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Three Parts Dead (Craft Sequence Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Max Gladstone
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (134 customer reviews)

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Book Description

A god has died, and it's up to Tara, first-year associate in the international necromantic firm of Kelethres, Albrecht, and Ao, to bring Him back to life before His city falls apart.

Her client is Kos, recently deceased fire god of the city of Alt Coulumb. Without Him, the metropolis's steam generators will shut down, its trains will cease running, and its four million citizens will riot.

Tara's job: resurrect Kos before chaos sets in. Her only help: Abelard, a chain-smoking priest of the dead god, who's having an understandable crisis of faith.

When Tara and Abelard discover that Kos was murdered, they have to make a case in Alt Coulumb's courts--and their quest for the truth endangers their partnership, their lives, and Alt

Coulumb's slim hope of survival.

Set in a phenomenally built world in which justice is a collective force bestowed on a few, craftsmen fly on lightning bolts, and gargoyles can rule cities, Three Parts Dead introduces readers to an ethical landscape in which the line between right and wrong blurs.



Editorial Reviews

Review

''Max Gladstone has created a fascinating universe and equally fascinating characters. It's a world in which magic is craft and religion has some very practical rules, and he shows it through the stories of some very interesting characters. This is his first novel. I can't wait for his second.'' --Jerry Pournelle, New York Times bestselling author

''With his first book, Max Gladstone gives promise of being a true star of twenty-first-century fantasy.'' --John Crowley, World Fantasy Award-winning author

''Combining murder mystery, corporate intrigue, and thaumaturgic fireworks, Three Parts Dead gives us not just an excellent urban fantasy but a brilliant new world to explore. I can't wait to see what he does next.'' --Margaret Ronald, author of Spiral Hunt

About the Author

MAX GLADSTONE went to Yale, where he wrote a short story that became a finalist in the Writers of the Future competition. He lives in Boston.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1174 KB
  • Print Length: 334 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books (October 2, 2012)
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0085UEQDO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,758 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
(134)
4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
44 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely brilliant world-building October 2, 2012
Format:Hardcover
Worldbuilding is an art form. It's quite a feat to pick a reader up and place them in a story set in Seattle or New York City and have them feel comfortable even if they've never been there. It's quite another for an author to tell their story in a world that only exists inside their head.

Max Gladstone makes it look easy. It's a world where Gods (plural) interact with their followers and have a more hands-on approach to the cities they're sworn to protect. On the mortal side, there are Craftsmen and Craftswomen who draw power from the stars to work their magic. These two powers come together in the steam-powered port city of Alt Coulumb, whose God Kos the Everburning has just died. Craftswomen, the devoted clergy facing a future without their God, a chain-smoking cleric, black-suited officers of Justice with a hive mind, incidental vampires, gargoyles! All of these disparate pieces come together in a story that goes where very few (if any) steampunk novels have gone before: the courtroom.

Why has there never been a steampunk legal thriller? This novel proves it can be done, and done very well. Is it because publishers think it would be boring? The court sequences in this novel, and hit all the old tropes (I half expected the opposing council to declare he was just a "simple country lawyer" at one point) with tongue firmly in cheek. And thanks to the setting, instead of boring legalese we get to see cases argued with magic in a display that wouldn't be out of place on the Vegas Strip. We've all seen steampunk pirates, policemen, cowboys, et al. It's time the steampunk lawyer got a shot at the big time.

I don't want to say this book is easy, because that would be an insult to the care and work that went into crafting such an amazing world.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant fantasy debut October 10, 2012
Format:Hardcover
With strong, unique characters, superior and highly imaginative world building, and an expertly structured plot that gradually builds in intensity until reaching a genuinely stunning climax, THREE PARTS DEAD is an absolutely brilliant debut that works on every level. In short, it's a secondary world urban fantasy murder mystery/legal thriller set in a steampunkish city, Alt Coulumb, that runs on the fire, heat, and steam of a literal, great and powerful god, Kos Everlasting, whose sudden death threatens Alt Coulumb's long-term survival and balance of power and sets the plot in motion. Enter Kelethres, Albrecht, and Ao, an infamous firm of necromancers, a partner of whom, Elayne Kevarian, charges their newest probationary hire, our strong, female, refreshingly non-Caucasian protagonist, Tara Abernathy, with solving the case of why Kos died, before they use their sorcerous skills to resurrect him.

