Ebook, 512 Pages
By: Robert Jackson Bennet
Ebook, 493 Pages
By: Robert Jackson Bennet
“Every innovation—technological, sociological, or otherwise—begins as a crusade, organizes itself into a practical business, and then, over time, degrades into common exploitation.”
I am going to review both books together in one review because my feelings and thoughts on both books are similar and I won’t be talking much about the plot.
I discovered this series couple of years ago through my fantasy enthusiastic friends. I got really involved and interested lately when I was asking around for fantasy books with hard magic systems and the name of this series popped more than once. I really think the world-building is the thing that stands out most in this series so no wonder why it was mentioned a lot. I usually talk about the world-building the last thing in my reviews but I feel I can’t do that here. Basically, the magic system is like a code language, symbols and scrivings are used to change the law of nature and to make things understand things the way we want. For example, If I convince a ball that the gravity is toward up rather than down then it will automatically fly and float upward. The system is very technical and nerdy and I live for this kind of things. I think the author presented many smart examples and used the potential of the magic very well and yet we have more to discover. If you like coding and rules, I bet you will love the system in this one!!
The writing is good, I feel that due to the above mentioned magic system, it sometimes was rigid and could have used more life to it. I don’t know how to say it properly but it felt clinical and cold and I wanted it to be more alive! But for the most part it was enjoyable and not hard to go through and easy enough to understand the plot and the world. There is another thing that kind of irked me and I may sound a bit like a snowflake but it just bothered me to find something like this in the year 2020, some of the quotes came as homophobic and the word “Fat” was used in a negative context whenever it appeared in both books! Here are examples from book 1 and 2:
He pointed at two soldiers with both hands, and then smashed them together. With a scream, the two men flew together and crunched, like a child taking two dolls of clay and smooshing them into one. He flicked his hands at them, and the mashed-together men fell to the ground.“Fat,” he said, “and sated…and slow.”
“She was not like Torino Morsini, head of Morsini House, who was hugely fat and often hugely drunk, and usually spent his time trying to stuff his aged candle into every nubile girl on his campo.”
Sancia is a well written character and actually most of the characters are. I felt that I should have connected more to them in book 1 but I did that more in book 2 although it was a bit more rigid and that came to me as a surprise. I ended up caring about Sancia and the whole crew.
Summary: Both books were well written with an outstanding magic system that boosted all the other elements of the stories. The characters were realistic and the plot was full of action and surprises. The writing is mostly good, rigid at some points and except for the other criticism I mentioned above, I didn’t have major problems with it. I think this is a series that can be enjoyed by all fantasy fans specially those who love nerdy, complicated magic systems!
“Humankind is most innovative at turning innovation to the cruelest ends. Power alters the soul far more than any innovation I could imagine, even at the height of my privileges.”