cover image Dead Country

Dead Country

Max Gladstone. Tordotcom, $17.99 trade paper (256p) ISBN 978-0-7653-9591-7

New horrors join familiar problems in the taut, densely packed fantasy that launches Gladstone’s Craft Wars trilogy, part of his Craft Sequence universe. When storied Craftswoman (or magic user) Tara Abernathy returns to her hometown, a small farming community near the edge of the Badlands, for her father’s funeral, several surprises await her: incursions by Raiders—undead beings carrying a curse created during the God Wars—have become increasingly frequent and brutal, and the curse itself appears to be evolving. Despite her contentious relationships with many locals, Tara still feels driven to protect the community against encroaching calamity. While the intricate, logic-based magic system still plays a significant role, this tale moves away from the corporate realm of the prior series to delve into an exciting new facet of the Craft Sequence world. Though the density of information sometimes overwhelms, the story is simultaneously intimately personal, as Tara works to make peace with her past, and vast enough to change everything. New readers and returning fans alike will be eager for more. (Mar.)