cover image Three Parts Dead

Three Parts Dead

Max Gladstone. Tor, $24.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-7653-3310-0

In the world of Gladstone's fascinating debut, gods communicate directly with their followers, and magic%E2%80%94known as Craft%E2%80%94is practiced like law. First-year associate Craftswoman Tara Abernathy; her mentor, Elayne Kevarian; and novice priest Abelard must resurrect the dead god Kos before his city of Alt Coulumb falls into disarray. The investigation takes on new dangers when they discover that Kos may have been murdered. The combination of legal thriller and steam-powered fantasy may seem improbable, but Gladstone makes it work with an appealing cast and a setting rich with imaginative details, like a priest who shows his devotion to a fire-god by chain-smoking, junkies getting high on vampire bites, cops who become part of a hive-mind when on duty, and the binding of divine power by legal contracts. Sometimes the sheer density of information threatens to overwhelm, but the story remains suspenseful and fast-paced throughout, and the diverse, female-led cast is a joy to follow through the fascinating and unusual landscape. Agent: Weronika Janczuk, Lynn Franklin Associates, in association with D4EO Literary Agency. (Oct.)