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Four Roads Cross

(Craft Sequence #5)

4.37  ·  Rating details ·  1,993 ratings  ·  228 reviews
The great city of Alt Coulumb is in crisis. The moon goddess Seril, long thought dead, is back—and the people of Alt Coulumb aren't happy. Protests rock the city, and Kos Everburning's creditors attempt a hostile takeover of the fire god's church. Tara Abernathy, the god's in-house Craftswoman, must defend the church against the world's fiercest necromantic firm—and agains ...more
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published July 26th 2016 by Tor Books
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Lydia Wednesday Yes, there is a very brief sex scene, but in the they undress and lay on the couch/bed and then it goes to the next character's chapter.

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4.37  · 
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 ·  1,993 ratings  ·  228 reviews

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Five minute vacation review:

Amazing. A bit of a rocky start since I've mostly read these as they've come out and have only re-read the first book one time. In many ways, this is a more direct sequel, although we needed other events to happen to other characters before this timeline. At any rate, Gladstone is a plotting genius and I can't even imagine how he kept it all straight. One of those wall charts, maybe. Love the glimpses into maturing characters from Three Parts Dead. Kept me up reading,
I read this on a tear. I just couldn't believe how good it was. EVERYTHING was perfect.

I mean, I've read these books in publication order but they're all out of timeline order, and while that makes it seem kinda funky, it doesn't really matter because certain events HAVE to be well known before their significance can shine in the next.

It doesn't exactly make for popcorn reading. We have to keep on our toes. But that's what's so brilliant about it. We're treated to an extravaganza of wonderful id
Jul 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Originally published at Reading Reality

The world of the Craft Sequence is guaranteed to give any reader a lingering book hangover. This is a world that requires the reader to throw out all of their preconceived notions about religion, magic, gods, demons, law, order and chaos. Not necessarily in that order, and on a continuously repeating cycle.

This world makes the reader think. And think. And re-think.

In this universe where the gods are not only made real, but can be fought in real terms and ki
The FountainPenDiva, Old school geek chick and lover of teddy bears
Oh hell fucking YEAH!!!! The cover!!! Tara and Abelard are back!!! Hurry up 2016!!!!
Nov 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars - it took me a little while to get back into Alt Coulumb, but Four Roads Cross - ostensibly book 5 of the series, but a direct sequel to book 1 - had everything I've come to love about Max Gladstone's writing. Twisty plot? Check. Smart and relatably flawed characters? Check. Creative and notably weird magical systems and creatures? Oh yeah.

Tara Abernathy, the up-and-coming necromantic lawyer of Three Parts Dead is back. Turns out that resurrecting a god isn't enough to fix all her prob
Tara is back!

This book rocked.
Jan 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books, read-2017

5 Stars

5 huge Stars.

Four Roads Cross, book number 5 in the Craft Sequence by Max Gladstone is nearly a perfect read for me. This is the best book in the series so far and that really says a lot since each have been incredible. As many others have said this series by Max Gladstone is simply stunning!

"The song of Gavriel Jones, the Crier sang.
Tells of a New Presence in our Skies.
Oh, Tara thought.
Hot Town nights burn silver.
And Stone Men soar in the Sky
Pray to the moon, dreams say
And they’
Jan 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016-reads, fantasy
The end of the series, or so I thought. It looks like the series will be continuing for a while, but maybe not in the same way that it's been going so far. So I'm counting this as an ending.

First, observations on the series. This quickly grew to be one of my favorites, strictly due to its originality. I just haven't read anything like this. As the 5 book arc continued, though, the writing got better and the books really were able to stand more on their overall quality rather than just their orig
Nov 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Another great entry in the corporate/legal-thriller-meets-fantasy Craft Sequence.

Kos Everburning, God of Alt Coulumb, has long been seen as a very safe and stable investment. He rules his city of worshipers efficiently, providing him with a steady stream of faith (while providing them with low-cost heating as well - he's not called "Everburning" for nothing). He stayed home during the God Wars, and as such a low-risk/predictable growth god, his shares are a lynchpin to the international markets.
Sep 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Apart from the brilliance Gladstone typically shows in his world building, pacing, and stories, there is a subtle taste of poetry in his writing, that every once in a while, stokes from a quiet ember in the night to a flaring sun.

Truth is, I have discovered how he does this.

Max Gladstone is a Gargoyle, carved to serve Seril the Undying.

Or, in our terms, he is a hidden poet.

