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April 21, 2020

Shorefall by Robert Jackson Bennett ~ a Review

by MK French

"The gates are just ahead," said Gregor. "Get ready."
Sancia took a breath and steeled herself as their carriage lumbered through the pouring rain. She could see the lights atop the campo walls from here, bright and sharp and cold, but little more than that. She rubbed her hands together, her fingertips trailing over calluses on her palms and knuckles, now a shadow of what they'd been during the prime of her thieving days. (p. 3)

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

April 2020; Del Rey; 978-1524760380
audio, ebook, print (512 pages); epic fantasy
Trevanne is still reeling from the destruction that Sancia Grado and her friends had wrought, and they're continuing with the intention of leveling the playing field. While they try to make it so that anyone can use scriving, Ofelia Dandolo embarked on a mission to bring back one of the ancient masters known as a hierophant. He had scrived himself, becoming something like a God. Sancia and her friends are going to have a stop a God, possibly with another one.

Shorefall is the second book in the Founders trilogy and picks up three years after the first book Foundryside (read my review) left off. If you haven't read the first novel, this does give explanations regarding the magic system. We get the definitions of how sigils and foundries upset the laws of reality to make things work the way that they need it to. Sancia and her friends are slowly chipping away at the campo system, hoping to create a magical-technological revolution by creating a library of sigils that scrivers can work with. This would've been a slow process, but it means that they are actually a threat to the campo system. It prompts Ofelia to do more of the taboo-breaking scriving, and our team of heroes are up against seriously overpowered enemies.

While we don't necessarily learn new things about Trevanne, we do learn more about scriving, how to break even more permissions on reality. This deeper understanding of the magic system is what ups the ante for the threats that arise, and are part of the problem that Sancia, Berenice, Gregor, and Orso face. They aren't able to rewrite reality on their own, so we have the return of Valeria, the creation that had helped Sancia in book one. Her help comes at a cost, and it's one that the others aren't sure if they want to pay. This is even more evident as the novel progresses and the truth behind Valencia's prior help is revealed. Our team at Foundryside, Inc. have to come up with ingenious ways to use scriving to help them defeat the combined might of the campos and the Founder that was resurrected in spite of their efforts. Even though they tried to go up against the galleon early enough in the book that they logically couldn't have prevented it, I still hoped that they would.

I didn't think that this book could have as many shocking revelations as it did, especially after the first novel's ending. Nope! I was so wrong, there is so much going on in the final third of this novel as the festival comes to its crescendo. There are some jaw-dropping changes, and a shocking ending that demands a third novel to tie it all up.

Buy Shorefall at Amazon

Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and a golden retriever.

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  1. Fascinating! What a cover, too. Thanks for sharing, and here's mine: ”THE NEW GIRL”

  2. It is a very good cover and does sounds like a very good read, especially with a shocking ending that demands a follow up! Thanks for bringing this to my attention!

    Here is my Tuesday post!

  3. I'm a big fan of trilogies. This one sounds very action-packed.