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Shorefall

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As a magical revolution remakes a city, an ancient evil is awakened in a brilliant new novel from the Hugo-nominated author of Foundryside and the Divine Cities trilogy   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, As a magical revolution remakes a city, an ancient evil is awakened in a brilliant new novel from the Hugo-nominated author of Foundryside and the Divine Cities trilogy   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.


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As a magical revolution remakes a city, an ancient evil is awakened in a brilliant new novel from the Hugo-nominated author of Foundryside and the Divine Cities trilogy   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, As a magical revolution remakes a city, an ancient evil is awakened in a brilliant new novel from the Hugo-nominated author of Foundryside and the Divine Cities trilogy   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.

30 review for Shorefall

  1. 5 out of 5

    Regan

    v good! 4.5

  2. 4 out of 5

    chai ♡

    ✧ find this review & others on my blog ✧ The city of Tevanne seems determined to tear itself in two. In “Shorefall” Bennett lets us back abruptly into his world, with a lot more terror and much less hand-holding. Three years have passed and the Foundrysiders—Sanca, Berenice, Gregor and Orso—keep sidling up to death and dipping their toes in, this time with a Robin-Hood scheme to steal the scrivings the Michiels hoarded like a dragon guarding its treasure, and distribute them back to the peopl ✧ find this review & others on my blog ✧ The city of Tevanne seems determined to tear itself in two. In “Shorefall” Bennett lets us back abruptly into his world, with a lot more terror and much less hand-holding. Three years have passed and the Foundrysiders—Sanca, Berenice, Gregor and Orso—keep sidling up to death and dipping their toes in, this time with a Robin-Hood scheme to steal the scrivings the Michiels hoarded like a dragon guarding its treasure, and distribute them back to the people of Tevanne. But you can only sidle up to death so many times before it grabs your ankle and tries to pull you under. And death came to the Foundrysiders in the shape of Crasedes, a powerful hierophant now successfully resurrected by Gregor’s grief-stricken mother. Scrivings are the coins the city of Tevanne trades in—a practice that divests any object of its intended identity, convincing it to “disobey reality in very unusual ways”—but Crasedes’ will can reshape the very warp and weft of reality itself. Crasedes plans to water the soil of Tevanne with blood, and the Foundrysiders plan to stop him. The first shot was fired three years before, when the mountain of the Candianos collapsed and the Company fell, but it is now that the battle lines are drawn. This, here, is the beginning of the war.  “The problem with might, you see,” he said, “is that there’s always someone mightier.”  Much like its predecessor, “Shorefall” begins with a heist, and this one is several orders of magnitude more dangerous. It’s a tinderbox opening to the novel, but this is, of course, where the danger comes in: if, at the end of a nail-biting climax, you still have almost 500 pages to go, aren't you setting your readers up for disappointment? Thankfully, “Shorefall” is a novel that sustains its crackle throughout, maintaining an impeccable consistency, and concluding with a gorgeous sleight of hand that will be familiar to those who enjoyed “Foundryside”. In so many senses, this series is a perfect distillation of the author’s unerring talent for fantasy and his myriad ideas of what the genre could be, what it can and should strive for. The author’s most perceptive points come out in world-building. Bennett sets his world in motion and follows where it leads, moving through his vast and complicated concepts as easily as an ordinary person might walk across a street. “Shorefall” packs a surprising amount of plot into its single volume. It has answers to your questions, and more often than not, more questions after that. The swift plot quickly leaves the Foundrysiders with a mess on their hands, and suspense mounts as they throw themselves headlong into peril. The threat levels are high and sharp, and the space between each chapter is like the silence after the snap, when you know that something is holding itself still and watching you in the dark. Bennett also populates his novel with forces we know all too well in the real world, and his razor-sharp critique of a world wracked by war and capitalism, divided against itself, constantly near a breaking point rings a bell that’s a little too resonant. Tevanne is a city that suffers all the usual maladies of real-life cities, and is governed by people who have ridden high, and once they have seen the high places—it made them hungrier, and cold down to the pith. Greed seeps through every crack of Tevanne, and it is corrosive, gnawing at the less fortunate until it turns them into husk. The good guys are outnumbered, drifting as if in waters they could not swim, and the bad guys are always one step ahead. Huge questions of ethics and responsibility also play into the plot here. The Foudrysiders weary of the violence, but they understand its inevitability, and that lends the novel a compelling urgency. If I have to name a flaw it would be that, while the world is extraordinarily intricate, I found that it muffles the characters at the heart of the book. As Sancia, Berenice, Gregor and Orso scamper and scheme their way into the heart of Tevanne’s deadliest secrets, collecting fresh scars like clockwork, the reader scarcely gets a moment to just stop and breathe and spend time with them. The Foundrysiders walked around each other, filled with things they cannot articulate as though worried one more good tug might rip their seams entirely, and that distance is carried onto the page. I hope we get more of an insight into the characters in the next book, especially Gregor who so deeply inhabited the warrior in his mind’s eye, who had once torn into a hundred enemies and sent others staggering home, but who heart-breakingly still grapples with the choicelessness of his life. Crasedes’ character, however, held all my attention in his thrall. Crasedes, of course, is the villain—and a genuinely compelling one. He has a well-intentioned savior complex and the arrogance to rationalize it, but under the auspices of saving people, he sometimes exploits, possesses and harms them. But while the Foundrysiders must constantly battle with what’s right and what’s necessary, Crasedes already committed to several courses of action. This gives him a bit of a Machiavellian advantage on the playing field. What’s more, because his motivations are copious and convincing, I found myself thinking, not for the first time, “well… he does have a good point, though.” In one particularly eye-opening section, Crasedes muses: “It is a regrettable thing that in order to fix a monstrous world, one must become a little monstrous in one’s own right.” If you have yet to read this novel, come join the Foundrysiders for a story—I guarantee you won’t guess how it ends. I'm very much looking forward to the last book in this series. One dream dies, but another’s born. Let’s make sure it survives.    ☆ ko-fi ★ blog ☆ twitter ★ tumblr ☆

