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Dead Reign by T.A. Pratt
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Dead Reign

by T.A. Pratt

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Marla continues to be an entertaining character in a not-quite-typical urban fantasy series. The resolution was actually pretty elegant, and while these aren't exactly Great American Novels, I'd happily recommend them to fans of the genre. ( )
  JeremyPreacher | Mar 30, 2013 |
http://bastardbooks.blogspot.com/2012/02/bastard-reaction-dead-reign-by-ta-pratt...

After a few disappointing urban fantasy reads recently, Dead Reign by T.A. Pratt was a welcomed change. This is the third installment of the Marla Mason series, and it gave me just what I was expecting to get out of it. I'm glad I held back continuing the series after finishing up Poison Sleep a few months back, as reading Dead Reign when I did was just what I needed at the time.

Death has come to Felport, and naturally it's chief sorcerer Marla Mason who has to put a stop to him before he destroys her precious city. The timing is inconvenient as she has to appease the ghosts of the founders by throwing a party in their honor or risk mayhem through her city. By the same token, she's short on allies and people who she can trust, not that trust has ever been something she could count on in her world. Needless to say that Marla finds herself outmatched by a god, but that has never stopped Marla from picking a fight to defend her city.

Marla Mason is quickly becoming one of my favorite characters in fantasy, a no-nonsense kickass heroine with a heart of gold. At least that's how she resides in my mind; love is blind I guess. We see more of that here as Marla takes on an entity that simply is too powerful even for her. But who cares, right? If someone is going to take over Felport it'll be over Marla's dead body, and who better for the job than Death himself.

After each installment the character interaction has been better and better. The author seems to have hit his comfort zone; the dialogue has good rhythm and the characters and the world complement each other perfectly. While in the first Marla Mason novel there were a few head scratchers for me in how some elements might have seemed a bit out of place, everything being introduced just seems to fit naturally right now regardless of how outlandish it may seem. It all starts with how well Marla has come along, and especially the great supporting cast she has been surrounded with, beginning with her "sidekick" Rondeau who has become a fascinating character in his own right.

Dead Reign more than just being a novel about Marla overcoming odds to protect her city, it's also about soul searching for her. As such, I couldn't think of a more fitting title for the novel, the dead in some form or another have left their imprints allover this novel. Marla undertakes a journey where she literally faces the demons of her past, which in ways have been stunting her personal growth. Through the novel we get to know her better than ever before, expressly aspects of her past that we've been in the dark about. Not only that, we also learn about the nature of magical artifacts, in particular that of the dagger of office and Marla's cloak.

My only real complaint is that through Marla's journey we are faced with a few scenes that I didn't care much for, particularly ones that were rehashes of events we've already experienced. Other than that, a ton of fun and full of gratifying events. It has a cliffhanger for an ending, one that I very much liked. I say that, but know that the plot that was laid out in Dead Reign was concluded. It's inconsequential though since you can just pick up the next novel and continue the story without a problem, which I did.

In any case, another entertaining novel from T.A. Pratt which has the Marla Mason series steadily climbing the ranks among my favorite urban fantasies. It's a series that I can easily recommend to any urban fantasy reader, and welcome readers outside the sub-genre to give a try. ( )
  BastardBooks | Feb 28, 2012 |
A great series, who would cross Marla? I liked the direction and development of the plot and charachter. ( )
  viciouslittlething | Dec 10, 2010 |
I got the ARC of this book as a part of the book goodie bag at the World Fantasy Convention in Calgary. After looking at the cover I never intended to read it. I mean, there was a hooded woman in a very odd posture and a cloak. It didn't really inspire my imagination. I read the back cover and rolled my eyes at the 'spunky woman meets and battles death' description. Then I don't remember how it happened, but I read a couple pages. And then a couple more. And then a couple more. Dead Reign is a good book. In fact, it's a very good book. The main character is well-rounded, funny and someone you can really like. She reminds me quite a bit of Mercy Thompson from Patricia Briggs' series. She's not the only awesome character in the novel though -- I thought they were all great, the story was far less predictable than you'd think and the pace was perfect. I really liked this book and I will definitely be picking up more books from this series....I still don't like the cover though ;) ( )
  RhondaParrish | Mar 15, 2010 |
Wow what a great book! The first and second Marla Mason books were good, but this is the first one that had everything, a kick ass heroine who is smart, quick witted, and willing to kick ass to save her city. It has the side kick, who is not quite all that he says he is. It has death, incarnated on Earth, and John Wilkes Booth, accidentally reanimated. The characters are believable, they have heart underneath their violent tendencies, motives make sense. I can't wait to see more of the valet, Pellham. ( )
  TheDivineOomba | Aug 10, 2009 |
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Epigraph
In their last sleep-- the dead reign there alone.

So shalt thou rest, and what if thou withdraw

In silence from the living, and no friend

Take note of thy departure?


-- William Cullen Bryant, "Thanatopsis"
Dedication
For Greg,
who would make a ferocious zombie killer,
if it ever came to that
First words
Marla Mason sat in the branches of an ancient oak on a ridge, spying on the moonlit cemetery below.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553591355, Mass Market Paperback)

Death has come calling, and one woman
has what he wants most of all...

As chief sorcerer of Felport, Marla Mason thought she’d faced every kind of evil the magical world had to offer. But she’s never faced a killer like this. He’s dark, glib, handsome as the devil—and exactly who he says he is. Death—in the flesh. He’s arrived in Felport with a posse composed of a half-insane necromancer and the reanimated corpse of John Wilkes Booth, and he isn’t leaving until he gets what he came for. Only Marla is crazy enough to tell Death to go back to Hell.

With the Founders’ Ball just around the bend, drawing together the brightest, meanest, and most dangerous of Felport’s magical elite, the last thing Marla needs is all-out war with the King of the Underworld, but that’s exactly what she’s got. As the battle lines are drawn, she can count on her hedonistic, body-hopping partner Rondeau…but how many of her old allies will stand by her side when facing the ultimate adversary? To save her city, Marla will have to find a way to cheat Death…literally.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:43:50 -0400)

"As chief sorcerer of Felport, Marla Mason thought she's faced every kind of evil the magical world had to offer. But she'd never faced a killer like this. He's dark, glib, handsome as the devil--and exactly who he says he is. Death--in the flesh. He's arrived in Felport with a posse composed of a half-insane necromancer and the reanimated corpse of John Wilkes Booth, and he isn't leaving until he gets what he came for. Only Marla is crazy enough to tell Death to go back to Hell."--p. [4] of cover.… (more)

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