Shorefall by Robert Jackson Bennett

First, I want to say that this book meant so much more to me than simple words on the page. When I started reviewing and blogging two years ago Foundryside was the first big SFF book I reviewed. I loved it and it sent me on the path to more and more fantasy reads, picking up indie and mainstream published books left and right. It made me proud to be shouting about books! And reading the sequel puts me in the exact same frame of mind.

The other reason this book has affected me so much is because of the Shelter in Place that so many of us around the nation have been in over the past several weeks. I have really struggled with focusing and calming down my eyes and brain from the constant input of graphs and numbers from the pandemic. Picking up Shorefall was the escape I absolutely needed.

In Foundryside I connected with Sancia and her thievery, I connected so well with the magic system of scriving, and the perfectly shaped world of Tevanne. And in Shorefall, I found all that waiting for me and more. An economic and social earthquake has hit the foundations of the Houses that have been the unrelenting backbone of the city for so many years. Sancia and her cohorts have developed a library of scrives that anyone can contribute to and take from. A democratic place of learning that is in direct opposition to the power of the knowledge held by the elite few.

But someone is fighting back… and has tracked down one tiny part of an immortal and brought it back to take on the misfit crew. This is not a sequel boss by any means… Y’know, that one that isn’t good enough to kick off the series with, and the author waits til the second book to shoehorn it in… This being is a distillation of evil, one who can scrive time and is willing to sacrifice the lives of any who get in his way.

Sancia is wracked with trepidation, and Bennett adds an ambiguity to the characters and their motivations that keeps the tension high. She is pulled in twenty different directions and the reader is right there by her side.

In short, I loved this escape. It was exactly what I needed.

5 out of 5 stars

Thank you to NetGalley, Del Rey Books, and the author for an advanced copy for review.

13 thoughts on “Shorefall by Robert Jackson Bennett

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  1. Great review Paul !!! I’m unable to concentrate these days either and have been trying out more short stories/novellas. I should read this one soon though, because just like you, it is special to me. When I started blogging, the Divine Cities was one of the earliest adult fantasy series I ever reviewed and every book by the author only proves why he is such an awesome writer.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I completely agree. His worlds and magic systems make me sit up and wonder. What great imagination.


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