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Romance and other things

Excellent and by Excellent I do not mean without flaws

City of Stairs - Robert Jackson Bennett

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.

 

 

 

review:

No, I mean that this was a gripping yarn. Could not put down, needed to finish m/m book for review, tried to start something else - could not.

 

Do not feel like talking much - went to read some Amazon reviews since I am not reviewing for DA and yeah, tastes differ - just do not see at all where people get meandering plot or weak characterization. I thought he took several genres and made such a tasty cocktail - settings which may cause you to think about tons of real world political issues, but which are really not.

 

Formerly oppressed became oppressors - Shaiuri forbade Continent and the City of Bulikov to remember their history - them being supported by Gods, by Divinities. Of course people do not really follow rules like that and Shayuri while wanting people of Bulikov to forget, want to study the history themselves and famous historian who comes to Bulikov from Shayuri does not get a good welcome and gets himself murdered.

 

Shara and her "secretary" Zigrun come to investigate his death, so they investigate and investigate and then it all explodes into epic fantasy, kind of ? Mixed up with conspiracy thriller and something else. Loved Shara - really loved her. Sigrun ended up very likeable (but not gorgeous, thank the Gods).

 

Oh and there is Governor Mugladesh who was great too.

 

Did not see the ending coming re: resolution of the mystery despite the fact that looking back it was foreshadowed.

 

One artistic choice irritated the crap out of me - as you can see I do not downgrade for this because it fit the story,

but I am sorry it is just such an awful cliché - the only gay/bi character in the book has to die? I guess the days of that in main stream fiction are not over, sigh. Again, I get why he died, and him being gay/bi was part of his character arc, but as I said, I was firmly convinced that this was the choice which the writer did not have to make.

(show spoiler)

 

Everything else worked - even those multiple history extracts which usually make me roll my eyes and think about the author not being able to show the history of the world to me, but somehow he did both.