In the course of the story, Sancia Grado is sent to retrieve a box for an enormously tempting sum of money. But, once she has it, she is curious about what’s in it. Inside she finds an ornate key that somehow is able to talk to her and can open anything. The key calls itself Clef. Being no fool, Sancia realizes that someone from one of the founder Houses will be coming for the key and will probably not want to leave any loose ends. And so starts Sancia’s adventures.
Sancia may be a thief in the city of Tevanne, but she is like a superthief. She accepts work from a friend of hers named Sark. She accomplishes her objectives with the use of scrived objects. Scrived objects are magical things that have been written on to alter their realities – for example making a wheel think that it is going downhill so it will roll forward without being pulled. She gets her scrived objects from a group of people known as “Scrappers.” They scrive things illegally with scraps they find. And Sancia has a special ability to listen to things like a stone wall and tell if the coast is clear.
Along the way, she will encounter interesting characters such as Gregor Dandalo- a captain in the guard at the waterfront, and Orso and Berenice who are scrivers for one of the Houses. What happens to Sancia as she meets and interacts with these people will change her view of reality.
It’s a good fantasy book with a good story. The only problem I found was that there were occasional parts that were dense with information that slowed things down a little. The information needs to be imparted somehow because it has to do with world-building and how things work in Tevanne, the various founder Houses, and historically speaking with the ancients who started the process of scriving. Once you get past or through these spots, things speed along. And as the book goes, there are fewer of these parts as the story progresses.
This is definitely book one in a series. While most plot points are resolved at the end, there is enough left open to see where the second book might begin to go. But not so much is left open as to make it frustrating. Still, I look forward to book two.
Overall, I give this book 5 out of 5 stars. It’s well-written. The magic and world-building are different. The characters are interesting. If you enjoy a good fantasy tale, this should be right up your alley.
Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett was published August 21st, 2018 by Crown.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. All opinions herein are my own and freely given.