adbl_ms_membershipImage_includedwith_altText_B076FLV3HT
adbl_ms_membershipImage_includedwith_altText_B076FLV3HT

1 audiobook of your choice.
Stream or download thousands of included titles.
$14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $38.50

Buy for $38.50

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

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

“An absolutely riveting secondary world fantasy.... I felt fully, utterly engaged by the ideas, actually in love with the core characters for their differences and the immensely generative friction between them, and in awe of Bennett’s craft. I went to bed late reading it and woke up early to finish it. A magnificent, mind-blowing start to a series I’m hungry for.” (Amal El-Mohtar, New York Times Book Review

“An excellent first novel in what promises to be another home-run series for Bennett [featuring] expert writing, complicated and distinct characters, and an intriguing, deadly, wonderful new city where reality can be shuffled like a deck of cards, provided you can justify it.” (Tor.com)    

 
“An epic, breathtaking novel that’s as much cyberpunk as it is fantasy...Bennett lays out a fantastic story ladened with fantastic characters, but it’s his take on magic that stands out here.” (The Verge

What listeners say about Foundryside

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    866
  • 4 Stars
    468
  • 3 Stars
    145
  • 2 Stars
    34
  • 1 Stars
    28
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    860
  • 4 Stars
    358
  • 3 Stars
    115
  • 2 Stars
    36
  • 1 Stars
    31
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    806
  • 4 Stars
    411
  • 3 Stars
    113
  • 2 Stars
    45
  • 1 Stars
    26

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Parts & Sums

This book was a rare experience for me. I liked many of the PARTS but had issues with their SUM. I loved the characters. I liked the magic/science. I even liked the over-arching plot. In the end, though, i had so many issues that i struggled to keep going chapter after chapter. Many of my complaints will likely just apply to me but here we go.

* For a fantasy world where they established their own lingo and slang and descriptions and names for things, the writer uses too many common/modern phrases to keep understandable to regular readers. Some of these are just overused like "shit" when they spent time to explain & established "scrum" as a perfectly sensible replacement. They kept saying, "oh my god" or "what the hell" but those mean nothing as they we don't have any understanding of the religions in Tevan so what does "god or hell" even mean to them. Also, later in the book, the term "god" is used in the ways don't seem to mesh with their earlier uses.

* I understand the need to establish characters, themes, schemes, and world build but this story tries to twist and weave too many times trying to introduce B-stories, C-stories, D-stories and more all at once. It would have been a better story had they kept it clean and direct. They were already throwing a lot at the wall, we didn't need so many subplots.

* Also, the action felt somewhat unintelligible at times. Likely as part of my earlier point, too much going on does not help storytelling.

17 people found this helpful

  • 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

26 people found this helpful

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

Don’t give up on this book too quickly

This was some tough sledding in the beginning but once the cast of characters grew a bit it became fairly entertaining. I guess there are plenty of books where you don’t have to suffer through a weak beginning so I’m not gonna say it’s absolutely necessary but you do get sorta rewarded for pushing through. I’ll read/listen to more of this series, it’s not a stunning literary achievement or anything but it’s worth a read/listen once you get past the unappealing start. Some vocal choices that seemed odd were made by the narrator but nothing that will ruin it for you.

8 people found this helpful

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

Loved the Story, Did not Care for the Story Teller

I thought the story and writing were great, but I could not get past the terrible voices Tara Sands gave each character. I hope they use a different narrator for the rest of the series.

16 people found this helpful

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

Disappointing but with potential

I remember being impressed by City of Stairs by RJB despite its pulpier moments, but this book did not hit the same high notes.
The magic system is interesting and used to good effect, but the worldbuilding itself is a bit flat and unevocative. The characters have personality, but are not fully rounded. The plot had some twists and turns, but they were often telegraphed by some slightly heavy-handed exposition.
It is not a bad book, and the ending left me intrigued about the sequel, but it still left me a bit disappointed, although I can't deny that I was entertained through out.

5 people found this helpful

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

Perfect

I go through Books like crazy. This one stays with you and in my opinion is perfect. It has everything I hope for as well as so many things unexpected. I am eagerly awaiting the sequel and this author is now on my top authors list.
The narration was outstanding.
Thank you for the amazing ride!!!

4 people found this helpful

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

Narration was awful

The premise of this book sounded interesting. I was able to make it about 20 minutes in before I had to stop. Tara is overly dramatic in every single sentence, it almost sounded like a joke. Her inflections and sarcastic tone she gave to the main feel she gave to the main character made her feel childish. I would recommend reading this one.

12 people found this helpful

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

Decent book, HORRIBLE narrator

I enjoyed the story, the characters were decent, the narrator ruined it and made the book sound so juvenile and childish. An adult book with a child narrator 😖 did not fit with the main Character at all. I wish I read it instead of listening to it

3 people found this helpful

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

Nope

Right from the get go I knew this one wasn’t for me. Probably great for a younger audience. I need a story to be told in a unique way right from the start, without cliches and without the feeling that the author just wants to jump into the action.

3 people found this helpful

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

boring

stupid protagonist
techno magic
that weird trope of the wisecracking talking all powerful object

confused upwind and down wind

etc

Undeveloped characters with no backstory or motivation. Super sweaty obvious mystery that the character is mysteriously blind to.

2 people found this helpful