We had Shara as the main character in City of Stairs, Mulaghesh in City of Blades, and now for the big conclusion, it’s time for Sigrud je Harkvaldsson to take the central role. It’s been 13 years since the end of the previous book (18 years since City of Stairs) and the story focused around Sigrud as he came out of his self-imposed exile for one last mission of revenge. The blurb for this book is laden with spoilers, so I won’t talk about the plot at all. However, let me say this: I honestly couldn’t be happier to have Sigrud as the main character for this last installment.
Picture: Sigrud je Harkvaldsson by Mblank17
Sigrud has become my favorite character from the trilogy ever since his appearance in the first book, which of course means I’m a bit biased. But looking at it from another perspective, there’s always something new and interesting to learn from his character; his characterizations were superbly written and alluring to read.
“If one were to protest all the injustices of life,” says Sigrud, “great and small, one would have no time for living.”
There are so many reasons—other than Sigrud as the MC—why City of Miracles ended up being my favorite book out of the trilogy. The story was beautifully told with an intimate and mature narrative. The topics discussed relating to family, politics, wars, and religions were incredibly relatable to our world. The characterizations of every character were compelling, and the world building was excellent, and was integrated beautifully into every aspect of the story. Plus, the climax sequences were breathtaking and wrapped up the trilogy magnificently. I seriously can’t think of anything that would make this conclusion even better than it already is. Everything just clicked wonderfully.
“My definition of an adult is someone who lives their life aware they are sharing the world with others. My definition of an adult is someone who knows the world was here before they showed up and that it'll be here well after they walk away from it.
My definition of an adult, in other words, is someone who lives their life with a little fucking perspective.”
Lastly, I’d like to note that I highly enjoyed reading Bennett’s prose. Just look at the two quotes I’ve shared so far! Believe me, I wish I could share with you the tons of beautiful and thought-provoking passages—from each book of this trilogy—I found while reading, but it’s better for you to experience them for yourself.
“What a tremendous sin impatience is, he thinks. It blinds us to the moment before us, and it is only when that moment has passed that we look back and see it was full of treasures.”
Like that quote I shared, I know reading this trilogy shall be one of those treasured moments. I won’t lie, I didn’t expect this trilogy to be this great; like I said in my City of Stairs review, I even almost took this series off my TBR list because it’s been sitting there collecting dust for more than a year. I’m super happy I didn’t because not only was this utterly satisfying and a very refreshingly original fantasy to read, I’ll even go as far as saying that The Divine Cities trilogy has become one of the best trilogies I’ve ever read.
I binged read this entire trilogy within a week because of how captivating it was, especially City of Stairs and City of Miracles. I completely, with all my heart, recommend this trilogy for anyone who’s looking for a fantastic and original fantasy read featuring superlative world-building, mature main characters (age ranges more or less in 35-70 years old), or seriously, just read this trilogy if you want to read an amazing fantasy series. It’s safe to say that after this, I’m a fan of Robert Jackson Bennett and I’m already looking forward to his newest trilogy, Foundryside. If his newest trilogy ends up being as good as this or even better, he will definitely be one of the newest additions to my small ‘favorite authors of all time’ list.
City of Stairs: 4.5/5 stars
City of Blades: 3.5/5 stars
City of Miracles: 5/5 stars
The Divine Cities trilogy: 13/15 stars