also loved Sigrud, who had quite a bit of brawn but was also a very complex character. Robert Jackson Bennett not only delivers with the main characters, but his world building is so complete that he creates very detailed pictures of characters who have very little to do with the main plot.
I could go on and on about how much I enjoyed this book and how excited I am for the sequel that comes out in a few months, but I will just say that if you like high fantasy and want an exciting, well written, new take on it, than read this book. Even if you don't normally venture into that genre, give it a try, I think you'll like what you find.
Disclosure: this post contains links to an affiliate program (Amazon), for which I receive a few cents if you make purchases.