Imagine a spy-thriller, any popular kind like our beloved MI series or Man from U.N.C.L.E. No, not James Bond though. Now imagine those secret operatives have magical powers. Then add some divine beings into the mix. Stir in a handful of memorable characters, whip up a mysterious shadow enemy, and Voila! You get City of Miracles.
City of Miracles starts with an assassination attempt.
Dear readers, I must inform you that this is my favorite kind of beginning. The assassin struggles with his emotions as he moves on with his plan. He seems pretty uncomfortable with his employer, but a vengeful anger and disdain for his target make him go through with the job.
The first few chapters pace up to a gradual crescendo right up to the execution.
Then the book takes a turn. Another character from the past rises from a deliberate obscurity triggered by the fast traveling news of the politician’s death. The assassinated politician was a former President, Ashara Komayd, and a colleague of our new Hero, Sigrud.
Both the characters originate in the previous installments of the series but are new to me. I am happy that the author has given just the right amount of information on these two major players to keep someone new to the series looped to their mutual connection without a mind boggling backstory.
Sigrud makes an impressive hero. He is the strong and silent type epic hero with a purpose and an agenda. An intelligent and powerful creature (he isn’t human, is he), Sigrud manages to hunt down the assassin despite the impressive ‘miracles’ provided by the man’s employer. He used to be a secret operative a long time ago.
The miracles are exciting, but I think I must read the previous books to understand the concept a little better. Nonetheless, they are an impressive lot.
I keep asking myself what kind of fantasy this book is as it sounds urban with the attire, weapons, and technology but the feel of epic adventure never quits.
This review on City of Miracles is from a reader’s perspective who haven’t had the fortunate experience of reading Robert Bennett’s work.
However, the narration offered enough hint to help me understand how the characters from the earlier books have made reappearances in this one.
The plot is exceptional with a carefully measured degree of world building, exposition, thrill, twists, and a villain who starts as a fearsome but unknown entity and gradually reveals himself to be something else.
A point worth mentioning is the use of names. Most of the locations and people have Asian inspired names which were not very common in fantasy a few years ago. I am glad that Western writers are seeking inspiration from non-European sources for major characters and world building. A few Slavic and Viking names thrown into the mix, we get a diverse world, not unlike our own.
I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review. My opinion is not influenced by the receipt of a free copy of the book.
Series: Book 3 of The Divine Cities
Publisher: Broadway Books (US: May 2, 2017; Jo Fletcher (UK: May 4, 2017)