- Series: The Divine Cities (Book 3)
- Paperback: 464 pages
- Publisher: Broadway Books (May 2, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0553419730
- ISBN-13: 978-0553419733
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (77 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #38,774 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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City of Miracles (The Divine Cities) Paperback – May 2, 2017
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Praise for City of Blades:
“Does City of Blades live up to the Locus, World Fantasy, British Fantasy and GoodReads Choice Award nominated City of Stairs? Allow me to answer with an emphatic yes. Bennett is one of the most talented authors writing in SFF today and this is his finest work to date.”
“Just as powerful as the first, and even stronger in significant ways…among the best novels of 2016.”
“Does everything a really good sequel should…if anything, it’s a better book than its predecessor.”
“Not only recaptures the flame of the first book, but also maybe burns a little brighter.”
About the Author
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.
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Top customer reviews
1) It finishes the trilogy without pulling punches
2) It dives even deeper into the entire ecosystem of the Divine
3) It gives us the freaking AMAZING POV of Sigrud je Harkvaldsson
This book has so many things: bigger-than-life characters, humor, violence, politics, theology, philosophy, love, loss, worldbuilding and plot points so sharp you could cut diamonds with them.
It was a damn delight to read. And I wanted to curl up in a ball and weep at times.
I wish Bennett a long life filled with just enough chaos to keep him writing.
I really didn't want to cry today. Thank you book, thank you Robert Bennett.
First off I wish I would have went back and read the first and second book so I could have been totally immersed in the world. But, it's okay it was perfect just the way it was and it ripped my heart out.
It started with some crying in the beginning when Sigrud found out that Shara had been killed. (it's not a spoiler, read the summary).
He shakes himself, trying to compartmentalize it. He feels tears on his cheeks and shakes himself again.
She can't be dead. She simply can't be.
Sigrud goes on the hunt for Shara's killer. He wants revenge, he wants them dead.
Sigrud finds out that someone is targeting the Divine Children and he must protect Shara's daughter, Taty.
Sigrud has help from different people in the book and Sigrud is just bad to the bone himself. I love him so much.
This was a remarkable journey. These books were just so amazing. The world was beyond amazing. I'm really at a loss for words. The ending of this book was both happy and so freaking sad that I'm still crying. Yeah, I know. How can that be? It just is, read the book. Start with the first book because you really need to read them all to understand what's going on in this world.
I'm hoping to re-read this trilogy this year but I don't know if I want to make it through that ending again so soon. There are just books and characters and things that you love so much and it really packs a punch when things happen. At least to me it does and sometimes happy endings are not so happy. What would be the meaning of reading a book if you didn't feel a thing. . . .
Our protagonist in book one was Shara (an idealistic intelligence agent with an impressive lineage for her world) and for the second was General Mulaghesh (decorated female veteran who first appeared in book one). Our protagonist here is Sigurd, Shara's assistant from book one. He plays much the same role as in book one only on his own instead of following orders. In fact, he is a fugitive for much of this book and is doing his best to stay away from the authorities. There is a definite action movie feel here. Sigurd is a good action hero and I feel the explanation for why he is so resilient is sufficient for the world of this story. The author *did* take pains to address it, rather than just letting him repeatedly fight until he was at death's door and then quickly recover (which, sadly, happens in a lot of fantasy novels).
I have seen some complaints that books one and two in this series had basically the same plot, and they aren't exactly wrong. If you are one of the readers who thought so, know that this one proceeds and ends differently. There was a divine element here (if there hadn't been, it wouldn't really have fit as part of the series) and I was not as enthusiastic about this as I had been for these elements in past books. I don't feel like I have a stake in things here; these folks with divine attributes are all new and a little strange and not so easy to relate to.
Perhaps it is because of the changing protagonists in each volume, but I already feel this trilogy is more loosely connected than some other fantasy works, and the divine element here feels like it was invented after the fact. It sticks out compared to what we saw in the two previous books. I am also just less interested in it. I feel like the powers that various characters have are more important than the characters, themselves (so we are back to having "characters as collections of attributes," which I said about book one). I will say, some of the strategies characters hit upon because of their powers are quite interesting.
I don't particularly care for the chief villain here. He is too one-dimensional for my taste. Although I feel like we are given a fair amount of insight into his background, and as to why he might have turned out bad, he just has so few redeeming qualities that it is difficult to feel bad for him, despite his mistreatment before the book begins (we learn about this during the course of an investigation that Sigurd is conducting).
A few brief comments on other aspects of the book:
Worldbuilding - I do think this is creative. A lot of fantasy societies' gods have left, but what the gods did and meant and how their absence has affected the world are handled nicely here. How religion and racism/slavery interacted was also interesting, and the consequences of upheaval (happened before book one, so not a spoiler) are well thought through.
Writing style - This is in present tense, which is not my favorite, but after awhile, I get immersed and barely notice it. Nothing else particularly stands out to me, which means it was probably not irritating to me, at any rate. The pace is quick and the action is creative and well-described (i.e., you can actually picture what is going on and follow along without getting lost).
Plot - See above regarding the divine element and the villain. There was satisfactory resolution, and things were not predictable (but also not simply pulled out of thin air), but this was one weak point for me.
Characterization - Sure, Sigurd is sympathetic, but we already learned most everything we know about him as a person in previous books. Other characters have mostly supporting roles and aren't super well-developed, beyond them consisting of collections of attributes. This was another weak point for me.
In the end, although I did read this fairly quickly (and that's usually a sign of enjoyment), I was just not as into this book as I was in the previous books. I think two things might have fixed it for me: (1) if this book's particular divine element here had been introduced a little sooner in the series, I could've gotten more invested earlier and (2) if we had more POV characters with more depth and idiosyncrasies of their own (as opposed to carefully selected collections of attributes).
I'd still pickup other books by Robert Jackson Bennett