Friday, September 16, 2011

T. A. Pratt's Marla Mason

Some fantasy series are like zombies, marching on ahead volume after volume long after they've lost every original thought in their head. I'd like to bring your attention to a series that hasn't been zombified: T. A. Pratt's Marla Mason series. By which I mean, in addition to each book being conspicuously well-written, the stakes and settings and supporting characters keep shifting, so the world never feels stale.

The books in order are Blood Engines, Poison Sleep, Dead Reign, Spell Games, and Broken Mirrors. Up top you can see the cover for the third book. The first four all have consistent cover art. Here's the cover for the most recent volume:

Here's where my zombie metaphor becomes more complicated. Because in a (good) way, the Marla Mason series is like a zombie, in that it won't die. After publishing the first four books, Bantam Spectra decided not to continue with the series. (And with the fourth book a cliffhanger, no less!) Remember how a zombie keeps marching forward? In the case of the Marla Mason books, this is a good thing. The awesome Merry Blacksmith Press (whose motto is "Because great books deserve to be read!", and which seems to exist in part for just this kind of situation) published the fifth book, and it looks like it might also be putting out the sixth, both of which were/are being funded by readers' donations.

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