Your audiobook is waiting…

City of Stairs

Narrated by: Buffy Davis
Series: The Divine Cities, Book 1
Length: 20 hrs and 3 mins
4 out of 5 stars (19 ratings)

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

You've got to be careful when you're chasing a murderer through Bulikov, for the world is not as it should be in that city. When the gods were destroyed and all worship of them banned by the Polis, reality folded; now stairs lead to nowhere, alleyways have become portals to the past, and criminals disappear into thin air.

The murder of Dr Efrem Pangyui, the Polis diplomat researching the Continent's past, has begun something, and now whispers of an uprising flutter out from invisible corners. Only one woman may be willing to pursue the truth - but it is likely to cost her everything.

©2014 Robert Jackson Bennett (P)2015 WF Howes Ltd

Critic Reviews

"A smooth novel of near perfection and the best Epic Fantasy novel I've read this year. I cannot recommend this novel highly enough." ( SFF World)
"With nods to Neil Gaiman's slumbering deities, Ursula K. LeGuin's two-faced political schemers and China Miéville's labyrinthine worlds, City Of Stairs is a compulsively readable and thought-provoking tale that confirms the author as one of the genre's most exciting talents." ( SciFiNow)
"[Bennett has] said that he hopes that his readers learn something definite about the world from his books; he's succeeded in his aim. A murder mystery, spy thriller, fantasy adventure and philosophical treatise rolled into one. Highly recommended." ( Sci-Fi Bulletin)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    7
  • 4 Stars
    7
  • 3 Stars
    4
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    8
  • 4 Stars
    5
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    8
  • 4 Stars
    5
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    1
Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Slow starter, big finish

I almost gave up on this book due to the slow start, but I'm glad I didn't.

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Mr. M. Edwards
  • Mr. M. Edwards
  • 11-20-16

Fantastic narration of a fantastic story

A little overlong, and it slightly drags in places, but this is a brilliantly original fantasy.
The world building is good, as is the twisty turny plot. It's peripherally simiar to Richard Morgan's series of fantasty, but with a lighter tone and a great deal of heart.
Highly recommended.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Breakfast
  • Breakfast
  • 09-22-16

Layered intelligent fantasy

I really enjoyed this - interesting characters, a fascinating world and a complex and credible clash of cultures. A spy thriller with a hint of detective story set in a city transformed by destruction of the gods who once lived there. Basically every aspect of this is pretty great. Also it is well read. All in all one of the best audio books I have listened to.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Steve
  • Steve
  • 08-09-17

Takes time to get into it but ok in the end

There is a very slow start here hindered by the narrator who uses such screechy tones at times it was close to being returned. I persisted however and it was nice to be rewarded with an original fantasy/steampunk. There are niggles here and there but I'll probably check out the next in the series. Worth a go if you fancy something a little different.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for james
  • james
  • 12-25-15

Great deconstruction of the consequences of God's

Fantastic book very clever idea played out with imagination and verve. Well worth a read for any fan of contemporary fantasy

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Mr. J. Darkins
  • Mr. J. Darkins
  • 03-26-19

dry but good story, poor performance

the story was good and original. loved the world created. interesting characters.

the story teller was really poor. inaudible at some points and sloppily read key exciting passages. she didn't get me excited about the book and didn't sound like she enjoyed it at all. real shame.

author did well weaving threads of references back into the book to provide a well thought out complex story.

the political side I was far less interested in than the exciting divinity side. not sure why it felt like steam punk. felt like a better fit for fantasy, especially with Sigrid.

wouldn't read another if similar reviews, but will follow authors next books. amazing imagination.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Fathands
  • Fathands
  • 02-06-19

funny engaging strange

great mix of humour, humanity, social commentary and the extraordinary. great female lead and fleshed out supporting cast

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for A.
  • A.
  • 05-14-16

Excellent listen.

Took a while to get used to the narrator but we'll worth the wait. Good

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Craig
  • Craig
  • 04-20-16

Interesting read.

Innovative world building. Complex characters. Intriguing plot. Creative magic system. Stylish prose. Great performance from the narrator. If you want something a bit different from your usual fantasy fix, then give it a crack.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for John
  • John
  • 12-22-15

Engaging Story

Would you listen to City of Stairs again? Why?

No, I much more interested in reading the Sequel. Good book, I just don't listen to books twice as prefer something new.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Sigrud, the tough man of little words but much action.
I don't like to say there are favourites. I found all characters well written and engaging.
It is the interplay that makes a character to me.

What about Buffy Davis’s performance did you like?

Performance was good.
I am sometime irritated by the voice. Not so here. Allowed to focus on the story rather the reader.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I enjoyed how the book developed continually. I related it to a post war world with a spy drama unfolding in a world of state vs religion. The overall look at religion vs ordered state was an enjoyable on for me.

Any additional comments?

Great book, well written. A change from my usual fantasy type read but really enjoyed and delighted to see squeal is available in couple of weeks.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anja Hummer
  • Anja Hummer
  • 09-25-19

one of my favourite books

I've been in love with this story ever since I first read it, it has one of the best worlds to escape to. The narrator does a good enough job at reading this masterpiece, however, she does some voices, especially Shara's (the main character's), that are almost unbearable to listen to. i winced every time Shara spoke. sadly, that really affected how much i enjoyed this book.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Tonyo
  • Tonyo
  • 06-07-16

a scifi with a nice who dunnit

This is an interesting mix of scifi with a nurder mystery. It is best not to say more - a good read

1 of 2 people found this review helpful