Reading Four Roads Cross, one can see how his masterful prose can be read as allegory to the real world, and suddenly, like
Jun 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Be warned: May contain spoilers for earlier books in the series.

Rating: Five crowns.

All hail Max Gladstone, King of Legal and Financial Fantasy. Raise your cocktail glasses. Cheers! *cue fireworks*

Max Gladstone's Craft Sequence books are set in a most sophisticated, comprehensive and fascinating world. It is a world intricately weaving governmental, judicial, financial and religious systems into one cohesive, interdependent whole. Philosophical arguments may subsequently escalate into judicial c
Apr 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: urban-fantasy
Sometimes you need a solid nearly two month ride through a world you know, with characters you like, and the promise of a good fight at the end. This was all those things.
Feb 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: urban-fantasy
So, this is where the four roads cross… an exceptionally well-chosen title as everything before came together in this story. Therefore, I would recommend to read the previous books. We meet a lot of characters from earlier books and this made the overall story much easier to understand and somewhat less complicated. Still, this author is such a genius that I am awed, overwhelmed, impressed and hopelessly lost: all at the same time. I think I should probably re-read the whole series to appreciate ...more
Ohh, what a ride this book was!!!

First, there are a lot of improvements from the previous volume.

More characters, plenty of action, a more colorfull and intriguing world and and with a non linear action, this volume was trully a masterpiece for me.

Second, the story had a lot of strong points, had more appeal than the previous one, was more centered and, maybe, this also happened because we had a healthy range of believable characters.

Keeping it short, this series is one of the best urban fan
I haven't been feeling well enough to write a good review, but the book needs to go back to the library, so here are just a few comments instead of a review. Sorry it's a bit of a mess.

I love the way this guy writes, the descriptions are wonderful. And the world that he created, the bizarre mix of high finance, urban life, magic and religion is just too wild. The crazy plot involves a goddess who came back to life and the city hates her, and how that might cause a huge financial crisis because h
Belinda Lewis
Sep 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Max Gladstone writes such fragile, badass and wonderfully human characters - be they witches, gods, gargoyles or undying animated skeletons.

This is particularly awesome when it comes to his female protagonists because as a whole the fantasy genre often suffers from cardboard cut-out women.

As a bonus Tara is my favourite character and Alt Coulumb is my favourite city.

Some of the most beautiful bits:

“Your once human Craftsmen, who style themselves masters of the universe, have slim regard for aw
Mar 24, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2017, fantasy
I had high hopes for the Craft Sequence. It came recommended to me by a friend of mine, and I had already planned to read it based on an article Gladstone wrote about how character drives story. The first book, with its integrated world-building and fascinating ideas, certainly impressed, but the more I read of it, the less interesting they get. With Four Roads Cross, ironically, I realized it was because the characters didn't resonate with me. They weren't two-dimensional, but neither could I r ...more
Apr 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
I have quibbles with this series. Let's get them out of the way, before I start singing the praise of these books.

The sequence of publication does nothing for the reader's enjoyment. For instance: had I read Last First Snow before I started Two Serpents Rise I could have connected better with the latter, for I would have understood Temoc. And that is just one instance.

Whoever came up with the titles, should be fired on general principle for thinking that angry alliterations would communicate the
Jul 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
At about 70%, I needed to stop reading this and study for a test that I had to take in three hours, but all I could do was curse Max Gladstone for making me fall for a book so hard, AGAIN.

Basically, if you loved Three Parts Dead like I did, this sequel has everything you wanted and more. I think I loved it even more than the TPD, because not only did it have the same character interactions and world, it also included interesting experiments with form, more crackling Craft, and so much more of th
Jan 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A return to form, and an excellent way to start off the new year.

The first two books of the Craft Sequence are among my favorites, but the second two didn't quite click as much. Full Fathom Five lacked some essential spark (neither protagonist nor villain were as interesting as the others), while Last First Snow was too much of a Greek Tragedy for my tastes. But here we have all of our favorite characters returned (Tara and Abelard and Cat, but also Caleb and the King in Red, and even Wakefield
The amazing: Gladstone's done it again - I was glued to the seat the whole time. Excellent pacing, intricate relationships, frantic searches through some of the previous books to find that bit of information I just remembered might be relevant...

The good: Worldbuilding, characters, dialogue, atmosphere...

