Release Date: August 21, 2018
Sancia Grado is a thief, and a damn good one. And her latest target, a heavily guarded warehouse on Tevanne’s docks, is nothing her unique abilities can’t handle.
But unbeknownst to her, Sancia’s been sent to steal an artifact of unimaginable power, an object that could revolutionize the magical technology known as scriving. The Merchant Houses who control this magic–the art of using coded commands to imbue everyday objects with sentience–have already used it to transform Tevanne into a vast, remorseless capitalist machine. But if they can unlock the artifact’s secrets, they will rewrite the world itself to suit their aims.
Now someone in those Houses wants Sancia dead, and the artifact for themselves. And in the city of Tevanne, there’s nobody with the power to stop them.
To have a chance at surviving—and at stopping the deadly transformation that’s under way—Sancia will have to marshal unlikely allies, learn to harness the artifact’s power for herself, and undergo her own transformation, one that will turn her into something she could never have imagined.
Foundryside is exactly what I needed to fill the void after finishing Senlin Ascends by Josiah Bancroft. Though, now, I have an even bigger hole to fill because Foundryside is everything you could want from a fantasy novel and more. Robert Jackson Bennett has created an expansive world and an innovative magic system with characters that brighten each page they’re on.
Bennett’s world is huge, literally and figuratively. Foundryside begins with a small info dump about the magic system at work, the political landscape, and the setting. All the information is communicated effectively, despite it being an info dump. After the first few pages, Bennett then expertly teases out the finer details of the world organically leaving the reader wanting more.
The magic system that Bennett has crafted reminds me a lot of the magic system found in Brandon Sanderson’s short story The Emperor’s Soul. Shaping and changing the reality of objects so they act in different ways than they’re supposed to. However, Bennett brings his magic system a step farther. Instead of just changing the appearance of objects, Foundryside scrivings give life to inanimate objects.
The reader follows Sancia as she uses her unique abilities to carve out a life for herself. These abilities are then honed, developed, and expanded in ways I didn’t see coming. The magic system is multifaceted with the ability to grow beyond what was initially introduced.
Overall, Foundryside is a fantasy novel I would recommend to anyone. With an innovative magic system, a comprehensive world, lively characters, and an action packed adventure, Foundryside is sure to please almost every type of fantasy reader.
*** I was provided an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley for an honest review.