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Three Parts Dead

(Craft Sequence #1)

by
3.98  ·  Rating details ·  10,116 ratings  ·  1,480 reviews
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 citi
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Hardcover, 336 pages
Published October 2nd 2012 by Tor Books (first published January 1st 2012)
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Yingzi Chen Pros of publication order:
- The world building is pretty dense and Three Parts Dead does a better introduction to the world than Last First Snow.…more
Pros of publication order:
- The world building is pretty dense and Three Parts Dead does a better introduction to the world than Last First Snow. Three Parts Dead has a viewpoint character.
- The author's writing improves through the series (they are all amazing books, his writing does get better though). I feel that publication order is less jarring to read.

Pros of chronological order:
- Last First Snow doesn't get spoiled. (according to many of the reviews who found the book less interesting because they knew what happens at the end, I disagree)(less)
J.m.s No, it doesn't. It has offscreen relationships between people but nothing intimate or inappropriate for a pretty young person, although there is a…moreNo, it doesn't. It has offscreen relationships between people but nothing intimate or inappropriate for a pretty young person, although there is a quantity of violence!(less)

Community Reviews

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Patrick
Aug 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Earlier this year, I met Max Gladstone. We were both attending a convention in Boston.

Simply said, I really liked him. He was funny, articulate, and smart. He'd traveled the world and had interesting stories to show for it.

So I picked up his book. Because when I meet an interesting author, I like to see what they've written.

To be completely honest, this isn't the best way to pick up new books. Someone who is funny in person isn't always funny in print. A person might be delightfully verbally a
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Carol.
Jan 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Pratchet fans? Zelazny fans? Basically, anyone who likes complex fantasy.
Recommended to Carol. by: Amanda
It isn’t often that I find a book that hits that fantasy sweet spot. An interesting lead character who rises above gender stereotypes, world-building inventiveness, a storytelling style that keeps me engaged, a clever little mystery, a willingness to poke at authority, and did I mention inventiveness? Three Parts Dead? has a few bumps, certainly. But it was one of the better fantasies I’ve read this year, and if you’ve been considering it, I suggest giving it a try. It exceeded my expectations.

N
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Petrik
Nov 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Urban fantasy fans
Imaginative and unique, think of City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett with a little touch of Sanderson’s magic system and you’ll get Three Parts Dead.

Three Parts Dead is Max Gladstone’s debut novel and it’s the first installment in his Craft Sequence series. Ever since I finished and loved The Divine Cities trilogy by Robert Jackson Bennett, I’ve been craving for a similar kind of urban fantasy series to read. Readers and reviewers have directed me towards this series and I’m really glad the
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Bradley
Nov 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
OMG this really hit the spot. I expected an UF with an interesting premise about the Craft which seemed part witchcraft and part necromancy with something to do with gods, but I didn't expect a sharp exploration of a kind of magic-users who DEFINED and held gods to LAWS. lol

So yeah.

As far as I can tell, it's one part courtroom drama, one part epic necromantic universal magic-struggle, and one part pure awesomeness.

I didn't expect to have the coolness of Gaiman's god-system turned into a crafty
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Jokoloyo
Dec 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
quick review of TPD: this novel meets my expectation for mystery/thriller dark urban fantasy. The mystery is still good enough to fool me in a fair game, with an excellent fantasy setting.
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I can't help myself comparing this debut novel with another novel with similar theme: City of Stairs (COS)*. Both novels combine mysteries and untraditional fantasy universe with dead gods. Both are excellent reads with well thought setting (I believe both authors care with the settings, both are the
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The FountainPenDiva, Old school geek chick and lover of teddy bears
The cover says it all! A sexy, strong, fierce Black woman with natural hair and it's a different take on steampunk. What more could a black geek chick possibly ask for?

How do I love this book? \m/ Seriously, this book is just so many types of AWESOME *sings AWESOME at the top of my lungs* The cover rocks and just for the record New York publishing, people BOUGHT IT so stop with the whitewashing, okay?

It's taken me awhile to craft a full review because I was still trying to put into words just ho
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Becky
I read and discussed this one with a couple friends, and though all three of us have very different reading personalities, we pretty much all felt the same way about this book: It had potential, but was ultimately just a mess.

There was just too much going on in this book, and not nearly enough story to support it. It felt manic, like the author tried to cram every cool idea he had into it, but didn't explain anything in a way that felt natural or even coherent. Everything was just presented, wo
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Sh3llraiser (grumpybookgrrrl)

There was a LOT of good things about this book. But that pacing? Nope. Sluggish, plodding, unemotional writing, dragging plot. This was only 336 pages and it felt like a thousand. I just can't even bother to finish because I don't care what happens. I wanted to like this. I tried. DNF 80%.

What I liked: Great world-building. I liked the vampire pirate. I liked the gargoyles. The magic was interesting. Again, great world-building and potential.