  3. 4 out of 5

    Petrik

    ARC provided by the publisher—Del Rey—in exchange for an honest review. Shorefall is mind-bending great; Robert Jackson Bennett once again proved himself that he is a precious gift for the SFF genre. I feel like there needs to be a new genre classification for Robert Jackson Bennett’s books, an urban fantasy? Check. High fantasy? Check. Sci-fi? Check. Urban high SFF it is. Yes, it is always a safe bet to read Bennett’s books when you’re in need of a refreshing, fabulous, and incredible read that b ARC provided by the publisher—Del Rey—in exchange for an honest review. Shorefall is mind-bending great; Robert Jackson Bennett once again proved himself that he is a precious gift for the SFF genre. I feel like there needs to be a new genre classification for Robert Jackson Bennett’s books, an urban fantasy? Check. High fantasy? Check. Sci-fi? Check. Urban high SFF it is. Yes, it is always a safe bet to read Bennett’s books when you’re in need of a refreshing, fabulous, and incredible read that brims with fascinating ideas and concepts. Having read The Divine Cities Trilogy and Foundryside in 2018, I can’t believe that I made it through 2019 without reading any books written by Bennett. Both The Divine Cities trilogy and Foundryside was enough to establish Bennett as one of my favorite authors, and Shorefall—one of my most anticipated books of the year—continue to amplify that notion. “If there be a person alive with more power than myself, then over time circumstances shall eventually degrade until, inevitably, I am their slave. And if our situations were to be reversed, then they shall inevitably become mine.”—Crasedes Magnus Shorefall is the second book in The Founders trilogy, and the story starts almost three years after the end of Foundryside. Still taking place in the city of Tevanne, Bennett takes everything good about Foundryside and expand upon them tremendously. In my review of Foundryside, I mentioned that a lot of aspects in the book reminded me of reading Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson, Shorefall, in many ways, feels more original and unique. Bennett writes a stupefying engaging story that includes power, slavery, freedom, oppression, social structure, and the dangers that come with each new invention as the main themes. Most importantly, Bennett also made sure that the characters and their developments are still the main driving force of his narrative. “Humankind is the most innovative at turning innovation to the cruelest ends. Power alters the soul far more than any innovation I could imagine, even at the height of my privileges.” Sancia Grado and the members of the Foundrysiders are great characters with a distinct personality that became easier and easier to root for as the story progressed. To narrow it down collectively, they are kind-hearted people genuinely trying their best to change the city of Tevanne for the better. I loved reading about them, and if I may be frank, I didn’t expect that I would be emotionally attached to each one of them as much as I did for the characters in The Divine Cities trilogy; clearly, I was wrong. Sancia and the Foundrysiders have to learn a lot about hardship, invention, love, friendship, camaraderie, freedom, and sacrifices through insane adversities here. Plus, Bennett writes an LGBT relationship superbly well. Additionally, what impressed me even further, though, was the fact that the on-point characterizations don’t apply exclusively to the protagonists. It just astounded me how careful and effective was the humanization Bennett imbued into the antagonist’s vision and reasoning, making me feel invested in knowing more about the villain’s motivation and their unflinching brutality. “Learn what your city has forgotten,” he said. “What men of power have forgotten time and time again, throughout history—that there is always, always something mightier.” Bennett is so damn good at writing terrifying mythical or powerful figures with awesome abilities. He has demonstrated this in The Divine Cities trilogy, and he remind us how good he is at it in Shorefall. The dreadful feelings and fear caused by the encounter with these avatars of menace simply burst to life palpably. I truly felt the character’s fear and their struggle as they unleashed everything in their arsenal to augment their hope of overcoming impossible odds. Shorefall is most likely the most action-packed book that Bennett has written so far. It is fast-paced, thoroughly breathtaking, and filled with well-written out-of-this-world action sequences that combine fantasy, innovations, and technology into one destructive package. I mean, I’m talking about a myriad of stones flying through the air like a shooting star of death here; the sky is the color of doom, the threat of a wave of blood flooding the Tevanne is real. The stakes exceeded every conflict bestowed in Foundryside, and my god, I was completely enthralled by every page of this marvel. “But it is a regrettable thing that in order to fix a monstrous world, one must become a little monstrous in one’s own right.” Scriving—the magic of giving commands/sentience to an everyday object—is a fascinating and intricate hard magic system redolent of Sanderson’s specialty, Bennett’s achievement with pulling off the expansion of Scriving in Shorefall is nothing short of outstanding, reaching vast scope that I never would’ve expected. Bennett has successfully created a world-building that put the history of the world into account for the present predicament. Readers get to learn more about the origin and inconceivable capabilities of scriving—a titanic power capable of governing the very nature of the world, and also at the same time, altering the kindest of souls towards a darker path due to its limitless possibility. “Maybe you, like so many of this city, believe that all the world should be your servant because you haven’t ever learned what it’s like to be powerless.” I’ll stop my review here, I wish I can speak more about the brilliance that occurred in this book in much more detail, but I don’t want to spoil your reading experience; I’ve said more than enough anyway. Shorefall is definitely one of Bennett’s best work so far, it’s as least as good as City of Miracles, and I’m not saying that lightly. Shorefall is an absolutely spellbinding sequel that blew my mind with its compelling plot progression, sympathizing characters, thrilling actions, and clever inventiveness in its manipulation of reality, time, and souls. Overflowing with originality and maximum wow factors, Bennett blends sci-fi and fantasy organically, creating a sequel on a magnitude and imagination that can only be executed expertly by the most gifted of authors. And fortunately, Robert Jackson Bennett—without a doubt—belongs in that group of SFF authors. Official release date: 21st April 2020 You can order the book from: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Book Depository (Free shipping) The quotes in this review were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication. You can find this and the rest of my reviews at Novel Notions Special thanks to my Patrons on Patreon for giving me extra support towards my passion for reading and reviewing! My Patrons: Alfred, Devin, Hamad, Joie, Mike, Miracle, Nicholas.

  4. 4 out of 5

    jessica

    when there is a lot going on in the world thats easy to complain about, i find it important to remain positive and be grateful for the small things. like the fact that i was given an ARC of this and it fully met all of my very high expectations. this series is something else. ive said it before, but this is the PERFECT fantasy series for those who dont like fantasy or are wanting to get more into the genre. its a very subtle magical system - it plays a great part in the story, but it doesnt dema when there is a lot going on in the world thats easy to complain about, i find it important to remain positive and be grateful for the small things. like the fact that i was given an ARC of this and it fully met all of my very high expectations. this series is something else. ive said it before, but this is the PERFECT fantasy series for those who dont like fantasy or are wanting to get more into the genre. its a very subtle magical system - it plays a great part in the story, but it doesnt demand attention. it feels natural and is integrated very well into the setting and plot. (i also want to make a note that i didnt reread ‘foundryside’ before starting this and i was a little nervous because so much world-building and plot happened in the first book. and while i did forget some things, there is enough recap subtly scattered - not an awkward info dump - throughout the first few chapters to catch the reader up to speed. and i am so appreciative of that!) and i love how this builds so perfectly upon the events of the previous novel. this is by no means a filler sequel. every word, every page, every letter has a purpose and so masterfully creates an engaging plot. the pacing is nonstop, the action is exciting, and the characters are every bit of interesting as i remember them being. i am so beyond pleased with this. this is set to be released on april 21, so that is plenty of time to pick up the first book and get yourself ready for this wild ride of a sequel. PS. a massive and personal thanks to kathleen at random house for sending me this ARC. you are an absolute star. ↠ 4.5 stars

  5. 5 out of 5

    ✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)