What is so ingenious about THREE PARTS DEAD is how beautifully and economically it succeeds in all of its various sub-genres. It's far better than the majority of supernatural female detective novels out there. Tara isn't a sassy, sexy, confident gal in heels. Instead, she is a fiercely intelligent but green young woman still coming into her own. Having only recently been expelled from a sorcerous academy in the clouds known as the Hidden Schools, she has had a lot of training in the magical arts and is very good at them (in fact, her expulsion ironically had to do with just how good at it she is), but she has also never been out in the real world as a professional, so much of this is still very new to her, and this first case-unlike any I've seen in an urban fantasy mystery before-has a profound impact on her that could forever shape the course of her life.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
By Books31
Format:Hardcover
The first thing I have to say about this book is wow.

From the 1st page to the last I was absolutely riveted. Even now having finished the book, the first thing I did after reading the last page was look up the authors website and see when the next book he's writing is coming out. If that's not a sign of a good book, I don't know what is.

Three Parts Dead has a fantastic combination of characters. All the characters are compromised, all them are filled with histories filled with shadows, and yet you find yourself rooting for these broken characters. I know you're supposed to love the protagonist, but in this case I really did. Tara is strong, smart, and full of piss and vinegar. Her history is almost as interesting as the back-story to the world here (which I personally could have read an entire series on and loved (not just a book but an entire series.))

That brings me to the second thing I absolutely loved about Three Parts Dead, the rich history of the God Wars and the system of magic that encompassed the book. As I mentioned before I could read an entire series about the God Wars, what was mentioned about this worlds history sound fascinating and thrilling. Gods battling against craftsmen and women (basically human magicians), and the transformation that occurs to these craftsmen over time, changing them from their human bodies, to something of the stars, all in all this whole history and back-story was fascinating. As for the system of magic, as a law student I loved the fact that Gladstone created an entire system of magic based on and for lawyers. Magic is based on contracts and agreements, with the craftiest and sliest being those with the most power.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Unique storyline. Very creative.
I enjoyed this book mostly because the ideas forming the plot were clever and innovative. I never felt truly drawn to any of the characters, though, but others may feel... Read more
Published 6 days ago by Kay Ling
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great story and world building. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series.
Published 8 days ago by Osaka
5.0 out of 5 stars A new twist to the fantasy genre!
Tara barely graduated and was, in fact, kicked of of school upon gradation. Still, she managed to land a provisional job with a firm. Read more
Published 18 days ago by William
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Good!
This was one of the more original fantasy novels I've read in a while. The use of noir and streamline elements tends to seem contrived in a lot of genre novels... but it fit here. Read more
Published 18 days ago by Jordan K
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good book, good series, worth reading whether you read a lot of books or only a few.
Published 1 month ago by mjl
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastically clever
This is a great book. The world it builds is gripping and the story pulls you along never slowing down. Highly recommended
Published 1 month ago by qlawdat
4.0 out of 5 stars Three Parts Dead
I have for a while wanted to read this book so when I found it one Scribd I just had to read it.

Tara has been thrown out from her the Hidden School, fallen to the... Read more
Published 1 month ago by marajade
5.0 out of 5 stars A great start from Gladstone!
Max Gladstone's first published novel, Three Parts Dead, is a wonderment. Not only is it a great read for teenagers in the world today (an elaborate fantastic creation, also... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Ernest Presley
4.0 out of 5 stars good
Enjoyable read. Unique world building. I had to struggle a bit to remain in the book, but overall, it was good.
Published 2 months ago by Amber D. Goodman
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Good Book!
Well written, well plotted, the main character is just a wee bit unrealistic (what's new?) but the writing easily overcomes that. A highly entertaining book.
Published 3 months ago by Ken Malidore
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More About the Author

MAX GLADSTONE is a fencer, a fiddler, and a two-time finalist for the John W. Campbell Award. He has taught English in China, wrecked a bicycle in Angkor Wat, and been thrown from a horse in Mongolia. Max lives and writes in Somerville, Massachusetts, near Boston. He is the author of the Craft Sequence (Three Parts Dead, Two Serpents Rise, Full Fathom Five, Last First Snow).

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