Senlin and Marya are newlyweds on their honeymoon. What better destination could they chose than the Tower of Babel; an immense building of unknown high, where every floor is a completely different world. But Senlin learns the hard way that not everything is like it was promised in his guidebook. When his loses his wife in the crowd, his is left with only one option. To ascend the whole Tower and meet her again on the top. Thieves, Tyrants, Traitors, Men-turned-killing-machines and women with metal arms are nothing but mere obstacles in his way.
"If the law is malleable, Mr. Senlin, if it bends and conforms to man, then man will become resolute in his flaws. The law exists to give shape to man's ideals. When you think about it, doesn't mercy serve the wicked at the expense of the law?"
Senlin Ascends is an enchanting and exquisite tale that delivers οn every front. I was fascinated by the combination of Bancroft's immense imagination and his ability to ground this story in reality. The setting was as powerful as the characters, with power plays and backstabbings and enigmas that were illuminated by the characters' own actions while the story unfolds page by page. The wonderful prose is enriched with the excellent use of proverbial expressions, Ad Hominems, and the Protagonist's imminent catharsis.
All in all, Josiah Bancroft's debut is a fascinating story and an admirable paradigm of the rare occasion where excellent prose, productive imagination, and intellectual creativity are masterfully intertwined, creating a story of untold beauty.