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City of Stairs

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City of Stairs Cover

ISBN13: 9780804137171
ISBN10: 080413717x
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

US

Review:

"Bennett (American Elsewhere) ventures into secondary-world fantasy in this action-packed, occasionally numinous, noir-like novel, which combines metaphysical and geopolitical observations. The city of Bulikov, once the sacred seat of a brutal, miracle-fueled empire, now stagnates under the administration of its former colony Saypur, which has become a technology-driven superpower. Exiled operative Ashara Komayd is the privileged great-granddaughter of the last Kaj of Saypur, the man who killed the Divinities, thereby both literally and politically destabilizing an entire continent. While investigating the politically inflammatory murder of a Saypuri professor who was studying Bulikov's censored history, she finds disquieting evidence that some Divinities — and their legacy — may yet survive. Bennett largely sidesteps questions of colonialism and cultural appropriation in his tightly paced mystery, but supporting characters like Ashara's indestructible aide, Sigrud, and conflicted ex-lover Vohannes Votrov flesh out the otherwise narrowly focused setting. The open ending promises a sequel. Agent: Cameron McClure, Donald Maass Literary Agency. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

About the Author

ROBERT JACKSON BENNETT is the author of American Elsewhere, The Troupe, The Company Man, and Mr. Shivers. His books have been awarded the Edgar Award, the Shirley Jackson, and the Philip K. Dick Citation of Excellence. He lives in Austin with his wife and son. 

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Wendy Edsall-Kerwin, October 21, 2014 (view all comments by Wendy Edsall-Kerwin)
I wasn't sure what to expect of this book since I hadn't heard of the author before. I enjoy reading about interesting fantasy religions and the interplay between believers, nonbelievers, and deities, so this book sounded like something I would enjoy. And I did! It was fast reading and I kept wanting to go back to it after I put it down.

Some interesting points: this was not a rehash of European or American type worlds, if anything, it was analogous to Russia/Central Asia/India/Indonesia type peoples and places. The main character was a female spy who wasn't white. There are gay people in it. I only point this out because it still isn't common to find these things in nonantagonistical ways. This is refreshing and I hope more people write books including different viewpoints and other cultures.

That being said, this book is definitely a fantasy novel and not a lightly veiled, rehashed version of our world. It is many things: fantasy, urban fantasy, spy thriller, political thriller (to a point), and academic mystery. It isn't overtly any of these things and it deals with imperialism and oppression in a different kind of way. The characters are interesting, though it is the main character who is the most fleshed out. For a stand alone novel you are offered enough of each person to understand their motivations (when you are supposed to), but certain people could've used a little more detail. Since we are reading primarily from one character's POV, this is understandable and not too off putting.

Overall I enjoyed this world and would like to read more of it (though I am a fan of well-written stand alone novels, not everything needs to be 12 books or more.) The biggest problem would be that I was able to infer certain "suprising" events and it was slightly confusing to figure out at first what sort of technological advancement this world works at. The uniqueness of the world and characters I mentioned above were definitely enough to entice me to read more by this author.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780804137171
Author:
Bennett, Robert Jackson
Publisher:
Broadway Books
Author:
Jackson Bennett, Robert
Subject:
Fantasy - Epic
Subject:
Science Fiction and Fantasy-Fantasy-Epic
Subject:
Fantasy fiction
Subject:
fantasy;fiction;science fiction;religion
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20140931
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
464
Dimensions:
7.95 x 5.16 x 0.94 in 0.76 lb

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Related Subjects

Featured Titles » Genre
Fiction and Poetry » Horror » General
Fiction and Poetry » Popular Fiction » Suspense
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » Fantasy » Epic
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » Fantasy » Urban Life

City of Stairs Used Trade Paper
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$10.50 In Stock
Product details 464 pages Broadway Books - English 9780804137171 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Bennett (American Elsewhere) ventures into secondary-world fantasy in this action-packed, occasionally numinous, noir-like novel, which combines metaphysical and geopolitical observations. The city of Bulikov, once the sacred seat of a brutal, miracle-fueled empire, now stagnates under the administration of its former colony Saypur, which has become a technology-driven superpower. Exiled operative Ashara Komayd is the privileged great-granddaughter of the last Kaj of Saypur, the man who killed the Divinities, thereby both literally and politically destabilizing an entire continent. While investigating the politically inflammatory murder of a Saypuri professor who was studying Bulikov's censored history, she finds disquieting evidence that some Divinities — and their legacy — may yet survive. Bennett largely sidesteps questions of colonialism and cultural appropriation in his tightly paced mystery, but supporting characters like Ashara's indestructible aide, Sigrud, and conflicted ex-lover Vohannes Votrov flesh out the otherwise narrowly focused setting. The open ending promises a sequel. Agent: Cameron McClure, Donald Maass Literary Agency. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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