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reviewed Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett (The Founders Trilogy Book 1)

Robert Jackson Bennett: Foundryside (2018, Jo Fletcher Books) 4 stars

Sancia Grado is a thief, and a damn good one. And her latest target, a …

Review of 'Foundryside' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

I'm having enough fun with the world and magic system in this book that I'll probably continue reading the series, despite chafing pretty hard against the prose and character articulation. Everyone feels a little cartoony/campy/caricatured? in a way that I suppose is typical of more pulpy speculative fiction, but I've been spoiled by authors like Muir and Jemisin to expect more maturity. I vaguely thought as I read it, "maybe this is a debut author who needs some practice to mature" but apparently he's written a lot of stuff before this so idk, might just not be my jam.

Also the author feels like he's trying really hard to be woke and feminist, but lands squarely in trope territory with motifs like "strong female protagonist with a high pain tolerance constantly made to endure pain" and "sexual trauma as a plot device" and "women who seek power are inherently evil" …