Shorefall by Robert Jackson Bennett is the second book in the Founders fantasy series. Mr. Bennett is an award winning author including the Edgar Award, the Shirley Jackson Award and a Philip K Dick Award Citation of Excellence.
- 400 pages
- Publisher: Jo Fletcher Books
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1786487896
The first book in the Founders series, Foundryside, was a fantastic journey into a world which uses magic as technology and the dangers that come with it. When I finished the novel, I was immediately ready to immerse myself in the continuation, alas I had to wait.
When I got the opportunity to read Shorefall by Robert Jackson Bennett, I immediately jumped on it. This book takes the ideas from the frist book, builds on them, and vastly expands them. In my head, I always thought of “scriving”, the process of coding inanimate objects like walls, wheels, etc., to computer code. Thriving on instructions, blocks of code, structures and more, this fantastical world seemed very familiar.
The sequel expands not only on world building, societies, and technologies, but also questions what the author created. He explorers the reality of politics, faith, and of course the humanity of his characters. These two books touch on the very relevant subject of technology, and asks its readers how can something which is generally seen as beneficial to humanity, can also be used for evil by enslaving, corrupting, and influencing power.
And we didn’t even get into the privacy aspect of it.
This novel continues with the story of Sancia, an ex –slave and thief, who can “talk” to scrived objects as an experimental scrived human. Orso, an genius scriver who worked for a big merchant house, and Gregor, a soldier who is about to learn his destiny. Sancia’s girlfriend, Berenice, gets a lot of attention in this book, while all the characters grow somewhat, her arc is the most significant.
There is a lot going on in this book, it feels almost claustrophobic, which allows the characterization to suffer in favor of plot progression. Despite that, it’s a marvelous book, a worth sequel, full of fantastic world building and fast paced narrative.
In Foundryside, Orso Ignacio and Sancia Grado are having a tough time with their scriving startup firm. Scriving involves encoding everyday objects with magic (code?) to make them do things they are not meant to do. The firm started a trend where scrivers leave the big merchant houses of Tevanne to start their own businesses, and the big merchant houses of Tevanne don’t like that one bit.
Soon, however, the merchant houses will have something much more powerful and sinister do deal with than a bunch of scrivers. A powerful entity has resurrected. This one is that of an ancient scriver that wields god-like powers which can destroy Tevanne, and is intent on doing so.
Zohar — Man of la Book
Disclaimer: I got this book for free.
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