Petrik's Reviews > Foundryside

Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett
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it was amazing
bookshelves: owned-physical-books, favorites
Recommended for: Bennett and Sanderson fans

4.5/5 stars

Foundryside was an incredibly addictive and entertaining read from start to finish.


I’m a recent fan of Robert Jackson Bennett’s books. Three months ago on the last week of May, I binged read his critically acclaimed trilogy, The Divine Cities, and it became one of my favorite trilogies of all time; I forced my friends and everyone I know to pushed the trilogy up their TBR immediately. Since finishing The Divine Cities, Foundryside, the first book in Bennett’s newest trilogy, immediately became one of my most awaited book of the year; I pre-ordered a hardcover (I usually order paperback) of the book because I can’t wait any longer and I want to give my support to the author as best as I could. Foundryside lived up to my high expectation and upon finishing it, I’m happy to say that Bennett has become the seventh author to be included in my 'favorite author' list.

“All things have a value. Sometimes the value is paid in coin. Other times, it is paid in time and sweat. And finally, sometimes it is paid in blood.

Humanity seems most eager to use this latter currency. And we never note how much of it we’re spending, unless it happens to be our own.”


The passage above was taken from the first page of the book, and I had a really good feeling I’m going to enjoy this; I was proven right. The story in Foundryside began with a heist. Sancia Grado, the main protagonist, which is also a super talented thief, was sent to steal an artifact—without knowing its usage—in exchange for a large sum of money that could improve her the quality of her daily life. Out of curiosity, she opened the box and after that, the main plot truly starts with danger constantly coming after her; and she must give it her all to survive. The book was magnificently well-paced and I was completely engrossed by every single aspect of the novel. In fact, I read 350 pages of the book in a day and finished the remaining 150 pages the next day on a weekday; it was that addictive to read, and I found myself thinking about continuing every time I’m not reading it.

A lot of factors contributed to how great the book was, but let me start by saying that the book was almost like a tribute to Brandon Sanderson's; my current favorite author of all time. And no, just because it felt similar doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing. The main character, Sancia reminds me a lot of Vin (the main protagonist of Mistborn), which is a good thing because I consider Vin one of the best heroines ever to be written. Sancia, although still young, wasn’t written like the typical young main character, who does stupid things just because they’re young, or sometimes for no reason at all. While being young can make one do stupid things, it doesn’t make it’s enjoyable to read. This is why Sancia became such a great main character to follow. She’s smart, quick-witted, has a mysterious past, and she gets things done when she must. Most of all, she’s really well-written that I can’t help but be invested in her predicament.

“One day I’ll live a life that doesn’t force me to make such cold-blooded decisions, she thought. But today is not that day.”


It’s not only Sancia that was well-written; Bennett has always been wonderful in his characterizations, and he proved that once again by writing great, complex, and humorous supporting characters in the book to accompany Sancia, with easily accessible prose. Clef was one of the main keys to the success of the book and his past, secrets, and dynamic interaction with Sancia became one of the strongest driving force behind the narrative. The memorable characters, combined with the plot that revolved around sacrifice, innovation, survival, identities, and pulse-pounding heists turned the book from your normal fantasy read to one highly fascinating fast-paced fantasy book that never neglects the crucial characterizations.

“Any given innovation that empowers the individual will inevitably come to empower the powerful much, much more.”


Finally, I want to talk about the magic system, Scriving; the art of using coded commands to change or convince an object to behave differently from their purposes. Scriving contains a lot of similarity with the magic system of Forgery in Sanderson’s novella, The Emperor’s Soul, and this is another thing I appreciate. There were a few info dumps—a quite necessary one—in the earlier section of the book regarding the magic system but once you’re past that, everything became a fast-paced ride full of amazing and memorable scenes. I found the magic system to be a mixture of fantasy and science fiction; through Scriving, Bennett cleverly displayed the implication, for better or worse, of advanced innovation in technology and knowledge. Once a technology has become one of our daily necessities, imagine what would happen when you take that away.

I'll try to give an example of something simple. What if social media doesn’t exist? This and many reviews most likely won’t see the light of day and authors/publishers will definitely have to resort to the old way of advertising: without Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook for promotion. We didn’t get to see something like The Blink from The Divine Cities in this book, but we did see one or two moments where the improvement in technology was taken away and the result, as always, was devastating. I really enjoyed reading the themes in the story and Bennett knows how to portray the world-building gradually to his reader through the perspectives of his characters. Plus, I found the intricate magic system that combined magic and technology to be a great recipe for awesome action sequences, and believe me, Bennett delivered plenty of exhilarating ones that will keep you on the edge of your seat several times throughout the book.

