The third book in Pratt's urban fantasy series about sorcerer Marla Mason is every bit as good as the first two. Marla's an exciting, compelling and self-aware protagonist who operates in a moral gray zone; both her allies and her enemies are intriguing, and the story is highly readable, with more than a few touches of humor. One highlight is the zombies and their interactions with those who wish to control them.

Marla, chief sorcerer of Felport, has a bit of a problem: Death has come to town. He's clever, cruel, handsome as sin and he's decided that until Marla hands over the artifact another sorcerer won from his father, Felport is his. Banished from her city, Marla needs to figure out a way to defeat Death and his henchmen -- while still keeping the artifact.

The battle lines have been drawn among the magical elite in her city, and Marla, with the help of Rondeau and her new assistant Pelham, is up against the challenge of her life when she faces down Death. (Bantam Spectra, Nov., 352 pp., $6.99)

Reviewed by: 
Natalie A. Luhrs