Thursday, January 19, 2017

Review - City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett @robertjbennett @penguinrandom

City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett
Series: The Divine Cities #1
Random House Publishing Group -Broadway Books
Publication Date: September 9, 2014
Date Read: January 15, 2017
Source: Library

Years ago, the city of Bulikov wielded the powers of the Gods to conquer the world. But after its divine protectors were mysteriously killed, the conqueror has become the conquered; the city's proud history has been erased and censored, progress has left it behind, and it is just another colonial outpost of the world's new geopolitical power. Into this musty, backward city steps Shara Thivani. Officially, the quiet woman is just another lowly diplomat sent by Bulikov's oppressors. Unofficially, Shara is one of her country's most accomplished spymasters — dispatched to investigate the brutal murder of a seemingly harmless historian. As Shara pursues the mystery through the ever-shifting physical and political geography of the city, she begins to suspect that the beings who once protected Bulikov may not be as dead as they seem — and that her own abilities might be touched by the divine as well.
My Review

I really enjoyed this book overall.  I decided to read this book because I have seen so many glowing reviews for it.  Since everyone seemed to think that this is a great book and I like great books, I grabbed a copy and jumped in.  I will say that it took me a while to really get into this book.  I think that I just really needed to get a good feel for the world and the characters before everything clicked for me.  By the end of the book, I couldn't turn the pages fast enough.

The world that this book was set in was so well done.  Bulikov is a city that was once ruled by divine powers until they were all killed.  It is now illegal to even talk about these Gods anymore.  They are not allowed to study or know their culture's history.  The city is ruled by the Saypur and there is a lot of ill feelings towards the ruling class and their rules.

Shara was such an interesting character.  She is smart and not afraid to take action.  She tries to follow the orders of her superiors but will go against them if she believes it is necessary.  As much as I liked Shara, I loved Sigrud even more.  He was my favorite character in this book.  He seemed to do the impossible with ease and it was just a lot of fun to watch.  Mulaghesh was great.  She was tough and very competent.  Mulaghesh and Shara worked well as a team and I really liked how they were able to depend on each other.  Vo kept me guessing.  I liked him even when I wasn't sure if I should.  This book was filled with wonderful characters whose personalities really shined.

I would recommend this book to fantasy fans.  It is a smartly written story that really keeps you guessing.  There was enough action to really keep the story moving.  The world building was fantastic and highly imaginative.  I plan to continue with this series very soon.

The Divine Cities Series
Book #1 - City of Stairs
Book #2 - City of Blades
Book #3 - City of Miracles
About the Author
Photo: © Josh Brewster Photography
ROBERT JACKSON BENNETT was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, but grew up in Katy, Texas. He attended the University of Texas at Austin and, like a lot of its alumni, was unable to leave the charms of the city. He resides there currently with his wife and children.

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter


  1. This is new to me. It's the kind of series that I'd love to own in hardbacks (I'm weird that way). It looks like I'm gonna have to go hunting on Book Outlet. Lol.

  2. Sounds like a good one but I cannot start any new series until I finish up a few.

  3. I haven't come across this series before and I don't read much fantasy but it's a genre I've been wanting to explore more. I'm definitely intrigued by the sound of this one. I like that the character isn't afraid to speak up for herself and that there's almost a mystery way that the plot unwinds. I'll have to look for this book!

  4. I think I'll have to read this series! Great review! :)

    Lauren @ Always Me

  5. This sounds like it was a really good fantasy read, and I am glad you could enjoy it so much. I especially like that by the end you were so addicted. Suspense and plot must be good then!

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  6. This is a new one to me. I don't do a lot of fantasy but glad this was one that you enjoyed! Great review!

  7. Yay, you finally read it! City of Blades is even better, trust me. You can tell the author really grew a lot with it, and his ability to create such great characters, world building, and actions is one of the reasons I picked CoB as one of my 2016 favorites.

  8. Sounds pretty good. Glad you were able to settle into the world and enjoy it :)


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