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City of stairs : a novel de Robert Jackson…
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City of stairs : a novel (2014 original; edició 2014)

de Robert Jackson Bennett

Sèrie: The Divine Cities (1)

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
1,4511269,535 (4.18)146
"The city of Bulikov once wielded the powers of the gods to conquer the world, enslaving and brutalizing millions--until its divine protectors were killed. Now Bulikov has become just another colonial outpost of the world's new geopolitical power, but the surreal landscape of the city itself--first shaped, now shattered, by the thousands of miracles its guardians once worked upon it--stands as a constant, haunting reminder of its former supremacy. Into this broken city steps Shara Thivani. Officially, the unassuming young woman is just another junior diplomat sent by Bulikov's oppressors. Unofficially, she is one of her country's most accomplished spies, dispatched to catch a murderer. But as Shara pursues the killer, she starts to suspect that the beings who ruled this terrible place may not be as dead as they seem--and that Bulikov's cruel reign may not yet be over."-- From back cover.… (més)
Membre:electricsheep82
Títol:City of stairs : a novel
Autors:Robert Jackson Bennett
Informació:New York : Broadway Books, 2014.
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
Valoració:
Etiquetes:No n'hi ha cap

Detalls de l'obra

City of Stairs de Robert Jackson Bennett (2014)

Afegit fa poc perbiblioteca privada, jvin_99, kittenelephant, SugarThief, Chris_Allen, mindbat, jpv0, mring42, levan.matthew
  1. 40
    Three Parts Dead de Max Gladstone (reconditereader)
  2. 20
    The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms de N. K. Jemisin (calmclam)
    calmclam: Similar themes of empire and colonialism as well as wars against/between the gods.
  3. 20
    The City & The City de China Miéville (Euryale)
  4. 10
    The Scar de China Miéville (davisfamily)
    davisfamily: A mystery within a unique setting. Interesting mix of Religion and Politics.
  5. 10
    The Killing Moon de N. K. Jemisin (jain)
  6. 00
    Redemption's Blade: After The War de Adrian Tchaikovsky (Nova_Mortem)
    Nova_Mortem: Both are set "after" what many stories would make the main feature.
  7. 00
    The Etched City de K. J. Bishop (Euryale)
    Euryale: Another immersive, secondary-world urban setting.
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The city knows. It remembers. Its past is written in its bones, though the past now speaks in silences.

The [b:City of Stairs|20174424|City of Stairs (The Divine Cities, #1)|Robert Jackson Bennett|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1394545220l/20174424._SY75_.jpg|28030792] is a wonderful book. The start is remarkably dense, dropping you into the deep end of a complicated world with flavors I at least wasn't as familiar with where Proper Nouns abound and the rules are uncertain--even to those living therein.

The worldbuilding and descriptions and writing style are fantastic.

Yet now Ashara—or just Shara, usually—finally sees. The stairs lead everywhere, nowhere: there are huge mountains of stairs, suddenly rising out of the curb to slash up the hillsides; then there will be sets of uneven stairs that wind down the slope like trickling creeks; and sometimes the stairs materialize before you like falls on whitewater rapids, and you see a huge vista crack open mere yards ahead.… The name must be a new one. This could have only happened after the War. When everything … broke. So this is what the Blink looks like, she thinks. Or, rather, this is what it did.…

The City of Stairs. A War. The Blink. Dead gods. So many things that make you want to learn more and such a beautiful, eerie way of describing a broken world.

However, just because something is impossible does not mean that the people of Saypur should not expect it to be done: after all, before the War, didn’t impossible things happen on the Continent every hour of every day? Is that not why Saypur, and indeed, the rest of the world, sleeps so poorly every night?

One thing that at once amused me and pulled me out of my immersion in the book is the swearing. There are a number of 'shits' and 'fucks' throughout, used in a purely modern feel. They fit but they don't and it's jarring when normally I expect worlds to have developed their own ways of cursing.


“That biography of Thinadeshi is shit, just so you know,” she said.

“Is it?”

“Yes. The writer has an agenda. And his references are suspect.”

“Ah. His references. Very important.”

“Yes.” He flipped a page. “Incidentally,” he asked, “did you ever give much thought to the thing I said about fucking?”

“Shut up.” He smiled.


Right. Probably not the best book for young readers.

I love the characters. Especially Shara, she's a tea drinking secret agent(ish) with an interest in history and magic. She's in way over her head, but will that stop her? No. She's going to meet the world head on, drink some tea, and do what needs to be done.

A corrupt politician, thinks Shara. What a wildly unconventional idea. After all, one can’t mount the last few steps on the ladder without a lot of nasty compromises.

Also: Sigrud.


"Those damages were done, after all, by a Ministry employee."

