Robert Jackson Bennett

The Founders Trilogy #3

Jo Fletcher


Copy received from Netgalley. All opinions are my own.

Summary: Sancia, Clef, and Berenice have gone up against plenty of long odds in the past. But the war they’re fighting now is one even they can’t win.

This time, they’re not facing robber-baron elites, or even an immortal hierophant, but an entity whose intelligence is spread over half the globe—a ghost in the machine that uses the magic of scriving to possess and control not just objects, but human minds.

To fight it, they’ve used scriving technology to convert themselves and their allies into an army—a society—that’s like nothing humanity has seen before. With its strength at their backs, they’ve freed a handful of their enemy’s hosts from servitude, even brought down some of its fearsome, reality-altering dreadnaughts. Yet despite their efforts, their enemy marches on—implacable. Unstoppable.

Now, as their opponent closes in on its true prize—an ancient doorway, long buried, that leads to the chambers at the center of creation itself—Sancia and her friends glimpse a chance at reaching it first, and with it, a last desperate opportunity to stop this unbeatable foe. But to do so, they’ll have to unlock the centuries-old mystery of scriving’s origins, embark on a desperate mission into the heart of their enemy’s power, and pull off the most daring heist they’ve ever attempted.

And as provided that weren’t enough, their adversary might just have a spy in their ranks—and a last trick up its sleeve.

I wasn’t the biggest fan of Locklands, to be sincere. I really liked Foundryside and Shorefall and my lack of enjoyment of this book can be summed up in four little words:

Eight Year Time Skip.

I don’t like time skips in the middle of a series. I always feel that something is missing by jumping forward in time and Locklands is no exception. The reader is just thrown into the action with very little explanation as to what has happened in the years that have been skipped and I just didn’t like trying to reorient myself into a world I no longer recognised.

The characters just don’t feel the same either. Clef’s story is expanded on greatly and I did love that because I will always love everything approximately Clef but remainder of the characters seemed to have missing their shine. Sancia no longer feels like the character we all grew to love in the first two books but because we haven’t been following her journey for eight years, it’s tough to get to know this new version of her and, as a result, she just isn’t as compelling. The only other character that gets any development is Berenice and the other characters that have been so important in the other books just fade away into the background. Gregor, who was one of my favourite characters barely appears which was highly disappointing for me.

The ending saves the book from mediocrity and it’s the reason I gave the novel 3.5 stars. It’s wonderfully bittersweet and provided I had been more invested in the story I might even have been moved by it.

For the most part, I just wanted this story to end. I couldn’t invest myself in the story so I was just reading to receive to the epic conclusion. Bennett has created a very unique world and I can’t fault him for that and the magic system is not like anything I have ever come across before but this conclusion just didn’t live up to the rest of the trilogy with the exception of the end.

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