Foundryside A novel

Robert Jackson Bennett, 1984-

Book - 2018

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 Tevann...e 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.

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Series
Bennett, Robert Jackson, 1984- Founders trilogy ; bk. 1.
Subjects
Genres
Fantasy fiction
Novels
Published
New York : Crown [2018]
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
503 pages ; 25 cm
ISBN
1524760366
9781524760366
Main Author
Robert Jackson Bennett, 1984- (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* Bennett follows his Divine Cities trilogy (beginning with City of Stairs?, 2014) with a new fantasy set in a commercial city-state controlled by four founding houses. The rival families reside in luxurious walled territories, manipulating ancient magical symbols to enhance their positions. For those living on the streets outside, life is unregulated and a constant struggle. Young Sancia, former slave and thief extraordinaire, can feel both the texture and the history of anything she touches. She steals Clef, an unusually vocal artifact from a bygone age, for an unknown client. With the ability to open any lock but no memory of his origin, Clef is more than an animated inanimate object—he may be the literal key to everything. Soon Sancia and Clef are on the run from Gregor Dandolo, a war hero, only son of a founding matriarch, and captain of the city's new security force. Gregor has abandoned fighting and devoted himself to bringing justice to the lawless commons between the founders' territories. But someone from among the merchant houses is aware of Clef and is willing to kill Sancia, Gregor, and anyone else who gets in their way. The diverse, multifaceted characters, meticulous world building, and complex interhouse conflicts will draw readers into this new, action-packed fantasy series. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Industrialized magic, applying a technology called "scriving," is what makes the city of Tevanne run. Four merchant houses have monopolized and become wealthy by wielding this power, which imbues ordinary objects with sentience. Outside of their prosperous closed-off enclaves live the poor in crime-ridden communities; one of these residents is thief Sancia Grado, who ekes out a living using her own special talents for reading objects. When she steals a magical artifact from a heavily guarded warehouse on the city's docks, she comes into possession of an object that could change the world—or destroy it. Now someone wants her dead. Sancia joins forces with police captain Gregor Dandelo to stop those in power from achieving complete domination. VERDICT This engaging new series from Bennett ("Divine Cities" trilogy) features a masterly blend of fantastical magic with sf technology that will engage readers to the final page. [See Prepub Alert, 2/19/18].—Kristi Chadwick, Massachusetts Lib. Syst., Northampton Copyright 2018 Library Journal.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Bennett's stunning fantasy, the first in a series, is set in Tevanne, a city-state run by four merchant houses, funded by pillaging nearby lands and powered by scrivers who use sigils to make devices that defy reality. When talented thief Sancia Grado steals a sentient golden key named Clef, she's pursued by paladin-like police captain Gregor Dandolo, scion of the Dandolo merchant house. Clef and Sancia are both shocked when they find they can communicate telepathically. This and Sancia's other abilities—linked to a painful scar on her skull—hint at strange, terrible things in her past. When someone tries to kill Gregor to get Sancia, they discover that a very ambitious and powerful figure is building something that could "annihilate scriving on a mass scale," a disastrous disruption of Tevanne's society. With a little help from Gregor and Clef; Orso Ignacio, the eccentric Dandolo head of research; scriver Berenice Grimaldi; and other singularly skilled allies, Sancia sets out to pull off the most dangerous theft of her life. The endlessly inventive Bennett (the Divine Cities trilogy) brings humor and empathy to his portrayal of Sancia, a dark-skinned woman who bears substantial physical and psychological scars from being enslaved and experimented on, and who deeply resents her unwanted talents. Sancia and Clef's friendship is poignant, and her journey of self-realization serves as a backbone for nearly nonstop, cleverly choreographed action sequences. This is a crackling, wonderfully weird blend of science fiction, fantasy, heist adventure, and a pointed commentary on what it means to be human in a culture obsessed with technology, money, and power. Agent: Cameron McClure, Donald Maass Literary. (Aug.) Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

A thief in a city controlled by industrialized magic joins forces with a rare honest police officer to stop an ancient evil ritual that endangers thousands of lives. By the author of City of Stairs.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

A thief in a city controlled by industrialized magic joins forces with a rare honest police officer to stop an ancient evil ritual that endangers thousands of lives.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

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.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

"The exciting beginning of a promising new epic fantasy series. Prepare for ancient mysteries, innovative magic, and heart-pounding heists."'Brandon Sanderson'Complex characters, magic that is tech and vice versa, a world bound by warring trade dynasties: Bennett will leave you in awe once you remember to breathe!''tamora PierceIn a city that runs on industrialized magic, a secret war will be fought to overwrite reality itself'the first in a dazzling new series from City of Stairs author Robert Jackson Bennett.   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.