Book Review: The Tainted Cup by Robert Jackson Bennett

January 25, 2024


The Tainted Cup by Robert Jackson Bennett is a murder/mystery/fantasy story taking place in an Empire under threat from huge creatures known as Leviathans. Mr. Bennett is an award-winning author.

  • 432 pages
  • Publisher ‏ : Del Rey
  • Language ‏ : English
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : 1984820702

Book Review: The Tainted Cup by Robert Jackson Bennett
My rat­ing for The Tainted Cup5
Buy The Tainted Cup from*
More Books by Robert Jackson Bennett*


This is the first book in the Shadow of the Leviathan fantasy series. Even though I don’t read much fantasy or science fiction, I do like the genre and there’s something about the author’s writing which intrigues me.
I guess that could be said for all books though.

As in his other books, I enjoyed the ingenuity of the author in his world-building. The Tainted Cup by Robert Jackson Bennett takes place in a world where people learn how to manipulate plants and the human body. Creating enhanced beings each with their own specialty. These powers, however, also have a downside, sometimes unknown until it’s too late.

The characters work well in this book as well, even though I had to keep a mental checklist of who’s who, mostly because of the strange names. The investigator, Ana Dolabra, is very eccentric, yet brilliant. In the meantime, her assistant Dinios Kol is nothing of the kind, he is augmented and suffers for it.

The murder/mystery takes center page in this book, as opposed to the high fantasy and world-building. The Empire is attacked by Leviathans, breaking through walls with the intent to destroy it. That is always present but is never in the forefront. To be honest, I thought of Attack on Titan throughout the whole book, and wondered if it influenced the author in any way.

Anime and strange names aside, I enjoyed this book very much. Especially how the author tied up almost everything in the last part of the book in an elegant way which is worthy of the detective who influenced this book.


Ana Dolabra is a brilliant sleuth who has been assigned to investigate the murder of Imperial officers and engineers. They have been killed by a strange contagion that sprouts trees from their insides, ripping them apart.

Dinios Kol is assigned to be Ana’s new assistant. Kol is known as an engraver, a person who has been altered to have perfect memory. Kol’s job is to observe and report everything to Ana, who can assemble the pieces and put the puzzle together.

Buy The Tainted Cup from*
More Books by Robert Jackson Bennett*

Zohar — Man of la Book
Dis­claimer:I got this book for free
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account, the money is usually spent on books

--- Please like and follow ---
Review Date
Reviewed Item
The Tainted Cup by Robert Jackson Bennett
Author Rating

Wrap Up

The Tainted Cup by Robert Jackson Bennett

No Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

25 − 17 =

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial
Visit Us
Follow Me
Post on X