Cover Image: Shorefall


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A novel by Robert Jackson Bennett

The City of Tevanne is the Capital of an empire based on the industrial use of magic and slavery. It is an empire on edge. Slaves in their overseas plantations are rising in revolt all across the Durazzo Sea. So much so that suddenly, The City is on short rations because those plantations grow most of the food.

Internally, among the big Merchant Houses, Dandolo, Michiel, and Morsini, the situation is in foment too. The Scrivnors, who formulate the sigil strings for devices the Merchant Companies sell, are moving out of the "Big Three" to set up independent shops. That is an existential problem for Dandolo and the rest because the loss of these critical personnel closes off new ideas and innovation.

Sancia Grado, Berenice Grimaldi, Orso Ignacio, and Gregor Dandolo were the first to set up in the Commons. Their creation, Foundryside Limited, has the destruction of the Dandolo, Michiel, and Morsini companies as their singular goal. Breaking the stranglehold that the "Great" Merchant Houses have on scriving, and industrial magic will reset the table. At that point, Sancia and friends believe that the common folk of the city of Tevanne will be able to gain access to better housing, clean water, scrived lights, and all the other "luxuries" that the Merchant House Campos have in extravagant abundance.

When Sancia and company executed a very successful scheme targeting Michiel Body Corporate, they thought they had made a great stride toward breaking up Merchant House control of scriving. So, as people who have worked very hard to attain a goal finally succeed, Foundryside Limited celebrated a bit too hard.

The vicious hangovers of the morning after came with a terrible revelation. Valeria, an old ally, had sent Sancia warning of approaching disaster; an artifact from the body of Crasedes Magnus was on its way to Tevanne, and Ofelia Dandolo is going to try to resurrect him. Crasedes was the first hierophant, a master magician, and a monster with unmatched powers derived from human sacrifice. The myths concerning him say he could fly, destroy armies unaided, and make empires disappear. He must not be allowed to land. The question is, are Sancia and the rest of Foundryside Limited capable of stopping this onrushing apocalypse.

"Shorefall" is a masterpiece of fantasy. The writing is first-rate, with characters that are well-drawn, likeably human, and realistic. The world of Tevanne, though byzantine, is a unique piece of imagination. The pages groan with fantastic, well thought out action and descriptions that captivate the reader.

I highly recommend Mr. Bennett's "Shorefall" to all aficionados of the genre.

Of note is the fact that this is the second book about Sancia Grado and the City of Tevanne. The first novel is "Foundryside." Reading the latter is not essential, but it is just as enjoyable.

Del Rey and NetGalley provided an advance copy of this excellent novel in return for this review.y of this excellent novel in return for this review.

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o you like rollercoasters? Do you like feeling the grim reaper’s breath on your neck as you hurtle through time and space at speeds that the human mind wasn’t meant to comprehend? Does being super incredibly stressed for uncomfortably long periods of time turn you on? If you answered yes to any of these questions have I got a book for you! Shorefall, by Robert Jackson Bennett, is the emotional equivalent of being shot into the sun at terminal velocity and I absolutely love it.

If you are just reading The Quill to Live for the first time, welcome to the site! Please know that we collectively love RJB and think he is one of the best contemporary writers of modern fantasy. Shorefall did little to dissuade us of that notion. The book is the sequel to Foundryside and while Shorefall picks up the narrative three years later – it only feels like seconds. Sancia, Berenice, Orso, and Gregory have founded their own scriving house with plans to use the technology they invent, steal, and extort to better the world around them and burn the remaining established houses to the ground. However, these plans need to take a major pause when they learn of an otherworldly threat descending on their beloved city. There are some mild spoilers for Foundryside after the cover picture so turn back now if you haven’t read the first book and want to remain completely pure.

At the end of book one, the Foundrysiders released what seemed to be a god from her entrapment. They had mixed feelings about this, but feel decidedly negative when they learn that a second opposing diety looks poised to also return to wage war on everything. The first hierophant, a man who could wipe cities off the planet with a thought, is coming back. The Foundrysiders begin to scramble to prevent the hierophant’s return, as it could spell the end of reality itself.

