Robert Jackson Bennett is one of my favourite authors. From his earlier, stand-alone novels to his Divine Cities series, I think he’s one of the best fantasy authors writing today. Therefore, any new novel from him is to be considered cause for celebration. This year, Crown (North America) and Jo Fletcher Books (UK) are due to release the first novel in his new Founders series: Foundryside. Here are the details:
In a city that runs on industrialized magic, a thief must join forces with the town’s only honest cop to stop a ritual that will kill thousands — and threatens to make their home a battleground between ancient evils.
The city of Tevanne has grown rich, thanks to its mastery of the magical technology known as “scriving” — the art of inscribing an item with sigils to imbue it with some aspects of sentience.
Or more precisely, the four merchant houses who monopolize scriving have grown rich. For their employees, their servants — their slaves — life in the city is orderly, protected. For those forced to live without House protection — and those who choose to throw off House shackles — well, Tevanne’s not such a fun place to be.
And in a town like Tevanne, it’s hard to imagine two more natural enemies than Sancia Grado and Gregor Dandolo. Sancia is a former slave whose ordeals have made her an unnaturally talented thief. Today she uses her skills to steal from the very Houses that Captain Gregor Dandolo is sworn to protect. But when the two clash over Sancia’s theft of a powerful magical artifact, the fallout leads them to confront a common threat — a plot by Tevanne’s masters to develop a weapon capable of unleashing devastating warfare across the world.
Also on CR: Interview with Robert Jackson Bennett (2012); Guest Post on “City of Stairs and the Super Tropey Fantasy Checklist”; Excerpt from City of Stairs; Review of City of Stairs