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City of Blades by Robert Jackson Bennett
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City of Blades

by Robert Jackson Bennett

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Divine Cities (2)

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Complex, but satisfyingly compelling needs to be read in small doses. Like bomber command in WW2, almost everyone dies. Jackson Bennet will need almost a totally new cast for the sequel. ( )
  jamespurcell | Aug 7, 2017 |
I found this an enjoyable follow-up to City of Stairs. I didn't feel as ~gripped~ by as I did its predecessor, nor did I feel as disappointed in it (see my CoS review for spoilers on that). The protagonist of this book, Mulaghesh, is a stubborn, practical, no-nonsense old bird, and I looooooove her as much as, if differently from, Shara. I like Bennett's focus on women and people of color, and the ways he explores the interweavings of national and personal histories. This book felt a bit more of a mystery/soldier's story than the previous one, though still stayed in the same vein and it had similarly strong pacing and characters. Some new faces, some familiar from the first book also gave a sense of continuity, though this book would be fine read on its own. I liked it, and I think if you liked the first book you will like this one, too! ( )
  Gretchening | Jul 20, 2017 |
This was one impressive read! I read the first book in this series, City of Stairs, a few months ago and really enjoyed it so I was really excited to finally get around to reading the second book in the series, City of Blades. A lot of times the second book in a series doesn't quite live up to the first so I was a bit worried going into the book. There was no need for any worry because as good as the first book was, this one was even better. I had such a hard time putting this book down and when I was away from it, I couldn't get it out of my mind.

I had really expected this book to focus on the same group of characters and I was somewhat wrong. The main character in this book is Mulaghesh who did play an important role in the first book but was not the lead character. I liked Mulaghesh in the first book but I absolutely loved her in this installment. Getting to learn some of her back story really opened up her character. She is tough, smart, and somewhat haunted by her past. I love the an older woman who has seen and done a lot of things is the person at the center of this story.

This book takes place in Voortyashtan which was very different than the setting of the first book. This meant that while some of the world building did build on the what was established in the previous book, a lot of this world was entirely new. The City of Blades ended up being something I would have never imagined but as it was described it I almost felt as if I were there. I really feel like there is almost no boundaries with what this series can explore.

The story in this book was very exciting. I did think that some of the earlier parts of the book were a bit tedious as I tried to figure out what was really going on. When the story took off, it really didn't let up. There are so many different things to solve that are all interconnected. The story took quite a few twists that I didn't see coming. I was a bit nervous as I read because I had no idea how things would work out for Mulaghesh and everyone.

I would highly recommend this book to others. This is the second book in the series and I do think that this series really needs to be read in order. The stories are not a continuation but the events of the first book really impacted the characters and the world they live in. I can't wait to see what is going to happen in City of Miracles!

I received a review copy of this book from Random House Publishing Group - Broadway Books via Blogging for Books and NetGalley. ( )
  Carolesrandomlife | Apr 25, 2017 |
Retired war hero General Turyin Mulaghesh is sent to the city of Voortyashtan on a sort of tour to count down the days until she earns her pension. That’s the official story, anyway – actually, she’s there to covertly investigate a new metal that just might be related to the supposedly dead gods of the Continent, and figure out why the last person sent to investigate the issue ended up missing. Voortyashtan is complicated, though, and there’s a lot more going on than meets the eye.

I enjoyed City of Stairs when I read it last year, but not as much as a lot of other people. Mulaghesh was one of my favourite characters in the book, though, so I was pretty thrilled that she was going to be the protagonist of City of Blades. She does not disappoint – she’s a curmudgeonly one-armed war hero that’s unabashedly competent and won’t take any nonsense from anybody. She starts off the book pretty tired and lost, but once she enters problem solving mode, there’s no one I’d rather have on the case. She’s got a unique perspective and it never gets tiring to look through it. I would read a whole series of books about Mulaghesh.

City of Blades starts off with a pretty similar premise to the first book – a Saypuri is sent to a hostile Continental city to investigate possible Divine intervention – but it quickly evolves into its own thing. It helps that it doesn’t have to do all the worldbuilding that City of Stairs had to; the world of these books is complicated, and it was good to be familiar with how it all worked. The world does get extended, but in a very natural way. The martial Voortya is a pretty interesting god to explore, and Mulaghesh is the perfect person to understand her.

The new characters introduced in this book are pretty cool, especially Sigrud’s engineer daughter Signe. Sigrud is back as well, and he seems much more like a real person, which was great. I was a little bit frustrated with the character arcs of the villains – I can’t say more without spoilers, but I wished that they were less stereotypical. It’s a minor flaw in an otherwise terrific book, though.

I’m looking forward to the third book, City of Miracles – I think that’s going to be the last book. Sigrud is going to be the protagonist, which I’m more excited about thanks to his development in City of Blades. ( )
  kgodey | Apr 11, 2017 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Robert Jackson Bennettprimary authorall editionscalculated
Brand, ChristopherCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dong, LaurenDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Weber, SamCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Sir Terry, who wrote words upon my heart.

and to Nana, who was a never-ending fountain of books.
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Somewhere around mile three on the trek up the hill, Pitry Suturashni decides he would not describe the Javrati sun as 'warm and relaxing', as all the travel advertisements say.
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