Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett | Book Review

“All things have a value. Sometimes the value is paid in coin. Other times, it is paid in time and sweat. And finally, sometimes it is paid in blood. Humanity seems most eager to use this latter currency. And we never note how much of it we’re spending, unless it happens to be our own.

Foundryside, Robert Jackson Bennett

This review is spoiler-free.

Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennet the Founders Trilogy book coverTitle: Foundryside
Series: The Founders Trilogy, #1
Author: Robert Jackson Bennett
Published: August 21, 2018
Publisher: Crown
Category: adult
Genre: fantasy
Pages: 505
My Rating: ★★★★☆
Goodreads page

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Synopsis

Sancia Grado is a thief, and a damn good one. And her latest target, a heavily guarded warehouse on Tevanne’s docks, is nothing her unique abilities can’t handle.

But unbeknownst to her, Sancia’s been sent to steal an artifact of unimaginable power, an object that could revolutionize the magical technology known as scriving. The Merchant Houses who control this magic–the art of using coded commands to imbue everyday objects with sentience–have already used it to transform Tevanne into a vast, remorseless capitalist machine. But if they can unlock the artifact’s secrets, they will rewrite the world itself to suit their aims.

Now someone in those Houses wants Sancia dead, and the artifact for themselves. And in the city of Tevanne, there’s nobody with the power to stop them.

To have a chance at surviving—and at stopping the deadly transformation that’s under way—Sancia will have to marshal unlikely allies, learn to harness the artifact’s power for herself, and undergo her own transformation, one that will turn her into something she could never have imagined.

[ This synopsis was taken directly from Goodreads. ]

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Thoughts

I loved this book. There’s something about adult fantasy books that feels so fulfilling. The enriched world, the characters, the plot, everything felt so real. I could definitely see this world existing in real life, because a lot of the structure and how the society is run is similar to our world (minus the magical elements).

This might be a little shocking, but for once in my life I’m glad the story doesn’t focus too much on the romance. For those who don’t know, I’m a huge romantic at heart and love to read romance books/stories that are romance-focused. The world and plot are so engaging that I didn’t want them to hide behind a romantic relationship.

On a similar note, I’m glad that the author didn’t make a huge deal that some of his characters are LGBTQ+. The fact that Bennett didn’t emphasize his characters’ non-hetero sexualities showed that it’s normal in the Foundryside. That sort of normalization of LGBTQ-ness (yes, I know that isn’t a word) is something I appreciated. It was a nice change of pace from a lot of LGBTQ+ books I’ve read. Seeing that being LGBTQ+ is normal in this world (which is similar to the real world) is like glimpsing into an alternate universe/a possible future where there is little to no hate based on sexuality. I think books that focus on and celebrate being LGBTQ+ are important and great, but I also like seeing different sexualities incorporated into a bigger story.

This book is told in a couple different perspectives. The main three voices are Sancia, Orso, and Gregory. It mainly focuses on Sancia, but the others make frequent appearances. There are a few chapters that are told from some minor characters’ perspectives, but it’s usually the main three. One thing I love about this shifting perspectives is that it tells the story from a bunch of different lenses and backgrounds. I think what I wrote in my review journal speaks for itself: “There is the perspective of the rich, the poor, and from a time before.” What that means, you’ll have to read to find out.

While I couldn’t understand a lot of the mumbo jumbo about scriving, that didn’t take away from the reading experience. You don’t need to understand how it works to get the story. Not going to lie, I skimmed the times they went into detail about scriving because my two brain cells were not going to understand even if they tried. All you need to know is that it’s kind of like programming/coding, and it’s super complicated.

All that being said, the one downfall is that (what I assume was supposed to be) the big plot twist was fairly predictable. However, what happened after the plot twist was something I did not expect. When I read the plot twist my only thought was that’s it? but the ending redeemed itself by surprising me. I don’t want to go more into it because you need to read this book to find out what happens for yourself.

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Conclusion

I give Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett 4 out of 5 stars!

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Heists, yes or no?
What are your thoughts on YA fantasy vs adult fantasy?
If you could have one unique superpower, what would it be?

❤ Let me know your thoughts in the comments! ❤

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Stay awkward and amazing!

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