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The Divine Cities by Robert Jackson Bennett

Complete series with 3 novels.
Genres: urban fantasy, alternative history, fantasy, mythology

Series Blurb:

In a world where terrifying, capricious gods once walked the earth, enslaving and brutalizing millions, three unforgettable protagonists struggle to come to terms with the mysteries these divinities left behind— and to make sure these cruel masters do not rise again.

Reading Order:

1. City of Stairs
2. City of Blades
3. City of Miracles

Review:

City of Stairs was an instant favourite. It was so good, so awesome. So utterly and completely perfect for me. It is like my favourite series, Kate Daniels, all grown up. I adored it, the story, the worldbuilding, and the characters. Everything combined to make me love this perfectly. It is also a bit genre defying – it doesn’t really fit any one genre but multiple all at once.

In the beginning, the series presents itself as just another murder mystery story. But it becomes so, so much more than that. It is about power, and who has it. It is about conquest. It is about the dehumanization of people you want to see suffer. It is heavy.

The best part of The Divine Cities was the worldbuilding. I’ve rarely seen an author go so far out of their way to create something with so much history as this manages to have. Even rarer have I seen that history have a direct and complete consequence to the events and people in the series that the author has written. This play between history and present time is entirely unforgettable and completely amazing. The drawback is that at times this series felt like one massive infodump. Only, it doesn’t scream infodump at you. It is well handled and well presented.

The main characters were also absolutely awesome. Each book has a different lead character, all of which are introduced in the first book. They all have something else special about them, they all enhance the stories in amazing ways. They make me care what is happening. And have I said they’re awesome? Because they are.

This series is so rich with information. It is a marvelously told tale of what the conquerors can do to the conquered. The way everything unfolds and clicks together is a masterpiece. It is also full of crazy and awesome shit. And every time you think “well, that’s it, we’ve topped the crazy, awesome peak!” something else happens to make you lose your mind. This series would be AMAZING as a movie, no lie.

Plus the ending was perfect.

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