Senlin Ascends by Josiah Bancroft: Book Review

Embark on a mesmerizing journey through the fantastical world of the Tower of Babel in Josiah Bancroft’s “Senlin Ascends.” This book will sweep you into a realm where each level holds mysteries, dangers, and surprises that will keep you turning pages with bated breath.

Sneak Peak

“Senlin Ascends” follows the story of Thomas Senlin, a mild-mannered school headmaster who loses his wife, Marya, in the bustling and labyrinthine Tower of Babel. Determined to find her, Senlin navigates through the tower’s various levels, each with its own unique society and challenges, all while unraveling the tower’s dark secrets.

My Take

Josiah Bancroft’s “Senlin Ascends” is a captivating blend of fantasy, adventure, and mystery. The character of Thomas Senlin is beautifully crafted, transforming from a naive academic to a resilient and determined protagonist as he faces the perils of the tower. The vivid descriptions of the tower’s eccentric levels immerse readers in a world that is both whimsical and treacherous.

The story’s pacing keeps the reader engaged, alternating between moments of tension, humor, and introspection. The interactions between Senlin and the tower’s inhabitants provide depth to the narrative, showcasing themes of identity, human nature, and the pursuit of truth. Bancroft’s prose is elegant and evocative, painting pictures of grandeur and decay within the tower’s walls.

One possible downside is that the book’s slow start may deter some readers initially, but the narrative gains momentum as Senlin’s adventures unfold. Additionally, some may find themselves wanting more background information on the tower’s origins and purpose, although this sense of mystery also adds to the book’s intrigue.

What Makes the Book Unique

One of the standout features of “Senlin Ascends” is Bancroft’s ability to create a richly detailed and atmospheric world within the confines of the Tower of Babel. Each level of the tower presents a microcosm of society, reflecting various aspects of human behavior and culture. This layered world-building adds complexity and depth to the story, making the tower itself a character that evolves alongside Senlin.

Furthermore, Bancroft’s exploration of themes such as identity, self-discovery, and the repercussions of ambition sets “Senlin Ascends” apart as more than just a typical fantasy adventure. The emotional depth of the characters and the philosophical questions raised throughout the narrative elevate the book to a thought-provoking and engaging read.


“Senlin Ascends” by Josiah Bancroft is a literary gem that offers a mesmerizing blend of fantasy, adventure, and introspection. With its compelling protagonist, intricate world-building, and thought-provoking themes, this book is a must-read for fans of imaginative storytelling. Dive into the depths of the Tower of Babel alongside Thomas Senlin and prepare to be enthralled.

Rating: 4.5 stars

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