Here’s the thing. I thought Shorefall would be a story about our lovable crew from book one working together to figure out how to prevent this clearly unstoppable force of nature from coming back and ruining existence. The book would be a game of tag between the Foundrysiders and the cult ushering the hierophant’s return. At the end of the book, the cult might get successful in bringing him back in some form and we would have an intense set up for book three in this series. That is not what happened, at all. I am sorry for these mild Shorefall spoilers, but the first hierophant makes it back in something like the first 10% of the book. The entirety of Shorefall after this point essentially becomes the story of “what if a team of four talented engineers got into a batshit insane pissing match with Cthulu?” It is one of the most intense and fast-paced stories I have ever read, with the sense of palpable urgency never letting up for a single second. Every second of this novel feels appropriately like a mere mortal standing firm against the will of a cosmic deity and saying “fuck you.” It is a work of art.

The magic continues to be one of the coolest and most imaginative concepts that I have ever read. Bennett refuses to be backed into a corner by his premise and continues to find more and more interesting ways to step outside the box he built for himself. The way the characters use and bend the rules of the world to affect change feels like an inconceivably large puzzle snapping into the correct configuration. The magic is also still visceral and nightmarish. I am haunted by some of the descriptions and deaths from this series. I see them in my mind when I lay down to sleep at night and cannot block the sounds of their imagined cries as they are ripped to pieces. This series is not for the squeamish.

Shorefall is so much more than I expected. On top of giving me enough anxiety to have a stroke, it has truly beautiful character stories. Just like in book one the POV is split between all four of our leads, with a slightly greater focus placed on Sancia and Gregory. Each character is dealing with some heavy stuff that is explored in great detail. To give you a peek into some of their trials: Sancia is trying to understand what to do with her life now that she has stability for the first time ever. Gregory is trying to gain some semblance of control over literally anything to feel like he has a shred of agency in his life. Berenice is struggling with the idea that while she is amazing at many things, in order to do what is needed she has to step outside the comfort zone she has hidden in her entire life. Orso is coping with the profound realization that most of his life’s work isn’t going to amount to anything and trying to find meaning in his existence. This is only a fraction of what these characters are going through and it is wonderful.

However, I will say that while it is truly impressive that Bennett managed to create such a fast-paced story with such memorable character arcs – it feels like these two powerful elements of the story do not compliment each other well. The pacing rips you through the story so fast there is rarely time to sit and digest things. This works well from a plot perspective because it keeps you so off-balance that every new piece of information feels like an amazing twist. But these character stories are beautiful and deserve to be luxuriated in, and there simply doesn’t feel like there is enough time to do so with how fact the pace moves. I just want it all, to be pulled across a lake of imagination at the speed of sound and at the same time sit on the shores and calmly enjoy the view.

Shorefall is not what I expected in the best way possible. It is a lightning strike to the spine, an explosion of ideas and feelings, and a hauntingly beautiful story about good people making hard choices. It is a success as a sequel in every possible way and I can think of and if you are not already reading The Founders series by Robert Jackson Bennett you are missing out. Shorefall is not a book to let pass you by like a ship in the night.

Rating: Shorefall – 9.5/10

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This latest installment in The Founders series was pretty wild. There are new scrivings, deadlier villains, and fascinating ideas like the mind-bonding Sancia and Berenice experience. The story is definitely action-packed and picks up three years after the events of the last book.

We learn some devastating truths about Sancia's deteriorating physical state and Gregor's childhood trauma. Crasedes proves to be a formidable villain, but he's not the biggest surprise. The end of the book was both heartbreaking and horrifying.

I wasn't as engrossed in this sequel as I was in the first book, but I believe that's because it's been over a year since I read Foundryside and kind of forget most of the events. I didn't have enough time to reread the first installment before diving into Shorefall, but for the third and final book I'll definitely have to re-read the other novels in this series.

Overall, Shorefall is an extremely well-written story, with a fleshed-out world and characters with real struggles.

Not to mention the covers of these books are gorgeous!

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This is such a fun book! The sequel to Robert Jackson Bennett’s Foundryside, SHOREFALL picks up three years later, with its hardscrabble protagonist Sancia living a fulfilling, uneventful life—a relief after decades of servitude, hunger, and misery. Obviously, Sancia’s brief moment of happiness and relative tranquility won’t last.

These books feature incredible world building—it’s almost steampunk, if you were to take steampunk and drop it into historical, but hyper-capitalist, Venice, Italy. Society is powered by a magical system known as “scriving”—objects are given instructions on their purpose, and they’ll fight all odds to fulfill that purpose unless you, for lack of a better word, reprogram them. A lamp, for example, may be scrived to glow whenever its owner comes into the room, and turn off when its owner leaves; gate would be scrived to swing open only when a member of its household approaches. It’s a brilliant melding of how we think of software programming with more classical fantasy and magic.

