Wednesday, August 5, 2015

City of Stairs

City of Stairs, by Robert Jackson Bennett

This was brilliant. A great mashup of epic fantasy, mystery and espionage like thrillers. I was captured by the thought of a once great empire, blessed by a cabal of divine Gods who bestowed strange miracles and blessing upon their chosen people until a put upon satellite people using mysterious means had their revenge and slew the gods.

That is all in the not-to-distant past of the novel and we are now dealing with a reconstruction and digging through the scraps of information left in the wake of such deicide. This is also all set in a fantasy world with technology similar to about the turn of the century and all that goes with it - bureaucracy. A murder sets the stage and into this steps Shara, an official from one of the ruling families of the victors and Sigrud her muscle - essentially a massive Viking. They are trying to piece together why a historian  was killed, it is also matters that he was once important to Shara and they each had a fascination with the mysterious past of this once blessed land.
Bennett evokes great charm and wit with these characters and once the action gets going Sigrud reminds me of everything I love about Brock Sampson from Venture Bros! This is a very good thing!
The twists and surprises keep coming and I highly recommend this!


Charles Gramlich said...

sounds pretty good. I'd not heard of this before

Keith West said...

After our Twitter conversation about this one, I looked it up. I had heard of it, but the author and title hadn't registered. I've got one of Bennett's earlier novels on the shelf that I haven't gotten to that had great reviews. I'm going to have to check this one out. It sounds like he might be someone to watch and a possible contender for the Gemmell next year.

David J. West said...

Yeah, I noticed the sequel is coming out early next year - following a supporting character on something new - because this one does wrap up nicely all on its own.