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Dead Reign

(Marla Mason #3)

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  1,236 ratings  ·  55 reviews
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-insa
Paperback, 336 pages
Published October 28th 2008 by Spectra (first published 2008)
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really liked it 4.00  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,236 ratings  ·  55 reviews

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Alisi ☆ wants to read too many books ☆

Poor, poor Marla. LMAO! It just keeps getting worse and worse for her. You really have to give it to her, though. She truly thinks outside the box. 'Oh, Death thinks he can just take over MY city?! Fuck that! I'm taking over Hell!'
Sep 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
Marla Mason is a badass, anyone who creatively thinks her way though the problems she faces and wins is amazing. Ultimate favorite urban fantasy lead female. When death comes to town looking for his toy and banishes Marla from her town. She says well screw that guy and goes to take over Deaths kingdom to get back at him. That's the kind of big thinking that I love.

So urban fantasy books have a couple of problems that I've run into. There are a couple of lead character tropes that I don't like.
Death takes over Felport and banishes Marla Mason, the chief sorcerer. She can't get back into her city, she can't even communicate with anyone still in there, and even if she could, Death has powers beyond mortal comprehension.
So she storms the Underworld. God I love her.
Nicole Bunge
Dec 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
Have to say this is probably my favorite Marla Mason book so far. (I already finished 4.) Also, with that perspective, have to say this is beginning to look like a 'every other one is really good' set up... because #2 "Poison Sleep" was just... long, and #4 "Spell Games" was also long, and went and ended on a cliff hanger, which I'm still pissed about.

"Dead Reign" though, was a good, solid, ass-kicking book. What I like about Marla is that she has faults- and they do NOT help her- so she's real
Apr 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: uf, fantasy
This is yet another great addition to a really cool series.

This book starts with Marla and Rondeau having a conversation about zombies while they're spying on a necromancer. So you can bet I was hooked from the start!

Soon Marla and Rondeau are split up by circumstances, but they both know how to get things done, even if they have different ways of doing so. I enjoyed seeing how each of them tried to make the best of the situation they were thrown into.

There are lots of cool and fun events in thi
May 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
T.A. Pratt is a bloody bright writer. I've been listening too this series. The details are so specific that you can tell he puts a lot of thought into his writing. Listen to this series for a very entertaining story.
Jan 11, 2012 rated it really liked it

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 Mas
Dec 27, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
One of my continuing goals is to try out new authors. As there will unlikely be a new Dresden Files books this year, I'm exploring, for me, some new urban fantasy authors. For all of the negatives that have been posted about Butcher's writing and the Dresden books, I'll have to say I don't think Pratt's Marla Mason is quite as good a read.

On the plus side Marla is a much more engaging character than Hamilton's Anita Blake. I'm willing to buy Marla's wise ass commentary and attempt at a no nonsen
Jan 13, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, modern-earth
This is the third book in the series, featuring Marla Mason, the head of all the hidden magic society in Felport, an imaginary East Coast city in the tradition of Gotham and Metropolis, though I'd say Felport is closer to the former than the latter. Aside from a new urban center, and the magic, Marla's world is pretty close to our own.

Anyway, in this book, Marla takes on Death, mostly because he steps in her territory and won't leave her alone. When having a character, even a powerful one, face
Juliana Rew
Apr 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
I realize this 2008 offering from T. A. Pratt is the third in a longer series, but it's my first introduction to his master sorceress, Marla Mason.

It would have been nice to get to know Marla a little better before the action of this story begins. Instead, after Death kicks her out of Felport, the city she runs, she hardly plays a role in the story until about 80% of the way in.

