City of Stairs (2014) Robert Jackson Bennett
It is worth reading the first book of Bennett’s Divine Cities Trilogy, City of Stairs, for the character Sigrud. He is the “assistant” for our heroine, Shara Komayd, a Saypuri diplomat / spy who uncovers a political and supernatural plot in the continental capital of Bulikov. The former home to a ragtag group of divinities who ruled most of this world in a capricious and ruthless manner. Some unhinged people want to bring these godlike creatures back and Shara with the help of “Norse-like” Sigrud work to uncover and stifle this plot. Shara and Sigrud have personal histories that we begin to see throughout the book that are as fascinating as the main plot. Sigrud’s fight with the supernatural river-monster is epic. Like Mona Bright in American Elsewhere Bennett draws terrific characters that are consistent in their actions in ways that are at first unexpected but upon reflection make perfect sense.