Review: Foundryside or a book that lived up to the expectations!

Hello everybody! How are you? And how are your reading going? Today I am really excited because I am here to write my first review for Wyrd and Wonder! Isn’t it fantastic?


Title: Foundryside
Series: The Founders Trilogy #1
Author: Robert Jackson Bennett
Pages: 512

Sancia Grado is a thief, and a damn good one. And her latest target, a heavily guarded warehouse on Tevanne’s docks, is nothing her unique abilities can’t handle.
But unbeknownst to her, Sancia’s been sent to steal an artifact of unimaginable power, an object that could revolutionize the magical technology known as scriving. The Merchant Houses who control this magic–the art of using coded commands to imbue everyday objects with sentience–have already used it to transform Tevanne into a vast, remorseless capitalist machine. But if they can unlock the artifact’s secrets, they will rewrite the world itself to suit their aims.
Now someone in those Houses wants Sancia dead, and the artifact for themselves. And in the city of Tevanne, there’s nobody with the power to stop them.
To have a chance at surviving—and at stopping the deadly transformation that’s under way—Sancia will have to marshal unlikely allies, learn to harness the artifact’s power for herself, and undergo her own transformation, one that will turn her into something she could never have imagined.

When I started this book I was quite scared, I have to confess this. Because I wanted to read it since the moment it came out, and not only I was very curious, but this was quite the hyped book. And so I was fearing that my expectations were too high and that this would have ruined the reading for me. But… you know what? This book deserves all the hype it gets and I loved it!
And this was also the first book by this author that I have ever read. But it won’t be the last, that’s for sure. I have some of his books on my TBR, and now I am more curious than ever to read them all!

But let’s talk a bit about the book! The worldbuilding is highly original and interesting. I have read almost everywhere that this seems an interesting mix between Medieval Venice and a steam-punk world. And even if I agree on the interesting (because interesting it is, and original, and well developed, why! just saying here…) and on the mix between the medieval and the steampunk, or on the mix anyway, because it is really fascinating, I wasn’t really reminded of Venice by it. The only thing Venice related, to me, was the names of the different families. On the Italian nuances, I agree, but Tevanne didn’t remind me of Venice, to be honest. But this is just a personal reflection, and I enjoyed the setting a lot.
And there is a lot to enjoy. The setting, as I was saying, because the city in which the story takes place is marvelous, in its ways, and full of wonders. And the world-building more in general, too, because it mixes perfectly magic and technology. I loved it, and I was fascinated by all the possibilities of this idea. It was great, really!

And we have great characters, too! I may be biased because Sancia, and Clef, reminded me of Shins and Olgun, of the Widdershins’ Adventure by Ari Marmell, and I loved this series and these characters a lot! So, it was impossible to not love Sancia and Clef, too.
But it is not just that I am partial because Sancia is a great MC, she has a unique ability, and it is a complicated one. Hard to bear, and a real pain in the ass, sometimes, because it can be an amazing gift or the biggest hindrance ever! It really cuts both ways, and the author played it perfectly!
And Clef is just amazing, and unique in its own ways. And it is so fascinating! I know that he was compared to an A.I. and I think I agree, in some ways, but he is unique, and he has a great personality, too!
And if it’s true that I am very very partial to thieves and similar, it is also true that those two adorable characters aren’t the only ones I loved!
Gregor is quite a complex character. When we met him it is not so clear. He seems pretty standard stuff (and he too reminded me of Marmell’s books), but while the reading progress you see a more complete character, with depths and shadows, and he is just great! Also, he is quite a decent fellow, and I liked him a lot!
But we have Orso, too, and Berenice. They are original, that’s for sure. And we have some secondary characters that are quite interesting.
You just have to meet them all!

And last but not least, the plot! The story is fast-paced, captivating and with a lot going on! Heists, twists, politics and more. To be very short about it, it has all you can ask for, really!
And even if we have really a lot going on in the present, with all the plotting, the actions and the heists, we have also a past which doesn’t want to remain… well, past. Something is coming back, or more than one something, and we just have to sit and read what would happen next!


So, that’s all! I really enjoy this book, and I hope to read the second one soon, because I am curious! I need to know what would happen next and I want to meet again Sancia and Gregor! And what about you? Did you read it? Or are you planning to do so? Let me know!!!

Happy reading!


19 thoughts on “Review: Foundryside or a book that lived up to the expectations!

  1. Jess @ Jessticulates says:

    Glad to hear you enjoyed this one! I agree – I’d certainly say Foundryside is Italian-inspired fantasy, but I don’t think it’s a fantasy Venice at all. There are far more places in Italy than just Venice! I’d highly recommend checking out Bennett’s Divine Cities trilogy if you enjoyed this book. 😁 Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. JoharisBooks says:

    Loved this book! The Magic system just blew me away, it was so well put together. My only complaint was that the characters didn’t feel connected at first but overall I think their interactions are going to be better in the sequel

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Tammy says:

    This is the second Foundryside review I’ve seen today, and I’m glad you enjoyed it. I think Gregor is a very complicated character and I love him. He goes through a lot in the second book😁

    Liked by 1 person

  4. maddalena@spaceandsorcery says:

    Eh eh… Double exposure for Foundryside this week! And this book really deserves to be praised to the four winds!
    I like what you said about not feeling the “Venice vibes” for Tevanne: the inspiration period might be the same, and the ruling families’ names do indeed push in that direction, but the overall impression is not the same as, for example, Locke Lamora’s Camorr. Still, Tevanne is an intriguing city and I hope to see more of it in the next book.
    Great review, thanks for sharing!!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: May Wrap Up!

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