Title: City of Stairs
Author: Robert Jackson Bennett
Why you should read this book: Sigrud ♥ (read the book and you will understand)
Quotes I loved
– “Do not tempt me with your secret femininity!”
– “There are times that I kind of like my job.”
– “I no longer sound like Shara. Now I sound like a gossipy wife.”
– “She did not think it was love. She did not think it was love when she felt a curious ache and anxiety when he was not there; she did not think it was love as she felt relief wash over her when she received a note from him; she did not think it was love when she sometimes wondered what their lives would be like after five, then, fifteen years together. The idea of love never crossed her mind.”
City of Stairs is about the investigation in Bulikov of the murder of a historian by Shara, a woman sent by Saypur, and her secretary Sigrud, an extremely big and mysterious man from the North. Their job is to understand who killed Shara’s historian friend and why. Unfortunately they found themselves in more trouble than they expected.
Bulikov was a land ruled and protected by Gods; powerful Divinities now dead. Everything the Divinities created ceased to exist the moment they were killed and the city of Bulikov, once the most powerful, becomes a city with no history but only poverty. With the Gods’ death, Saypur is no longer slave of the Continentals, the men who ruled thanks to the Divinities’ help.
The murder makes brilliant Shara think that maybe there’s more than meets the eye, that he found something he shouldn’t have and he is dead because of that discovery. Maybe the Gods are not really dead, maybe someone is trying to bring them back.
That’s more or less the summary of the book without spoiling anything. There is so much more to write to convince everyone to read it but maybe you have to start reading it like I did, without even knowing what was it about.
I read the title, I liked the cover, the ratings were great; I decided to start reading it. It was worth it, every chapter reveals something more about the story but leaves something out so that it’s almost mandatory to keep reading until you can’t do it anymore. The characters were so well written, from the protagonists to side characters that don’t appear much. This was one of those books that screams “DON’T TRUST ANYONE”, I was anxious from beginning to end about any sudden revelation! Romance is there but it’s not important, it’s only one little piece of the giant puzzle that is Shara.
Shara is a brilliant woman. She uses her head to understand, she needs to know more and more, she is never satisfied until every detail is revealed. People don’t expect her to be so smart because she is, first, a woman, and second, she is from Saypur. Continentals hate Saypur people because they killed their Gods and they know about their history when they are forbidden to even think about it. Her brain is her best weapon and, trust me, she can use it perfectly well. She mastered the art of having always the right thing to say to make everyone shut up!
An important piece of Shara’s puzzle is Sigrud, the “not bad but also not good” giant. He is her secretary and he follows her everywhere; they are a perfect team! I loved Sigrud from the beginning: he is quiet, he is lethal, he can use his head and he is patient. Everything about him makes you love him and wanting to know more. Then you “see” he smiling and you melt because that’s the effect he had on me. He is one of those characters that don’t speak much but when they do, it’s always what needed to be said. Just like Ferb from Phinneas and Ferb (sorry about the comparison but he popped in my mind when I wrote that sentence).
There’s an image of Sigrud that will accompany me for the rest of my life. Another character also loved that image of him: Mulaghesh, Saypur general in Bulikov. A strong female character that finds herself in all that mess when she only wants to retire and be on a beach sunbathing for the rest of her life.
After Sigrud’s paragraph you may think he and Shara shared something more than work issues; you couldn’t be more wrong. I won’t tell you anything, you have to find out by yourself because, as I said before, this book is worth your time.
Mysteries to be solved, new information to elaborate, surprises around every corner. You will find yourself trying to figure out what is going on and maybe, like me, getting it almost all wrong! It was fun finding out the truth and realizing that I’m not a very good detective!
Do I recommend it? Yes, 100% yes.
Still working of my writing style. This is my very first review of a whole book!
Time to choose a paperback book to read. After every ebook there is a book waiting for me!