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Three Parts Dead by Max Gladstone
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6263615,510 (3.92)59
Member:lkmiller
Title:Three Parts Dead
Authors:Max Gladstone (Author)
Info:Tor Books (2012), Ebook, 291 pages
Collections:Your library, My ebooks
Rating:****
Tags:fiction, fantasy, series, craft sequence, book 01, ebook, kobo, own, read, 2017, checked

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Three Parts Dead by Max Gladstone

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English (35)  German (1)  All (36)
Showing 1-5 of 35 (next | show all)
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 earth. You don't get to know why, at least not yet. She returns home to her family and resumes her life there until the chance comes to her in the form of Elayne Kevarian who hires her to work for the necromantic firm: Kelethres, Albrecht and Ao and her first job is to bring the God Kos Everburning back to life. Together with Elayne and Abelard, the chain-smoking priest of Kos she must now resurrect Kos before His city falls apart.

Max Gladstone has created a wonderful and interesting world where ordinary people have discovered that they also can have the power of Gods, or at least some of it with led to the Gods War and the world that Tara is living in now is the result of the war. Tara has the Craft, she can bring people back from the dead. Now one of the last great Gods have died, and it's up to Tara to bring him back, but she must also figure out how he died because it's not very easy thing to kill a God...

I liked this book very much. It was not always an easy book to read, I had to get to know a new world and its history, but as the story progressed and I learned more about the world and characters the more I liked the story. Max Gladstone has written a fascinating book, and I loved how the story progressed and you got a greater insight into the world he has created. Also, the ending, it was great. I never that coming and I love getting surprised when I read a book!

A truly great first book in a new series! ( )
  MaraBlaise | Apr 14, 2017 |
This was amazing. A magic system that is a cross between theology, necromancy and contract law - fantastic! You don't have to know anything about contract law and business structures to enjoy the book, but I suspect it's even better if you do. Part of the enjoyment, for me, was spotting the parallels - mitigation of loss, interim hearings, limited liability, corporate personhood...

And the bit where your boss says, as he tells you about the hearing, You can do this one. Don't worry; you'll be fine. I have been there. I know exactly how Tara felt, although death probably wasn't on the cards for me.

This isn't exactly steampunk, although there is steam (and engineer-priests - I think I'm in love) - it's more like industrial fantasy. This doesn't have the whimsicality that is popular in the steampunk genre, but it has something better: an endless supply of cool.

I would characterise this as plot-driven rather than character-driven, but only because the book revolves more around events and actions (and contract law) rather than character development. This is not to say that the characters aren't good - they are. But they're drawn with a few lines in just the right place, so they leap off the page with very little description, like those very minimalist drawings that manage to express action and emotion in three lines and a dot.

There's enough substance here to make a world with depth and feeling - regardless of whether or not you are aware of the procedure for share transfer - and I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series - [b:Two Serpents Rise|16059411|Two Serpents Rise (Craft Sequence #2)|Max Gladstone|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1355469010s/16059411.jpg|21846173]. ( )
  T_K_Elliott | Mar 12, 2017 |
Three Parts Dead is the novel that started Max Gladstone’s Craft Sequence, which is proving to be one of my all time favorite fantasy series. Gladstone has created one of the most compelling fantasy world I’ve encountered and filled it with diverse and well developed characters. Although Three Parts Dead isn’t my favorite book in the series, it’s a good introduction to the world of the Craft Sequence.

One of the best ways to describe Three Parts Dead is that it’s where fantasy meets legal thriller. After all, this is a book containing the phrase “pro bono zombies.” Tara Abernathy, a recent graduate of the Hidden Schools, has been offered a place at the firm Kelethres, Albrecht, and Ao, but only if she’s able to prove herself in their latest case. Kos, the fire god of Alt Coulumb, has died under mysterious circumstances, and without him the engines that drive the city of four million people will shut down and chaos will ensue. Under the oversight of her new boss, Elayne Kevarian, Tara must work to resurrect Kos and find out how he died in the first place. And it’s looking like it might be a murder…

The reason I keep describing this series as “magical lawyers” is because the world of the Craft Sequence was inspired by the 2008 recession. In short, magic = the economy, gods = corporations, death of gods = bankruptcy, craftsmen/craftswomen = lawyers. With me so far?

This unconventional take on fantasy fiction leads to a highly original world and series. It’s inventive and imaginative at every turn. More than that, it feels vivid and life like. There’s clearly been lots of thought put into its development, and I love the connections that span different stories in different parts of the world. There’s even two text based games in the style of Choose Your Own Adventure, if you’ve gotten as obsessed with this world as I have.

The originality of the world extends to the protagonists as well, who tend to be equivalent to attorneys or risk assessors or financial investors. They also tend to be diverse in race, gender and sexuality. Tara is clearly described as black, and I love that the mentor type figure, Elayne, was female (especially that she was an older, childless career women, since you don’t see many of those depicted positively in SFF).

