"Foundryside", by Robert Jackson Bennett

Foundryside - Robert Jackson Bennett

Book #1, in the Founders series

This is one weird story that may please fans of heists and mostly those enjoying fantasies. Reading this book was a new experience for me, I did not know of Mr. Bennett and less of his works so I was eager to see what he had in store for me the main reason I accepted the invitation to read “Foundryside”.

The plot is mostly a series of heists and a cat and mouse game taking place in a city controlled by merchant houses. The setting is at the most unusual, a unrealistic vision beyond fantasy where the players use a complex magic system “scriving” for their purpose and to interact with the world…….

To be fair, this is not my preferred genre and by far. Reviews praised this book but I never finished it…I rarely do this but ¾ into it I had enough and closed it. I urge readers to see what others reviewers think before discarding this book.

What made me stop reading the book?

Too much information dumping, the author spends a lot of time describing the “scriving” on objects and tends to repeat himself. The scenes were too hard to visualize, the action too Harry Potter for my taste, the vernacular language that kept creeping at times was hard to follow. To be picky I also didn’t like the presentation: to differentiate the narrators the story is told by alternating pages some written in regular style text and others in italics. I also found the book to have a strange combination of “scriving” and politics. Finally, this story never tweaked…. definitely I am not a fan of fantasies…. 

On the positive side

The story is at most imaginative, the magic system quite original, the constant mystery behind Sancia’s power added suspense and some intrigue, as for the characterization: the players are fairly well-developed. 

Since “Foundryside” did not strike a chord it was a hard book for me to rate. But this story may be up your alley, so take my review with a grain of salt. My apologies to the author for my unfavourable thoughts.

My thanks to Crown Publishing and NetGalley for the advanced reader copy.