Booklist: In a novel that works both as stand-alone and sequel, Bennett returns to the same postapocalyptic fantasy world he created to much critical and reader acclaim in City of Stairs (2014), but this time, the setting is a ruined city where the ruling god is dead and lawlessness abounds. The retired General Mulaghesh is forced back into the fray in the city of Voortyashtan, so named for defeated god Voortya, who had promised her army of supporters a glorious afterlife before they were all destroyed. While Mulaghesh’s cover story is to assist the military commander, her real assignment is to investigate the disappearance of another officer who had uncovered a dangerous secret about Voortya and her defeated army. Like the very best speculative fiction, the novel immerses readers in a made-up world, only to force us take a harder look at the real one in which we are currently living. Give this to fans of other strong world-building, high-fantasy series with political-military intrigue like those by Brian Staveley, Kameron Hurley, or even George R. R. Martin.