    You know that feeling when the book you just finished reading is so Bloody Slightly Amazing (BSA™) that you have no Bloody Fishing Idea (BFI™) what to say about it? Yeah well, hello and welcome to yet another Robert Jackson Bennett Wrote It Ergo Quite Blank My Little Mind Is (RBJWIEQBMLMI™) review, my Little Barnacles. *desperately looks at the whole of her two lines of notes for this book in search of inspiration* *fails epically (albeit nefariously)* Okay okay, I can do this and stuff. I ruthles You know that feeling when the book you just finished reading is so Bloody Slightly Amazing (BSA™) that you have no Bloody Fishing Idea (BFI™) what to say about it? Yeah well, hello and welcome to yet another Robert Jackson Bennett Wrote It Ergo Quite Blank My Little Mind Is (RBJWIEQBMLMI™) review, my Little Barnacles. *desperately looks at the whole of her two lines of notes for this book in search of inspiration* *fails epically (albeit nefariously)* Okay okay, I can do this and stuff. I ruthlessly rule over millions of murderous crustaceans, have conquered countless puny human territories and sacrificed more newborn babies than there are dinoflagellates in the sea, so the end of me this miserable little review shall not be. (Maybe.) Here we goes and stuff. Please don’t ask. So. This book. THIS BOOK. This world. THIS WORLD. This magic system. THIS MAGIC SYSTEM. So bloody creative. So bloody unique. So bloody rich. So bloody vivid. So bloody clever. So beautifully thought-out and amazingly developed. It’s funny, this kinda sorta reminds me of an obscure series (by an obscure author) I read years ago. I think it was called the Divine Cities or something. It wasn’t too crappy, if I remember correctly (view spoiler)[ Yes, I know, I can be hilariously funny when I want to. (hide spoiler)] . But anyhoo and stuff. I digress and stuff. So. In pure, wondrously delicious RJB fashion, RJB (you have a vague inkling as to who I am referring to, I hope?) mixes super extra fast-paced, non-stop action and disgusting emotion with a slightly very gripping-thrilling-lusciously titillating plot, hahaha galore, gloriously thought-provoking stuff and “bloody shrimping hell of the stinking fish!” material aplenty. Yeah yeah yeah, I know, move along, nothing to see here and stuff. I mean, this is kinda sorta what RJB always does in his books. And what he did in the first instalment of this series (somewhat a little brilliantly), too. (The man is cursed, methinks. Well either that or he sold his sold to the devil in exchange for super human writing powers and stuff.) Yes, BUT. What he does here is even more bloody shrimping amazing than usual. Because he takes the world he created in book 1 where no shrimp has gone before and (choose all that apply) builds on it/expands it/amplifies it/broadens it/whatevers it. And blows your little grey cells away in the process. (Because he is kind and gentle like that.) So what we have here is Foundryside, only ♫ harder, better, faster, stronger ♫. Aka Foundryside, Augmented. Aka, Foundryside, Scrived. Ha! QED and stuff. (You have no idea what this scrived business is about, you say? And? Is it my fault if you haven’t read book 1 yet? 🙄) Why, thank you for your contribution, funky ladies & gent! It was high time for a groovy intermission indeed! So. What else? (Say “Nespresso” and see me unleash my murderous kids on you.) The Slightly Deliciously Yummy and Scrumptiously Diverse Cast of Character (SDYaSDCoC™), maybe? I’d already kidnapped adopted some of them while reading the previous installment 👋waves at Sancia and Clef, who are currently enjoying the lavish facilities of her High Security Harem👋, but I think it’s time to be bold and audacious, and do the Group Kidnapping Adopting thing (GKAT™). This I’m doing for completely unselfish reasons, obviously. I mean, all I want is for Sancia and Clef to be reunited with their Scrived Scriving Cronies (SSC™)—or is it Scriving Scrived Cronies? I forget—and stuff. Obviously. It’s not like I’m even remotely interested in Berenice, Gregor, or Orso. (Especially not Orso, since he reminds me absolutely not of my boyfriend Lhiewyn.) Nope nope nope. Couldn’t care less about them and stuff. (view spoiler)[ (hide spoiler)] Oh, before I forget! Just so you know, this book features one of the most scrumpalicious power couples in the history of most scrumpalicious power couples 👋waves at Cait & Danny Boy👋. It also features malfunctioning gods. Yes, it does. And the bestest, coolest villain ever. (He’s a teensy little bit unbalanced, but that’s part of his charm.) And the mostest awesomest mountain ever (don’t ask). And “dull-witted, brainless bastards” (yay). And people slightly imploding. And bursting with blood and stuff. Which is always a plus, if you ask me. Sorry, what? You want more detailed details about the story and characters, you say? Why that’s what other reviewers are there for, my Tiny Decapods. Sorry, what? This is one of the crappiest reviews ever written, you say? Why, thank you, my Lovely Arthropods. I do try my best and stuff. (view spoiler)[ (hide spoiler)] ➽ Nefarious Last Words (NLW™): oh, I don’t know. A very private, friendly message from this book, maybe? Yeah, this about sums it up quite nicely, methinks. Thank thee kindly ever so much to Kathleen Quinlan and Crown Publishing for sending me a advanced copy of this book in exchange for a shockingly crappy review and stuff! • Book 1: Foundryside ★★★★★ [Pre-review nonsense] Now THIS is how you write Fantasy. How you're supposed to, anyway. RJB, I 💕lurves💕 thee and stuff. And now let's dance the night away and stuff. That's what I call a party! Right, Spockie Dear? Full review to come and stuff. [February 25, 2020] Aaaaaaahhhhhhhh!!!!!! I have an ARC!!!!!!!!!!! Aaaaaaahhhhhhhh!!!!!! Someone halp me, I'm having trouble breathing and stuff!!!!! Ah, that's much better, thank thee kindly and stuff. So? Where were we? Oh yes. I have an ARC!!!!!!!!!!! Let's dance and stuff. (view spoiler)[ (hide spoiler)] [September 21, 2019] Bloody shrimping hell of the stinking fish, it's been pushed back to APRIL 2020! [September 2019] A scrumpacilious cover we have!! Quite scrumpacilious it is!!! [March 23, 2019] Argh!!!!!! It's being pushed back to 2020!!!!! [December 2018] Bloody shrimping hell of the stinking fish. We have a release date and stuff. Oh, and by the way: Oh, and also:

  6. 5 out of 5

    Miranda Reads

    A huge thank you to the author for sending me a free copy in exchange for an honest review A huge thank you to the author for sending me a free copy in exchange for an honest review

  7. 5 out of 5

    Samantha

    4.5 stars tw: off screen suicide and some brief suicidal ideation; body horror This book takes place 3 years after the first book, and is less an action packed sequel and more a sequel about found family, choices, innovation, and the collective. The magical/technological concept of scriving is much more of a focus in this book, and those concepts do slow it down a bit at times. But, the villain and the conflicts he brings up are outstanding. Also the found family and f/f romance feels in here ar 4.5 stars tw: off screen suicide and some brief suicidal ideation; body horror This book takes place 3 years after the first book, and is less an action packed sequel and more a sequel about found family, choices, innovation, and the collective. The magical/technological concept of scriving is much more of a focus in this book, and those concepts do slow it down a bit at times. But, the villain and the conflicts he brings up are outstanding. Also the found family and f/f romance feels in here are so strong. There is a bit of a cliffhanger ending and I am excited to see what the finale brings.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Bradley

    This is AWESOME! No spoilers, no matter how much I want to go on and on about all the great things in this sequel, but I can say a few things. If you loved how so many wonderful magical goodnesses came out of the magic system in Foundryside, how they could all argue reality out of commission, find new loopholes, reprogram it again, and do it all while being one of the biggest magical heists in modern fantasy, you will totally FREAK OUT when you see Shorefall. Foundryside was all kinds of awesome an This is AWESOME! No spoilers, no matter how much I want to go on and on about all the great things in this sequel, but I can say a few things. If you loved how so many wonderful magical goodnesses came out of the magic system in Foundryside, how they could all argue reality out of commission, find new loopholes, reprogram it again, and do it all while being one of the biggest magical heists in modern fantasy, you will totally FREAK OUT when you see Shorefall. Foundryside was all kinds of awesome and I just re-read it with great joy before picking up this ARC, but I have to admit that Shorefall totally runs with all the implications built up there and gives us DREAD and eventually FIREWORKS that put all that happened in Foundryside to shame. The big boys (and girls) are back in town. No one is safe. This book, for all its steampunk feels, is a programmer's dream. The rules make everything shine. But you know what is brighter than this? The characters. What a fantastic book! I'm giving it all the praise! :)

