Review: Shorefall (The Founders Trilogy #2) by Robert Jackson Bennett

Rating: 9.5/10

Synopsis

The upstart firm Foundryside is struggling to make it. Orso Igancio and his star employee, former thief Sancia Grado, are accomplishing brilliant things with scriving, the magical art of encoding sentience into everyday objects, but it’s not enough. The massive merchant houses of Tevanne won’t tolerate competition, and they’re willing to do anything to crush Foundryside.

But even the merchant houses of Tevanne might have met their match. An immensely powerful and deadly entity has been resurrected in the shadows of Tevanne, one that’s not interested in wealth or trade routes: a hierophant, one of the ancient practitioners of scriving. And he has a great fascination for Foundryside, and its employees – especially Sancia.

Now Sancia and the rest of Foundryside must race to combat this new menace, which means understanding the origins of scriving itself – before the hierophant burns Tevanne to the ground.

Review

Thanks to the publisher and author for an advance copy of Shorefall (The Founders Trilogy #2) for review consideration. This did not influence my thoughts or opinions.

Shorefall is simply awe-inspiring. Bennett is a unique talent in the genre and we are not worthy.

Are we sure this is the 2nd book in the series? Can anyone go on a fact-finding mission and double check? Sequels aren’t supposed to be this good, like ever. I am almost taken aback that Bennett took the opportunity to write a book that was actually as good if not better than its predecessor. WHO DOES THAT?!?!?!

Did you love Foundryside? Are you hesitant about going into Shorefall because of 2nd book syndrome? Well, don’t be. Everything you remember about Book 1 is about to be turned on its head. Injected with reality-bending ideas, a horrifying antagonist, and new wrinkles to the art of scriving, this novel takes everything you enjoyed about Book 1 and turns it up to 11. Best part about it, all of the characters you became enamored with are back and are still the focal point of this ongoing story.

I cannot get over the beauty and intricacy of ‘scriving’. While I thought there was no way Bennett could top what we saw in Foundryside, he just brings it so much harder this time around. Moving on from everyday objects and onto reality itself, the implications become bigger than anyone anticipated; even more so when this ancient entity comes into play. But the mainstay for the series up to this point, and I expect going into Book 3, are the characters. The Foundryside group is in it for the long haul and you cannot name a more intriguing and enamoring cast of characters. From their inner-circle banter to the relationships they have with one another (personal and work-related), you cannot help but get behind them every step of the way.

I literally binged this book in a day via audio. If you really need to know how good it is, the audiobook is 19 hours and 40 minutes. Almost an entire day’s worth of audiobook goodness for those counting. If you enjoy audiobooks and plan on continuing this series, you cannot go wrong with Tara Sand’s narration. She killed Book 1, and she is back to murder Book 2. I cannot WAIT for Book 3.

Read Foundryside? Read this.
Haven’t read Foundryside? What are you waiting for?
Read Shorefall? Holler at me.

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