Review: “Three Parts Dead”

Just finished “Three Parts Dead“, a fantasy novel by Max Gladstone. In it, witches and wizards are known as ‘craftspeople’ and resemble lawyers more than anything from the Hobbit. Gods are known to contract out their divine might to trading caravans or create the magical equivalent of shell corporations so they can ferry magic to other gods without their congregations knowing.

Kos Everburning, the patron deity of Alt Coulumb, is dead. Tara Abernathy, disgraced craftswoman-in-training, is selected by a representative of a top Craft firm to aid in the investigation. All is not as it seems, however, as the clues surrounding God’s death begin to point more and more to deicide…

The metaphors here are rather obvious — in our own world high finance functions as a type of powerful and dangerous magic that few, if any, really understand. Gladstone confirms that this was deliberate in an interview I read but can’t track down right now.

I’ve never encountered a fantasy book like this one before. It was well crafted and original, and I definitely plan on looking into the rest of the series.

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