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Foundryside

A Novel
Narrated by: Tara Sands
Length: 19 hrs and 34 mins
4 out of 5 stars (34 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

"The exciting beginning of a promising new epic fantasy series. Prepare for ancient mysteries, innovative magic, and heart-pounding heists." (Brandon Sanderson)

"Complex characters, magic that is tech and vice versa, a world bound by warring trade dynasties: Bennett will leave you in awe once you remember to breathe!" (Tamora Pierce)

In a city that runs on industrialized magic, a secret war will be fought to overwrite reality itself - the first in a dazzling new fantasy series from City of Stairs author Robert Jackson Bennett.  

Sancia Grado is a thief, and a damn good one. And her latest target, a heavily guarded warehouse on Tevanne’s docks, is nothing her unique abilities can’t handle.  

But unbeknownst to her, Sancia’s been sent to steal an artifact of unimaginable power, an object that could revolutionize the magical technology known as scriving. The Merchant Houses who control this magic - the art of using coded commands to imbue everyday objects with sentience - have already used it to transform Tevanne into a vast, remorseless capitalist machine. But if they can unlock the artifact’s secrets, they will rewrite the world itself to suit their aims.  

Now someone in those Houses wants Sancia dead, and the artifact for themselves. And in the city of Tevanne, there’s nobody with the power to stop them.  

To have a chance at surviving - and at stopping the deadly transformation that’s under way - Sancia will have to marshal unlikely allies, learn to harness the artifact’s power for herself, and undergo her own transformation, one that will turn her into something she could never have imagined.

©2018 Robert Jackson Bennett (P)2018 Random House Audio

What the critics say

“An absolutely riveting secondary world fantasy.... I felt fully, utterly engaged by the ideas, actually in love with the core characters for their differences and the immensely generative friction between them, and in awe of Bennett’s craft. I went to bed late reading it and woke up early to finish it. A magnificent, mind-blowing start to a series I’m hungry for.” (Amal El-Mohtar, New York Times Book Review

“An excellent first novel in what promises to be another home-run series for Bennett [featuring] expert writing, complicated and distinct characters, and an intriguing, deadly, wonderful new city where reality can be shuffled like a deck of cards, provided you can justify it.” (Tor.com)    

 
“An epic, breathtaking novel that’s as much cyberpunk as it is fantasy...Bennett lays out a fantastic story ladened with fantastic characters, but it’s his take on magic that stands out here.” (The Verge

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Michael
  • 2018-08-22

Amazing Fantasy

This book was amazing. With a well thought out magic system, engaging characters, a plot that pulls few punches, after writing the Divine Cities Trilogy Robert Jackson Bennett strikes again as a fantasy author with a new series that looks to be shaping up to be another great one.

For me this book ticks many boxes that a great fantasy should have. A sense of discovery, abundant magic, society shaped by that magic, a consistent story, and after finishing you feel like you accomplished something, gained a new perspective, and new characters to cherish and imagine.

Tara Sands was a great voice for this novel captures the characters well and the tone of the story. The production was on point.

Not having much more to say and not wanting to spoil the novel the book, my recommendation is: BUY

22 of 23 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Krystan
  • 2019-04-05

Loved the Story, Did not Care for the Story Teller

I thought the story and writing were great, but I could not get past the terrible voices Tara Sands gave each character. I hope they use a different narrator for the rest of the series.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Owen Masiello
  • 2018-12-10

Don’t give up on this book too quickly

This was some tough sledding in the beginning but once the cast of characters grew a bit it became fairly entertaining. I guess there are plenty of books where you don’t have to suffer through a weak beginning so I’m not gonna say it’s absolutely necessary but you do get sorta rewarded for pushing through. I’ll read/listen to more of this series, it’s not a stunning literary achievement or anything but it’s worth a read/listen once you get past the unappealing start. Some vocal choices that seemed odd were made by the narrator but nothing that will ruin it for you.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Rasmus Bonnevie
  • 2019-06-15

Disappointing but with potential

I remember being impressed by City of Stairs by RJB despite its pulpier moments, but this book did not hit the same high notes.
The magic system is interesting and used to good effect, but the worldbuilding itself is a bit flat and unevocative. The characters have personality, but are not fully rounded. The plot had some twists and turns, but they were often telegraphed by some slightly heavy-handed exposition.
It is not a bad book, and the ending left me intrigued about the sequel, but it still left me a bit disappointed, although I can't deny that I was entertained through out.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • CaffineFreeJAVA
  • 2019-05-07

Parts & Sums

This book was a rare experience for me. I liked many of the PARTS but had issues with their SUM. I loved the characters. I liked the magic/science. I even liked the over-arching plot. In the end, though, i had so many issues that i struggled to keep going chapter after chapter. Many of my complaints will likely just apply to me but here we go.

