Haven’t read the first novel, City of Stairs? Check out my review here!
Publisher: Broadway Books
Release Date: January 26, 2016
A generation ago, the city of Voortyashtan was the stronghold of the god of war and death, the birthplace of fearsome supernatural sentinels who killed and subjugated millions.
Now, the city’s god is dead. The city itself lies in ruins. And to its new military occupiers, the once-powerful capital is a wasteland of sectarian violence and bloody uprisings.
So it makes perfect sense that General Turyin Mulaghesh — foul-mouthed hero of the battle of Bulikov, rumored war criminal, ally of an embattled Prime Minister — has been exiled there to count down the days until she can draw her pension and be forgotten.
At least, it makes the perfect cover story.
The truth is that the general has been pressed into service one last time, dispatched to investigate a discovery. For while the city’s god is most certainly dead, something is awakening in Voortyashtan. And someone is determined to make the world tremble at the the city’s awful power again.
I went into City of Blades with no expectations, other than to love it as much as the first, or information regarding the plot. I was slightly disappointed that the main character wasn’t Shara, rather it was General Turyin Mulaghesh from the first novel. My disappointment was quickly elated within the few chapters because Mulaghesh is a more relatable character rather Shara.
City of Blades picks up five years after the events of City of Stairs. Shara is now the prime minister and has asked Mulaghesh to embark on a covert mission to the city of Voortyashtan to investigate a potentially miraculous item.
Five years after City of Stairs, Mulaghesh is not in a good place as she self medicates with alcohol. Mulaghesh is very much a troubled character. Her past weighs heavily upon her conscious for most of the novel as Bennett slowly unravels the deeds of her past as they relate to her actions in the present. Mulaghesh is tough, unforgiving, and a capable badass despite her amputated arm. Mulaghesh is a solider through and through despite her want for civilian life. She’s unable to step away from violence, war, and its consequences, namely the PTSD she suffers from.
City of Blades has an incredibly similar plot to City of Stairs. An operative is dispatched to a city to investigate a mystery relating to the gods and their miraculous objects. So, with City of Blades Bennett further expands upon the world, but in a more war centric fashion through the characters and the city itself, as it was the stronghold of the god of war and death.
Overall, City of Blades is much bleaker in tone as it explores war and its consequences through a character that has intimately experienced all of the horrors war has to offer.