My Favorite Books

The Walking Drum
Ender's Game
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
The Curse of Chalion
The Name of the Wind
Chronicles of the Black Company
The Faded Sun Trilogy
The Tar-Aiym Krang

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Review: Foundryside

Foundryside Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

There is no authority outside the four (4) merchant house campos. While each house maintains order within their owns borders with magic and house guards, the city commons is a dystopian world where anything goes and it is a struggle to survive … and it is the author’s take on magic that was so intriguing for me. Magic effects are based upon inscribing sigils on objects that referenced a collection of reality definitions and/or arguments hold within a lexicon. There was a time in the distinct passed where the entire [angelic] language of reality was known and used by hierophants … and the war they fought nearly destroyed everything. Now the [magic] foundries of each merchant house tries to rediscover and add these sigils to the lexicons that “define" control what magic is still working. This allows objects that are within range of these immovable lexicons to be inscribed with sigils that alter the reality for that object … so example … if you convince a wheel that it is always rolling down hill, you get horseless carriages. Change the definition/argument to convince the wheel it is on flat ground and it stops … etc. I absolutely love the world building here.

Sancia is a thief with a mysterious past that is just trying to survive in the commons when a job goes sideways forcing her to run for her life with the stolen artifact still in her grubby hands. In short order, her network of contacts is burned to the ground as the hunters take out everybody who knows anything about her prize. Her only advantage is that she can actually hear the scrived objects used by the enhanced house guards hunting her. Gregor is a house scion with a dream of bring order to the commons … and joins the hunt to find the reason behind the increased chaos in the commons that threatens his dream of a new world order … and Gregor’s past is nearly as mysterious as Sancia’s. But there is a much darker scheme afoot and it can only be thwarted if the two can figure out how to work together. So we get a good balance of action, heist planning, secrets and character interaction that works well to pull you through the story despite a few info dumps to explain the historical context or magical effects.

#Foundryside #TheFounders

View all my reviews

No comments:

My Ratings Explained ...

  • [ ***** ] Amazing Read - Perfect story, exciting, engrossing, well developed complex characters, solid plot with few to no holes, descriptive environments and place settings, great mystery elements, realistic dialogue, believable reactions and behaviors; a favorite that I can re-read many times.
  • [ **** ] Great Read - Highly entertaining and enjoyable, exciting storyline, well developed characters and settings, a few discrepancies but nothing that can’t be overlooked. Some aspect of the story was new/refreshing to me and/or intriguing. Recommended for everyone.
  • [ *** ] Good Read - Solid story with a 'good' ending, or has some other redeeming feature. Limited character development and/or over reliance on tropes. Noticeable discrepancies in world building and/or dialog/behavior that were distracting. I connected enough with the characters/world to read the entire series. Most of the books I read for fun are here. Recommended for fans of the genre.
  • [ ** ] Okay Read - Suitable for a brief, afternoon escape … flat or shallow characters with little to no development. Over the top character dialog and/or behavior. Poor world building with significant issues and/or mistakes indicating poor research. Excessive use of trivial detail, info dumps and/or pontification. Any issues with the story/characters are offset by some other aspect that I enjoyed. Not very memorable. May only appeal to a niche group of readers. Recommended for some (YMMV).
  • [ * ] Bad Read - Awkward and/or confusing writing style. Poor world building and/or unbelievable (or unlikeable) characters. Victimization, gaslighting, blatant abuse, unnecessary violence, child endangerment, or any other highly objectionable behaviors by Main characters. I didn't connect with the story at all; significant aspects of this story irritated me enough that I struggled to finished it. Series was abandoned. Not recommended.