I could not get into any of the other characters, rea
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Felicia
Dec 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is a weird book that some people may not like, but I REALLY liked it, so there. It's not romance-y, it's steampunk/religious/thriller/alt-verse/fantasy. It's gritty and a bit complicated but I enjoyed it a LOT because it was DIFFERENT.

I love the idea of Living/Dead Gods (PC HODGELL'S GOD STALK is one of my faves) and this book really is intriguing in its dealing of the subject, and immense magical power harnessed by humans. I dunno, I just really liked it, the lead woman was ruthless and dr
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Mpauli
This book has a fantastic and highly imaginative world-building. If you're a fan of "sense of wonder", like I am, this is the book for you.
It reads a bit like Robert Jackson Bennett's "City of Stairs", although Bennett's prose flows a bit more organically. But for a debut novel, this is a very well written and constructed book.
The world is a colorful mix of traditional fantasy ideas with Steampunk elements set against the backdrop of an urban metropolis filled with gargoyles, vampires and skelet
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Ivan
Dec 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
I wasn't sure on what shelf to put it on. World reminds me of steampunk and gunpowder fantasy except there are little of steam engines and no gunpowder. I'm calling it urban high fantasy and rolling with it. Big reason for that are modern corporations and corporate etiquette built into high fantasy settings but instead of inflow of money they are fighting for inflow of divine power with gods, deathless kings and great craftsman (mages) as CEOs.
Sounds weird but it's well crafted world and despit
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Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
Dec 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2015
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 a
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Amanda
Dec 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: blog
When your god has died, who ya gonna call? Why, the thaumaturgical firm of Kelethres, Albrecht, and Ao, of course.

At least that's what the priesthood of Alt Coulumb does when their fire deity, Kos, snuffs it (a rather embarrassing turn of events for a god billed as "Kos the Everburning"). Without his power driving the steam engines of the city, Alt Coulumb will eventually come to a grinding halt, so it is up to Tara Abernathy (the newest recruit of Kelethres, Albrecht, and Ao) to unravel the cir
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Experiment BL626
CAUTION: Long Review

Three Parts Dead defied my expectation. I took a risk on this seemingly boring book and it paid off!

I thought it was Urban Fantasy because of the blurb and cover.... Okay, mostly because of the cover. And technically it wouldn't be inaccurate to say it is because there were vampires and Craftsman (mages), a kick-ass heroine and a chain-smoking hero among many parts of the book.

However, the book was Fantasy. TDP was set in a completely different world where gods and godly Craf
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daisy
Jul 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
4.5 stars. Fingers crossed I get the review out this time lmao
RTC later!

LMAO that review really never came, huh? Hopefully I'll actually write one out after I finish this re-read. I ordered Ruin of Angels a week or so ago, can't wait to finally finish this series.

3.75-4 stars, I think!

RTC.... hopefully, lmao
Rob
Executive Summary: I'm not much of a fan of urban fantasy, but this one was different enough than many I've read such that I'll be happy to pick up the next one. 3.5 stars rounded up for its uniqueness.

Full Review
One of my reading goals the last few years has been to not get suckered in by daily deals and continue to add books to my owned and unread shelf. So of course I bought 5 books in this series when they were on sale last year based on the strength of some of my friend's reviews of this
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Mimi
Apr 08, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A surprise, a pleasant surprise. I was lured in by the urban-fantasy-ness and blown away by the setting, fantastical elements, and world building. As a rule, I have low expectations for all urban fantasies, regardless of hype. So I went into this book expecting it to be average at best, but the depth and scope of Gladstone’s world and the war that ravished the land won me over. Looking forward to continuing this series.


* * * * *


The actual order of these books according to the author: http://www.
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Emma
Apr 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
A really original fantasy read . The author has built a fantastic world including living breathing gargoyles and the ability to steal a face! It was a story that compelled me to carry on reading and where I needed to concentrate to figure the world out. I believe the next one has a whole set of different characters which will be interesting too..I've read a few great 'living Gods' fantasies this year and this is just as good.
Monica
Fascinating plot. Great worldbuilding. Excellent audio performance by Claudia Alick. Very entertaining!

4 plus Stars

Listened to the audiobook. Excellent!!
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
Three Parts Dead is a fantasy novel that teases at the senses and perceptions of the reader. Gladstone takes some fantasy concepts and weaves them into a creation that has its own flavor and feel. It's not urban fantasy in the common sense. It's not epic fantasy, either. It's a novel that forges its own path.

Gladstone takes the sticky territory of faith and belief in a deity and asks the reader to trust him and to follow where he's going. For those readers who are believers in God and who consi
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Alex Ristea
Apr 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This is the best novel I've read so far in 2014.

I dare you to read the first thirty pages and not be instantly hooked. It's hard to believe that this is a debut novel—I haven't been this impressed by a new author since The Lies of Locke Lamora.

