This was an absolutely fascinating read and I'm still having some trouble getting all of my thoughts together about it. This is an epic fantasy with a wonderful mystery, great characters and a wonderful setting. It did take me a little while to get into the plot, but once Shara's character hit the scene and began investigating, I was fully committed. First of all, the world-building and culture building was fabulous. I felt like I could picture everything in the city of Bulikov as well as understand the Divinities and the magic they used. Shara was an excellent female lead, she is smart, but very real. I also fell in love with Sigrud, who at first seems like he is just the muscle behind Shara, but ends up saving everyone more than once and then is given a tender backstory and personality. The mystery aspect of the story, why historian Efrem Pangyui was killed, may have been one small part, but it was also used as a jumping point for a much more complex examination of the politics and hidden secrets of Bulikov that results in an epic battle. Overall, City of Stairs is a well written epic fantasy that I was able to fully immerse myself into.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.