These books don’t rely on smart world building for their excellence, though. Sancia is a compelling character—a survivor at all costs, but with a destabilizing inner foundation of rage at the capitalist society that makes the class you’re born into little more than a prison sentence. Her best friend, Berenice, is an oasis of calm, but her lack of life experience and sheltered upbringing means she must battle her own occasional fear and self doubt. Ultimately, the relationships in these books—but particularly Shorefall—are what make them so memorable. Magic and power are nothing compared to what two or three or four people can do when they put their hearts and heads together to accomplish something, as this book makes its central focus.

Fair warning: Foundryside and Shorefall are pretty violent, so not for more squeamish readers. But for others looking for an absorbing escapist read that doesn’t let systemic injustice off the hook, I can think of few better fantasy reads than this.

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The story and ideas presented in Foundryside are taken in this book and takes them to a whole new level. This book is exciting and engaging and the story takes you on a wild journey through a unique fantasy world.

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I really liked Shorefall. Book #2 was just as good as the first. I enjoyed reading about Sancia, Gregor, Bernice and Orso. The story continues with much excitement and a lot of surprises. Crasedes was terrifying and I can't believe the story that unfolds with him, Clef and Valeria. I loved the ending and am looking forward to book #3.

I give Shorefall 4 stars for its thrilling read.
I would recommend this book to Fantasy Fans.
#Shorefall #NetGalley

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Ahhhh, so lovely to slip back into the genre-bending fantasy-cyberpunk world of The Founders Trilogy, like a nice warm bath for my mind. The first novel <a href="">Foundryside</a> was one of my favorite books of 2018, and I was ecstatic to be able to get my hands on an advance copy of the sequel, which begins about three years after the events of the first book end. Sancia, Berenice, Gregor and Orso have radically altered the power structure of Tevanne by opening their own scriving house in what’s now known as the Lamplands, inspiring numerous others to break away from the sprawling campos of the three remaining large houses in order to found their own small enterprises. That isn’t enough for our Foundrysiders tho, who have been working on ways to topple the large houses and their dependence on slavery for good.

Shorefall opens with a heist, as the Foundrysiders infiltrate the Michiel complex in order to steal all their scrivings (basically, all their patents/programming.) But a nocturnal visitor warns Sancia that something terrible is on its way, that Dandolo House has done the unthinkable and resurrected the First Heirophant himself. As the mad heirophant Crasedes draws closer to Tevanne, Sancia and crew must find a way to contain him, but soon find themselves pawns in a struggle spanning centuries, a struggle not all of them will survive.

I feel like this novel had a bit of second book syndrome, where the author had to cram in all the between bits before being able to turn his gaze to the finale. Which doesn’t make it a bad book at all, but I certainly felt less invested in the proceedings and more hurried along than I had in Foundryside. To a certain extent, the breathless nature of Shorefall’s narrative was the necessary result of certain plot twists, but the rapid exposition thereof lent the reader little time to empathize with our characters. I was also pretty mad about what happened to Orso. Like, I get it, but I certainly don’t have to like it.

I did like that we find out more about Crasedes and Clef and their relationship, tho again, if the narrative hadn’t felt so hurried, I would likely have felt it more deeply at the big reveal. I’m guessing that Valeria is <font color="#ffffff">Clef’s wife and Crasedes’</font> mom? I imagine that will be explained in the sequel. And while I absolutely prefer the idea of radical empathy as a solution to the age-old problem of “how to stop people from abusing power”, especially in contrast to Valeria and Crasedes’ differing but equally terrible solutions, I found myself instinctively recoiling from the <font color="#ffffff">mindmeld</font> technique as I’m not convinced that it will preserve autonomy or necessarily promote goodness and humanity. The Foundrysiders could do it because they’re all good people, but what if, say, the Morsinis had discovered this and used it to convince the powerless that whatever benefited the Morsinis was the only thing that mattered? I’m hoping this is another thing addressed in the last book, which I am no less looking forward to despite Shorefall not being quite as spectacular as Foundryside. It’s still a solid read and an entertaining novel, and sets the stage for a brand new world in the trilogy’s final installment.