* For a fantasy world where they established their own lingo and slang and descriptions and names for things, the writer uses too many common/modern phrases to keep understandable to regular readers. Some of these are just overused like "shit" when they spent time to explain & established "scrum" as a perfectly sensible replacement. They kept saying, "oh my god" or "what the hell" but those mean nothing as they we don't have any understanding of the religions in Tevan so what does "god or hell" even mean to them. Also, later in the book, the term "god" is used in the ways don't seem to mesh with their earlier uses.

* I understand the need to establish characters, themes, schemes, and world build but this story tries to twist and weave too many times trying to introduce B-stories, C-stories, D-stories and more all at once. It would have been a better story had they kept it clean and direct. They were already throwing a lot at the wall, we didn't need so many subplots.

* Also, the action felt somewhat unintelligible at times. Likely as part of my earlier point, too much going on does not help storytelling.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Krista
  • 2019-04-18

Awful

Gave up at around 60%. I really tried to like this book, but I just couldn't get into it.

The dialogue between the characters was just awful. It was too modern for the setting and felt very juvenile. The overabundance of swearing was too much for me. Honestly, I've never seen "sh*t" used so many times in one book.

Also, the overly complex magic system was explained over and over again in way too much detail. It was so boring. It didn't help that the plot was generic, predictable, and very YA. The narrator was too melodramatic and made the characters sound too young. Reading as far as I did felt like a chore. I just don't have the patience to finish this one.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • J. Sullivan
  • 2019-05-14

Narration was awful

The premise of this book sounded interesting. I was able to make it about 20 minutes in before I had to stop. Tara is overly dramatic in every single sentence, it almost sounded like a joke. Her inflections and sarcastic tone she gave to the main feel she gave to the main character made her feel childish. I would recommend reading this one.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Andrew Hale
  • 2019-04-25

Creative World, Overall Really Clunky and Bland

Really appreciate the work that went into creating this world and the rules that governed it but the execution of the story within that world felt lazy and cliche. The characters were your standard YA trope and didn't bring anything new to the genre and once I came to terms with that I figured I just would slog through it. But what really irked me was that throughout the book the author didn't stick to the character traits that were established (and not the growth of the character would achieve organically),

For instance, at one point midway through the book the main protagonist (she is the strong independent type that keeps her secrets close to the chest) saved a potential adversary from a bad situation. Immediately following that she blabs all these details about herself and her situation to him unprompted, completely reversing her "guarded" characteristic. This felt like the author didn't want to spend the time to get to that point naturally and wanted to info dump to move the story along.

There are many more instances like this and plenty of lazy writing examples throughout (using "scrum" in front of every other word, along with "shit!" to respond to every bad situation she got into).

Ultimately the book was fine and entertaining enough to keep going with but it seemed like the author just wanted to get this book out of the way and use the last few chapters to set up the next one and get to the place he actually he is interested in writing about. I read in another review that a good comparison would be the "Mistborn" series, pretty much doing the same thing (at least from what I remember in reading that series).

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Megan A. Garry
  • 2019-04-09

Good story, poor delivery

“Said” is said more than any word in the book in place of something like “responded” “questioned” “exclaimed” and such. There was a lot of unnecessary snarkiness, one character being snarky is cute and fun but every character having a one-liner just gets annoying, although I think the time adopted by the narrator contributed to this.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Andrew Gleason
  • 2019-03-26

Great book with only a few problems

I loved the book overall! The world buildiny was amazing. But the plot wasn't anything special. While I grew to like the characters overall some small things nag me about it, certain characters having relationships that spring out of nowhere or their characterization wasn't strong enough for me. I want to be vague because of spoilers but just know that you should come for the world first and characters second.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful