One of the hardest parts of good science fiction or fantasy is world building. In Foundry Side, Robert Jackson Bennett has built one of the most original worlds I have read about in years.
This story centers around a thief named Sancia. She lives in a city-state that runs on industrialized magic. Spells in this world are not cast. Magic flows from written words. There are no machines or electricity. Just devices that work via the spells placed on them.
Only a select few know the art of writing magic. So companies producing objects are family run merchant houses. Each merchant house is in a walled compound protecting the family and all their employees from slums.
At the start of the story, Sancia is on a mission to steal an item. Her ability as a thief is enhanced because she has a metal plate in her head with a magic spell on it. Not many people can survive being written on, so she hides the fact she has her abilities.
Soon she finds herself in the middle of a conspiracy between two of the most powerful merchant houses. Sancia has to figure out who she can trust and unravel the conspiracy.
As someone who loves both crime fiction and fantasy, a book like Foundry Side is perfect. There is the action of Sancia planning and pulling a few burglaries during the story. There is also the magic setting and the lore of lost magical artifacts.
This is the first book in what is being called The Founders Trilogy. The ending is not a cliffhanger but it leaves the door open what will happen next. I would highly recommend this to anyone looking for something new and different to read.
Foundry Side will release on August 21, 2018. Pick up your copy from Amazon.