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I once again remember why it is that sci-fi/fantasy books are such a lot to read! They are the books that make you think, see things from another point of view, and inspire you to dream up impossible things. This book was so well done. It took everything I loved about the first book and went bigger! I love the questions posed, the dilemmas the characters faced, and the meaning of choice. Brilliantly written!!

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Shorefall by Robert Jackson Bennett

Second book of the Founders trilogy. High Fantasy. Best to read after the first book.
The ultimate power. The ultimate sacrifice. Destruction of power and war.
Action and changes from start to finish.
It’s epic in language, world building and details.
I can’t imagine what can possibly be included in the final book. It boggles.
It’s great fantasy yet so much death, savagery, torture and anger.

I received a copy of this from NetGalley.

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Trevanne is still reeling from the destruction that Sancia Grado and her friends had wrought, and they're continuing with the intention of leveling the playing field. While they try to make it so that anyone can use scriving, Ofelia Dandolo embarked on a mission to bring back one of the ancient masters known as a hierophant. He had scrived himself, becoming something like a God. Sancia and her friends are going to have a stop a God, possibly with another one.

Shorefall is the second book in the Founders trilogy and picks up three years after the first book Foundryside (read my review) left off. If you haven't read the first novel, this does give explanations regarding the magic system. We get the definitions of how sigils and foundries upset the laws of reality to make things work the way that they need it to. Sancia and her friends are slowly chipping away at the campo system, hoping to create a magical-technological revolution by creating a library of sigils that scrivers can work with. This would've been a slow process, but it means that they are actually a threat to the campo system. It prompts Ofelia to do more of the taboo-breaking scriving, and our team of heroes are up against seriously overpowered enemies.

While we don't necessarily learn new things about Trevanne, we do learn more about scriving, how to break even more permissions on reality. This deeper understanding of the magic system is what ups the ante for the threats that arise, and are part of the problem that Sancia, Berenice, Gregor, and Orso face. They aren't able to rewrite reality on their own, so we have the return of Valeria, the creation that had helped Sancia in book one. Her help comes at a cost, and it's one that the others aren't sure if they want to pay. This is even more evident as the novel progresses and the truth behind Valencia's prior help is revealed. Our team at Foundryside, Inc. have to come up with ingenious ways to use scriving to help them defeat the combined might of the campos and the Founder that was resurrected in spite of their efforts. Even though they tried to go up against the galleon early enough in the book that they logically couldn't have prevented it, I still hoped that they would.

I didn't think that this book could have as many shocking revelations as it did, especially after the first novel's ending. Nope! I was so wrong, there is so much going on in the final third of this novel as the festival comes to its crescendo. There are some jaw-dropping changes, and a shocking ending that demands a third novel to tie it all up.

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Thank you Del Rey and NetGalley for the eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. This book was a pleasure to read. Although the beginning was a slog up a steep hill, the last half was an avalanche to the bottom. Robert Jackson Bennett does a great job of weaving in exposition as both narrative and part of the dialog, which leaves me wanting more of this world. There is a rich and terrifying history told of the world through the central villein, and it is this character that makes the book exceptional and unpredictable.

The background of the central characters was mostly told in Foundryside, but we learn more of Gregor and the origins of his scriving. Not many new characters were introduced. This coupled with the book only taking place over four days or so sets the pace at breakneck action and problem solving.

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I received a copy of Shorefall from Netgalley for an honest review.

Shorefall was everything I hoped it would be from Robert Jackson Bennett. It was fast-paced, emotional and kept me wondering what was going to happen next. In this sequel, we find ourselves reunited with our gang of scrivers and thieves as they continue to try to deconstruct the social and political system.

I loved this magic system when I read Foundryside, and I think Shorefall takes this to whole new levels. Bennett was able to take the groundwork he set in the first book and manipulate it in a way that is intriguing and so different than any other fantasy series I have read.

Shorefall picks up three years after the events of Foundryside and it jumps right back into the story. It instantly draws the reader back into the world takes them on a whirlwind of an adventure as they once again seek to save the day using whit. This series is for anyone who has any interest in a programming/tech fantasy mash-up. I am already so excited for the next book in this series!

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While still AMAZING, it wasn't quite as good as the first one. However, I'm okay with that, because there is the third book to look forward to. Don't get me wrong, Shorefall is great, but I had a lot of other things on my mind while I was reading, and couldn't focus like I wanted to.

One thing though, can we talk about the covers of Shorefall and Foundryside? How freaking gorgeous are they?

