My thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review.
Fresh off his brilliant Divine Cities trilogy, author Robert Jackson Bennett is back with Foundryside, the first book in The Founders trilogy. If this first installment is any indication, readers are in for another great fantasy series.
Set between the massive walls of four merchant house cities, Foundryside follows Sancia Grado, a street urchin whose unique relationship with scriving, the magic that fuels Tevanne’s industry, causes all sorts of issues…but also opportunities.
This book has pieces of everything I want in a fantasy novel — an intriguing magic system, rich worldbuilding, interesting characters, humor, and heart. Those pieces coalesce into something really interesting and make for an enjoyable reading experience. Bennett has done an impressive job building the framework of this world, from the physical structure of Tevanne, to the types of characters that inhabit it, as well as the magic system that makes unexpected things possible.
That said, the explanations and complexities of the magic system were sometimes confusing to me and took time away from developing the cast of characters that will need to be further fleshed out before I’m fully committed to their plights.
Luckily, Foundryside is swiftly paced, has great action, and features loads of sharp, snappy dialogue. It’s a fun ride that I won’t be getting off any time soon. I’m very much looking forward to the next book, even though the wait will be longer than usual since this book doesn’t technically come out for another 112 days!
★★★★ out of 5