cover image The Ruin of Angels: Craft Sequence, Book 6

The Ruin of Angels: Craft Sequence, Book 6

Max Gladstone., $24.99 trade paper (576p) ISBN 978-0-7653-9589-4

Gladstone’s powerful sixth Craft Sequence novel (after Four Roads Cross)—set in a parallel world in which magic (or Craft) relies as much on complicated legal agreements as raw power—shows the author taking narrative risks that pay off. Kai Pohala (heroine of Full Fathom Five), a priestess and investment banker, has come on a business trip to the city of Agdel Lex, which rose from the ruins of a city destroyed in the God Wars. She’s soon pulled into a hunt for her little sister, Ley, who stabbed and stole the soul of her own business partner. Also joining the search are former street kid turned priestess Izza, visiting Craftswoman Tara Abernathy, and Ley’s ex-girlfriend Zeddig, who hunts lost artifacts in the disorienting, war-damaged parts of the city. Gladstone packs a lot into his tale (including a brilliant sequence in which Kai encounters another trans person who lacked Kai’s access to divine resources), and longtime readers may find some of his choices surprising. The intriguing future story lines opened up by some of these new concepts help make the world feel even more vivid and real than it did before. (Sept.)