Arm of the Sphinx (The Books of Babel #2) – Josiah Bancroft

Haven’t read the first novel, Senlin Ascends? Check out my review!

arm of the sphinx

5 star

Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Orbit
Pages: 448
Release Date: March 18, 2018

The second book in the word-of-mouth phenomenon fantasy series about one man’s dangerous journey through a labyrinthine world.

The Tower of Babel is proving to be as difficult to reenter as it was to break out of. Forced into a life of piracy, Senlin and his eclectic crew are struggling to survive aboard their stolen airship as the hunt to rescue Senlin’s lost wife continues.
Hopeless and desolate, they turn to a legend of the Tower, the mysterious Sphinx. But help from the Sphinx never comes cheaply, and as Senlin knows, debts aren’t always what they seem in the Tower of Babel.
Time is running out, and now Senlin must choose between his friends, his freedom, and his wife.
Does anyone truly escape the Tower?

Arm of the Sphinx is a fantastic sequel that dives deep into the mythos of the tower itself and the characters trying to survive.

Arm of the Sphinx can be divided into two in terms of the subject matter it covers. The first half, focuses on the tower and its history whereas the second half focuses on the characters themselves. The first half of the novel is much faster paced than the second. There’s a lot of action and adventure that’s similar to its predecessor. While the second half, digs deep into the characters relationships and motivations.

Selin and crew find themselves in situation after situation throughout the novel similar to its predecessor. However, Arm of the Sphinx incorporates more perspectives, so the reader is privy to the motivations, thoughts, and feelings of the other characters. I absolutely loved the inclusion of different perspectives because I wanted to know more about the people Senlin would be traveling with moving forward. This also expands the world as the reader gets to see different parts that we wouldn’t have seen had we been locked to Senlin’s perspective.

Each chapter begins with an epigraph that explores the tower in one-way or another. The epigraphs are well placed, well written, and connect with the story directly. I absolutely loathe useless epigraphs that have no function other than to look cool.

Overall, Arm of the Sphinx in a fantastic sequel to easily one of the best books I’ve read all year. Arm of the Sphinx is not more of the same as Bancroft dives deep into his characters while also teasing out the mystery that is the tower. January 2019 cannot come fast enough because I NEED The Hod King now!


Have you read Senlin Ascends and Arm of the Sphinx? What did you think?

5 thoughts on “Arm of the Sphinx (The Books of Babel #2) – Josiah Bancroft

  1. Sort of ended up getting my hands on a copy of Senlin Ascends, but now I can’t find a hole to plug it into my schedule hahaha I’m actually relieved that the third book has a January 2019 release date now. 😛 Glad to see that the first two books were phenomenal for you though!

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