Having really loved Foundryside, when this popped up for request on NetGalley, I couldn’t resist.
So thanks to the author, as well as Del Rey via NetGalley for the review copy!
Having narrowly saved the metropolis of Tevanne from destruction, Sancia Grado and her allies have turned to their next task: sowing the seeds of a full-on magical-industrial revolution. If they succeed, the secrets behind scriving—the art of imbuing everyday objects with sentience—will be accessible to all of Tevanne’s citizens, much to the displeasure of the robber-barons who’ve hoarded this knowledge for themselves.
But one of Sancia’s enemies has embarked on a desperate gambit, an attempt to resurrect a figure straight out of legend—an immortal being known as a heirophant. Long ago, the heirophant was an ordinary man, but he’s used scriving to transform himself into something closer to a god. Once awakened, he’ll stop at nothing to remake the world in his horrifying image.
And if Sancia can’t stop this ancient power from returning? Well, the only way to fight a god…is with another god.
“I remember the plan,” said Sancia. “I just also remember there’s a lot of spots in the plan that say, ‘Sancia improvises a bunch of shit.’ Which is not, you know, comforting.”
This is the continuing story of Sancia Grado and her compatriots from Foundryside. This story starts a few years after the events of Foundryside. Sancia and her allies are running their own company, which more or less collects scriving definitions and keeps them in a library.
However, one of Sancia’s enemies has used their considerable power to attempt to resurrect a hierophant – a legendary mortal man who once used scriving to turn himself into a god. It’s up to Sancia and her friends to stop this terrifying creature.
This was a really fun read. Super easy to get into, and hard to put down once you pick it up. I spent many a late night with this book, reading well past my bedtime.
I really do enjoy Sancia, and continue to in this volume. She’s snarky and foul mouthed, and is known to make a crass joke now and again. There was one nearer to the beginning that had me snort-laugh so loudly at the office that my boss checked in to make sure I was okay.
There are plenty of ups and downs in this one. It doesn’t hold back either. The way the magic works in this world allows for all kinds of bananas ways of manipulating reality, and the antagonist isn’t scared to use them. So, just a heads up for anyone who might not love too much gore in their books. There might be a time or two when people… uh… turn inside out? Implode? Little of both?
The magic system is another thing that I love about this series. The idea that there is a system of rules with which someone can convince the inanimate that they are sentient is brilliant. Having a character that can more or less hear the inner workings and ‘thought’ processes is further brilliant. This is used so well so many times, with Sancia convincing all kinds of different things that what they’ve been lead to believe isn’t actually how it is.
<That’s terribly interesting!> said the pot. <I’ve been doing this wrong all this time!>
<Yeah, you sure have,> she said. <So—try doing it the right way in a bit, okay?>
So, all told, I had a wonderful time with Shorefall, just as I did with Foundryside before it. I can’t wait to dive headfirst into the rest of Robert Jackson Bennett’s work, because if it is anything like this, I am absolutely sure to love it! 5/5 stars!~