Elayne was probably my favorite character of the book, but I liked the others as well. Tara felt young and sort of naive. She’s ambitious but hasn’t yet given up her humanity in exchange for power. It’ll be interesting to see how this develops in future books where she leads, as I think she’s got a lot of potential character development in front of her.

On this second read through of Three Parts Dead, I noticed a lot more of the details of the world. I’m pretty sure that it’s a highly alternate version of our own, so far apart that there’s more differences than similarities. I’d previously been thinking that Alt Coulumb was somewhere in Europe, but now I think that it’s somewhere on the east coast of North America. Likewise, the timeline is probably earlier than I’d initially thought, with the technology level being more equivalent to late 1800s or early 1900s. I’d love to see a map of the series world, but I haven’t found one so far.

While I’d probably point to Full Fathom Five or Last First Snow as being my favorite Crafts Sequence novels, Three Parts Dead remains a strong start to the series, and I look forward to returning to Tara and Alt Coulumb in Four Roads Cross. Three Parts Dead is a book I’d recommend for anyone looking for well written female characters or original fantasy fiction.

Originally posted on The Illustrated Page. ( )
  pwaites | Aug 2, 2016 |
Three Parts Dead is a tale set in a startlingly different universe where gods and Craftspeople use magic (Craft), and where Craft users are scholars and lawyers. Magic often deals with contracts, negotiations, payments, soulstuff, raising the dead… the usual legal matters. Tara is a recent attendee of the Hidden Schools, graduated and then tossed out—literally tossed out—due to issues with the staff. She is picked up by a Craftswomen to join the prestigious law firm Kelethras, Albrecht, and Ao, and is quickly introduced to her first case.

Kos Everburning, one of the most significant gods on the planet, is dead. His priests want him back, and soon. His creditors want him brought back, but may want him resurrected quite different than he was before. Soon Tara is on a mission to determine how a god died when no contract made by the priests shows negligence, what Kos was doing prior to his death, and why Stone Men and Stone Women have returned to the city for the first time in decades. She is joined by Abelard, the young priest on duty when Kos died who is terrified by his city’s loss and enduring an (understandable) crisis of faith.

The people and the universe are thoroughly fascinating and easy to fall into. Readers are led through a world where magic is dangerous and disturbing to common folk, but simply another way to live for Craftspeople, a world where some people worship gods and others view them as a level to try to attain (or beat) someday in the future. It is a world where Craft is both beauty and disturbing, powerful and deadly, and where, as a Craftperson, being logical and quick on your feet is the best way to stay alive. Even then, ‘alive’ and ‘human’ are both spectrums rather than states, and it is not unusual to find older Craftspeople missing things… like skin and muscles and tissue-- everything that isn’t bone. It is a world where the priests of Alt Coulumb are highly trained engineers, seeing their god in the pipes and valves that heat a city, and where years ago huge parts of the planet were destroyed in the God Wars where men and women fought with gods.

This is a tale that twists and turns, that keeps the reader guessing. It is a quick, albeit detailed, read, and will be fun for readers who enjoy worldbuilding and diving into universes and societies vastly different from our own. ( )
  Ailinel | Sep 3, 2015 |
I haven't been this impressed by a new series in a long time. The worldbuilding and magic system are fantastic; the characters rounded, deep, and interesting; the prose beautiful; the structure elegant. I can't wait to inhale the rest of this series. ( )
  jen.e.moore | Aug 30, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 35 (next | show all)
contracts define the structure, accessibility, and use of magic, called Craft. The world also includes familiar fantasy elements–from magical boarding schools to vampires to almighty gods–but gives them a fresh take that immediately draws you in.

Gladstone’s world-building involves magical takes on fields that aren’t typically addressed in fantasy—in this case, litigation. Gods, rather than being mysterious, unknowable, and omnipotent, have direct relationships with their followers. Their abilities bring happiness and joy to believers, create rain in the desert, cure illnesses—but also fuel metropolitan transit systems, back military operations, and promote trading partnerships with multinational corporations. Like all powerful people, then, the divine are always in need of good legal representation.

That’s where firms like Kelethres, Albrecht, and Ao come in: to negotiate the tangled web of deals that gods enter into. When one of these gods, Kos Everburning of Alt Coulomb, turns up dead, Tara and Ms. Kevarian are on the case. They have to prove that the god didn’t irresponsibly default on his contract, but was murdered, and they have to do it fast, before word of Kos’s death prompts his creditors worldwide to demand restitution, and the people of Alt Coulomb riot over the loss of their god.

Gladstone explained his take on divinity in the world of Three Parts Dead during a recent sit-down interview. “How would a world work in which you actually felt every morning, when you prayed to that god, your furnace would turn on?” he said when we met earlier this month. “That was how you turned your furnace on?” Grounding the metaphysical only highlighted what he felt was most important in the book: “In a world where those contracts are external and not just implied, how would that change the relationship between you and your god?”
 

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Book description
A god has died, and it’s up to Tara, a first-year associate in the international necromantic firm of Kelethras, 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’ 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 listeners to an ethical landscape in which the line between right and wrong blurs.

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"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. "--… (more)

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