by Robert Jackson Bennett
Crown. 2018. 503 pg. Fantasy.
In this book, Robert Jackson Bennett has crafted a world where magic brings objects to life. Each object is programmed through a magic called scriving, to have one purpose: a wheel to believe it is always moving down hill, a door to open , a door to stay closed, making a stone foundation think it is stronger than it actually is, etc. And through scriving, the world has become industrialized, the society shifting to a more urban-central society. Sancia (the main character) lives in the city of Tevanne, where the major merchant houses have a strangle hold on the city through their secretive knowledge of scriving instructions, research, and development. Sancia, though, is a thief with her own magical abilities that allow her to know what an object has been scrived to do and to see when there are people nearby. She's been hired to steal a small, unassuming object: a key. What she doesn't know is that that key leads her on a journey that may very well result in the destruction of the world. Bennett interweaves a number of characters, world building elements, and plot hooks so masterfully, you won't notice the heist he's performing through the words on the page. As Sancia steals to survive, Bennett steals your attention until, and you'll be scrambling for the second book before you realize the first book is over
For those who like interesting takes on old genres such as Scythe by Neal Shusterman and A Darker Shade of Magic by Victoria Schwab, this should be the next book on your list.