3.5/5 Stars

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I was very impressed with Foundryside so I was excited about this sequel but unfortunately I’m finding it underwhelming. I find it annoying when authors of series, especially ones with complex plots and characters, fail to remind the readers of what’s going on. When there is more than a year between books the author should give the reader a brief reminder of the central plot and characters. The author does none of that here so I was trying to remember what was going on as the book starts off immediately with Sancia and the team in the midst of a complicated maneuver. It starts off very slowly but seemed interesting as the maneuver unfolded. Unfortunately after that it takes a completely different turn as the team are suddenly faced with Crasedes Magnus. I wish I could say that was meant as an action reference but it’s not. I feel like I’m reading a book by a completely different author from Foundryside as everything in this book is painstakingly slow. I find it a chore to read. After forcing myself to pick up this book again and again I’m not sure it’s going to be worth forcing myself to finish. I hate leaving books unfinished, especially this one as I really loved the first book, but I just don’t see it being worth it. I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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After reading Foundryside last year, I should have known this book would pack a similar punch. I flew through this installment in the Founders series by Robert Jackson Bennett, only to realize that the next book hasn't even been announced yet so there's no telling how long I will be waiting for book three. That being said, I would still highly recommend this series to everyone. It has one of the most unique magic systems I have ever come across and has set a new bar for magic in fantasy for me. While Foundryside set the foundations for this world and made you fall in love with this characters, Shorefall tears everything you know about Tevanne and scriving to pieces. This review will contain mild spoilers!

We start out slow, realizing how much Tevanne has changed since we last saw it. The events of Foundryside were three years ago and the characters are still feeling the effects. Sancia and Berenice's relationship has barely progressed from where we left it at the end of Foundryside because they are both so focused on making Foundryside a successful merchant house and keeping themselves out of trouble. Gregor is still trying to free himself from the control of his mother and whatever was done to him, but finds hope in his new family for a better future. Orso is still a grumpy old man, but one who has a new passion for scriving now that he feels he's found its true purpose. All of the characters have come together in a little family in Foundryside and are trying to make Tevanne a better place, starting with the merchant houses.

But everything goes sideways when they discover one of the merchant houses has found a way to bring back a hierophant. Not just any hierophant, the first one and most famous, Crasedes. He intends to tear Tevanne to shreds to create the world he wishes to see, not the one that currently exists. This leaves our little family to fight against someone who is far more powerful than them with their comparatively primitive tools. Clef has been dormat since the events in Foundryside and Valeria is nowhere to be found. But they must find a way to utilize both of them if they want to have a fighting chance Crasedes.

Shorefall was an absolute whirlwind, I devoured the book in only a couple of hours. As soon as I finished, I wanted to start again because I couldn't believe that it had all really happened. While I expected it to be action packed, like the first book, I was not expecting this. I felt like I could hardly catch my breath, things just kept happening before I could process what had happened. Normally this would irritate me when reading but it really worked for the plot of Shorefall, the characters are barely surviving the onslaught so it makes sense for the readers to feel the same lack of time to prepare or recover. This book is one attack after another, Crasedes certainly lived up to his reputation. I was both awed by him and hated him.

I still have recovered from that ending, it left me shocked. I couldn't believe the direction it took. I felt like the rug had been pulled out from under me. I'm constantly surprised by Robert Jackson Bennett's ability to blindside me so thoroughly. All the clues are there if you are industrious enough to put them together. I would advise just going along for the ride for the first read through and then going back to see where all the hints are, it's much more enjoyable. I felt like I was really able to put myself in Sancia's shoes in this book, even more so than Foundryside, because her emotions came through so vividly. Shorefall is another favorite for me, I loved it even more than Foundryside which I didn't even know was possible. I can't wait for the next book, though there's no telling when that will come out.

Until then, I will finally have to pick up some of his other books. I've been interested in his Divine Cities series but have never picked it up. Now might finally be the time while I wait for Founders book three.

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Sometimes there are books I read that I know sticking around for the sequel will be absolutely worth it. Founders is another trilogy I should add to that category. Three years have past since the incident at the Mountain and the first heirophant, Crasedes, is on his way to returning. It is up to Sancia and her crew of Foundrysiders to put a stop to a being who wants to reshape reality in order to fix society. The Maker of that world is on a mission and sacrifices must be made or prevented.

