The Craft Sequence

Max Gladstone’s Craft sequence is set in a world where, until recently, Gods ruled. Due to arcane knowledge known as The Craft, some people learnt how to control/create god-like powers. After the God Wars, Gods have either been killed, hounded from their territories, or controlled by people.

Our hero, Tara Abernathy has been thrown out of school — literally. Unfortunately, the Hidden School was floating 300 metres above the ground. Luckily, she’d learnt enough of The Craft to survive. She returned to her hick town, and was in the middle of raising the dead to provide zombie labour when the locals found her. Luckily, Elayne Kevarian, a partner in a senior craft firm, found her in time to rescue her. And offer her a job: help a region whose God of Fire, Lord Kos the Everburning,  has snuffed it. Which is a major problem, because the God provided all the power for the region. Not at all helped by Justice — a linked group of enforcers linked by the remnants of the moon goddess, charged with seeking Justice — believing the murder of a senior priest is the work of a gargoyle whom Tara is hiding.

An entertaining read, with vampire pirates, evil craftsmen and the population of Alt Coulumb about to revolt. Will Tara figure out who killed the God and — more importantly — how to revive them?

Caleb, the planner and investigator who works for the water department of Dresediel Lex, doesn’t get along with his father. Understandable, given his dad the last of the old Priests who used to sacrifice to the twin serpents to keep the water flowing., and considered a terrorist by the current government. The twin serpents are keep asleep, their fires leeched to desalinate and purify the water supply for the growing city. When things go wrong, starting with the contamination of the main reservoir with demon fish, the natural suspect is Caleb’s dad. Dresediel Lex, is a desert region, so they’re all depending on clever use of The Craft by red King Consolidated, Caleb’s employer, to maintain the water supply. Unfortunately, Caleb is somewhat distracted by his new girlfriend, who’s a city runner. And time is running out, as there’s an eclipse of the full moon, perfect time for the old-style blood sacrifice to solve the problems…

 

The island nation of Kavekana has banned foreign gods: their priests build and sustain idols made locally: much safer and less powerful and less self-aware than Gods. Unfortunately, Kai can’t help herself: she tries to save an idol which is drowning. She fails, but discovers the idol had self awareness at the end of its life. Is she linked to the idol by her actions? And how is it all linked to the belief in the Blue Lady by a gang of street urchins? Add a mysterious blind man and a drunken poet to the mix for an intriguing story.

All three of the novels develop the world of the God Wars nicely, focussing on different aspects of this fantasy landscape where godly powers provide the driving energy where our world uses electricity and magnetism, or solar energy. Characters from earlier novels appear in later ones as we discover more about the way the world hangs together.

There are six novels in the series so far; I’ll try to review the last three next issue.