This book was ... disappointment. I was very excited to read this trilogy (I own all the books too!), but alas, let down I was once again. It's not even the hype that Im blaming this time. No. This time I'm blaming Foundryside.
“Scars are windows to bitterness—it is best to leave them untouched.”
Foundryside is Bennett's most recent fantasy book and it is amazing. And I've read it and I've loved it. So I guess what I'm saying is that going from Foundryside to City of Stairs was like going backwards in time. Back when plots weren't really cohesive, characters not very engaging and writing very, very unpolished.
“Forgetting... is a beautiful thing. When you forget, you remake yourself... For a caterpillar to become a butterfly, it must forget it was a caterpillar at all. Then it will be as if the caterpillar never was & there was only ever a butterfly.”
Shara could have been my favorite character. When I started reading her I thought "this girl drinks just as much tea as I do. I love her!". But I didn't, not really. Something was missing for me. I just couldn't connect. But I did enjoy her machinations at the end of the book ,and am interested where she could take book 2. Or where the book 2 could take her, I suppose.
Sigrud was a singular saving grace of this book. Sigrud is great. Sigrud is amazing. he's got character, he's got back story - yes! If book 2 has a lot of Sigrud I will read it! The cover of the book promised that readers would love Sigrud, and hey, at least it delivered that!
The fighting scenes were a bit too unpolished. I could definitely see a lot of Mistborn and even Elantris influences. So I think that Sanderson was a big inspiration, and I love Sanderson, but it still wasn't enough for me to enjoy the book. I felt disconnected, and bored at times.
I'm not even going to get into religion and politics this book builds upon, because this is Internet and we would be here for days just talking about it. It's definitely up to the reader how they want to interpret those musings, but I did feel that they were quite one sided and even biased at times.
I think the highlight of this book (besides Sigrud, of course) was Oslos, for me. That was a great turn of events and a great scene. Very calm, after the storm.
That said, I decided to continue on with the series, but not right away, as I originally planned (I thought I'd binge read the whole thing). But hopefully book 2 picks things up to the next level.
“Historians, I think, should be keepers of truth. We must tell things as they are - honestly, and without subversion. That is the greatest good one can do.”