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The Ruin of Angels

(Craft Sequence #6)

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  1,849 ratings  ·  210 reviews
Max Gladstone returns with The Ruin of Angels, the sixth novel in the 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 surrou
Paperback, 576 pages
Published September 5th 2017 by
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Max A couple reasons!

1. We've filled in the holes in the timeline—future books will move forward in time—so the numbers aren't as necessary.

2. The first f…more
A couple reasons!

1. We've filled in the holes in the timeline—future books will move forward in time—so the numbers aren't as necessary.

2. The first five books are a unified cycle; you can think of them as the first phase of the Sequence, a sort of season one. The upcoming books are season two.(less)
Anurag Sahay Probably because of the shift to a new publisher: I don't think publishes hardcover books.…moreProbably because of the shift to a new publisher: I don't think publishes hardcover books.(less)

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Average rating 4.31  · 
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New Craft book!!!

I got lucky with an ARC thanks to Netgalley and I immediately got sucked right into the story since I had just gotten caught up with the previous publication-order book, Four Roads Cross.

Unfortunately for me, as well as everyone else who reads these books, I still have to do timeline juggling in my head because the later Full Fathom Five takes place AFTER Four Roads Cross and it's now even worse because the new book doesn't even have a handy number-sequence in the title. Check
Seth Dickinson
Oct 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Discworld meets Final Fantasy in Max Gladstone's Craft novels. I say Discworld because Pratchett's opus was a project about understanding the world through the fantastic, everything from the post to death itself made droll and bitter-funny — and so too the Craft books are a long Mobius journey into a world totally unlike ours and yet full of the same problems. But where Discworld traded in comedy, the Craft deals cards from a deck of modern thrillers and roleplaying games. Nowhere outside Final ...more
I have...mixed feelings about this one. So mixed, in fact, that I finished this one weeks ago and tried to come up with a review, or at least a rating, and then put it off and read something else altogether. Ruin of Angels is in some ways classic Max Gladstone, with its strong female cast (hardly any male characters in this one at all), snappy writing, and overall weirdness (living giant squid tower, anyone?). Yet this one feels like an odd mash-up between Firefly-ish train heist and Gladstone's ...more
Can someone please have a conversation with me about mentions of women shaving their legs in fantasy novels? I have a pretty extreme negative reaction to it (read: it fills me with rage), but maybe it's just me.

Aaaaaanyway, it took me a really long time to get into this one. I just couldn't seem to get attached to any of the new characters until very late in the game, and though I was very excited to see Tara Abernathy again so soon, she's honestly hardly in this book at all (but yay, Kai and Iz
Jun 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
YES.” That is the only word I found when I went to look at my first draft of this review and I thought I should keep it. It really translates my state of excitement and joyfulness upon finishing this book, how this book did justice to a remarquable cast of characters, while juggling with an epic number of plotlines.

It is important to note that 90% of the characters in this books are women and I loved all these ladies SO MUCH. When I say that this book has almost only women protagonists I’m not
Sep 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Gladstone continues doing his own thing and rocking it. This time it’s venture capital, mind controlling squid-gods, investment banking, Lovecraftian alternate realities overlaid upon our own, and flannel clad and bearded hipsters.

I still for the life of me can’t figure out how the man makes this stuff work so well, but by the Blue Lady he does. Even with Oathbringer waiting for me, this was engrossing. If I have a complaint, it’s that the last 20% or so was entirely supertense climax, and not b
Oct 15, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, e-book, fantasy
I should state up front that I'm not the target audience for this book. I enjoyed the first couple of books in the Craft Sequence, but the more I read of it, the more tedious I found it. Reusing the characters seemed like a cool idea in theory, but not in practice; it felt like the characterization got lazier with each book, and I couldn't find myself vested in any of the characters in the stories.

Six books into the series, The Ruin of Angels is no different. Gladstone gets rid of the told-out-o
Nov 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, 2017-reads
I'm kind of sad to write this review, since Max Gladstone is one of my favorites, and The Craft Sequence has been stellar. This one just didn't connect with me. It's from a different publisher with a different art style, but I figured it would feel the same as the first five books, which I really loved, but it didn't really feel that similar.

The beauty of this series of the great mix of realism and surrealism, pushing the weirdness of dragons, sorcerers, demons, and skeleton kings with actuaries
Max Gladstone returns to the world of his Craft Sequence and especially the character of Kai, a protagonist in the prior novel Full Fathom Five. While there are references to the events of that novel, the plot stands on its own. I don’t know if it’s the first book I’d suggest as an introduction to the series, but it could work, especially if you’re looking for a fantasy book with queer female characters.

Also, I think I can keep this review free from spoilers of prior books. So read without fear!
Belinda Lewis
Sep 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I adored this.

More Tara. More godpunk fractured worlds. Magic corporations and nightmare powered telecoms. Artists and angels and squid-borg-parasites.

Max Gladstone's writing is the perfect balance of poetry and story; both dreamy painterliness and fast-paced action.

And I'm pretty sure that this is the most beautiful and true paragraph about being trans ever published in a fantasy novel:

"“I understand that during initiation Kavekanese priests and priestesses rebuild themselves around their sou
Oct 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
As always, Gladstone has written an immersive story, this time about start ups, art, and ventures that are all a bit strange. As to be expected. I love that we got Kai back. Full Fathom Five was one of the highlights of the craft sequence for me, and following her and Izza made for fun times. They're strong, and witty, and very much full of doubt whether or not they're doing the right thing.