That man works for the Ministry? For you? But he's a Dreyling, isn't he? Haven't they all become savages and pirates since their little kingdom collapsed?

"Maybe so," says Shara, "but he saved your life."


Badass noble savage heir to a kingdom, fiercely devoted bodyguard, and all around mover and shaker. I sorely hope to see more of him in the sequels. Also, his people are the Dreylings. This amuses me greatly (and you'll either know me well enough to know why or you won't).

Overall: highly recommend. Make it past the crazy dense intro and you're in for quite a ride.
( )
  jpv0 | Jul 21, 2021 |
This might be a somewhat generous rating, because City of Stairs was tough to penetrate; there is so much world building at the outset that plot and characters are relegated to sideshows. A scholar is murdered, whose mission is unclear for a long, long time. An investigator (Shara Thivani) is dispatched to determine who was responsible. She is not very likable. Slowly, a plot develops, with substantial political intrigue, and somewhere about halfway through, the characters and their roles are clarified, and things start moving much more quickly and there is finally some action which escalates to mayhem. Shara's "secretary" Sigrud is the most interesting character, and they make for a formidable team, bringing the story to a surprising culmination. I liked "The Troupe" better. ( )
  skipstern | Jul 11, 2021 |
To me, this was one of the most unique books I'd read in 2014. It falls into a number of categories, so I can only tell you that I found the background of the book thoroughly engrossing as well as the characters. There is a subtle touch of humor that reminded me of Iain M. Banks, world building reminiscent of China Mieville, a heroic element that is not the protagonist and an unlikely protagonist who is not only clever but well drawn. People have said that there is an Eastern Bloc feel to the background but there are also elements that are dieselpunk and over it all a pervading sense that magic is deliberately stamped out, but not willing stay restrained. Bureaucracy rules the City - but for how long? The conquered people are converted into to non-believers - or are they? The Gods of the City were all killed by the invading army - or were they? ( )
  JefftheYoung | Jun 30, 2021 |
It could be because I had a four-day holiday weekend, it could be that this book is half detective novel and half fantasy, but whichever it is, I absolutely tore through this book. The backstory is that at one point, actual gods walked the earth, some making improvements and others enslaving and torturing millions of people, until the colony of Saypur rebelled and fought back. As they died, all of the gods' works were erased, leaving the city of Bulikov torn apart -- some divinely-constructed buildings and infrastructure disappearing entirely, carving gashes into the city, and others merely disappearing from existing buildings, leaving behind staircases that lead to nothing (hence the title) and buildings split down the middle.

Afterward, Saypur banned any mention of the gods and effectively erased centuries of history. Closer to the present, a "cultural ambassador" was sent to research this history (while the native residents were themselves prohibited to do so), and murdered shortly after. Cue Shara, who's been assigned to investigate, alongside her bodyguard/"secretary" Sigrud, who's basically my favorite.

I think the best part of this book is how the Divinities are mentioned in the same sentence as semi-modern improvements like cars and gas lighting. The history of the world is just as important to the action as Shara's investigation in the present (almost more important, honestly), and it's absolutely massive. The war against the Divinities could be a series by itself, and one I would definitely read. There's just so much to this book that I was honestly surprised it was only ~450 pages.

Other thoughts: Shara is a badass female lead, and Sigrud is just so ridiculous (and apparently death-proof) that I don't know where to begin with him. There's a subplot involving one of Shara's former lovers, who is gay and very much in the closet, as such things are also banned. I can't say it worked out how I wanted it to, though.

Overall I absolutely cannot wait for the sequel, which from the description alone I know has to be amazing as well. ( )
  katie.kloss | Apr 25, 2021 |
Rating should be a 4.5 really. But i did manage to deduce two major plot points before they were explained. Otherwise an excellent book and I am really looking forward to sequels. ( )
  Andorion | Feb 6, 2021 |
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Robert Jackson Bennettautor primaritotes les edicionscalculat
Brand, ChristopherDissenyador de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Dong, LaurenDissenyadorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Weber, SamAutor de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat

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"The city of Bulikov once wielded the powers of the gods to conquer the world, enslaving and brutalizing millions--until its divine protectors were killed. Now Bulikov has become just another colonial outpost of the world's new geopolitical power, but the surreal landscape of the city itself--first shaped, now shattered, by the thousands of miracles its guardians once worked upon it--stands as a constant, haunting reminder of its former supremacy. Into this broken city steps Shara Thivani. Officially, the unassuming young woman is just another junior diplomat sent by Bulikov's oppressors. Unofficially, she is one of her country's most accomplished spies, dispatched to catch a murderer. But as Shara pursues the killer, she starts to suspect that the beings who ruled this terrible place may not be as dead as they seem--and that Bulikov's cruel reign may not yet be over."-- From back cover.

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