City of Blades by Robert Jackson Bennett

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“There’s no such thing as a good death … It’s just a dull, stupid thing we all have to do eventually. To ask meaning of it is to ask meaning of a shadow.”

Title: City of Blades
Author: Robert Jackson Bennett
Why you should read this book: This is the sequel of City of Stairs so if you’ve read it you will obviously want to read this.

This story takes place 5 years after the end of City of Stairs. The main character of this book is not Shara, it’s General Turyin Mulaghesh. She’s been called out of her retirement by Shara herself for a secret mission. A Saypuri agent has gone missing in Voortyashtan, the domain of the goddess of War Voortya, while she was looking into a weird ore that’s being found there. This ore seems to have divine properties but it can’t be because everyone is 100% sure Voortya died a long time ago and her miracles shouldn’t work anymore. So what’s going on in that place? Mulaghesh has to go there, pretend she is on vacation, and find out in secrecy. This trip will make her remember things she didn’t want to remember, memories of terrible things she did in her past and that torment her every single day. She finds out the whole story of Voortya, of the afterlife she created for her followers, the scary Sentinels, and the contract she made with them, the promise of one final deathly battle that can end the world.

“Deserve.’ How preoccupied we are with that. With what we should have, with what we are owed. I wonder if any word has ever caused more heartache.”

I’ve had this book since it was out and I started it right away but it took me so much to finish it because I wanted to do so many things at once and it wasn’t something I was very good at. Long story short, I decided to finish it yesterday and here I am, HEARTBROKEN!

I cried, the last time I cried because of a book was months and months ago!! I was emotional, I cared about these characters, I came to love them and seeing them hurt or worse had a huge toll on my heart.

I came to read City of Stairs almost as a mistake. I mistakenly clicked the “currently reading” button, it had a liked, I didn’t want to disappoint that “like” and decided to read it. What a wonderful mistake I made, that book blew my mind. I was never happier to have clicked the wrong button in my entire life.

“O, the things we kill for our dreams, forgetting all the while we shall wake up to find them naught but dust and ash!
What fools we are to pretend that when we walk to war, we do not bring our loved ones with us.”

The plot is intense, so many mysteries (I love mysteries), so many characters in play. You don’t trust anyone because you never know who may be the one plotting against them all. Who is behind the murders? Who is trying to bring hell on earth? Don’t trust anyone! Mulaghesh is a great main character, she is strong, she knows her weaknesses, she wants to be useful in order to give back after the horrible things she did. She feels danger, she is very smart. I found myself thinking with her, like we were having a conversation in which we were solving enigmas. Mulaghesh doesn’t like violence, she’s seen it, she had to use it but that doesn’t mean she likes it. I like that about her, she knows what a soldier should do, maybe she learned it a minute too late but she learned it. It’s really never too late to ask for forgiveness and make amends.

Signe, Sigrud’s daughter, in in charge of the harbor reconstruction and helps Mulaghesh with a little bit of her mystery quest even when she doesn’t know anything about it. She is a smart character, a bit of an enigma, at times you wonder if she is hiding something, maybe she is, maybe she isn’t but you can’t help but wonder. She looks strong on the outside but you learn she is very fragile on the inside, a past heavy on her shoulders. Signe and Sigrud together were so nice to see, yet so painful to read. Their paths separated when she was very young and she needs time to forgive her father and let him know the woman she is now.

“If I leave anything behind in this world, I hope it is my work.”

I wanted Sigrud, I missed that big guy and I had to wait a lot to see him. I was wondering if he was going to appear at all at some point. He was wearing elegant clothes, clothes of course he was forced to wear but hate them. The hat!!! I was picturing this wonderful one-eyed big man with that horrible hat and I laughed. I want someone to draw him, I need to see him not only in my head. I agree with a review that says the ending was too cruel for him. I agree 100%, that ending could have been a little different but I have hope in the sequel (that I want right now) to make things better, to fix everything that needs to be fixed. Sigrud is a wonderful character, you can’t hate him, you’ll love him, you’ll have so much feelings for him and when he suffers you suffer with him. So much pain I felt, heartbroken is not enough to describe those last chapters.

City of Blades is a smart book, it gives you many points of views, you understand what everyone is thinking and feeling. You are put behind their eyes, behind their hopes, their horror, the pain they experience. You are given the opportunity to be one of them, to immerse yourself in the story, you’re there with them and not just reading about the main character’s misadventures.
Mr. Bennet did a hell of a job with this sequel, it is as great as its predecessor and I expect nothing less from its sequel.

Do I recommend it? Yes, 100% yes, just like it’s predecessor.
Rate: 5/5

firmablog

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