Book Review: Arm of The Sphinx by Josiah Bancroft

By far the best series I’ve read all year.

I think I said it several times in the review of Book 1 in the series, but this is one of the most unique things I’ve read in ages. It’s steampunk, it’s fantasy, it’s entirely amazing and it’s sooo gripping.

In this second book in the Tower of Babel series, Thomas Senlin has grown a lot from the stumbling, muttering headmaster we met in Book 1. He traveled to the Tower of Babel for his honeymoon, to see it in all its glory, hand in hand with his wife. When she was lost however, the real adventure began. He’s now a captain of his very own airship, and though his quest is still to find his missing wife, there is so much more going on in the Tower. The players are starting to move across the board – the game has begun.

Bancroft’s writing is so brilliant, so wonderful that even though I can get a bit tired of his tendencies to always try to spin a sentence with beautiful words, most of the time it’s just that: beautiful. I envy his writing skills, greatly. Every single letter seems to be placed where it is with the utmost care – nothing is without meaning.

I liked that this book was focused on fewer geographical locations. Book 1 sees Selin traveling through the tower as a tourist, trying to understand what’s what, but now that we’ve established ourselves in the plot, we get more details. We get to see more world building, more exciting characters, and learn more about the secrets of the tower.

It’s absolutely amazing – can’t wait to start book 3! If you were wondering what books to ask for for Christmas (though I can’t imagine any self-respecting reader who doesn’t already have a TBR list as long as the unfortunate events of 2020), ask for this. You won’t regret it.

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