Foundryside (Founders #1) by Robert Jackson Bennett – ★★★★★

Foundryside RD4 clean flat

“Foundryside is topnotch story-telling. A fantasy heavyweight ripe with heart, heroism, and hilarity.” – Shelly

My attempt at one of those catchy quotes you find on jacket covers. See, this is why I’m not a writer. LOL. Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett, author of City of Stairs, is due to be released on August 21, 2018, which happens to be the day after my 45th birthday. It’s a good thing I was able to read the ARC (blessedly given to me by the publisher through Netgalley) because I will be having a mid-life crisis when this book is officially released and most likely too busy drowning in tears, wine, pizza, and binge-watching John Hughes movies or whatever we Generation X-ers watched in real time back before most of the people reading this were born. Or something.

So, I actually didn’t really like City of Stairs, which means I must have read it wrong or was busy having a pre-midlife crisis (not to be confused with the actual midlife crisis coming up here in less than two months) and temporarily out of my mind because there is no way I could have liked this so much and not liked that. A re-read is definitely on my to-do list – AFTER that mid-life crisis in August. (Getting old sucks in case no one ever told you. Yes, you do feel more self-assured and able to let your inner grouch out more freely. But, no one wants to get hairs in unwanted places and lose hair in wanted places. Let’s not get started on the fresh aches and pains where once was only strength and the gastrointestinal issues.)

Now that I’ve grossed you out sufficiently, let’s get down to business. I obviously can’t say too much because the book is not released yet. What I can say is that the world-building will blow your mind. Scriving is the ancient act of embedding objects with alchemic sigils that change the way they interact with reality. There are Houses in this world, which make up the ruling elite. They have scrivers and Founders and it’s like a competition for them to come up with new and better ways to scrive objects. This includes locks, gates, carriages, buildings, armor, weapons. Just about anything can be scrived. Including humans. But that is the big taboo and highly illegal.

Sancia is a poor thief, just trying to keep food in her belly and survive. She is the main character. Sancia is awesome. We should all strive to be more like Sancia. Except the stealing part. Well, unless you have to steal stuff to save the world. Then, it’s okay because world-saving and stuff.

Gregor is a war veteran and sort of like a police man. His big thing is justice and making the world a better place. He could learn to see things less in black and white, but he is doing the best he can. Gregor is a good guy.

Then we have Berenice and Orso. Berenice is a brilliant scriver and a student of Orso’s. He is the crotchety old dude who spits out whatever is in his head, which I have noticed is something that old people tend to do more. Maybe this is a part of growing up. I will be thinking more on this during my mid-life crisis in August. Sometimes, we should be more like Orso.

There are other characters. A couple of rogue scrivers who get added to our rag-tag team and some crazy Founders who want to become immortal and take over the world! The book is full of diverse people and strong females are well-represented.

And we can’t forget Clef, who is just about the BEST supporting inanimate object character ever. Only he’s not inanimate and I’m not saying anything else. Except Clef is awesome. We should be more like Clef, except for the part where he is SPOILER and the other part where we would have to SPOILER and no one would want that. *sadface*

Okay, so, to wrap this up, Foundryside is an excellent first book in a new trilogy/series/whatever. If you are a fantasy fan, there is no doubt you will sing the praises of this book. If you aren’t a fantasy fan, well then, you should be because fantasy is THE BEST and you are missing out on ALL THE WORLDS. Except ours, which is boring and mundane so I don’t like to read much of those kinds of books.

Bottom line: Foundryside checked all the boxes for me and you should read it!

Thank you Netgalley and publisher for providing a digital copy to read and review!

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