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Publisher's Summary

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

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

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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.

4 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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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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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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good plot, terrible writing

characters from various backgrounds talk and act the same with minor historic difference that don't play into who they are for most of the book. people become really stupid or really smart to add some kind of intensity to situations. characteristics of magic items are reapeated over and over again and then their effects promptly ignored for dramas sake. if I had a nickel for evertime someone said what's going on, or that's impossible, or 'love' this series would be free. dialog is very flat, nothing clever or thoughtful really. couldn't even finish the last 30 minutes it got so dull. was a very promising world though and there were some interesting things.

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Disappointing second book

I really enjoyed the first book of this series but man this one was just boring. Cleft was one of my favorite parts of the first book and I'd like to have seen more of him in this book. There's some humor and fun missing when Cleft isn't in the book.

Crasedes was just not that interesting of a Villain to me. This book lacked a bit of the excitement and adventure that was in the first book. I'd just like to see more of this world. Why does everything revolve around one city, isn't there anything else going on in other areas?

I'll probably continue on and check out the third book when it comes out, hopefully it gets better but if it's as boring as this was it's going to be a sleeper.

Tara Sands continues to be a good narrator for this series.

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this will have up for nights just like Fondryside

incredible, can't wait for the next one. great writing. amazing performance by narrator. This is definitely a don't miss!!!

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amazing story

cant wait for the next in the series. the pacing and action always keep you wanting more.

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    4 out of 5 stars

this author is my favorite by far fiction writer

I can't say I love this one in fact I kind of struggled to finish it. Foundryside the first book in the series was absolutely one of the greatest books ever written in as far as fantasy goes in my opinion Im a member of the Robert Jackson patronage I follow him on Twitter. I like a lot of people contacted him via Twitter to congratulate him on the release of this book. I am a huge fan I do feel like this book missed the mark slightly yet it is definitely worth reading but not a Worthy successor to Foundryside. best of luck to all Robert Jackson followers and readers hopefully that's the next book will be a homerun and please remember not everyone picthes a shutout every night and I still love Robert Jackson Bennett. he will remain as always remember of my Mount Rushmore all fiction writers