The Ruin of Angels, by Max Gladstone
Series: Craft Sequence, Book Six (Standalone)
Publisher: Tor.com Publishing
Release Date: September 5, 2017
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Max Gladstone returns with The Ruin of Angels, the sixth novel in the Hugo-nominated Craft Sequence, which The Washington Post calls “the best kind of urban fantasy” and NPR calls “sharp, original, and passionate”
The God Wars destroyed the city of Alikand. Now, a century and a half and a great many construction contracts later, Agdel Lex rises in its place. Dead deities litter the surrounding desert, streets shift when people aren’t looking, a squidlike tower dominates the skyline, and the foreign Iskari Rectification Authority keeps strict order in this once-independent city—while treasure seekers, criminals, combat librarians, nightmare artists, angels, demons, dispossessed knights, grad students, and other fools gather in its ever-changing alleys, hungry for the next big score.
Priestess/investment banker Kai Pohala (last seen in Full Fathom Five) hits town to corner Agdel Lex’s burgeoning nightmare startup scene, and to visit her estranged sister Ley. But Kai finds Ley desperate at the center of a shadowy, and rapidly unravelling, business deal. When Ley ends up on the run, wanted for a crime she most definitely committed, Kai races to track her sister down before the Authority finds her first. But Ley has her own plans, involving her ex-girlfriend, a daring heist into the god-haunted desert, and, perhaps, freedom for an occupied city. Because Alikand might not be completely dead—and some people want to finish the job.
Beautiful covers, interesting blurbs, and an interview with the author, brought me to this series in the first half of this year. I have since then read four of the six standalone novels in Max Gladstone’s Craft Sequence series, that are connected by the world they are set in, themes, and some characters that reappear here and then. My ratings range from 4 to 5 stars and I spent many hours experiencing and discovering the setting.
The Craft Sequence needs a focused reader who learns by observation and not by explanation or information, who will be greatly rewarded for their effort by being able to delve into a highly imaginative and innovative place where Gods are real, magic exists, and are combined with an encompassing system of trade and payment (of worship and souls). Add to this action, intrigue, and diverse characters of ethnicity, gender and sexual identity and you have one very satisfied Mel.
This installment features Kai, a priest and transgender woman, whom we first met in Full Fathom Five, and her lesbian sister Ley, who is the reason for all kinds of dubious ongoings in this book. But there are even more great female characters with their own agencies, so readers looking for books with a strong and respectfully written cast of female characters will delight in this book.
A highly recommended book and series! Enjoy!
MAX GLADSTONE went to Yale, where he wrote a short story that became a finalist in the Writers of the Future competition. He is the author of Three Parts Dead and Two Serpents Rise. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts.
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I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.