City of Miracles by Robert Jackson Bennett – The Divine Cities #3

At last! The final novel in this amazing trilogy! What I love about this series is that each novel takes place a few years after the previous one, and it focuses on a different character each time; this means that you can manage to read it as a standalone if you are strapped for time – though I would recommend reading the entire series in order to really understand everything. In the first book, the protagonist was Shara Komayd. In the second, it was Mulagesh. And now, we hear from Sigrud, who was always one of my favorites. Anyways, here I go with my review:

Siigrud je Harkvaldsson is very good at one thing: revenge. So when he learns that his oldest friend, Prime Minister Shara Komad, has been assassinated, he knows exactly what he is going to do. Yet as Sigrud pursues Shara’s killers, he begins to fear that this mission may be unsuccessful. Because discovering the truth behind Shara’s death means taking part in a secret, decades-long war, facing down an angry young god, and unraveling the mystery of Bulikov, the city of miracles.

It was definitely a good thing that I read the previous books in the series because the magnanimity of the truths revealed in this novel was just … WOW. And you really can’t understand how amazing these are unless you read the previous novels. So while I’m sure you can enjoy and understand what is happening in this novel without reading anything else in the series, I would strongly advise against that; take the time and read the first 2 books before getting into this one, so that you can truly fall in love with this serie like I have!

Sigrud…. I love him. This book did him such justice. His personality is just so …. amazing and one cannot help but appreciate him for his kindness, his loyalty, and his ruthlessness. He comes off as simple but the more you read, the more you see his complexity. The author definitely did an amazing job when creating Sigrud! I also loved all of the other characters that were a part of this story; each one was unique and had so much depth that you felt like you truly knew them!

The story and world-building in this novel are incredible but I expected nothing less from the author of this series. I wasn’t expecting all of the mysteries to be revealed in the way it did, which was a really awesome surprise. I really can’t complain at all about anything in terms of the story, characters, or world-building.

This was a stunning conclusion to an epic series and I strongly urge anyone looking for an awesome fantasy series to read this series. You will not be disappointed!

I received this novel from Blogging for Books and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Happy reading ~

 

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City of Blades by Robert Jackson Bennett

A while ago, I had read the prequel to this novel, City of Stairs, which I thought was absolutely fantastic. However, it has taken me A LONG TIME to get to read this book. Why? Well, embarrassingly enough, I lost my review copy of this novel. Yes, I was careless enough to misplace the file and then I completely forgot about it, and I just found it again now. I feel like a terrible person but, hey, accidents happen! As it was, when I began to read this book, I was able to remember all of the details of its predecessor and I found myself instantly hooked! So here is my (long-awaited) review:

9780553419719 Voortyashtan is a city that was once under the control of the goddess of war and destruction. Now, after being conquered, it is simply a ruin. General Turyin Mulaghesh is trying (but failing) to enjoy her retirement but finds herself forced out of it in order to do a mission in Voortyashtan. Her mission? To find a secret agent who has gone missing in the middle of a covert operation. However, this task proves to be a challenge, as the civilians rebel against the military on site. Not only are tensions high, but there are signs of strange Divine things occurring: deaths of random civilians with no weapon found afterwards, the discovery of metals that have magical properties to them, and the ghosts of past battles whispering in the ears of soldiers. In a land that claims to have no Divinities, Mulaghesh has to wonder if there is something foul aplay. Are the dead still buried in their graves? Or do they have plans of their own?

I found this novel to be just as fascinating as the previous one in the series. I was a bit disappointed to learn that the author had replaced the protagonist, but I quickly grew to love General Mulaghesh; her no-nonsense attitude combined with her intelligence and sharp mannerisms made her one of my favorite characters of all time. As usual, the detailing in the story was magnificent and every character that was introduced was complex and interesting to read about. I liked that the author shifted POVs throughout the novel, as it kept me sharp on my toes. Reading this novel is like getting a glimpse of history (albeit a false one); I could easily believe that the events happening were real. The plot was intricate and flowed at a good pace; there was enough time to enjoy the scene being presented while not getting bogged down by all of the little details. I am curious to see how the story will continue in the next book, so I am definitely going to keep my eyes peeled for news of the release of the next novel in this series! If you like science fiction and fantasy, then this is the novel for you! I guarantee that those who like Game of Thrones would definitely enjoy this series and should give it a shot!

This book was given to me as an advanced copy from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

Happy reading ~

City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett (Divine Cities Book #1)

Originally, I was given the sequel of this book to read as an advanced copy, without having known at all that it was part of a series. It became quite clear to me after the first few pages that I was missing something. A quick search on Google showed me that I had completely missed the first novel so I did my best to get a copy of it. This novel has taken me a while to get to but only because my finals are coming around and I have had a multitude of exams and papers and deadlines to meet. But I decided to spend a day devoting all of my attention to this novel – and ended up stuck in the story all the way until midnight! So anyway, here is my review:

Bulikov was once a city that was known for its miracles and its powerful gods, who helped their people become conquerors of all other nations. But when Bulikov’s divine protectors were killed, the tables were turned. Now, its citizens are just another colonial outpost with remnants of its glory days surrounding it. It is this disparaging situation that Shara Thivani encounters on what is supposed to be a diplomatic mission. In reality, Shara is an accomplished spy who has been sent to capture the murderer of one of her colleagues. But as Shara starts to sift through the clues behind his death, she begins to suspect that there may be a larger plot at hand. Perhaps, Bulikov may not be done fighting – and maybe, its guardians are still alive.

Let me just start by saying that this novel was absolutely fantastic! It had a great storyline and enough detail to make everything fit without being boring. I am SO GLAD I read this novel and I cannot WAIT to read the sequel!

First off, let me just say that this novel is complex. It has a great deal of information that you cannot just ignore. It almost reminded me of Game of Thrones with all of its political intrigue and history and subterfuges. I have always liked history books and even though this story has no basis in real history, the author has provided enough detail to make it seem like there really were historical events like the ones depicted here! I found myself falling in love with the backstory and the mythological beings of Bulikov!

Another thing that I absolutely loved were the main characters. All of them had their own unique aspects. Shara is by far one of my favorite heroine of all times! She is smart, and witty, but not overly qualified in every field. She has her flaws and her strengths, and they balance each other out so wonderfully that I could see myself being best friends with her in real life. I also loved her friends/sidekicks in this story; they gave her some depth and maintained their own qualities, which really helped give the story some body.

The last thing that I will say about this novel is that it had the right blend of fantasy, mystery, and history. Again, I know that this isn’t a REAL historical fiction novel – but I would still say that it has historical aspects to it, with all of its allusion to lore and historical battles and conquests (all fake, but all detailed enough to be believable). I also loved that the reader could work on solving the mystery while also enjoying the magical elements throughout the book. It kept me on my toes for sure!

All in all, this novel was a fantastic read that kept me on high alert all the time. There was never a dull moment and every single thing that happened in this book flowed and made sense. I cannot wait to read more about Shara and how she handles whatever comes at her next! So if you love fantasy and mystery, then this is definitely the novel for you!

Happy reading ~