Senlin Ascends by Josiah Bancroft.

Hello all. 

Summary

Senlin, a mild-mannered school teacher, is drawn to the Tower of Babel by the grandiose promises of a guidebook. The ancient and immense Tower seems the perfect destination for a honeymoon. But soon after arriving, Senlin loses his young wife, Marya, in the crowd. 

Senlin’s search for Marya carries him through slums and theaters, prisons and ballrooms. He must survive betrayal, assassination, and the long guns of a flying fortress. But if he hopes to find Marya, Senlin will have to do more than survive. This quiet man of letters must become a man of action. 

My thoughts: 

They say a reviewer’s best tool is comparison. But sometimes said reviewers stumble upon gems like Senlin Ascends and try as they might, cannot for the life of them find an appropriate comparison.

The first book in a trilogy and one of the best I’ve ever read, Senlin Ascends has it all. For starters look at that cover. And take that name literally because that’s how smart this book is.

The book is set inside a Tower, capital t. The world building is very thought out, each floor of the Tower a different concept. Outside, the Tower is surrounded by the Market, a ragged, dirty place that sells everything from mechanical parts for air ships to night gowns. What a fantastic concept!

I did not think I would enjoy this book and to be honest, I veered from reading it after I saw how prude the protagonist was. But after re reading some of the reviews on it I decided to give it another go and finished it in a day. Let me just say, simple and stoic characters make the best platforms for good character development.

Senlin is a logical protagonist, his side characters are strongly potrayed and the whole ambience of the novel is satisfyingly ambitious.

It’s fast paced with a lot of different settings and the plot is very simple but very well put together.

I have nothing but praise for this book and hope its the same for you too.

Happy reading.

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