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ginger

    ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley. Wow!! 5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ This book was epic and mind boggling. Shorefall is the second book in the Founders series and it’s just as good as the 1st book! Not only is the writing amazing, but the characterization in this book is fantastic. Shorefall starts off 2-3 years after Foundryside. Sancia, Berenice, Orso and Gregory have founded their own scriving business. They're using the technology to better serve the poor and nee ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley. Wow!! 5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ This book was epic and mind boggling. Shorefall is the second book in the Founders series and it’s just as good as the 1st book! Not only is the writing amazing, but the characterization in this book is fantastic. Shorefall starts off 2-3 years after Foundryside. Sancia, Berenice, Orso and Gregory have founded their own scriving business. They're using the technology to better serve the poor and needy while giving competition to the merchant houses. But while the group is giving hope and power back to the people, there’s a powerful entity heading towards the city of Tevanne. The gang must drastically change directions and focus on this new threat to save not only the city, but themselves! Shorefall takes all the great concepts of scriving and turns up the volume. Not just a little bit of volume but enough to blast your eardrums! Seriously you guys, I felt stupid most of the time while I was reading this. I was just blown away by the concept of reality, how reality would work when changing it or making an object do something completely different. I don't know where Robert Jackson Bennett gets his plot ideas, but they are deep and fantastic. Bennett has given us an intriguing and fantastic series that takes the fantasy genre in a whole new area. The Founders series is part fantasy, part steampunk and a whole lot of awesomeness. When Shorefall is over, you’ll realize that Bennett has not only created a new concept such as scriving, but he’s opened up a whole new world of reality and dimensions. Buckle up boys and girls because this will make your mind explode! And on that thought, I am excited for fans to read this new addition to the series. You will not be disappointed!!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Dave

    Prepare to have your mind blown to smithereens. Shorefall, the second book in Bennett's Founders series, takes the story and the ideas first posited in Foundryside and doesn't just build on them, but blasts those ideas to the stratosphere. This is a thrilling, engaging, exciting sequel that takes the reader on a strange journey through one of the most unique fantasy worlds ever created. Tevanne is a city state in this world which is built on the sea and has numerous canals and mountains. It feel Prepare to have your mind blown to smithereens. Shorefall, the second book in Bennett's Founders series, takes the story and the ideas first posited in Foundryside and doesn't just build on them, but blasts those ideas to the stratosphere. This is a thrilling, engaging, exciting sequel that takes the reader on a strange journey through one of the most unique fantasy worlds ever created. Tevanne is a city state in this world which is built on the sea and has numerous canals and mountains. It feels a bit like a medieval Venice, but it's not. Great merchant houses rule the city and off in the distant islands are great slave-operated plantations. There are sailing ships and merchant ships. But, the most remarkable thing is the magical technology. Imagine how well carriages would work if the wheels wanted to turn or if arrows wanted to find their targets or gates wanted to stay closed unless someone with permissions opens them. Commands, like computer codes, are inscribed in gates, boats, lights, and walls, Buildings are strong because the walls want to stay together. This is the source of Tevanne's wealth and the civilization's advances. And this technology was first discovered by the ancients, the Hierophants, who lived three thousand years ago and wielded powers beyond description. And now something from that past has been awakened from its slumber and it's coming. And, well, nothing will ever be the same. Part of what makes this series work do well is that the main characters are not superheroes or leaders. Sancia is a tiny little dirty thief who just happens to be scrived, meaning she can hear the scrived doors and walls and gates talk and can argue with their commands. Together with a motley crew of Berenice, Orso, Gregory, and Clef (yes, he's back), its up to Sancia to save the world. On the way, we learn so much about the scrivings and the permissions and what can be described ne to alter reality. We also learn about mind control, telepathy, shared minds, trust, fear, love, time, dimensions, horror, and the very fabric of reality. All in all, an absolutely awesome fantasy novel.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jeffrey Keeten

    ”’You don’t know how many empires I’ve crushed in my day,’ boomed Crasedes. As the soldiers struck the walls they just kept screaming, pinned to the stone, and Orso realized that whatever force had pushed them there was still pushing, still growing stronger, pushing and pushing until the soldiers began to collapse, like they were being compressed by a giant, flat surface… ‘Oh my God,’ whispered Orso. ‘The thing that irks me the most,’ said Crasedes, ‘is that you all think you’re so special. So uni ”’You don’t know how many empires I’ve crushed in my day,’ boomed Crasedes. As the soldiers struck the walls they just kept screaming, pinned to the stone, and Orso realized that whatever force had pushed them there was still pushing, still growing stronger, pushing and pushing until the soldiers began to collapse, like they were being compressed by a giant, flat surface… ‘Oh my God,’ whispered Orso. ‘The thing that irks me the most,’ said Crasedes, ‘is that you all think you’re so special. So unique. So deserving.’” He made a gesture, and the crushed soldiers rose to levitate in the air like a mangled wall of human bodies. And then the wall began to fold inward, forming a ball...which shrank, and shrank… ‘But to be honest,’ said Crasedes, ‘your empire isn’t even terribly inspired.’ There was a long, long silence. Crasedes hovered in the air, still seated in a queerly meditative position. Then he slowly turned to look at Orso. ‘Well,’ he said. ‘It’s been a long time since I did that.’” HE is back in town! The original bad boy of scriving. The maker and shaker of the universe. The man who convinced reality that he was immortal. A man worshiped as a God. The Hierophant who has returned to save humanity from themselves. He is Crasedes Magnus. All the petty rivalry between the grand camposes of Trevanne. All the intrigue, jealousies, and the ongoing sigil-striving Cold War for power is all suddenly meaningless. Combined, these robber barons can do next to nothing against Crasedes. Separately, they are mere bugs hitting the windshield of the cosmos. So you might be asking yourself, what is this scriving you speak of? ”The art of scriving was almost always a two-step process. The first step seemed very simple: a scriver placed a small, imprinted plate on the object that they wished to alter, often somewhere inside it--mostly to keep the printings from being marred. The plate was stamped with a handful of sigils, usually anywhere from about six to ten, and once the plate had been adhered to the object, these sigils would begin convincing it to disobey reality in very unusual ways--hence why this component was called the persuasion plate.” For instance, someone could scrive a program, for lack of a better word, that would convince a wooden door that it was made of impenetrable steel. This works fine as long as a more talented scriver doesn’t come along and write a program that changes the reality of what the door believes. Maybe the door is now convinced it is made of rice paper, and the scriver, who also is a thief, steps effortlessly through the door and steals the precious objects that someone is trying to protect. With the proper sigils in the proper order, you can alter the reality of anything and make it do something greater or lesser than its original capabilities. If your mind feels a little blown, no worries; you're in the hands of the necromancer himself, Robert Jackson Bennett. This book is a product of the art of scriving, and you will magically come to understand everything. Fortunately for Trevanne, they haven’t managed to destroy the ragtag gang of talented outcasts at Foundryside because it soon becomes apparent that the only hope of sending The Hierophant back to whatever dark corner of the universe he came from will be through the efforts of these genius outlaws. CLEF is back, the enchanted key that steals the show every time he comes on stage. He is a supporting actor, but for the part he plays, there is no back row chair for him. The repartee between him and Sancia Grado in book one is very entertaining. We find out much more about him in this book and how he became locked inside a key. Sancia Grado is our reluctant hero, a brain altered ex-slave, who can see, read, and manipulate the invisible sigils around her. She will have to do the impossible once again. She is helped by Orso, her girlfriend Berenice, and the son of one of the leaders of one of the great camposes of Trevanne, Gregory Dandolo. He is cursed/gifted with the ability to never die. When the blue screen of death appears before him, he merely reboots to a previous instance in time. This is a world where nothing is quite what it seems. Where people are willing to kill for the right piece of scriving magic. Where inventions are conceived to make life better for everyone, but are accumulated by the rich and powerful to use to further enrich themselves, consolidate their power, and in some cases to slaughter their enemies. It is always baffling why there are always too many people who are never content with just what they need. Their desire for more is never satisfied, and they are willing to crush as many people as it takes to achieve their goals. It is so annoying that, just as the Foundryside gang has launched a plan to unravel the power and the influence of the great families of Trevanne,... this Hierophant shows up and mucks it all up. Will the castoffs, the muckers, save Trevanne once again? Will Clef ever speak again? Will humanity be subjugated to Crasedes Magnus? Will anyone survive the coming conflict? This is an intelligent, mind-bending, gritty version of a world with so much potential to be a utopia, if only the many can overcome the greedy few. The characters are fantastic and are so deftly drawn that they continue to live in my mind in 4K resolution. The twists and turns kept me turning the pages so quickly that sparks were flinging from my fingertips. ***I want to thank Crown Publishing and Kathleen Quinlan for sending me an advance reading copy in exchange for an honest review.*** If you wish to see more of my most recent book and movie reviews, visit http://www.jeffreykeeten.com I also have a Facebook blogger page at:https://www.facebook.com/JeffreyKeeten and an Instagram account https://www.instagram.com/jeffreykeeten/

