Regular price: $38.50

Membership details Membership details
  • 30 days of membership free, plus 1 audiobook and 2 Audible Originals to get you started.
  • After trial, you'll get 3 titles each month: 1 audiobook and 2 Audible Originals of your choice.
  • Don't like your audiobook? Swap it for free.
  • Cancel anytime and keep your audiobooks.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
  • Get access to the Member Daily Deal
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

"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 Pierce)

In a city that runs on industrialized magic, a secret war will be fought to overwrite reality itself - the first in a dazzling new fantasy 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.

©2018 Robert Jackson Bennett (P)2018 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"A stunning fantasy [from] the endlessly inventive Bennett...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." (Publishers Weekly)

"Mona Lisa meets The Matrix... A grand entertainment [that] inaugurates another series of imaginative, thoroughly idiosyncratic fantasy novels." (Kirkus Reviews)

“In Foundryside, scriving magic is the cheat code to reality, and Bennett is a master gamer. A refreshing look at magic - featuring a heroine every reader will root for - from one of the smartest writers I know.” (Peter V. Brett, New York Times best-selling author of The Demon Cycle)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    298
  • 4 Stars
    150
  • 3 Stars
    45
  • 2 Stars
    8
  • 1 Stars
    7

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    298
  • 4 Stars
    130
  • 3 Stars
    29
  • 2 Stars
    10
  • 1 Stars
    9

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    285
  • 4 Stars
    138
  • 3 Stars
    36
  • 2 Stars
    12
  • 1 Stars
    5
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing Fantasy

This book was amazing. With a well thought out magic system, engaging characters, a plot that pulls few punches, after writing the Divine Cities Trilogy Robert Jackson Bennett strikes again as a fantasy author with a new series that looks to be shaping up to be another great one.

For me this book ticks many boxes that a great fantasy should have. A sense of discovery, abundant magic, society shaped by that magic, a consistent story, and after finishing you feel like you accomplished something, gained a new perspective, and new characters to cherish and imagine.

Tara Sands was a great voice for this novel captures the characters well and the tone of the story. The production was on point.

Not having much more to say and not wanting to spoil the novel the book, my recommendation is: BUY

17 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

A bit childish

After the elegant complexity of the Divine Cities Series, this book seems a bit simple and straightforward. There were a lot of well used tropes which I was surprised that Mr. Bennett employed. Poor but fiery street urchin, a starkly divided society with clear good guys and bad guys. It’s not bad but I expected a bit more layering, depth and intricacy from a writer as good and creative as Mr. Bennett.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Cool Idea, Weak Writing

Very interesting concept, let down by the writing. Character development was poor, language usage was weak(how many times can you say sh*t in one book...). the concept and my compulsion to finish stories kept me going through the end, but I have no interest in reading more of this series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

If you know the work of Brandon Sanderson, you’ll enjoy this.

Although it could very well be part of the cosmere as it’s so similar in style and magic system. (Set in the Elantris world most likely). I wish the book had developed the “bad” character a bit more. Sometime it feels a bit gratuitous or over-exaggerated. The second and last thing, I also wish the romance part was further developed. It really comes out of the blue although it get better by the end, I’m not sure it should have been delayed to the next book where it could get more pages. Overall great listen, good narrator and engaging story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Another excellent book by Robert Jackson Bennett

Audio
-----------------
Tara Sands does a fine job, making the audio a decent option. Her normal reading voice seems like a good fit for the protagonist and does some additional voices that adds that little extra something to the book.

Story
--------------------
I'm typically a big fan of thief protagonists, and heist stories, so it's no surprise that I was excited to see how RJB tackled the genre. I really loved his Divine City books, especially the first two and I was looking forward to read a story in a different setting.

Sancia is a pretty good protagonist, although I didn't connect to her right away. Once things finally got going with the magic key however, things picked up quite a bit for me.

The story in this book was enjoyable, but for me the best part was the excellent magic system. I'm a sucker for a well thought out and detailed magic system. I'm a software engineer by trade. The details of how scriving works reminds me a lot of how software is built. You start with a foundation of lower level language and build higher level languages on top of that.

I loved, loved LOVED this system, and I'm hoping we continue to get some more interesting details about it as the series progresses.

Overall this was a pretty solid start to a new series that only got better as the book went along. I'm really looking forward to seeing where he takes things next. If you haven't read anything by Robert Jackson Bennett, I highly recommend it. His Divine cities books are excellent, and this one is right up there with them.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Slow start, but great ending.

Really descriptive characters and places make this book really fun. The slow start does help fill the reader in about the past and how it relates to the present problems.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

GREEAAAT!

The world and magic system reminds me of Brandon Sanderson (my favorite author). This is an extremely well written and worthwhile book. Buy it.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Can't wait for more

Very interesting story and I look forward to more in this series.

The narrator has a limited variety of male voices and isn't at all convincing within that range. Even her female voices sometimes fold into each other so that sometimes midsentence her voice sounds like a different character than she started the sentence portraying. Nonetheless, I found her reading to be very entertaining.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Solid fantasy, got better as the book progressed

Compelling main character. Decent job keeping a fun, exciting tone while still exploring serious, traumatic personal and social issues. Interesting fantasy element but often a bit hard to suspend disbelief with how it was written.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

great new fantasy. but a lot of deus machina

great new fantasy. but a lot of deus machina, quite literally the whole story is about deus ex machina I suppose