Revenge. It’s something Sigrud je Harkvaldsson is very, very good at. Maybe the only thing.
So when he learns that his oldest friend and ally, former Prime Minister Shara Komayd, has been assassinated, he knows exactly what to do—and that no mortal force can stop him from meting out the suffering Shara’s killers deserve.
Yet as Sigrud pursues his quarry with his customary terrifying efficiency, he begins to fear that this battle is an unwinnable one. Because discovering the truth behind Shara’s death will require him to take up arms in a secret, decades-long war, face down an angry young god, and unravel the last mysteries of Bulikov, the city of miracles itself. And—perhaps most daunting of all—finally face the truth about his own cursed existence.
Bennett concludes his Divine Cities trilogy (City of Stairs, City of Blades) with a stunning and heartbreaking tale of sacrifice amid magic and spycraft. Sigrud je Harkvaldsson has spent years in the wilderness after the death of his daughter. When Shara Komayd, his mentor and friend, is assassinated, he vows to find out what happened and seek revenge. Instead of discovering a simple plot by one of Shara's enemies, Sigrud finds hints of magic and divine artifacts that suggest a threat to the entire world; soon he realizes that, although most of the gods are dead, some of their children aren't. Sigrud has long served as a Conan analogue in Bennett's novels, and the aging barbarian is hardly a new trope, but Bennett dives deeply into Sigrud's character, with some well-laid clues from City of Stairs paying substantial dividends as his background is revealed. Intriguing characters such as Shara's teenage daughter, Tatyana, and former ingenue Invania Restroyka (now "the richest damn woman alive") keep the story entertaining, and the ghost of Shara hangs over all of them. The bittersweet ending, which elegantly and definitively caps off the novel and the trilogy, will have readers reaching for the tissues.