When we enter the book, she's right in the middle of pulling off a job that requires her to steal a small, unassuming box from a safe that's locked up extra tight. Difficult, right?
Not for Sancia, partially due to the fact that she's able to feel the layout of objects when they touch her bare skin. It's not nearly as hard to pick a lock when the lock volunteers its own combination as soon as it's touched!
She can also hear scrived objects, which are carved with a run language that distorts their reality. For example, a scrived piece of wood could theoretically be convinced it's made of concrete instead of wood, and therefore would behave as a piece of concrete instead.
For Sancia, the whispers of these objects invade her mind, whether she wants them to or not.
When a routine job takes an unexpected turn, Sancia suddenly finds herself on the run & burdened with a fragmented knowledge of an ancient magic far beyond her wildest imaginings.
Bennett really has a knack for creating interesting characters, in particularly of the small & marvelously competent female variety.
While the other characters here certainly paint a picture of lovely background depth, I specifically find Sancia a compelling piece of the puzzle. Her mysterious origins & undeviating focus along with a quick tongue & a penchant for cursing definitely struck a soft spot for me.
The magic of scriving is engaging & detailed in nature, making the action scenes specifically a fun experience for the reader.
However, while experiencing the magic system I couldn't help but feel like I was treading on familiar ground? This same feeling arose again when a character in the form of a talking, inanimate object introduced itself.
Then it hit me. The magic system of scriving is very similar to the magic system in Brandon Sanderson's The Emperor's Soul known as Forging. In both, objects are manipulated to, for all intents and purposes, become new objects.
The major difference seems to be that in Bennett's world, objects don't permanently retain their new reality.
Then a new character pops up. I don't want to go too far into explaining who or what he is, but he is very similar to Nightblood from Sanderson's Warbreaker.
For a moment, I had to ask myself if these similarities were too much, but after reading further I decided these aspects of Bennett's story definitely feel less like a straight reproduction and more like a nod.
This one couldn't quite score a 5 stars from me for a couple different reasons.
Near the middle Foundryside stumbles into a couple slow patches. It definitely isn't detrimental to the book as a whole, but it's not helped by the fact that these patches tend to lean toward info dump.
I can't help but compare this to the first book of Bennett's The Divine Cities trilogy. Foundryside is thoroughly entertaining & well written, as I found the pages flying by any time I sat down to read. But it's not quite as original a follow up as I hoped it would be.
However, plenty unfolds at the end that speaks to future potential of the Founders series to differentiate itself as more installments are released. I can't wait for the second book!
***I received a copy of Foundryside from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Special thank you to Robert Jackson Bennett & Crown Publishing for this opportunity!***
Publication Date: August 21st, 2018