Gladstone's Craft Sequence is beautifully written, and much more subtle and subversive than any other urban fiction I've read. You have to pay attention to everything-things that superficially seem like non-sequiturs are anything but. Gladstone does not spoon-feed his readers or bash them over the head with the glaringly obvious, but builds plot and character slowly and thoroughly. Gladstone very obviously does not, as so many writers do, take himself too seriously. He is a craftsman, and more interested in telling a story than creating a serious, scholarly epic. His dystopia is much like our own world, but has more interesting gods and technology. His characters are not the annoyingly introspective, noble and damaged protagonists that urban fantasy is over-full of these days. Not much brooding, very few chips on shoulders. Stylistically, Gladstone tips his hat to steampunk, but these are not steampunk novels. His references to Aztec or Mayan culture are a welcome change from the same old. As well, he has created many completely original and fascinating creatures and social conventions. Two of my favorite characters, Elayne and Temoc, as well as a few others, appear in more than one of the Craft Sequence novels, but all four books are complete in themselves. Gladstone himself recommends reading the books not in the order they were published. Last First Snow should be read second. If you are going to reserve these books, just a reminder-they are called the Craft SEQUENCE, not the Craft "Series". Great stories, compelling characters, and more substance than run of the mill urban fantasy. I love all four books, and hope here will be another one soon.

daeb's rating:
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