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. For while the city’s god is most certainly dead, something is awakening in Voortyashtan. And someone is determined to make the world tremble at the the city’s awful power again.
“Mulaghesh walks to the railing. ‘You want to know why I’m here? Here of all places on this damned world?”
“Tell us!” shouts one of the men below. “Tell us!”
“Fine!” snarls Mulaghesh. “I’m on vacation, you dumb sons of bitches.”
City of Blades was just as amazing, bizarre, and utterly enchanting as City of Stairs was. Once I got over my initial disappointment that we weren’t going to be in Bulikov with Shara again, that is.
This does suffer a little bit of middle child syndrome. It wasn’t as grand a story, because it was leading up to the last book. It wasn’t as jaw dropping, because we had already had the shock of a lifetime in City of Stairs. However, this was still amazing, still jaw-dropping, and just as emotional as the first book. Best middle child, ever!
Our new lead character is Turyin Mulaghesh. Who is fucking awesome. So awesome. The bestest awesome ever. We know her already, and she is so fed up with this shit. She has had a long life, she wants to be retired! She is old, and she is broken, and she is tired.
And she is being dragged out of retirement to put up with this shit yet again.
Poor Mulagesh. Your pain is my enjoyment.
Mulagesh is being sent to the City of Blades, where a four-armed, 3-handed goddess ruled over the land before her death. Voortya was their war god, ruling over Voortyashtan and shaping the land. And Voortya is the one god that they know is dead without a shadow of a doubt. So why is Mulagesh finding hints that the City of Blades still exists? The real City of Blades, which is the afterlife of warriors created by Voortya, not the city as it stands now? If it still exists, does this mean the goddess is still alive? Or is something else going on?
Yes, this book exists in a new city, with a new lead. Yet it is awesome, and before long it becomes just as complicated and just as bizarre as City of Stairs. It is so, so good. And then that ending. Holy hell, that ending. Ow. Wow. I just didn’t see it coming. I only have one book left to go, and I don’t think I’ll survive it.
To read more reviews for this series, check out the The Divine Cities series page!