Three Parts Dead by Max Gladstone was just straight up enjoyable Fantasy. We get magic, and gods, and … magic lawyers? Dabbling in magic means dabbling in contracts, so our protagonist has clients (or, well, her employer does), and there is a lot of quibbling going on – of the kind that can cost you your mind, or your life. And the God of Fire (and therefore steam) has an engine room and priests that are more techies than anything else – except that their maintenance and debugging cycles include prayers and worship as well as fixing pipes and monitoring heat output. Yessss. Take the phrase “theological engineering” and go read.
This book is really well-written. The pacing is on point, the characters are relatable, the language is carefully chosen to not break immersion too much in spite of the somewhat unconventional setup. The resolution is a bit predictable – not going off tropes, but going off the excellent foreshadowing. This is in line with some of the worldbuilding being a bit on the nose – but at the same time, it’s a good world, a good plot, and good action, so there’s no real reason to complain. Looking forward to reading the next part of the series.