The bad: Soo, some of it really resembles groups of words thrown together. Also, some of the scenes won't mean much to one who is new to the series. This one is not as stand-alone as the others
Alex Sarll
I’ve been very impressed so far with Gladstone’s anatomisation of capitalism through a lens of gods and monsters, but as our world continues to spin into the dark I increasingly notice the places where this mirror feels unduly optimistic. Yes, there are demons and debt-zombies, and the notion of 'too big to fail' can necessitate terrible things, such as the murder of renascent deities. But on some level, it’s still a very optimistic world. There are costs along the way, for sure, but these are s ...more
Mar 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
The first two books in this series were a hit and a miss for me. Three Parts Dead was great; Two Serpents Rise I didn't like nearly as much.

This was primarily because of the main characters. Tara in Three Parts Dead was smarter than anyone else, but didn't let it go to her head; instead, she cultivated alliances, not in a scheming way but with people she liked, and won the day through a combination of clever improvisation and determination. Caleb in Two Serpents Rise drove the plot largely by b
Dec 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
Another exciting continuation of the Kos and Seril story in Alt Coulumb, featuring Tara Abernathy the young Craftswoman; Abelard, beloved priest-friend of Kos, Raz the vampire and Catherine the ex-junkie/current cop.

One year after having been revived and freed, Seril and Her gargoyles are tired of being hidden and weak. The gargoyles have began to answer citizens' prayers to help them in dangerous situations in dark alleys. Once the news of Her revival breaks open, the story becomes another Cra
Sep 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016-reads, favorites
I've taken the last couple of hours to digest Four Roads Cross and while I’m well aware that I’ll need much longer than a few hours to truly understand its complexity, I can say this with the utmost certainty: IT’S FUCKING INCREDIBLE! UNBELIEVABLY SO! MAX IS AN ACTUAL WIZARD ISN’T HE?!
Everything from the characters, to the prose, the pacing, and the world building was PERFECT! There wasn’t dull moment in FRC and it's easily the best book in the series. I can’t tell you how reluctant I was to tur
May 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
I spent a large chunk of this book thinking it is a shame Full Fathom Five came out years ago, because obviously I know what is going to happen to the character. I suppose I do, a little, but clearly there's room there for...I dunno, I'm sure I could come up with a title with a 4.5 reference if I tried hard enough.

I don't like to stretch the metaphor Gladstone is playing with too far, but at times I felt like Tara's arc in this story is the reverse of Chris's in Market Forces - the gods (partly)
Aug 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
I've been quite liking Max Gladstone's Craft Sequence since reading the first-published one, Three Parts Dead, two years ago. I like the world of this series (which features gods and demons and magic that looks like lawyering), and the way the different stories in the different books intertwine, and the way each book basically centers around a problem to be solved, but contains lots else besides. In this book, which is the fifth to be published but the fourth in terms of internal chronology, the ...more
Nov 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
A great return of the characters from the first craft sequence book, the story taking place a year later. Again gods are the target of a lawsuit and a complicated plot is needed to save them. Characters from other books, like Caleb from Two Serpents rise, make an appearance, but the timelines are a bit muddy so I'm not sure how much later this book takes place - or how much before the events in Full Fathom Five it comes. I enjoyed the book greatly, with its large cast of characters and last minu ...more
Scott Firestone
May 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
This latest book in the Craft Sequence is a direct sequel to the first book: Three Parts Dead. Tara Abernathy is coming into her own as a Craftswoman, but also coming to terms with the fact that she's a de facto priestess. Gods thought dead aren't really. A Deathless King is accused of short selling souls. And relationships are pushed to the edge as friends race to save a city and its faithful.

A friend and book twinsie was ultimately disappointed with the Craft Sequence. While I can't really re
Mar 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This book is the one where the threads from the four previous novels FINALLY come together! I absolutely loved this & it was great to begin piecing together the bigger picture. I think I benefited from having read the previous 2 novels immediately before this one - this is definitely a series where the little details need to be fresh in your mind in order to get the most from the overarching story.

Secretly, this entire series is a wonderful examination of the relationship of God or the conce
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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

Other books in the series

Craft Sequence (6 books)
  • Three Parts Dead (Craft Sequence, #1)
  • Two Serpents Rise (Craft Sequence, #2)
  • Full Fathom Five (Craft Sequence, #3)
  • Last First Snow (Craft Sequence, #4)
  • The Ruin of Angels (Craft Sequence, #6)
“Humans need to dream, you know. It's how the mind breathes.” 3 likes
“What can we do in the face of fear? What else, came the whispered reply, but love and trust.” 2 likes
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