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 citizens will riot.
Tara’s job: resurrect Kos before chaos sets in. Her only help: Abelard, a chain-smoking priest of the dead god, who’s having an understandable crisis of faith.
When Tara and Abelard discover that Kos was murdered, they have to make a case in Alt Coulumb’s courts—and their quest for the truth endangers their partnership, their lives, and Alt Coulumb’s slim hope of survival.
Set in a phenomenally built world in which justice is a collective force bestowed on a few, craftsmen fly on lightning bolts, and gargoyles can rule cities, Three Parts Dead introduces readers to an ethical landscape in which the line between right and wrong blurs.
“Max Gladstone has created a fascinating universe and equally fascinating characters. It's a world in which Magic is Craft, and religion has some very practical rules, and he shows it through the stories of some very interesting characters. This is his first novel. I can't wait for his second.”
—Jerry Pournelle, author of The Mote in God’s Eye and Lucifer’s Hammer
“This has so many of my favorite things: an intriguing world, fun characters, a puzzle of a story that manages to be both funky fantasy and legal thriller. Three Parts Dead is simultaneously fast paced and thoughtful, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.”
—Carrie Vaughn, author of the Kitty Norville series
“With his first book, Max Gladstone gives promise of being a true star of twenty-first century fantasy.”
—John Crowley, author of Little, Big and The Deep
“Max Gladstone has evidently devised a necromantic steampunk machine that enabled him to channel the Roger Zelazny of Lord of Light, cathect the Neil Gaiman of American Gods, and subsume the oeuvre of John Grisham, all with the aim of producing loopy, metaphysically-minded legal thrillers. It you doubt my conclusion, consider Exhibit A, the author’s delirious and delightful first novel.”
— James Morrow, author of The Last Witchfinder and Shambling Towards Hiroshima.
“Combining murder mystery, corporate intrigue, and thaumaturgic fireworks, Three Parts Dead gives us not just an excellent urban fantasy, but a brilliant new world to explore. I can't wait to see what he does next.” —Maragret Ronald, author of Spiral Hunt