Review: City of Blades by Robert Jackson Bennett
Series: The Divine Cities #2
Also by this author: City of Stairs
Published by Broadway Books on January 26th 2016
Source: NetGalley, Publisher
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?
For fans of City of Stairs, I think you’ll be happy with this next installment. Particularly if you were a fan of Mulagesh. I myself just wasn’t quite as into it.
I know it feels like everyone has loved this book. And by all means, I think the writing is solid. But I struggled to get into the beginning. Honestly, my reaction was that it felt like a lot of info dumping and detective work (have I mentioned I generally don’t care for detective stories). Maybe it was my mood and and/or the story set up. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t dislike it, but I just couldn’t feel the love. Another thing I noticed was that I liked Shara from the first book more than I enjoyed Mulagesh in this one.
Mulagesh is forced out of retirement and given an assignment to find a missing person. This mission takes her to a broken city where the Drillings are working to restore order. There are definitely some interesting things going on including a mysterious ore, and gruesome murders. There are questions about what is acceptable when in a state of war. There is much to like in this book, and I fully acknowledge that and completely understand all of the 5 star reviews.
For me, while I do believe this is a good book, I also feel like I may be done with the series. There’s just a bit too much of a crime/detective aspect to it for my personal tastes. It took me too long to get into the story. Plus, its no fun reading a book that garners so much praise from fans, a book that you can tell the writer has talent and is able to craft a story and just feeling rather ‘eh’ about it. I thought I might read on, until I went back and read my review of book 1. I think I struggled with some of the aspects in the first book as I did in this one and am just going to chalk it up to not quite being my thing. Nothing wrong with that. But, I will read other works by Bennett. I really am serious when I talk about the quality of his writing. I think it is just the type of story that I don’t care for as much, and its not unique to his books.