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The Tainted Cup - A Fantasy Mystery

A wonderful start to a new series for Robert Jackson Bennet author of the Founders Trilogy and The Divine Cities. I love his creative writing and world-building.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐This is a murder mystery but in an amazing world.

I loved the arc so much that I pre-ordered the book and got a pre-order gift (3 prints).

My review:

I'm already addicted to this series its characters, and world. A murder mystery novel with the classical vibes of the great murder mystery novels but with fantastic worldbuilding, different races, augmented characters, leviathans that at a specific time of the year rampage from the ocean and may destroy entire cities, trees that sprout from the victims' bodies... in and fantasy imperial society.

No change in point of view, the novel is always told through the eyes of Dinios Kol an Investigator's helper who has the mission to go back and forth between crime scenes, witnesses, and his boss to deliver all the clues he gathers. He is a shy and young Watson to our super amazing Sherlock... Ana Dolabra.

Each character has their own set of awesome abilities and qualities almost superhuman that bring more into the worldbuilding. Mysterious and intelligent Ana has a (short) bad temper, a potty mouth, and an eccentric personality (I love her) but makes a good balance with the shy young Din who also has secrets of his own.

A medium pace read, great for this type of novel. The first chapters are a sample of the whole novel, as the quick resolution of one crime opens the true story of solving the case of this first book. As well as this first book is a sample and world/mood setting for the larger political/intrigue story of this fantasy world.

It's very well written, and compelling, with complex characters and explanations of the crimes. It doesn't have romance or random plot twists just for the sake of shocking the reader, which makes it a perfectly well-balanced fantasy murder mystery. Also, it is not completely predictable.

This book will please fantasy and mystery readers who enjoy a well-done modernization of the great classic format. And as a gamer myself, will please gamers who love mystery/fantasy/cyber story-driven games like the classic Gabriel Knight series or more modern games like Detroit.

I can't wait for the next case to unveil more of this fantasy world.

Find the book here. Or read an excerpt.

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