Written by Robert Jackson Bennett, City of Blades is an action-packed urban fantasy novel, portraying an interesting world full of normal humans dealing with unexpected, fantastical moments of divinity.
Urban fantasy is an interesting genre, and the world-building by Robert Jackson Bennett is phenomenal. But, in the end, I still found the book lacking—largely due to the lack of character development.
Right from page one, I first started trying to get to know and care about a specific character, only to learn he’s rather irrelevant to the story at large. This wasn’t a huge issue, but annoying all the same.
Eventually, I did meet the main character, and I learn about her and others and watch them go about the fantastical world, fight, and strive to solve the mysteries. Yes, they did experience some transformation through the novel, but it wasn’t enough and it wasn’t quickly enough. Overall, I didn’t always feel like I really knew what made each character tick. This is a sequel, so there might have been more character development previously, but no matter, I want it in this book too.
The focus of the book and where the book excelled was clearly in the fighting scenes and the world-building. These are both excellent points for an urban fantasy novel, but for myself personally, I look for characters that I can really get to know and love and care about. If the character hurts, I want to be so close to them that I hurt too. I did not feel this way toward General Mulaghesh.
Additionally, the other problem I found in this book was the length—it just seemed to go on and on and on. Granted, it is a fantasy epic, but without caring strongly for the character, it was hard to stay engaged through the many pages.
Please note: This book was fraught with strong language.
FTC Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from Blogging for Books for an honest review of this book.