Tag Archives: author: robert jackson bennett

City of Miracles by Robert Jackson Bennett

City of Miracles

City of Miracles by Robert Jackson Bennett

Series: The Divine Cities, Book 3
Published by: Broadway Books on May 2, 2017
Rating: 4 stars (★★★★☆)

Sigrud je Harkvaldsson has been waiting to be called up by his old friend, former Prime Minister Shara Komayd, thinking it possible the day may never come. But when Shara is assassinated, Sigrud knows he must act, that he must avenge his friend. It quickly becomes clear, however, that Shara was more active than anyone expected in retirement and she fully intended for Sigrud to pick up her war exactly where she left off. And when it comes to anything mysterious going on in Bulikov, you can almost guarantee there’s some connection to the Divinities. And even though they’ve all supposedly been defeated, they always seem to keep coming back. But to win Shara’s war and, as it seems, to survive, Sigrud will need to find a way to put an end to what amounts to an ancient curse that tests the limits of even his own understanding.

This is an action-packed final installment in what I personally consider to be an epic fantasy trilogy. It is interesting to read a Sigrud-driven story, considering his involvement in the previous two books. And there are elements here that tie back to the very beginning, where the motivations for the events that triggered the start of the first book are explained. And the explanation and Sigrud’s journey take readers down some unexpected paths. An excellent read, and a fitting close to this series…

[Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher via the Blogging for Books program.]

2016 in Review: #2 & #1

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Another year come and gone–and some fantastic reading adventures along with it! As I typically do in January, I want to take some time to review some of my favorite reads of 2016. In week five of this series, we move up to the final two books on my top ten.

Note: These are the best books I read in 2016, not necessarily published in 2016.

#2 Winterwode by J. Tullos Hennig

Winterwode

When I learned that J. Tullos Hennig was planning an additional three books in The Wode series, I almost couldn’t contain my excitement. This series combines so many elements I love: fantasy, history, well-written retelling, m/m relationships, overcoming challenges, a few drops of angst, etc. This is the third book in the series and the first of the aforementioned three additional books.

In this installment, things continue to escalate with increasing stakes for Robyn and company. The powers-that-be aren’t willing to go down without a fight. And Gamelyn still finds himself torn between the life he thinks he wants and the loyalty he feels toward the knights. But they can all unite against the corruption that is sitting on the throne, as it threatens not only their way of life but their actual lives and the lives of those around them…

Read my review from August 9 for more on this title.

#1 City of Blades by Robert Jackson Bennett

City of Blades

My top two reads for the year have a few things in common: fantasy, series, conflict, strong characters–just to name a few. This is a series that caught me off guard. When I read City of Stairs (which pulled a five-star rating from me in 2014), I had expected some run-of-the-mill fantasy story that’s just like all the other ones that the presses seem to be pumping out at an ever-increasing rate. But the story pulled me in faster than I could have expected and the characters kept me right on through to the end.

Honestly, I feel like City of Blades is even better than its predecessor. The characters here are developed, complex, and well-written. The story is provides the reader with excellent backstory/world building, complex conflict, and a compelling narrative. And Turyin–well, we need more characters like her.

Read my review from January 26 for more on this title.

City of Blades by Robert Jackson Bennett

City of Blades

Book Info

Title: City of Blades (The Divine Cities, Book 2)
Author: Robert Jackson Bennett
Published: January 26, 2016
Pages: 464
Publisher: Broadway Books
Publisher’s Website: link
Rating: ★★★

Review

The city of Voortyashtan was the home of Voortya, the goddess of war, death, and destruction. It was her followers who, after unleashing as much death as possible, were transformed into the sentinels who terrorized the Saypuri slaves. And they were the first people who were promised an afterlife by a Divinity. Thankfully, with the death of all of the gods and goddesses and the Blink, the Divinities and their miracles are a thing of the past. But the recent discovery of a mysterious ore near Voortyashtan, while not Divine in nature, has some people concerned.

Among those concerned is Prime Minister Shara Komayd. But her political position leaves her with few options to investigate. So she enlists Turyin Mulaghesh, retired general still trying to live off the grid after her victory at the Battle of Bulikov five years earlier, to go into the city and investigate. It’s not something that Mulaghesh would willingly sign up for, but Komayd is persuasive. And before she knows it, Mulaghesh is thrust into the investigation of a mystery that brings up just as many ghosts from her own past as it does ghost of Voortyashtan. And in the process, she learns that sometimes we can be held to promises and oaths we take long after we expect–and what it truly means to be a soldier.

I have been looking forward to this book since I finished City of Stairs back when it was released. The world that Robert Jackson Bennett has created is one where I am willing to spend as much time as he can make possible. The rich history, the dynamic characters, and the political intrigue add so many layers to these epic fantasy stories. And the unexpected twists along the way make them that much more interesting and entertaining.

The character development in this story is also something that I hadn’t really expected. The arc that we see Turyin take from start to finish is something to behold. And it’s rare to see a writer take a character on a journey like this in a way that feels organic and not forced at all. And as someone who puts character development and character-driven stories high up on my list of what’s important in a book, it takes this great story to the next level in my eyes.

Very highly recommended!!

[Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.]

 

2014 in Review: #6 & #5

ID-10088833Now that 2014 has drawn to a close and 2015 is here and upon us, I wanted to take some time this month to reflect on the best of what I read this past year.  I read way more than I ever have in a single year (306 books!) and while a few of them were not ones I’d recommend, most books were compelling and engaging reads.  While everything I’d recommend is either already here on the blog or still to come (I’ve some reviews already queued out into March), I’m going to highlight the 10 books I read in 2014 that I rated a whopping 5 stars.

Note: These are books I read in 2014, not necessarily published in 2014.

#6 – City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett

20174424Hands down the top science fiction/fantasy title I read this year, City of Stairs, tells the story of Shira Thivani who, in the course of investigating the death of a diplomat, comes to learn more than she could have imagined about the history of her world, her country, and her family.  See my full review of City of Stairs.

#5 – The River Leith by Leta Blake

22034261When former amateur boxer, Leith, wakes up from a coma with amnesia, he starts on a difficult journey of finding himself.  But there’s a similar journey to be had for those around him as they find what role they will play in Leith’s new life.  See my full review of The River Leith.

Image courtesy of adamr at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett

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Title: City of Stairs (The Divine Cities, Book 2)
Author: Robert Jackson Bennett
Published: September 9, 2014
Publisher: Broadway Books
Pages: 464

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Review:
This book was on the periphery of my radar for a while after it came out; I heard some discussions here and there but only a few bits here and there. So when I saw it as an option to request from Blogging for Books, I decided to give it a chance. And I’m so very glad I did.

The city of Bulikov used to be the seat of a great empire but after the gods who protected it were defeated, the city finds itself conquered and made subservient to those it formerly oppressed. When a senior diplomat is murdered inside the city walls, Shira Thivani is dispatched to investigate. And as she starts to poke around, she finds evidence of something much bigger going on beneath the surface and eventually must face the truth about the city, her country, and her family’s past.

I found myself immersed into the world that Robert Jackson Bennett has created almost immediately. There is a rich history here that just flies out onto the pages and the characters are dynamic, life-like, and engaging. Layer that over the top of a well-written high fantasy novel with a strong female protagonist and there’s no wonder I’m sitting here giving this five stars and an incredibly high recommendation. I definitely look forward to reading more from this author (and certainly wouldn’t be opposed to hearing more about Shira’s world and what happens next).

Disclaimer: I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for an honest review.