Sunday, April 15, 2018

Melanie's Week in Review - April 15, 2018

Hello readers. Hope you have had a good week. I started to get over my uber bad cold so also able to read something challenging on my commute into work.I did however, only read one book but boy, it was a good one! So what did I read?

I finally decided to buy City of Miracles which is the final book of Robert J. Bennett's The Divine Cities trilogy. This book has been out for some time and I highly recommend you read the Qwill's review. I absolutely loved this series but had to wait for the price to drop a bit on the Kindle version before I bought it.

Rather than recount the plot for you I am going to focus on a couple of themes I picked out. I felt the most prominent theme was the theme of loss. The loss of a mother's love, the loss of friendship and the loss of identity. Loss was on every page and every chapter. Sigrud acutely felt the loss of his daughter and his beloved friend and as the story progressed we discovered what else he lost through the choices he made. Grief was the other prominent theme and Bennett explores, through his characters, individual responses to grief.  In fact loss and grief were the prevalent themes throughout all three novels with the deaths of Vohannes in City of Stairs, Signe in City of Blades and then Shara's death in the final book. In my view, Bennett is a master of handling the very sensitive and personal topic of grief. Bennett's standalone novel The Troupe is another testament of his ability to deal with this topic. The counter balance to grief was the theme of love - parental love, romantic love, friendship. This theme was a bit more subtle in how it played out but it was definitely there.

Bennett is one of my favourite authors even though I haven't yet read everything he has written. For me his books are like a good quality, expensive chocolates. I don't want to eat them all the time or they won't be such a treat. The Divine Cities has superb character development, excellent world building and tight plot arc. This final book is very poignant and you should probably have some tissues handy. This series is a must read but be sure to start with book 1 - City of Stairs.

That is it for me this week. I won't be with you next week as I am away to Spain for a city break. I am super excited that it is going to be 28°C. After two weeks of non stop rain and grey skies I am really looking forward to my vitamin D not coming from a bottle. Until next time Happy Reading.

City of Miracles
The Divine Cities 3
Broadway Books, May 2, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 464 pages

Revenge. It’s something Sigrud je Harkvaldsson is very, very good at. Maybe the only thing.

So when he learns that his oldest friend and ally, former Prime Minister Shara Komayd, has been assassinated, he knows exactly what to do—and that no mortal force can stop him from meting out the suffering Shara’s killers deserve.

Yet as Sigrud pursues his quarry with his customary terrifying efficiency, he begins to fear that this battle is an unwinnable one. Because discovering the truth behind Shara’s death will require him to take up arms in a secret, decades-long war, face down an angry young god, and unravel the last mysteries of Bulikov, the city of miracles itself. And—perhaps most daunting of all—finally face the truth about his own cursed existence.

UK Cover - Published by Jo Fletcher Books


City of Stairs
The Divine Cities 1
Broadway Books, September 9, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook, 464 pages

An atmospheric and intrigue-filled novel of dead gods, buried histories, and a mysterious, protean city--from one of America's most acclaimed young SF writers.

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.

See Qwill's review here.

UK Cover - Published by Jo Fletcher Books

City of Blades
The Divine Cities 2
Broadway Books, January 26, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 496 pages

A triumphant return to the world of City of Stairs.

A generation ago, the city of Voortyashtan was the stronghold of the god of war and death, the birthplace of fearsome supernatural sentinels who killed and subjugated millions.

Now, the city’s god is dead. The city itself lies in ruins. And to its new military occupiers, the once-powerful capital is a wasteland of sectarian violence and bloody uprisings.

So it makes perfect sense that General Turyin Mulaghesh— foul-mouthed hero of the battle of Bulikov, rumored war criminal, ally of an embattled Prime Minister—has been exiled there to count down the days until she can draw her pension and be forgotten.

At least, it makes the perfect cover story.

The truth is that the general has been pressed into service one last time, dispatched to investigate a discovery with the potential to change the world–or destroy it.

The trouble is that this old soldier isn’t sure she’s still got what it takes to be the hero.

See Qwill's review here.

UK Cover - Published by Jo Fletcher Books


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