While her supporters, led by mysterious entity Rondeau,
fight a rear-guard resistance, we are left to wonder what her n
May 07, 2009 rated it really liked it
Dead Reign is a unique addition to the Marla Mason series in that, Marla isn't able to protect her city because she has been exiled. This being the case, Rondeau gets his much needed time to shine. Having Walking Death after you can't be a good thing, and Marla has to go to hell, literally, to defeat him. I thought that Pratt's ideas for Death and hell were very interesting. Hell can't really be a fiery pit of despair can it? Well, not in Marla's world. Marla's trip to hell gives us a much neede ...more
This is where things get interesting. Marla Mason defines herself in terms of her city, Felport, and so as part of the climax of the arc, she is denied it. Overall, the book is more about the people left, and the city itself than Marla. She is her own story's b-plot.

But the story flows with grit and anger to make it feel real, and urban, but nominally urban fantasy — although it's in and about a city, don't look for romantic sexytimes here! Marla is in crisis and goes to the Journey of Her Own P
Aug 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
I really liked this book. I read it in the midst of general craziness, having to move out half the kitchen so it could be sprayed for bugs, and then retreating to the library so as not to breathe in the fumes, much of it on a backless chair.

I'm generally a fan of urban fantasy, and this is significantly better than average.

I like it because it is about Marla (mostly) and how much she cares for her city. She cares so much that she is willing to (view spoiler)
Apr 09, 2009 rated it really liked it
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 g
Oct 30, 2008 rated it liked it
If you have enjoyed Pratt's previous two Marla Mason novels, you should enjoy this one--though perhaps not quite as much.

Sure it's a fun romp as always, though the third novel in the series felt a bit hurried, a bit "tossed off". Perhaps it's merely the fact that after the third time, I'm beginning to notice some of Pratt's tricks, repetitions, and quirks.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed Marla's latest adventure, though I am a tad worried where the series is headed. When the main character has a ru
Oct 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: urban fantasy fans (who don't need/want romantic elements)
* Marla is a hard character to understand and I get why some people don't like her. She can be ruthless and even her friends sometimes find her difficult to get along with. Still, she is completely unique especially in the overcrowded urban fantasy shelves. Also, her ruthlessness and the distance she keeps from most people starts to be explained in this book. I really enjoyed being able to peer more into her past.
* I never know what's going to happen next! The plot is delightfully unpredic
May 21, 2012 rated it it was ok
Marla Mason goes to Hell. It isn't exciting. The author has a talent for describing supernatural events in a bland, workaday mode that fails to bowl me over -- either with the protagonist's reaction or the sheer special-effects awesomeness of it all. I realize I'm picky about this sort of thing: I regularly excoriate Simon Green for putting in special-effects narration that's over-the-top but *bad*. Richard Kadrey fell down at the job too. For what it's worth, Kate Griffin hits it dead-on.

So, th
Jan 08, 2009 rated it liked it
Marla Mason is not a nice person. She keeps her word, but if you mess with her, you're going down. In this story, Death - he doesn't SPEAK LIKE THIS, but he's apparently the real deal - tries to mess with her. It ends poorly for him, as we would expect.

Marla actually shows signs of character growth, which surprised me. I figured that it'd have to happen sooner or later, what with book 4 coming out in two months, but I didn't expect it now. It's subtle, but she's learning.

I like these books, but
Jun 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
[addressing Walking Death] "You only exist because of us," the Chamberlain said. " You are defined by us, by our cessation. When the last human dies you will die with her."
"Oh, no, no. I'm the death of all living things, from cockroaches to whales to kudzu to yogurt. Humans are just the most entertaining, because you worry about death so much, and think so hard about the aftermath. There is no afterlife for a field of corn, you know, when it's mown down. But you humans, you just have to go some
Aug 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: urban-fantasy
Marla Mason is an amazing and riveting character made better by her decisions in life threatening situations that these books continue to present. I was totally surprised at the way this book turned out, it was much better than the jacket describes! Marla has something that Death wants and will do anything to get back. Marla, as we know, will do anything to save her city. Throw in John Wilkes Booth, a man who thinks he's dead, a lich, and a starstruck servant and you have a very interesting stor ...more
Mar 06, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2011, urban-fantasy
My husband asked me what I was reading while I was reading this. I fumbled for some sort of explanation and when I realized how ridiculous it sounded, it made me like these books more. They are just plain fun. And easy to read on a treadmill. I mean, really, what's not to love about an ass-kicking female protagonist with magical powers and her silly cohorts? This book has it all. Death (with a capitol D), marriage, violence, sorcery, a groveling manservant... Anyway, this series is my guilty ple ...more
Mar 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
I'm giving this one a four because for HIS books I loved it. I still don't think he is a great writer, I would be pushing it to say good writer, but I liked this one a lot. The idea of Death was cool and I think his books are wonderfully original. I enjoyed seeing more of Randeau (I think, her sidekick guy) and since Ted is dead Pen.... (Butler guy) is a good substitute. I also like that the new "good guys" didn't die like they always seem to do.
Mar 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Another really good installment in this series!

