Thumbs up for City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett. Fantasy.
So imagine that the Eastern Europeans (I mean the Continentals), who worship a set of repressive and irrational Gods, subjugate the Indians (I mean Saypuri), who are socially more liberal, but atheist. Then imagine that a Saypuri leader creates a weapon that can literally kill the Gods. And he does. There might be a bit of bad blood there, no? Flash forward 65 years, and a respected historian has died. Enter Shara, the spy-cum-diplomat who’s been sent to investigate…and discover way more than she expected. The interesting world-building consistently steals the scene, though I also very much enjoyed Shara, Sigrud and Mulaghesh, who are not perhaps deep characters, but nevertheless nicely-delineated and fun to spend time with. (How could I not love a shrimpy, nerdy, bespectacled heroine who thinks in lists?) I continually looked forward to picking up this book and I’d highly recommend it to fantasy readers who like stories with a nice mix of diplomatic intrigue, adventure, clashing cultures, history, and mysterious happenings.
“It must be so nice,” says Shara, “to be so wealthy one is uncertain of which institutions one does and does not own. But yes. I have confirmed that you personally own this bank. If you could find some manner or excuse to retrieve the contents of that box, and deliver it to me, then it may help us figure this all out. Which means I would no longer have to have you under guard, and you could return to business as normal.”
I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
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