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Publisher's Summary

As a magical revolution remakes a city, an ancient evil is awakened in a brilliant novel from the Hugo-nominated author of Foundryside and the Divine Cities trilogy.

“An absolutely wild ride...Foundryside blew me away, and this is a perfect sequel.” (Amal El-Mohtar, The New York Times Book Review)

A few years ago, Sancia Grado would’ve happily watched Tevanne burn. Now, she’s hoping to transform her city into something new. Something better. Together with allies Orso, Gregor, and Berenice, she’s about to strike a deadly blow against Tevanne’s cruel robber-baron rulers and wrest power from their hands for the first time in decades.

But then comes a terrifying warning: Crasedes Magnus himself, the first of the legendary hierophants, is about to be reborn. And if he returns, Tevanne will be just the first place to feel his wrath.

Thousands of years ago, Crasedes was an ordinary man who did the impossible: Using the magic of scriving - the art of imbuing objects with sentience - he convinced reality that he was something more than human. Wielding powers beyond comprehension, he strode the world like a god for centuries, meting out justice and razing empires single-handedly, cleansing the world through fire and destruction - and even defeating death itself.

Like it or not, it’s up to Sancia to stop him. But to have a chance in the battle to come, she’ll have to call upon a god of her own - and unlock the door to a scriving technology that could change what it means to be human. And no matter who wins, nothing will ever be the same.

The awe-inspiring second installment of the Founders Trilogy, Shorefall returns us to the world Robert Jackson Bennett created in his acclaimed Foundryside...and forges it anew.

©2020 Robert Jackson Bennett (P)2020 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“The book I’ve most thoroughly and uncomplicatedly enjoyed this year so far. It shocked and delighted and upset me from page to page, managing to thread humor and pathos and intrigue together with the speed and precision of a loom. Its comments on our present moment are so deft and sly that when they turn earnest it’s deeply affecting....[and] sometimes brought me to tears...I’m so excited to see what happens next.” (Amal El-Mohtar, The New York Times)

"Bennett’s characterization...strikes a perfect balance between terror and allure. This thrilling installment will leave readers eager for the series finale." (Publishers Weekly

"An expertly spun yarn by one of the best fantasy writers on the scene today." (Kirkus Reviews)

What listeners say about Shorefall

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

The sequel is never as good as the original

I Returned for the charterers. The main characters developed in Book 1, Foundryside, did not disappoint. The protagonist are unlikely allies brought together by their idealistic opposition to an seemingly oppressive oligarchical system. I really enjoyed the characters who succeeded so often with a combination of intelligence and dumb luck. Their relationships and goals are complicated and intriguing. However, It's impossible to ignore the political undertones of the book. The protagonist scheme to redistribute wealth is all to overt but the reader is lead to accept this because the major houses, called Campos, deal not only in magical technology but slavery and torture. Instead of our heros attempting to end slave trade and rights violations, something we can all agree with, they are instead relagated to fantasy hackers with an intent to destroy the entire system. Luckily this takes a back seat in act 3 when two new nastier magical opponents appear. One intent on using magic to reshape the world in his image; a plan that is childish and petulant. The other, set on cleansing the world of the magic that makes it.

I enjoyed the book because I enjoyed the characters and frankly I enjoy the escapism of most books but it's not by any means as engrossing as many other constructed world books. You won't find it hard to put down but it won't be a one star disappointment either.

5 people found this helpful

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  • lf
  • 06-04-20

It's just not very good.

I wanted to like this. I read Foundryside, the first book in this series, when it came out. It's been a while, but I had fond memories of it. When Shorefall came out I got both of them on an Audible promotion and was well pleased.

That lasted until about 3/4 of the way through the first book. It ended, I thought, "Okay, maybe that wasn't quite as good as I remembered, but it was decent. Tally-ho," and moved on to Shorefall.

Shorefall seems to have left behind the enjoyable character interplay from book one in exchange for a weaker plot with a number of painful holes and things that just didn't make sense.

I won't continue with this series, and honestly I probably won't get all the way through this audiobook... thirteen hours in and the history of political interference by the KGB is looking way less painful to listen to.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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If you liked the first...

If you liked the first book, this a lot more of that! plot and world grow, hijinks ensue, gods clash, and madness threatens! Enjoy :)

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Story is fun, but one character's voice is bad

I am writing mainly because I cannot stand how Tara Sands voices Valeria. I get it - she is like an AI. And she gives it the most static, painful voice possible. She has a not insignificant amount of lines in this book, and hearing the voice for Valeria makes me want to stop listening.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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good second book great performance

thanks once again to Tara for bringing this book to life. cool story, grrat concept, fun and geeky and fantastical.

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    3 out of 5 stars

Great concepts, poor execution

The author has some great ideas for his magic system, and wants too tackle some interesting issues, however the characters feel awkward, the application of the magic is inconsistent, characters that are supposed to be brilliant seem inexplicably incapable, and above all the dialogue is cliche and feels unpracticed.

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Much worse than the first book

Tons of exposition, it breaks its own rules seemingly without realizing it, characters routinely don't understand obvious developments (even after a similar thing just happened), and a lack of character development

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Unlistenable

The constant “said this person” “said that person “ much like a Dick and Jane reader, is distracting to the point of making the suspension of disbelief impossible.

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Great follow up to book 1

I’ve read some reviews that weren’t really good and I have to say I disagree. This has been a fine follow up, lots of twists and turns you don’t see from a mile away. If you enjoyed the first one, this is a safe bet. The magic system holds very well and so do the characters. Now on to waiting book 3 :)

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Excellent

Excellent sequel. Just when I hoped for a happy(ish) ending, Bennett butchered, mercilessly, my hopes. Book 3 gets on my buy instantly list.