My only complaint is that some of the plot twists I saw coming a mile away, but then, there were also explanations for the protagonist not seeing them coming, so I don't fault the plot for that.

I like this incarnation of Death. And actually the Underworld altogether. One of the reasons I enjoy this series so much is that Pratt is remarkably original. Something that's so rare with urban fantasy these days.
Jay Daze
Aug 10, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Like this entry in Marla Mason's adventures much better than the last book, where I really, really hated the stuff with... not love interest - the magical mind fucker. (Is Josha supposed to be a male femme fatale? Cause he just seems like a rapist.) Unfortunately there is a revisting of this near the end of this book, but at least it is mercifully short. Other than that, good overall. Like that it wasn't a massive fight at the end. Marla is smart and creative in how she gets shit done.
Dec 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: modernfantasy
Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden series is still probably my favorite of the modern fantasy / urban fantasy genre that's seemed to have become popular in the past 5 years, but, this series is moving it's way rapidly up my mental rankings. Well written, entertaining, and a good immersive atmosphere to lose myself.
Dec 08, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of Anita Blake & urban fantasy in general
Recommended to Jess by: book club

I love all the magic. It's well thought out. Plot never sags, characters are deep and funny, a sense of place is well-established. I also like that there aren't really love arcs to the story. I am so sick of there ALWAYS being a love interest. It's refreshing to just have a nice action story with some magic in it.
Jan 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Marla in a fight with Walking Death for her city? That's an awesome idea for a book. I really enjoyed the way the book played out. Then at the end of the book having her brother come in? That's an awesome set up for the next book and an end to this book. I can't wait to see what the next book will bring. What perils is Marla going to get into now?
Aug 24, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: year-2009
This was a lot funnier than the previous books, and the plot was very entertaining. The end felt a bit like a cop out to me, but it went well with the rest of the story, so I can flow with it. It was a little bait-and-switchy, but not nearly as bad as it could have been.

And the cloak? Creepy.
Mar 01, 2009 rated it really liked it
I've been enjoying the Marla Mason series, and while I think the first book in the series had some rough edges, this one is very polished. They're not deep novels, but a fun way to while away a weekend afternoon. I worry that future books may get a little formulaic, but for now this series is going on my guaranteed fun list.
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T.A. Pratt is the pseudonym of Tim Pratt, under which he penned the Marla Mason books.

I've crowdfunded seven projects (four through Kickstarter) successfully in the past few years, and I don't foresee any problems with this one, either. I write novels for a living, and this is a book I'm excited to do. It's always possible there will be bumps and delays on the production process, or an unforeseen

Other books in the series

Marla Mason (10 books)
  • Blood Engines (Marla Mason, #1)
  • Poison Sleep (Marla Mason, #2)
  • Spell Games (Marla Mason, #4)
  • Broken Mirrors (Marla Mason, #5)
  • Grim Tides (Marla Mason, #6)
  • Bride of Death (Marla Mason, #7)
  • Lady of Misrule (Marla Mason, #8)
  • Queen of Nothing (Marla Mason, #9)
  • Closing Doors (Marla Mason, #10)