Monday, April 4, 2016

City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett

Title: City of Stairs

Author: Robert Jackson Bennett

Published: Broadway Books, 2014

Pages: 452

Series: Book 1, The Divine Cities

Summary: Years ago, the city of Bulikov wielded the powers of the Gods to conquer the world. But after its divine protectors were mysteriously killed, the conqueror has become the conquered; the city's proud history has been erased and censored, progress has left it behind, and it is just another colonial outpost of the world's new geopolitical power. Into this musty, backward city steps Shara Thivani. Officially, the quiet woman is just another lowly diplomat sent by Bulikov's oppressors. Unofficially, Shara is one of her country's most accomplished spymasters — dispatched to investigate the brutal murder of a seemingly harmless historian. As Shara pursues the mystery through the ever-shifting physical and political geography of the city, she begins to suspect that the beings who once protected Bulikov may not be as dead as they seem — and that her own abilities might be touched by the divine as well. (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: I've been in the mood for fantasy quite a lot lately so when I was looking for my next fantasy fix I decided to go with City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett. I wasn't entirely sure what to expect with this book but I was hoping for something different as the premise sounded really good.

It took me a little bit to get into the story and I think that was just because I wasn't used to Robert Jackson Bennett's writing style.  I wouldn't say his writing was bad it was just different to what I was used to. I guess I felt like it was less emotive writing and it felt more like he was just writing the facts. The other thing that took me a while to get my head around was just who was who. Everyone had different names so it took me a little bit to get used to which people held which position and which part in the story.

City of Stairs is quite a slow burning book and as I was reading it, I kept wondering how the book would end as I had no ideas. Once the book got quite close to the end things picked up pretty fast, and things just started happening all of a sudden.  I found those bits to be quite good and there were a couple of things that surprised me quite a bit.

I actually thought this book would be more of a murder mystery but the book was more a focus on other events that happened. I don't want to give too much away about things but it definitely took on an interesting focus. The magic system was pretty unique and the ideas about miracles and the divinities was really fascinating. I am keen to find out more about the world.

Overall, I quite enjoyed City of Stairs. After the way that this book finished I'm curious about reading the next book in this 'series', City of Blades. I'm especially excited about it being from Mulaghesh's perspective as I thought she was quite an interesting.

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