Robert Jackson Bennett “City of Blades” (Broadway Books, 2016)
For the first time Bennett has returned to a world that he has created. City of Blades is a sequel of sorts to 2014’s City of Stairs. I say of sorts, because it’s not a direct continuation of that story. Blades takes place a few years later. Our protagonist this time is General Mulaghesh.
Mulaghesh is sent to Voortyashtan (former home of the god of war) to find a missing spy. But she’s a soldier, not a spy. And once again we learn that just because something is dead doesn’t mean that it will stay in the ground, so to speak.
All the things you liked about Stairs are here: plotting, world building, characterization, feels. If you liked that book, you will like this one.
If you haven’t yet read City of Stairs, I would advise to read it first. It’s not that the plot will be incomprehensible, but given the very unique setting, I think that it would read better if you understand the world more fully.
So much of this book seems to be very topical. Here in a time of endless war, a story that concerns itself with this constant state of war, with atrocities and their aftermath is needed. The World of City of Blades is a hard world, but one that mirrors so many hard things in our own world.
It’s early in the year, but surely this is a best of the year candidate.