  12. 4 out of 5

    Robin (Bridge Four)

    Release Day!!! This review was originally posted on Books of My Heart Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. Shorefall is the second book the Founders series. This is a series that builds on the prior books and so you need to read them in order to have any idea what is going on. I actually re-read Foundryside right before jumping into Shorefall since it was one of my favorite books of 2018 and there are a lot of Release Day!!! This review was originally posted on Books of My Heart Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. Shorefall is the second book the Founders series. This is a series that builds on the prior books and so you need to read them in order to have any idea what is going on. I actually re-read Foundryside right before jumping into Shorefall since it was one of my favorite books of 2018 and there are a lot of details, I wanted a quick refresher. Shorefall did not disappoint; Robert Jackson Bennett isn’t afraid to put his characters through some really tough times and hard decisions. You are genuinely scared for them because he isn’t afraid to kill people off or have them make terrible sacrifices. One of the best things about this series is the world and how it works. It is built on scrivings, which are little rules written into materials that make them do a specific thing or think they are something else. Like wood scrived to think it is as hard as stone, locks that are smart and will only accept specific keys. The entire city has thousands of these all around, forcing reality to believe it is something different. Now a God-like creature, a Heirophant, who once destroyed most of the world has returned and wants to remake the city into what he thinks mankind should be. Once you find out how a Heirophant was made, it is hard to think anything they want will be good.  If this one gets his way, it will not go well for mankind. “Ofelia…” said his voice. “You wish to make a moral world, do you not? A just, equitable, sane world?” “Yes,” she whispered. “Yes. Of course you do. And sometimes I find it takes a lot of treachery and death to make a moral world. That is simply the way of things.” Our cast of characters from Foundryside will be there working together with a powerful tool at their side trying to stop the returning Heirophant.  Sancia can hear and see scrivings; she can even sometimes convince them to change, a trick she learned from a very special key. Sancia made 'friends' with Valeria, a tool once used by the Heirphant to change the world, until the tool became as powerful as the man who made her and went to war with him thousands of years ago. But, should you trust the powerful tool that seems to have an agenda of her own? I loved the characters in this. None of them are great fighters, well except the former soldier Gregor, but all of them bring something smart and unique to the table. They were a small band trying to break the main houses who controlled the city. They never expected to have to fight an almost god and his most powerful tool. “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.” Founders is a series I’m both desperate and terrified to finish. I’ve read other series by RJB and I know that nothing is off the table for him. The conclusions to his stories can be bittersweet for some characters and just down right sad for others. But I never guess what the endings will be and for that I’m always grateful and in the past I have left his series feeling satisfied with the endings. Another wonderful smart fantasy told by Robert Jackson Bennet and I was really happy that a certain key wasn’t left out of the story since he was one of my favorite things from Foundryside.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader

    One of the very first books I reviewed on my blog was Foundryside, first in the Founders Trilogy. I’ll never forget the experience of reading it. I was invited to read the book then as well, and I’m grateful for that because I was unlikely to pick up a fantasy book on my own. I would have been missing out. Robert Jackson Bennett has legions of fans, and once you get lost in one of his stories, it’s easy to see why. It’s also challenging to write about Shorefall and this series because I don’t wan One of the very first books I reviewed on my blog was Foundryside, first in the Founders Trilogy. I’ll never forget the experience of reading it. I was invited to read the book then as well, and I’m grateful for that because I was unlikely to pick up a fantasy book on my own. I would have been missing out. Robert Jackson Bennett has legions of fans, and once you get lost in one of his stories, it’s easy to see why. It’s also challenging to write about Shorefall and this series because I don’t want to give anything away, but I shall do my best. Shorefall is Sancia’s story. She and her friends have saved the bustling city of Tevanne when it was on the brink of disaster, and she has been assigned a new task, that of starting a magical-industrial revolution. What is the magic? As with Foundryside, the magic is “scriving,” where every day objects are given the ability to feel (i.e., sentience). For years, robber-barrons have kept this knowledge unto themselves, but now it will be available to everyone in Tevanne. Sancia has an enemy, however. He is using scriving to become something like a god, so he can take over the world. Sancia has to stop him, and in order to do so, she may have to create another god. Be prepared, dear readers, Shorefall is an exceedingly dark book. It’s also a thrill ride, entertaining, and compulsively readable. The ending is so shocking, I am literally still in shock about it, and it’s going to be a long wait for book three. Well-done, Robert Jackson Bennett! I received a gifted copy. All opinions are my own. Many of my reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com and instagram: www.instagram.com/tarheelreader