Foundryside was a fantastic beginning to a new trilogy, one that I immensely struggled to put down. I truly think that you will have a damn good time with this book if you consider yourself a fan of Robert Jackson Bennett’s or Brandon Sanderson’s works. I just finished this a few hours ago and I'm already dying for the sequel. I absolutely recommend this book to anyone who's looking for a fantasy with wonderful characterizations, fascinating premise, intricate magic system, and to all the fans of Brandon Sanderson and Robert Jackson Bennett books.

You can order the book HERE!

You can find this and the rest of my reviews at Novel Notions
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Quotes Petrik Liked

Robert Jackson Bennett
“All things have a value. Sometimes the value is paid in coin. Other times, it is paid in time and sweat. And finally, sometimes it is paid in blood.

Humanity seems most eager to use this latter currency. And we never note how much of it we’re spending, unless it happens to be our own.”
Robert Jackson Bennett, Foundryside


Comments Showing 1-34 of 34 (34 new)

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Maia Great review!!! I'm so happy you liked it! :)
I'm totally gonna read it soon, once I'm in a better mood. I can't wait! I hope I'll love like I loved The Divine Cities :)


Petrik Maia wrote: "Great review!!! I'm so happy you liked it! :)
I'm totally gonna read it soon, once I'm in a better mood. I can't wait! I hope I'll love like I loved The Divine Cities :)"


Thanks, Maia! Haha I hope you'll enjoy it! It's different from Divine Cities and I found it to be a bit less original. However, I still super loved it! :)


message 3: by Virginie (new) - added it

Virginie Great review, Petrik! The TBR Demon strikes again!

"I forced my friends and everyone I know to pushed the trilogy up their TBR immediately"

Well, at least you admit it hahaha :p


Petrik Empress Virginie wrote: "Great review, Petrik! The TBR Demon strikes again!

"I forced my friends and everyone I know to pushed the trilogy up their TBR immediately"

Well, at least you admit it hahaha :p"


Thank you, Virgine! Once in a while the TBR Demon strikes back! Hahaha but now I'm back to Malazan again! xD


Ginger Glad you liked this Petrik!! Another excellent review. :D


Petrik Ginger wrote: "Glad you liked this Petrik!! Another excellent review. :D"

Thank you, Ginger! I hope you liked it too! :D


message 7: by Ariel (new) - added it

Ariel Currently reading this now and I can really see/feel the Sanderson influence and inspiration, it’s almost throwing me off! That first chapter was so well-done and had me to turning those pages so fast I thought I’d get a paper cut 😂 I’m really excited to continue to see what develops!


message 8: by Celeste (new)

Celeste Fantastic review, love! I’m so glad this book was such a success for you. That makes me even more excited to read it!


message 9: by TS (new) - added it

TS Chan Fantastic review, my friend! You have made me eager to read it sooner than later. *Sigh, another first book of a trilogy/series.


message 10: by Colleen (new)

Colleen Great review, Petrik! Glad you've found another favorite author to enjoy!


Petrik Ariel wrote: "Currently reading this now and I can really see/feel the Sanderson influence and inspiration, it’s almost throwing me off! That first chapter was so well-done and had me to turning those pages so f..."

Yeah the Sanderson vibes were really strong! It was almost like an ode to Sanderson works or something hahaha. It doesn't change my opinion that the book was awesome and damn fun to read though. Enjoy, Ariel! :)


Petrik Celeste wrote: "Fantastic review, love! I’m so glad this book was such a success for you. That makes me even more excited to read it!"

Thank you, love! I can't wait for you to read this one. It's different from Divine Cities but it's still awesome! :)


Petrik TS wrote: "Fantastic review, my friend! You have made me eager to read it sooner than later. *Sigh, another first book of a trilogy/series."

Thank you, my friend! Hahaha I honestly think that you're going to enjoy this one as much as I did! :)


Petrik Colleen wrote: "Great review, Petrik! Glad you've found another favorite author to enjoy!"

