City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Years ago the proud city of Bulikov was conquered. They were defeated when one man found a way to murder their Gods. Bulikov has been oppressed ever since. Knowledge of their past and their Gods is illegal in their home, while any child of Saypur can learn all they wish about Bulikov and it's Gods. Tensions strain even more when a historian from Saypur, Efrem Pangyui, is allowed access to their ancient knowledge in Bulikov itself. Then one day Dr. Pangyui is found murdered and a young woman from Saypur and her "secretary" come to investigate.
City of Stairs is an intense mystery novel slathered with supernatural occurrences. The mere fact that Bulikov had Gods who allowed their followers to perform miracles, that haven't entirely faded since their death, is astonishing. While in some ways the story appears to be a simple whodunit, it quickly escalates into something more meaningful and terrifying.
The primary protagonists Shara and Sigrud sparkled in the story. Shara while being slight of body is a mental powerhouse packed full of experience and capabilities. Sigrud was astonishing in his simplicity. He seemed as though he was simply a hulking guard to Shara, but he proves himself far more valuable.
City of Stairs is a rich tale with strong world building and even stronger storytelling. The mysteries presented were intriguing and kept me guessing right up to the point the truth was revealed.
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