This book had such a focus on the great world-problem: stop Crasedes Magnus. As a result, the characters were allowed to shine in all of their pieces of designing the plan and magic used for traps. Because the first book had spent so much time establishing the world, the plot was allowed to push through in a very character-driven way in this one. There is, however, much time spent on explaining the scrivings and the world's internal logic, which might not be for everyone.

One of my favorite details, however, has to do with Crasedes. Not only is he a really compelling antagonist, but he is just such a mystery. So mysterious, in fact, that when he undoes his bindings, it causes madness. His design is unfathomable but he has so many dimensions from start to finish. 

Fascinating use of coding as a type of magical tech in a story that winds intricate plot twists without ever turning into a knot. This sequel is so intense and I can't wait for the third book.

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Somehow this installment lost its magic for me. I loved Foundryside, and yet Shorefall just dragged. Orso's cursing felt repetitive and annoying. He pretty much spent most of the book saying "sh*t". Pages and pages of descriptions of how various scrivings became tiring. I also thought the plot had some holes and the pacing was odd. Right at the point when things should be happening fast, our main characters would slow down and wonder about something irrelevant.

Also, there did not seem to be a larger moral underpinning to story. We got a bit of Valeria's and Crasedes reasoning, but it seems superfluous and undeveloped. In addition, we still don't have the full origins story of the Clef and Crasedes. I understand the author is probably saving the big reveal for the final book, and perhaps that is why book 2 feels like a filler. Yes, there was a lot of action, but nothing truly decisive occurred. We also did not really have any big aha moments. Anyway, I can't quite pin this down. But I struggled getting through the book and I was underwhelmed overall. At this point, I am not sure if I want to read book 3. I think I'll wait and see what the reviews will be like.

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I can't believe I'm saying this, but DNF.

I really liked Foundryside. It didn't have quite the same incredible pull as Jackson Bennett's City of Stairs trilogy, and it borrowed a little too heavily from Brandon Sanderson's The Emperor's Soul. But it was good fun and the characters were great, especially Sancia and Clef. Their duo sung on the page and hooked me in.

But Clef isn't in this book, at least not at the point I'm at (which is about a quarter of the way through). And without him, the book just falls flat.

I'm really trying here, honestly and truly. But over 100 pages in and I'm just not into it.

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The second part of the Founders trilogy is a worthy successor to Foundryside. It picks up right after the changes to the city of Tevanne brought about in the first book, focusing on the independent scriving business founded by Orso, Sancia, and Berenice (with ex-soldier Gregor providing the muscle, when necessary). It is very much a sequel: it is assumed that the reader knows the characters and the setting. Bennett does make a point of describing the details of some story elements--I didn't remember exactly what an imperiat does, for example, but its function was explained as soon as it was reintroduced.

The looming threat in the first book was the resurrection of an immortal being known as a heirophant, who legend says possessed control over reality that verged on godlike. The team goes to sea to prevent the resurrection, but find themselves doing battle with the ancient entity in Tevanne itself. It is a pitched battle, full of mass destruction as well as subtle manipulation of reality through scriving.

At the climax two members of the team sacrifice themselves so city residents can escape the destruction of their city. The escapees head out to sea, hoping to find sanctuary in the overseas plantations that provided Tevanne with necessary goods. Two dangerous magical entities have survived the battle, so the human survivors must prepare themselves for the inevitable war. Should be quite an exciting concluding volume.

Thanks to NetGalley for the pre-publication ebook copy.

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4.5 Stars!

If you want an adult fantasy that is unpredictable, smart, stressful and very creative than you should stop what you're doing and read this series. When I finished the first installment, Foundryside, now only was I amazed with the creativity of the author's mind, but it left me wondering how in the world he could top that book in regards to the complexity of the magic system. Not only did he deliver in this sequel, but this book blew my mind. The author was able to take an already complex idea and somehow elevate it to a place I was not expecting.

The only reason this isn't getting the full 5 stars in because it was mildly tedious at times when reexplaining concepts that had already previously been explained, just by a different character. Definitely not a reason to skip this book though, its worth it to push through the slower sections. There were several scenes that were near flawless and I already want to go back and reread them. I was at the edge of my seat reading this book and I highly recommend checking out the Founders Series. I have no idea what to expect from the next book but I am SO excited to see where this journey takes us.

If you are looking for a fun, creative, violent, dark and immensely entertaining fantasy with dynamic characters and vivid world building, this is the series for you.

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