- Author: Josiah Bancroft
- Series: The Books of Babel #3
- No. of pages: 608
- Dates read: 03.04.20 – 11.04.20
- Rating: 5 stars! Favourite!
- Challenge: 2020 sequel
Plot: Fearing an uprising, the Sphinx sends Senlin to investigate a plot that has taken hold in the ringdom of Pelphia. Alone in the city, Senlin infiltrates a bloody arena where hods battle for the public’s entertainment. But his investigation is quickly derailed by a gruesome crime and an unexpected reunion. Posing as a noble lady and her handmaid, Voleta and Iren attempt to reach Marya, who is isolated by her fame. While navigating the court, Voleta attracts the unwanted attention of a powerful prince whose pursuit of her threatens their plan. Edith, now captain of the Sphinx’s fierce flagship, joins forces with a fellow wakeman to investigate the disappearance of a beloved friend. She must decide who to trust as her desperate search brings her nearer to the Black Trail where the hods climb in darkness and whisper of the Hod King. As Senlin and his crew become further dragged in to the conspiracies of the Tower, everything falls to one question: Who is The Hod King?
I mean… I can’t!! I have to many emotions!
First of all, the worldbuilding is amazing. I love learning more about how each ringdom functions and how the tower works as a whole, which was expanded upon as per every book. We spent the most time in the ringdom of Pelphia which was full of people desperate for the spotlight or to be the next new trend which meant there was never a dull day and you didn’t know what to expect which was great to keep hold of your interest throughout this book.
The detail in the descriptions of places especially in Pelphia was amazing! Bancroft has an amazing way of making you feel you are in the book. The descriptions were so beautiful and so detailed I could invision the exact theatre or street. Any details of action were the same the writing was so beautiful and so intricate that I felt I was watching a movie in my head and the action scenes just jumped off the page.
I love seeing Senlin evolve as a character. Looking at him from Book 1 and compare that to him now there is a massive change. As I was reading this book I think back to him on the lower levels just trying to figure the tower out and understand the absurdity of it all. Here we see him embrace the tower and try to work the tower to his advantage.
Again, like in the last book. We are met with some amazingly strong, powerful and varied female characters. They are not one-note, we don’t just have strong women for the sake of making sure we have strong women. We have women whose power relies on their strength like Iren but also women whose power resides in their compassion like Ann. We have women like Xenia who is a product of the tower and the absurdity of Pelphia, her focus being the need to be adored. I was impressed with these characters.
I especially loved how political this book was. Watching the ringdoms navigate each other and watching how the characters navigate Pelphia was really interesting. I loved the scenes with Byron trying to teach Voleta proper Pelphian manners in order to impress the Pelphians and her just failing to grasp the importance of cutlery. But I loved everything to do with Edith’s trip, she was the diplomat of the mission and watching her navigate the King and his second in commands was really interesting to read.
We are also getting more and more answers to the bigger mystery of the tower but I still feel lost and there is more to solve which I love. With every new piece of information given to us there are more endless questions that I feel need answered.
Finally, I loved the relationships and friendship between the crew but especially Iren and Voleta. Their bond is so beautiful and this book had me feel all the feelings! Byron also went up in my ranks this book, I found him incredibly endearing and I want him to come round to my house for afternoon tea!
Overall, an amazing instalment keeping with the strong female characters that I loved in the first book but adding more action and politics. That ending has be hyped for the next one.
The next book I will be reviewing is If We Were Villains by M.L.Rio. Which I only recently found out it follows Shakespeare students at a Ohio University not actors from Shakespearian London. Oops.