Master fantasy novelist Robert Jackson Bennett, who has just been named a finalist for the 2018 Hugo Award for Best Series and the 2018 Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel. He’s is at it again with the first book in a series that will top everything he’s done before. With FOUNDRYSIDE (Crown; on sale August 21, 2018), Bennett brings us a nimble-witted, complex female protagonist who uses her strange gifts to survive in a world where magic–for all its glorious uses–has become an instrument of economic control. What happens when magic and capitalism collide?
In the past, Bennett has been lauded for breathing fresh life into the genre and for his clever explorations of politics, power dynamics, and social systems: The Seattle Times called City of Stairs “an entertaining yet thought-provoking experiment in racial reversals” and the New York Times Book Review wrote, “The book is labeled epic fantasy, but there’s no hint of staid European medievalism in its pages.” Now, in FOUNDRYSIDE, Bennett once again brings his trademark combination of imaginative world-building and a fast-paced plot, with an undercurrent of social conflict.
Magic can be monetized. That’s a fact in Tevanne, a city that runs on industrialized magic. The city has grown rich thanks to its mastery of a magical technology known as “scriving.” Or more precisely, the four merchant houses who monopolize that technology have grown rich. Sancia Grado, a former slave whose ordeals have made her an unnaturally talented thief, steals from these elite houses to survive. When she finds herself in possession of a powerful magical artifact, she must form an unlikely alliance to confront a common threat–a plot that would let Tevanne’s masters overwrite reality itself. The mechanics of the magic system in FOUNDRYSIDE are ingeniously based on computer coding and hacking, a parallel sure to delight tech-obsessed readers. And for those looking for a romance, Sancia’s budding love interest is–refreshingly–not the one you might expect.
The first in an ambitious new fantasy series from Robert Jackson Bennett, FOUNDRYSIDE will resonate with readers who love sharp, socially interested fantasy authors like N.K. Jemisin; clever magic system builders like Brandon Sanderson; and masters of faction-based warfare like George R.R. Martin.Share