Bennett concludes his Divine Cities trilogy (City of Stairs, City of Blades) with a stunning and heartbreaking tale of sacrifice amid magic and spycraft. Sigrud je Harkvaldsson has spent years in the wilderness after the death of his daughter. When Shara Komayd, his mentor and friend, is assassinated, he vows to find out what happened and seek revenge. Instead of discovering a simple plot by one of Shara’s enemies, Sigrud finds hints of magic and divine artifacts that suggest a threat to the entire world; soon he realizes that, although most of the gods are dead, some of their children aren’t. Sigrud has long served as a Conan analogue in Bennett’s novels, and the aging barbarian is hardly a new trope, but Bennett dives deeply into Sigrud’s character, with some well-laid clues from City of Stairs paying substantial dividends as his background is revealed. Intriguing characters such as Shara’s teenage daughter, Tatyana, and former ingenue Invania Restroyka (now “the richest damn woman alive”) keep the story entertaining, and the ghost of Shara hangs over all of them. The bittersweet ending, which elegantly and definitively caps off the novel and the trilogy, will have readers reaching for the tissues. Agent: Cameron McClure, Donald Maass Literary. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/27/2017 Release date: 05/02/2017 Genre: Fiction
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