paperback, 512 pages

Published May 20, 2019 by Broadway Books.

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4 stars (2 reviews)

Sancia Grado is a thief, and a damn good one. And her latest target, a heavily guarded warehouse on Tevanne’s docks, is nothing her unique abilities can’t handle.

But unbeknownst to her, Sancia’s been sent to steal an artifact of unimaginable power, an object that could revolutionize the magical technology known as scriving. The Merchant Houses who control this magic--the art of using coded commands to imbue everyday objects with sentience--have already used it to transform Tevanne into a vast, remorseless capitalist machine. But if they can unlock the artifact’s secrets, they will rewrite the world itself to suit their aims.

Now someone in those Houses wants Sancia dead, and the artifact for themselves. And in the city of Tevanne, there’s nobody with the power to stop them.

To have a chance at surviving—and at stopping the deadly transformation that’s under way—Sancia will have to marshal unlikely allies, learn to …

1 edition

reviewed Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett

Entertaining, exhausting, and potentially triggering for some

4 stars

Trigger warning for this book at the end of the review

I really enjoyed this book. The world and character building were first-class, and I completely loved the way that the author integrated themes of class struggle and capitalist exploitation of the working/poor.

Having said that, there were a few things that lowered this book from my list of "best reads of the year" to the slightly larger pile of "meh, it was pretty good".

First, there were so many times that I found myself finishing a chapter muttering "oh goddammit" because of some unexpected plot twist. These are great if they're interspersed throughout a story at strategically important turning points, but it felt like Bennett was a little too generous with these unexpected narrative surprises. It felt like a constant struggle where the vast majority of the chapter would build the narrative one step forward for the characters, and …