Foundryside – Robert Jackson Bennett


(I thank Netgalley and Quercus Books – Jo Fletcher Books for sending me the ARC in exchange for my honest review)

Foundryside was an excellent fantasy read, enjoyable, without any of the  excesses of its genre, and with good characters, neatly distinctive, some good dialogues and much inventivity. A lot of mysteries are disclosed along the story, with various efficiency for my part (some were too evident, others were eh?… but also many good ones). The pace is good most of the times, and if the treatment of the special magic of this world may be sometimes a little overwhelming, it was always interesting.

What I particularly appreciated is that even if the world is classically unjust with people living harshly, and if some characters have suffered from some kind of horrible fate, like torture, war or isolation, the author never dwells unhealthily and unbearably on it. The story is quite comfortable to read, even for sensitive readers as I am.

Another point which is great: all the characters have they own distinctive voice and personality, which helps to create a vivid and entertaining story. The heroine’s sidekick, Clef, is especially fun and likeable.

I could only maybe regret a certain lack of depth characters’ development-wise, not for real lack of it, but more because of the general tone, which is generally fun and off-handly.

A good read for fantasy readers who appreciate inventivity, nice and sympathetic characters, much action and unexpected developments, humour, spectacular bad guys and sneaky acrobatic action!

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