Every five or ten years, a novel will come along in the fantasy genre that remixes what came before in a powerful resonant fashion so as to seem newly sprung into the world (Books like A Game of Thrones, Perdido Street Station, The Blade Itself); watershed novels that evoke a perfect symmetry of resonance and freshness. In such novels, the writer works familiar elements together with previously unused elements and crafts an original vision unseen or unread before. City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett is one such novel; it was an immensely enjoyable and powerful novel that will stay with me for a very long while.
Robert Jackson Bennett was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, but grew up in Katy, Texas. His interest in writing came from hearing about the books his older brother was reading and then attempting to mimic them on paper, though when his brother became interested in Stephen King and the stories written for Robert's elementary school class developed a correspondingly high body count it did cause something of a ruckus. He later attended the University of Texas at Austin and, like a lot of its alumni, was unable to leave the charms of the city and resides there currently.