14 May 2015
Get Your Read On: Max Gladstone and the Craft Sequence
In between the Heavy Academic books I like to keep it light. Light does not necessarily have to mean bad, and the Craft Sequence series of books from Max Gladstone are superb easy reading. Fantasy either tends to take itself far too seriously (as with Tolkien or George R.R. Martin - at least Tolkien had the decency to write a story with an ending) or too absurd to get involved in. Inventing something from whole cloth is hard enough. Making it into a compelling story is even more challenging.
Gladstone created a world that borrows heavily from our own. That means common fairytale tropes like vampires - their blood is addictive and there is a thriving addict culture - and fictional cultures that have more than a little in common with islands in the south Pacific, Aztec Mexico and modern capitalism.
Three Parts Dead is my favorite (so far) and it centers around contract law in one part of this vast world. Yeah I didn't think contract law between gods and their worshippers would be very interesting either but it turns out that it totally is! Combine all that with strong characters and entertaining dialog and I burn through the books in a couple of sittings.
All the books (Three Parts Dead; Two Serpents Rise; Full Fathom Five) are highly recommended.