Crasedes Magnus has returned and it’s a race against scrived-time.
*** Contains Minor Spoilers ***
Robert Jackson Bennett has delivered a mesmerizing second novel in The Founders Trilogy with Shorefall. The world he has created is unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. It is an epic to rival Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings, with the heavy topics explored in George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, while immersed in a world where magic meets science and artificial intelligence. This author is truly in a league of his own with this new subgenre within Urban Fantasy. It is truly remarkable how deftly Bennett is able to blend history, fantasy, science fiction, and the gravitas of real world trauma into the vivid landscape of Tevanne.
Shorefall takes off with Sancia, Gregor, Berenice, and Orso arriving at the Michiel Body Corporate campo, with a plan to pull off a risky con. Unlike Foundryside this novel’s plot does not surround a gusty heist, instead it becomes a race against scrived-time to stop the threat that Valeria warned of at the close of the first novel. To Bennett’s credit, he manages to create a sympathetic threat in Crasedes Magnus — one that Sancia even sees reason in.
Despite the sophisticated narrative the story is wrapped in, it is easy to get lost in the story. The characters feel real and their banter and conversations flow naturally between them. Bennett doles out world-building sparingly, never overwhelming the reader with too much information. Just as it was with Foundryside, there were a few scenes in Shorefall where I had to sit aside the book due to the subject matter. But there is something to be said about bad people facing a taste of their own cruelty. While relationships are not at the forefront of the series’ plot, they still manage to remain at the heart of the story.
In the end, the threat that the Foundrysiders fight to stop may not be the threat they were warned against. In a final act twist, the novel careens towards a show-stopping cliffhanger as a powerful — and familiar — threat starts to tear apart the scrivings and lexicons that hold Tevanne together. War looms on the horizon for the final forthcoming installment of The Founders Trilogy and all of its beloved characters may not survive.
Shorefall is out today, so be sure to add it to your bookcase!