Review: City of Miracles
It’s been a long time since I’ve read a series of books as I did here: one immediately after the other. It almost feels like I’m cheating the author in a way. I mean, this guy took five years to write these three books, and I go and burn through them all in just a few weeks. I mean, granted, they were awesome. So, why would I want to put off reading them? Exactly. I wouldn’t. In fact, I don’t think you should either. Get em now. Read em now. Such good stuff.
CITY OF MIRACLES (Amazon) is the third and final book in the Divine Cities series by Robert Jackson Bennett, and was not only a great book in its own right, but a great ending to the series as well.
MIRACLES picks up thirteen years after the events of BLADES in the city of Ahanashtan, and this time around the main POV is the man himself: Sigrud Je Harkvaldsson. True to form, this book begins very similarly to BLADES, with the main POV suffering the fallout from the end of the previous book, and with a murder. It’s the death of someone much more important to our main character here however, for it is Shara Komayd that has been killed, and when Sigrud finds out, he drops everything, comes out of hiding, and starts a search to find the one that did it and exact his own brand of revenge.
Sigrud is a man with a tortured past — from the loss of his family, to his imprisonment, to the branding of his hand with a Divine device of torture, to his position of violence at Shara Komayd’s side for so many years, to…well, let’s say to the pain and loss heaped upon him in Voortyashtan during the culmination of events in BLADES. Yet he understands that there is one thing that he is good at, and it is definitely not picking flowers. Thus, there is no choice for him when this next level of loss is brought to his doorstep by Shara’s murder. But his path will not be simple, direct, or easy. For there are more levels yet to the brilliant world-building that Bennett has been exposing over the last two books, and there are secrets within secrets yet hidden within the long halls of this world’s history and it’s occupants both Divine and otherwise.
Bennett’s pacing in this novel was quite a bit faster than in the previous two. While Sigrud is doing the same job that the previous two main-POVs have done in the previous books, looking for a killer, he is much more…practical about how he goes about performing his tasks. Thus, there is more violence, more explosions, and more expediency to the novel as a whole. There is also a much more immediate threat in MIRACLES that we didn’t get in STAIRS or BLADES. Big baddie even gets some POV time, and that definitely helps to ramp up the tension early on in the book, and keeps things moving the entire time.
The writing here is on par with the other two: pretty good, not flowery, and easy to become fully immersed in it. I still think that it could use some additional surrounding detail. Also, I noticed that there was a decidedly frequent lack of dramatic pauses, or breaks in the flow of conversation that would make things feel a little less rushed and more normal. Small potatoes in the grand scheme of things, and with how much I REALLY enjoyed this book, these can only be held as mild criticisms and nothing that hindered my experience.
As I mentioned in my review of STAIRS, I waited far too long to finally get around to reading this guy’s books. So if you’ve found that your reading likes tend to flow along the same channels as those here, this is definitely a series, and absolutely an author, that you’re going to want to pick up at your next opportunity. This is an engaging, multi-faceted, impactful series of books that tell a story that readers of fantasy should easily find themselves entertained by. I know I’ll be adding everything that this guy writes from now on to my immediate reading schedule. Can’t wait to see what he puts out next.
- Recommended Age: 16+
- Language: A moderate amount of strong language
- Violence: Fairly high level of violence, little gore
- Sex: A skipped scene, and a couple mild references