  14. 5 out of 5

    Deborah Obida

    Non stop action packed fantasy with great plot and complex magic system. There was also an ancient creature/god who wanted to remake the world. “Learn what your city has forgotten,” he said. “What men of power have forgotten time and time again, throughout history—that there is always, always something mightier.” Shorefall is the second book in this series. The events in this book took place three years after Foundryside. To be honest I'm a little disappointed in this book. Though the comrades Non stop action packed fantasy with great plot and complex magic system. There was also an ancient creature/god who wanted to remake the world. “Learn what your city has forgotten,” he said. “What men of power have forgotten time and time again, throughout history—that there is always, always something mightier.” Shorefall is the second book in this series. The events in this book took place three years after Foundryside. To be honest I'm a little disappointed in this book. Though the comradeship of the Foundrysiders was awesome there was no character development, I expected them to grow more into their role but this book was so action packed that the characters barely had time to grow. The world building is awesome, I love the depiction. The magic system which is more science than magic was well executed, almost too much, it was confusing in some parts. The writing here is better than that of book one. This is written in third person multiple POV of almost all the main characters. “Why did we bury this thing in cement, again?” asked Orso. “Because we wanted to make it hard as hell for us to dig it back up again. Keep going.” “Oh, Lord…Take me now.” Orso swung the pickax down again and again. My favourite character is Gregor, his past and how he was scrived was finally revealed and it was way sadder than I expected. Sancia and Berenice are almost the same, just that Sancia is no longer a thief. Orso is still here. Cresedes the villian is a cool character, I like his backstory. It's sad that he thinks he's doing the right thing. “I’m going to chance it,” said Sancia. “But if I start screaming or something—” “Run like hell,” said Orso. “Got it.” “No, I meant come and get me, asshole!” said Sancia. “God!” The plot is well executed. The Foundrysiders wants to destroy the Merchant houses that rule the city by stealing and giving away their scrive designs. They plan to use that to bring equality to the city, their plans was actually going well then the aforementioned ancient creature ruined it all.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Hamad

    I hope I can identify the characters, I feel that I forgot too much info... I made it through and it was good :D

  16. 5 out of 5

    Iryna *Book and Sword*

    Happy Pub Day to Shorefall! Oh Shorefall, how short have you fallen ( I think I'm so clever). My expectations for this book were higher than high. I kept checking the release date, kept waiting for cover reveal and when I got an ARC for this I literally screamed (happy screams, happy screams). And now that I have read it - I have very mediocre feelings about it. Because that's what this was - mediocre. Like lukewarm tea, you have to finish because you don't want to waste it. Ok, that was a bit dr Happy Pub Day to Shorefall! Oh Shorefall, how short have you fallen ( I think I'm so clever). My expectations for this book were higher than high. I kept checking the release date, kept waiting for cover reveal and when I got an ARC for this I literally screamed (happy screams, happy screams). And now that I have read it - I have very mediocre feelings about it. Because that's what this was - mediocre. Like lukewarm tea, you have to finish because you don't want to waste it. Ok, that was a bit dramatic, and don't get me wrong Shorefall was not bad, but it wasn't Foundryside good. Foundryside was electric! It was fast paced and exciting, and page turning. Shorefall was, well it just was. One might say, second book syndrome. But I don't believe in those. Second books are my FAVORITE books (Two Towers, Well of Ascension are some examples). So what happened? Where was the spark? Or, more honestly put, why the absence of a spark? No spoilers, so when you read Foundryside - you know how it ended. Clef and Sancia were separated. And you know what, their conversations were what makes the book! In Shorefall there's no Clef/Sancia team, there's no banter and you, as a reader, miss it dearly. There's also the problem of the cast of the book - it is very minuscule. Which can be nice, but for a fantasy of a scale that this should be, it felt lacking. Not to mention that the existing characters I absolutely loved from book 1 were lacking themselves. They didn't feel as multi-demential as they needed to be. In the end I did enjoy it, and am very still excited for the next book. This one felt like it was setting up for big things. But those things better be big. BIG. My BOOKSTAGRAM

  17. 4 out of 5

    Steven

    Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review. So book one had some awesome world-building, a cool magic system, and a budding LGBTQ+ relationship. This book took all of those things and took them up a notch. We got further development of the relationship - a LOT further. Like, read it and find out what I mean, but definitely advancement of that. The world got a little bigger and a little more magical too. We saw Orso, Gregor, Sancia, and Berenic Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review. So book one had some awesome world-building, a cool magic system, and a budding LGBTQ+ relationship. This book took all of those things and took them up a notch. We got further development of the relationship - a LOT further. Like, read it and find out what I mean, but definitely advancement of that. The world got a little bigger and a little more magical too. We saw Orso, Gregor, Sancia, and Berenice grow closer as a team. The magic got bigger, badder, cooler, scarier. The villains and the heroes get twisted around and around. I really don't want to give anything away, but let's just say that Bennett took everything I liked about the first book and did it again, with new twists, changes, and growth. This book ended way differently than I expected, which was an added plus!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Caidyn (BW Reviews; he/him/his)

    (4/21: Now it's out!! Since time is weird and getting books are hard, I want to promote my favorite book from March!) I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. CW: violence, blood, gore, war, and deception If I thought the first book was intense, nothing compared me for this one. I was legit sitting at my desk for a few minutes trying to realize what I read at the end and that this is going to be one hell of a book series, as if it wasn't already. I'll likely have spoilers (4/21: Now it's out!! Since time is weird and getting books are hard, I want to promote my favorite book from March!) I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. CW: violence, blood, gore, war, and deception If I thought the first book was intense, nothing compared me for this one. I was legit sitting at my desk for a few minutes trying to realize what I read at the end and that this is going to be one hell of a book series, as if it wasn't already. I'll likely have spoilers for the first book since this takes place three years after the events of the first book. So, the whole gang is together at the house they founded on their own. Everyone still hates them, but things have been brewing for the past three years. Clef is still silent, but someone new is about to come back. The Maker, or Craesedes. (Which I probably spelled wrong tbh.) But, really, everything's about to go to hell. I honestly mean that this book is a wild ride. It completely blew me away and I'm still left wondering where the hell the next book is going to go. Hell, I'm still wondering who's still going to be around for the next book because that ending killed me. The whole book was so fast and entrancing and I probably could have read it faster, but I made myself slow down to really savor it. Torture in its own way, but worth it. Robert Jackson Bennett, you better get on writing that third book because I'm already dying for it! Original review I'm not even 100 pages into the first book and I know I want to read this one.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Faith

    This book is the second of the trilogy and I don’t think that it can be read as a standalone. All of the setup of the characters is in the first book and if you skip it you’ll never know what an entertaining character Clef can be. (He’s a sentient key.) I thought that the first book also gave a clearer explanation of the scriving magic that encodes sentience into inanimate objects and enables some people to control them. In this book, it felt like new rules and powers for scriving cropped up on This book is the second of the trilogy and I don’t think that it can be read as a standalone. All of the setup of the characters is in the first book and if you skip it you’ll never know what an entertaining character Clef can be. (He’s a sentient key.) I thought that the first book also gave a clearer explanation of the scriving magic that encodes sentience into inanimate objects and enables some people to control them. In this book, it felt like new rules and powers for scriving cropped up on every other page, whenever the author needed to get the characters into or out of trouble he threw in new magic. There were a lot of villains and a lot of action and it had more plot development than is sometimes present in the middle book of a trilogy. By the end of the book, it seemed to me that the heroes had made the situation significantly worse, and the cliffhanger ending set things up for the final book. Ultimately, I liked this book slightly more than I liked the first one, which I found rather repetitive. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Hacen

