❋ ❋ ❋ ❋ ❋
I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Sancia is a thief and the heavily guarded warehouse on Tevanne’s docks, her new target, is nothing her unique abilities can’t handle. Sancia’s been sent to steal a powerful artifact that could totally revolutionize magical technology known as scriving. The Merchant Houses who control this magic which uses coded commands to imbue everyday objects with sentience and the ability to break the laws of physics and nature--have already used it to transform the city of Tevanne into a vast, remorseless capitalist machine. If the Houses get their hands on this artifact, they will be able to rewrite the entire world. Now someone wants Sancia dead and to keep the artifact for themselves - and no one in the city stands a chance against them. If Sancia has any hope at all of surviving what's coming she'll have to marshal unlikely allies and figure out how to handle the artifact's power for herself.
Foundryside is my first novel by Robert Jackson Bennett, but it certainly won't be my last. I've fallen hard for his unique style, awesome characters, world-building, and magic system. I've read a lot of great books this year, but I think this book has just shot to the top of my list of favorite 2018 releases. Although it's 512 pages long, it's compulsively readable - I read it over the course of three days, but I probably knocked the most of it out in one day. I literally didn't want to put it down - I just had to know what was going to happen. The best way I can describe it is probably an epic fantasy take on The Matrix with a dash of Ocean's Eleven. I don't know about you, but I'd pick it up for just that comparison alone.
This story has so much going for it from the cast and world, to the unique industrial magic. Each element comes together seamlessly to make for a wonderful reading experience. Now that I've met Sancia, I can officially say that she's easily one of my new favorite characters in fantasy. Let's just say she get's a really cool, and moving arc and that the development her character takes from the first moment we meet her to our last is awe inspiring. There are so many other characters to love here, but I just want to mention how great, and unexpectedly funny, Clef is. I'd say more, but I'd rather not spoil anything for you. As for the world of Tevanne, it's so highly detailed it feels like a real place. The setting is practically a character in it's own right. There's so much to learn about the location in this novel, but we've only just scratched the surface of the city and the wider world. Finally, I just want to mention how unique and intricately complex the idea of scrivings are. There's so much that can be done with it - and we get to see them in action some of the coolest ways you could think of in this story.
Foundryside (Founders #1) by Robert Jackson Bennett is easily one of the most impressive fantasy novels I've read all year long. I know my review doesn't do it justice (there's so much I want to discuss regardless of the spoilers), but this series opener comes highly recommended from me. If you like dense, yet high-octane fantasy that makes you think, Ocean's Eleven, and The Matrix, you need absolutely need this novel in your life. I can't wait to see where this series goes from here. I will certainly need to look into Bennett's previous novels and keep an eye on his future projects.
Thanks again, NetGalley!
I read this ARC from August 18 - 21, 2018 and my review is also on Goodreads. Foundryside is now available for purchase.