City of Blades by Robert Jackson Bennett

City of Blades by Robert Jackson Bennett City of Blades by Robert Jackson Bennett
Narrator: Alma Cuervo
Series: The Divine Cities #2
Published by Recorded Books on January 26, 2016
Source: Purchased
Genres: Fantasy, Mystery
Length: 20 hrs 27 mins
Format: Audiobook
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four-half-stars

The city of Voortyashtan was once the domain of the goddess of death, war, and destruction, but now it’s little more than a ruin. General Turyin Mulaghesh is called out of retirement and sent to this hellish place to try to find a Saypuri secret agent who’s gone missing in the middle of a mission, but the city of war offers countless threats: not only have the ghosts of her own past battles followed her here, but she soon finds herself wondering what happened to all the souls that were trapped in the afterlife when the Divinities vanished. Do the dead sleep soundly in the land of death? Or do they have plans of their own?

First a bit of advice, read City of Stairs first. Yes, City of Blades may be almost able to stand on its own, but Stairs is so good and will give you such a better feeling for the main characters in this book and the world they live in.

Although City of Blades is the second in the trilogy, it feels different from Stairs. Stairs was action and magic and politics. Blades is a little darker, sadder, tougher, but just as good, if not better. Our main character this time around is retired General Turyin Mulagesh. she may be one of my favorite heroines. She’s over-50, an alcoholic, one-armed (due to an incident in Stairs), a bit lonely, and full of regrets. But, man, she is tough and smart and caring and tenacious and totally capable of killing you in multiple ways. She is awesome, period. I may still have a bit of a crush on Sigrud, but Turyin even outshines him.

She was more or less forced into this assignment and it’s not an easy one or a fun one. She’s investigating the disappearance of a Saypuri operative, but her other goals is to complete the ongoing undercover operation as to whether a super conductive material in the hills near the fort is Divine or not. The Goddess of War is dead, we know that, so none of her miracles should work, but do they? I don’t want to go too far into plot. It’s a bit complicated, though it all ties together well, and I don’t want to ruin the story for you. Turyin, although a reluctant sleuth, is good at her job. She’s good at finding clues and continuing to search even when it seems she’s presented by a dead end. Or when she’s in conflict with others around her. I love the mix of fantasy and mystery.

There are losses and betrayals and grief. Characters I love are hurt. These soldiers and spies have done the best they can over the years, made tough choices, some right, some wrong. They’ve fought and killed and suffered, and they don’t get any breaks here in Voortyashtan. The young and innocent and idealistic are not the heroes here. Those who have lived and lost and keep going regardless are the ones who carry the day, who have the needed resolve.

About Robert Jackson Bennett

Robert Jackson Bennett is a two-time award winner of the Shirley Jackson Award for Best Novel, an Edgar Award winner for Best Paperback Original, and is also the 2010 recipient of the Sydney J Bounds Award for Best Newcomer, and a Philip K Dick Award Citation of Excellence.

He lives in Austin with his wife and son.

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