Three Parts Dead pushes all the right buttons in a fairly short novel: an incredibly rich world, believable and complex motivations for all the characters, beautiful prose, protagonists who protag (instead of just reacting to the plot), and a plot which tw
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Dara
I love this book. I love the characters, world-building, magic, plot, lore, and well, pretty much everything. Be prepared for gushing review.

Tara Abernathy is a necromancer/lawyer that has been hired by the firm of Kelethres, Albrecht, and Ao to resurrect Kos Everburning, the dead god of Alt Coulumb. There's so much to love about Tara. She's intelligent, resourceful, talented, and self-reliant. Better yet: she's a female protagonist of color. Her boss is Craftswoman Elayne Kevarian (another wome
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Spencer Orey
Aug 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Fun, sometimes edgy. At first glance, I wasn't sure how legal urban fantasy was going to be exciting, but then I remembered all of the legal thrillers I've seen over the years. After reading, now it seems like a perfect match. Looking forward to the next in the series.
Carly
Mar 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: high-fantasy
~4.5
"Gods, like men, can die. They just die harder, and smite the earth with their passing."
God has died.
His light no longer warms the city.
His fires no longer keep the engines humming.
His debts must be paid.
His people are shocked, incredulous, panicked.
Angry.
The only solution? Hire a fixer--from the prominent Crafter firm of Kelethras, Albrecht, and Ao, naturally--to resuscitate the god, if the justice system of the Crafters allows it. Before this is all over, there's going to be a lot of tim
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Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship
This book will make many readers happy, particularly those who enjoy plot-driven, worldbuilding-heavy fantasy. Three Parts Dead has an alternate-world, urban steampunk setting, and features a murder mystery surrounding a dead god, seemingly limitless magic, some paranormal elements (including vampires, but no romance) and a megalomaniacal villain. If this sounds like your dreams come true, don’t let me discourage you from reading this book. But those, like me, who enjoy character-driven fiction ...more
Emily
Oct 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
No one is more surprised than me at this four-star rating, because I got off to a rocky start. I ended up really liking the world - which is inventive, unique, and interesting - but I found the first quarter of the book difficult because of the amount of information jammed into it. I prefer books that immerse you in a world, rather than spending time spelling it out, but I vividly remember reading the scene where Tara (view spoiler) multiple times on a San Fra ...more
Rachel Hartman
Jun 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Witty and fun. Lots of head-hopping. Sometimes head-hopping makes me dizzy, or I bounce off the surface like a stone skipped across a lake, but Gladstone has a gift for clarity which I think helps.

I am intrigued, as ever, by ideas about belief. In this case, belief is a kind of energy exchange -- you give the gods power by believing, and sometimes they give back (although the strong, viable ones take in more than they give out, rather like insurance companies). Belief is also quite clearly para
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Jason
Jan 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing

5 Stars

Reread.

Three Parts Dead by Max Gladstone was even better a second time through. I decided to read this one again before reading Four Roads Cross (Book 5 in the Craft Sequence) as they return to the same characters.

For a second time through, I was really blown away at just how cool the world was, at how imaginative the magic, and how great the page turning writing is. This one really is special.




My original Review...





Three Parts Dead starts off my 2015 reading with a bang. Gladstone has cre
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Molly
I really love a GOOD debut novel.

“There are as many different kinds of silence as of darkness. Some are so fragile a single breath will shatter them, but others are not so weak. The strongest silences deafen.”

description

Rating, 4.5 stars (another late review, finished it more than a week ago)

To tell you the truth I almost gave up somewhere 1/4 through the book. The world-building was a headache for me. Not that it was badly written (on the contrary), I just couldn't get into it, and there were a few book
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1,145 followers
Max Gladstone is the author of the Craft Sequence: THREE PARTS DEAD, TWO SERPENTS RISE, FULL FATHOM FIVE, and most recently, LAST FIRST SNOW. He's been twice nominated for the John W Campbell Best New Writer award, and nominated for the XYZZY and Lambda Awards.

Max has taught in southern Anhui, wrecked a bicycle in Angkor Wat, and been thrown from a horse in Mongolia. Max graduated from Yale Univer
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Other books in the series

Craft Sequence (6 books)
  • Two Serpents Rise (Craft Sequence, #2)
  • Full Fathom Five (Craft Sequence, #3)
  • Last First Snow (Craft Sequence, #4)
  • Four Roads Cross (Craft Sequence, #5)
  • The Ruin of Angels (Craft Sequence, #6)
“The God Wars had not been a pleasant time for Craftsmen and Craftswomen around the world. One day, you’re a simple thaumaturge, idly meddling in matters man was not meant to comprehend. The next, a collection of beings as old as humanity, with legions of followers, declare war on your “kind”, and neighbours who once thought you a harmless eccentric with a fondness for mystic sigils and foul unguents see you as an affront to Creation.” 17 likes
“He drinks the life of those who come too close to him. Steals their youth. Also,” she said after a pause, “he moisturizes.” 17 likes
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