    Received from NetGalley

  21. 5 out of 5

    Adam

    “What a critical and crushing thing, perspective is …” Robert Jackson Bennett is in both an enviable and a difficult situation. He’s one of the most imaginative writers in fantasy today, but that carries a sky-high level of expectation that can be difficult to meet. His latest book, Shorefall, is the second book of the Founders trilogy, and often the middle book of any trilogy is the weakest, so I admit to having some trepidation before starting it. I could not fathom how Bennett could improve up “What a critical and crushing thing, perspective is …” Robert Jackson Bennett is in both an enviable and a difficult situation. He’s one of the most imaginative writers in fantasy today, but that carries a sky-high level of expectation that can be difficult to meet. His latest book, Shorefall, is the second book of the Founders trilogy, and often the middle book of any trilogy is the weakest, so I admit to having some trepidation before starting it. I could not fathom how Bennett could improve upon the unique and deeply-developed groundwork that Foundryside provided while offering deeper dives into the science of scriving, building massive action set pieces, presenting fresh takes on creation and innovation, and stretching the limits of reality without sacrificing character growth, pathos, and heart. Shorefall put my fears to rest in the first three chapters. And then it started to get really good. "Humankind is most innovative at turning innovation to the cruelest ends." Three years have passed since Team Foundryside was formed, and Sancia, Gregor, Berenice, and Orso have help shift some of the balance of power outside the merchant campos of Tevanne. The team has been utilizing their mental resources, newfound time, and combined experience to pull off some daring and magnificent feats. But at the conclusion of Foundryside, Valeria warned of a dire threat that is tied to Gregor’s past. This horror starts to rear its ugly head, and a truly, truly terrifying villain is suddenly only moments away from acquiring the means to manipulate reality itself. What’s even more horrifying, and it is a credit to Bennett for pulling this off, is that this villain makes a pretty-damn good case for the endgame of his acts of terror. Along the way, we sink into an even deeper dive of intricate and mind-bendingly creative ways to explore scriving, object sentience, reality manipulation, and what can result when each effect starts to stack upon the other. Somehow, all this chaos makes a beautiful sense, as Bennett never loses sight of placing his characters’ relationships at the heart of it all. Although the lines between objects and living things become blurrier over time, the bonds that this team shares becomes clearer and stronger. But love can be exploited, and these relationships never turn out the way that you expected them to, do they? “When humanity gains a new tool, what will it become?” To say anymore about the plot of the story would rob the author of his intended delivery. But I will say that nearly every chapter introduces a clever new wrinkle to the equation that challenges the status quo. By the end of the story, Bennett had built a Jenga tower of theories and ideas that could not be toppled. Shorefall is a slice of genius slathered with unfiltered madness; it is an innovation on invention. I want to scrive in this world, to create and experiment with Berenice and Orso, to scale towers and improvise with Sancia, to fight battles and defend my friends with Gregor. I loved this book. Bennett is one of the brightest talents around. Read the Divine Cities trilogy. Read Foundryside. Read Shorefall. Read whatever comes next. 9.2 / 10 ARC via NetGalley

  22. 5 out of 5

    Yodamom

    What a twisted shrived magical fiendish web of deceit the author has woven. I just finished and feel like I need to catch my breath. I’m still hanging off the side of the cliffhanger ending. Everything was a question with unknown answers, with lies, truthful answers that could be twisted to seem other. You think you know, they thought they knew but could you know if you have been lied to ? But, which are the lies ? Oh it is intense, there was some serious power struggles going on. Power rearing i What a twisted shrived magical fiendish web of deceit the author has woven. I just finished and feel like I need to catch my breath. I’m still hanging off the side of the cliffhanger ending. Everything was a question with unknown answers, with lies, truthful answers that could be twisted to seem other. You think you know, they thought they knew but could you know if you have been lied to ? But, which are the lies ? Oh it is intense, there was some serious power struggles going on. Power rearing its ugly face with a God like being determined to rule them all. Oh but it was not just one, no there were others involved other with secrets and a desire for something more. Battles are lost people are hurt, some characters die, it is a brutal desperate battle. I cringed a couple times when one of my favorites was, well you’ll find out. I really enjoyed the slow building of the characters relationships with each other. They had to learn to trust, to open themselves up. There had been so much trauma, and lies. The author did this beautifully and believably. It also made it harder to say goodbye to them. Oh the ending was such a shock, I never saw that coming ! Yes, I knew something was wrong but WOAH ! Now I must wait for book 3, waiting can be so hard .

  23. 4 out of 5

    Montzalee Wittmann

    Shorefall (The Founders Trilogy #2) by Robert Jackson Bennett This is a book I requested from NetGalley and the review is voluntary. This is a good fantasy adventure that follows book one some unknown time after. It makes more sense to read book one first. I didn't find this one as exciting as book one. It has some of the same characters and new ones too. Like the magic use!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Silvana

    Yet another case of "it's not you, it's me". I tried to enjoy this book, I did. I gave Foundryside three stars since I believe there were things that could be better. This sequel just made it worse for me. There were barely sufficient character work for me, except Gregor. Sancia and Berenice and Orso were just there, existed. The gods - my pet peeve in fantasy - were not that interesting and at times even bored me with their overlengthy declarations. Speaking of overlengthy, I found the book spent Yet another case of "it's not you, it's me". I tried to enjoy this book, I did. I gave Foundryside three stars since I believe there were things that could be better. This sequel just made it worse for me. There were barely sufficient character work for me, except Gregor. Sancia and Berenice and Orso were just there, existed. The gods - my pet peeve in fantasy - were not that interesting and at times even bored me with their overlengthy declarations. Speaking of overlengthy, I found the book spent too much time with characters explaining things to each other, how they were going to do things, instead of showing the readers when it's being done. It is grating, and made me so impatient. Yes, many readers enjoy these kinds of stuff, but I do not. I like being shown stuff, not being told about the manual prior. Lack of character work and overlengthy expositions made me felt less invested after every page. Too bad since the world building was cool (I always thought this book is about magical AI programming). Maybe the book could use some trimming and I'd enjoy it more. Or maybe it's just not for me.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Yodamom

    What a twisted scribed magical fiendish web of deceit the author has woven. I just finished and feel like I need to catch my breath. I’m still hanging off the side of the cliffhanger ending. Everything was a question with unknown answers, with lies, truthful answers that could be twisted to seem other. You think you know, they thought they knew but could you know if you have been lied to ? But, which are the lies ? Oh it is intense, there was some serious power struggles going on. Power rearing i What a twisted scribed magical fiendish web of deceit the author has woven. I just finished and feel like I need to catch my breath. I’m still hanging off the side of the cliffhanger ending. Everything was a question with unknown answers, with lies, truthful answers that could be twisted to seem other. You think you know, they thought they knew but could you know if you have been lied to ? But, which are the lies ? Oh it is intense, there was some serious power struggles going on. Power rearing its ugly face with a God like being determined to rule them all. Oh but it was not just one, no there were others involved other with secrets and a desire for something more. Battles are lost people are hurt, some characters die, it is a brutal desperate battle. I cringed a couple times when one of my favorites was, well you’ll find out. I really enjoyed the slow building of the characters relationships with each other. They had to learn to trust, to open themselves up. There had been so much trauma, and lies. The author did this beautifully and believably. It also made it harder to say goodbye to them. Oh the ending was such a shock, I never saw that coming ! Yes, I knew something was wrong but WOAH ! Now I must wait for book 3, waiting can be so hard .