Thank you, Colleen!! I'm so glad too! xD


message 15: by Rusty (new) - added it

Rusty Grey I HAVE THIS BOOK !!!! You've got me all excited now Petrik . Can't wait to start this . Great review as always . =D


Petrik Rusty wrote: "I HAVE THIS BOOK !!!! You've got me all excited now Petrik . Can't wait to start this . Great review as always . =D"

Mwahahaha niceee! I hope you'll enjoy it, Rusty! Thank you! :D


message 17: by Jenny (new) - added it

Jenny Well now it's on my TBR list. I have yet to read anything by Bennett. Consider me intrigued.


Petrik Jenny wrote: "Well now it's on my TBR list. I have yet to read anything by Bennett. Consider me intrigued."

Awesome! Bennett's books are fantastic, Jenny. Unique, different, and fascinating. Hope you'll love them! :)


message 19: by Alyssia (new) - added it

Alyssia Cooke I'm going to have to try one of his books...


Petrik Alyssia wrote: "I'm going to have to try one of his books..."

Absolutely! Try City of Stairs or this one, you can't go wrong with either book! :)


message 21: by Warda (new) - added it

Warda You always have this way, when you like a book, of making me want to buy it. :P
Awesome review as always. I've been searching for some more Adult Fantasy since YA just hasn't been given me the same kind of satisfaction.


message 22: by Petrik (last edited Sep 05, 2018 04:50AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Petrik Warda wrote: "You always have this way, when you like a book, of making me want to buy it. :P
Awesome review as always. I've been searching for some more Adult Fantasy since YA just hasn't been given me the same..."


Thank you, Warda! I have given up on YA honestly.. nothing in the genre worked for me anympre. And you really have to give this one a go because you loved Mistborn so much! This book gave me a very strong Mistborn vibe! :)


message 23: by Warda (new) - added it

Warda Petrik wrote: "Warda wrote: "You always have this way, when you like a book, of making me want to buy it. :P
Awesome review as always. I've been searching for some more Adult Fantasy since YA just hasn't been giv..."


Yeah, I looked it up and saw that Brandon Sanderson had blurbed it as well, I was sold instantly. :D


Petrik Warda wrote: "Petrik wrote: "Warda wrote: "You always have this way, when you like a book, of making me want to buy it. :P
Awesome review as always. I've been searching for some more Adult Fantasy since YA just ..."


Yuppp!! In Sanderson we trust! :D


message 25: by Oliver (new) - added it

Oliver Santos You and Mogsy are always messing with my TBR order, man!! xD xD xD


Petrik Oliver wrote: "You and Mogsy are always messing with my TBR order, man!! xD xD xD"

Hahahahah sorry not sorry!! xD xD


message 27: by Kerby (new) - added it

Kerby Schmidt Who are your other 6 favorite authors?


Petrik Kerby wrote: "Who are your other 6 favorite authors?"

It's in my profile: Brandon Sanderson, John Gwynne, Robin Hobb, Steven Erikson, Pierce Brown, Joe Abercombie. :)


message 29: by Daniel (new)

Daniel Pepper I always seem to ask this question: does the book have a relatively well contained story that you can feel satisfied enough with since the sequals aren't out yet?

also: merry xmas dude :) lol


message 30: by Petrik (last edited Dec 24, 2018 05:55PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Petrik Daniel wrote: "I always seem to ask this question: does the book have a relatively well contained story that you can feel satisfied enough with since the sequals aren't out yet?

also: merry xmas dude :) lol"


The answer to that is absolutely, Daniel. I think a lot of fantasy authors these days try to tell a well-contained story in an installment, especially the first book of the series, because they know readers are tired of unfinished cliffhanger xD

Merry xmas to you too man!


message 31: by Daniel (new)

Daniel Pepper Petrik wrote: "Daniel wrote: "I always seem to ask this question: does the book have a relatively well contained story that you can feel satisfied enough with since the sequals aren't out yet?

also: merry xmas d..."


I also think that a lot of people drop off after the first book of any series lol


Petrik Daniel wrote: "Petrik wrote: "Daniel wrote: "I always seem to ask this question: does the book have a relatively well contained story that you can feel satisfied enough with since the sequals aren't out yet?

als..."


Very true. If you take a look at any series, the first book always have the biggest number of rating/review and the number of readers for the second book usually drop significantly.


message 33: by Mathias (new) - added it

Mathias VC Oh man, this review really makes me want to get the book :D


message 34: by Petrik (last edited Jan 13, 2019 05:29PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Petrik Mathias wrote: "Oh man, this review really makes me want to get the book :D"

Haha thank you, Mathias! You should get it! :P


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