Full Fathom Five by Max Gladstone
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I’m reading this series slightly out of order, though luckily the stories are mostly self-contained. Having just finished it, my feeling is that FFF is a better story than Three Parts Dead, though of course the first volume has the added weight of having to introduce world and characters from scratch, while FFF doesn’t bother too much explaining gods, Craft, and walking skeletons to first time readers. Only the island of Kavekana, where the story is set, gets an in-depth exploration.
The story follow Kai, a demoted priestess trying to unravel the mystery behind an idol’s sudden demise; and Izza, a street urchin torn between the life she has and a want of escape. Across their path falls Margot, a foreign poet whose lost muse seems somehow tied to both women.
All characters are engaging (though the returning ones fall a bit too much to the sidelines to be little more than a deus ex machina), and there’s only a minor case of idiot ball which I can attribute to momentary shock rather than ‘need to move the plot along’.
Definitely adding the other volumes to my reading list.