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn Speckels (Metaphors and Miscellanea)

    Me, finding out I got approved for the ARC of this on NetGalley: YES OH MY GOD FINALLY IT'S HERE I LOVED FOUNDRYSIDE GIVE ME MORE Me, shortly thereafter, realizing it's been over a year since I read the first one and I've forgotten some pieces of how it ended and can't find a recap anywhere online and am now afraid to start this one: well, this is just scrumming* fantastic. * well, if nothing else, apparently I remembered this universe's profanity, so there's that.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Alaina

    I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Wow, Shorefall took forever to get through. So much happened in this one and I'm not sure how I'm still handling/processing everything. The ending was such a damn cliffhanger and now I'm left with endless questions! I'm hoping a certain someone isn't dead and maybe just slightly injured?? Besides hoping, again, so much happened in this book. Thankfully this sequel didn't get hit with the horrible second book syndrome. Althou I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Wow, Shorefall took forever to get through. So much happened in this one and I'm not sure how I'm still handling/processing everything. The ending was such a damn cliffhanger and now I'm left with endless questions! I'm hoping a certain someone isn't dead and maybe just slightly injured?? Besides hoping, again, so much happened in this book. Thankfully this sequel didn't get hit with the horrible second book syndrome. Although I will admit some chapters were a bit slow for me to get through. Yet, pacing isn't a huge thing to get upset about when there are so many moving pieces to follow throughout the book. Other than that, I loved getting to see the characters again. They really grew up from the first one and I thought they were getting better at bad ass plans and saving everyone. Unfortunately, I'm left here waiting and wanting more. I most definitely need the next book and can't wait for it!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Mogsy (MMOGC)

    4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2020/04/21/... Looking back at my review for Foundryside, it seemed I loved the book, so I was actually surprised at how little I retained from the story. Luckily, its sequel Shorefall does a hell of a job catching readers up, and soon I was feeling comfortably back in the magical world of the series. That said, the initial disorientation may have impacted my overall experience, not to mention the “wearing off of novelty” effect that com 4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2020/04/21/... Looking back at my review for Foundryside, it seemed I loved the book, so I was actually surprised at how little I retained from the story. Luckily, its sequel Shorefall does a hell of a job catching readers up, and soon I was feeling comfortably back in the magical world of the series. That said, the initial disorientation may have impacted my overall experience, not to mention the “wearing off of novelty” effect that commonly affects sequels, because I didn’t think this novel was as strong as its predecessor, though it was still a very good, solid read. Once more, readers are transported back to the city of Tevanne, where magic and industry co-exist and work hand in hand. A few years have passed since the end of the first book when we last left our protagonist Sancia, who has given up her thieving ways to help her employer Orso Igancio make the world a better place. Their scriving firm Foundryside is growing in reputation and influence by the day, making great contributions to the knowledge of magic while helping the city by teaching people how to utilize it. And yet, it is not enough. Tevanne may be large and prosperous, but its successes are only enjoyed by a few at the top, and not surprisingly, the leaders of the ruling merchant houses are not too keen on sharing. To prevent themselves from going under, the Foundrysiders hatch up a plan to stay in the game, and make previous inaccessible magical technology available to the public besides. So, okay, maybe Sancia’s thieving days aren’t quite over, exactly. But no sooner do they start celebrating their triumph than a new threat appears on the horizon, and this is one enemy that not even the merchant houses can avoid, despite all their riches and power. A legendary hierophant named Crasedes Magnus has resurrected, scrived to the wazoo, and he is bent on shaping the city and its population into his vision. Only Sancia may have the guts and the skills to take him on, but unfortunately, Crasedes already has his eye on our protagonist and her little group, believing that they have what he needs. I was so excited when Shorefall opened with the adventurous energy and tone of a bold caper. Pretty soon, though, the story begins shifting into darker and more suspenseful territory, edging slightly into horror. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t perceive this as a negative, but it did cause my expectations to change slightly. Speaking of which, one thing I did miss was the humor. I may have forgotten quite a few things from Foundryside, but what had always stayed with me were the laughs, most of them resulting from the banter between Sancia and the sentient golden key Clef. Shorefall, on the other hand, was decidedly lighter on these moments of levity, which made sense, seeing as how Clef did not feature as prominently in this sequel (though he still had a very significant role). In addition to a more somber and direr tone, you should also expect the writing to place more emphasis on the characters’ relationships rather than their exploits. While we still have action and intrigue aplenty, where Shorefall shines is the story’s in-depth exploration of Sancia’s friendships, with particular attention to her loyalty. Her Foundryside crew is her family, and we get to see this in her respect for Orso and Gregor, and of course her love for Berenice. Without giving too much away, I’ll just say that there are several developments in this book that cause each of them to reflect upon their trust for one another and bring them all closer together. The world-building also remains ever impressive, but then, who’s surprised? Robert Jackson Bennett has always excelled in this area, and I find myself constantly recommending his books to fantasy fans who are looking for unique and interesting magic systems. In a nutshell, the concept of scriving involves using magical commands etched in the ancient language of the Hierophants to “convince” everyday objects to behave in a certain way. Following the same concept, talented scrivers like Sancia can also tap into these scrived objects and use magic to persuade them to be something they’re not. The idea is brilliant in its elegance and simplicity, but still, by expanding the magic system in this sequel, I think Bennett was forced to make it more complex. As a result, some of his explanations struck me as forced or too convoluted, and there were moments where I felt things got away from him. For example, certain solutions to magical problems were glossed over, and several times I felt like we were expected to just roll with whatever arbitrary explanations were given to describe how some new aspect of the magic worked. But in the end, my criticisms were few, while reasons to love Shorefall were many. It’s a fantastic follow-up to Foundryside no matter how you look at it, with so much to add to the series’ story arc, characters, and world-building. If you enjoyed the first volume, you’ll likely find lots to love in this sequel as well, and after this be even more excited for the trilogy conclusion in the next book.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Nadine

    Shorefall is one of my most anticipated novels of 2020 and I’m happy to report that it did not disappoint. Shorefall is the much anticipated sequel to Foundryside, a world in which objects can be made to do or be different things than their intended use by writing on them in a magical language. Shorefall picks up three years after the events of Foundryside as our characters continue their mission of toppling the unfair socioeconomic system in place. Their plans are thrown into disarray when they Shorefall is one of my most anticipated novels of 2020 and I’m happy to report that it did not disappoint. Shorefall is the much anticipated sequel to Foundryside, a world in which objects can be made to do or be different things than their intended use by writing on them in a magical language. Shorefall picks up three years after the events of Foundryside as our characters continue their mission of toppling the unfair socioeconomic system in place. Their plans are thrown into disarray when they receive word that someone is attempting to resurrect a hierophant. Shorefall feels very different from its predecessor. Where Foundryside is focused on a single story, Shorefall opens up the world and its lore. Readers are now getting a look at the big picture as opposed to a single element of that picture. “’Learn what your city has forgotten,’ he said. ‘What men of power have forgotten time and time again, throughout history – that there is always, always something mightier.’” The pace of Shorefall is incredibly fast. The characters are thrust into one situation after another as they try to keep up. The events fly by like rapid fire making Shorefall easy to read. Shorefall also follows the same characters from Foundryside. There isn’t much to say other than I’m incredibly grateful the sequel focuses on them again, especially Sancia and Bernice ;). Overall, Shorefall is an incredible sequel that ups the stakes tenfold as the characters race against the clock to save the city they’ve been desperately trying to change. ***I received an ARC from the publisher via Netgalley for an honest review.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kristen

    Full review on superstardrifter.com 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 t Full review on superstardrifter.com 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. 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!

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