This was a fair bit longer than the previous novels, and it felt it. Not in a bad way, as there was so mu
Sep 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
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 observatio
Nov 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
For some reason the second half of this Craft book didn't grab the way the others did. I'm not sure why. Maybe because I waited too long after reading Kai's first outing. Also, the dual city was done so well in The City & the City that there is a very high bar for that idea.

Gladstone is still good, but not my favorite in the series. But that might change.
Dec 26, 2020 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

This story has all of Gladstone's strengths and weaknesses on full display.

It has brilliant ideas, world building, and compelling characters that feel so human, even when they're not. From the smallest little inclusions like postal demons' annoyance with improper mail to three cities meshed into each other and their liberation, Gladstone's work is a feast of stories, big and small.

And here begins the biggest faults. There is just too much. Frankly, my usual pet peeve with Gladstone's l
Jun 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Ruin of Angels is the most recent entry in The Craft Sequence and it feels different in tone from the previous five books. Longer and more complex, I feel like the Sequence has entered Act 2. The topic Gladstone is tackling here deals with history and competing culture. While I was reading it, I was reminded of a great historic city like Jerusalem, where you have Temple Mount with the ruins of the First and Second Temples and Al-Aqsa. With issues of religion, language and basic culture, the ...more
A city where reality is broken, broken characters with their broken relationships mingle.

All the characters, all the time, running around, pushing their agenda. I enjoy the world Gladstone has created, and am happy we got my favorite duo - Kai and Izza - back. Stakes are high, the second part of the novel was tight. The first, not so much, and there was too much characters, in my humble opinion. I feel that new characters didn't get their moments to really develop and shine - Raymet blew my min
Oct 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A bit too slow to start -- too many plot threads trying to move simultaneously -- but once it hits its stride it is *amazing.* Call it a 4.5, rounded up because squid.
Tim Hicks
Dec 08, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Gladstone has written: "This is a book about troubles in close relationships, about good intentions gone wrong, about self-deception and self-liberation, and family. Also, venture capital, surveillance culture, startups, the Future (which is Murder), geopolitics, soul trade, mapping, & criminal evangelism."

All the three stars are for that. I give no additional stars for the way all that is delivered in this one.
It all seems forced, and it seems that whenever the plot had to change something, Gl
Rohit Goswami
Jul 23, 2019 rated it did not like it
This book is just lazy. Too much emphasis is put on people who just magically happen to be perfect for their roles and are flawless but for the flaws the exhibit like shields against being Mary Sues. Too much of the book is wasted trying to impress upon the reader, the magical intoxicating quality of Ley. Honestly. Noone cares in reality. It's stupid. The plot takes a backseat and the world devolved into a caricature for the egos of the one dimensional characters in the book to play with. I neve ...more
Jun 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

After a strong first arc with quirky numbering of its five books, Craft Sequence enters a new stage. Expanding the world and stakes to the outer space, the second stage of Craft teeters even further to the metaphysical realms.

The Ruin of Angels is downright the most quotable book in the series so far with the coolest worldbuilding. Psycho squids/mind flayers, cosmic spider, drug addled hipsters in flannels with start up companies, layered realities, surreal landscapes of fused dead gods, an
Anurag Sahay
Sep 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
John Mendez
Jan 18, 2020 rated it liked it
I give this 3 and a half stars, or Above Average.

The city of Alikand was once the greatest city in the world. It had the largest libraries in the world, and scholars were treated with the highest reverence. For two thousand years the Angels of Alikand served the families of the city, defending mortal kind from the predations of enemy gods and mortals alike. For over two thousand years, Alikand was the hub of peace, trade and learning.

The city of Alikand was destroyed in the God Wars 150 years ag
Rene Sears
Sep 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I've loved every book of the Craft sequence so far, and this one is no exception. This one sees Kai (from Full Fathom Five) go to Agdel Lex to invest on behalf of her goddess. However, when she gets there, her estranged sister is already there, and asking for her help.

Agdel Lex used to be Alikand, until the Iskari came. Now the two cities coexist uneasily on top of each other, Agdel Lex living, and Alikand dead, and Delvers slip into the dead city, risking death themselves, to retrieve the lost
Sep 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbtq
Reading a Craft Novel is an experience like no other. It's so hard to summarize these books in a review - there are multiple themes, hooks, cool ideas, magical escapades, excellent diverse characters, and levels of complexities that defy simplification. This one is another stellar addition to the universe. On one hand it is about time traveling archaeological thieves, family libraries, squid gods, Knight champions, startups, angels, gods, space flight launches and train heists, all with multiple ...more
Apr 03, 2019 rated it liked it
"The Ruin of Angels" is a departure from the first five books. Significantly longer at 576 pages, this is a much more expansive and ambitious story (although the author's vibrant intelligence is not watered down, thankfully). Books 1-5 distinguished themselves by being intimate stories within an amazingly detailed theocratic world; here though, that intimacy is somewhat diluted by the sheer length. The first half or so of this book is a slog to get through- stretched out, not filler exactly, but ...more
Sep 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This comes together really well, and I loved seeing Izza again and found Gal fascinating, but I spent a lot of the first half going, "WTF, Ley, why don't you tell someone what's happening?" so that knocks it down a star. I find that kind of "I can't tell you because it's dangerous! Just trust me!" business to be really irritating. ...more
Nov 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a book about who gets define consensus reality, wrapped in a story about a heist from a interdimensionally lost library, with swipes along the way at airline travel, VC culture, gentrification, and too many froyo places. Also almost all the main and secondary characters are female and most of those are dating other ladies.
Jun 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
To be reviewed shortly for Geek planet online. In short, worth reading.
Sep 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy

(More TBD. But mate, it's good, read it)
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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)
  • Four Roads Cross (Craft Sequence, #5)

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