Giveaways Guest Author

Last First Snow: Max Gladstone and the awesome Elayne Kevarian (& Giveaway)

Max Gladstone’s Craft Sequence is one of Ana’s favourite ongoing Fantasy series, where corporate law meets dead gods meet fantastic characters and worldbuilding. Last First Snow is the fourth book in the series and features the fantabulous Elayne Kevarian as one of the protagonists.

We invited Max to come over and talk about writing Elayne and answer the question on everybody’s minds: “Elayne: why so awesome”.

Last First Snow


ELAYNE, huh?

Some characters just saunter into your book out of nowhere, like they own the place. Elayne Kevarian’s one of those—a powerful, brutally smart Craftswoman who flew in on the wings of a storm to shape my first book, Three Parts Dead, and stuck around for the duration. In a world where magic and law operate sort of interchangeably, she’s a senior partner in an influential necromantic firm—no family, no fixed address, hovering on the verge of a particularly vicious, skeletal immortality.

She was an aspirational figure and cautionary tale for Tara, the protagonist of my first novel. This is the life that lies in store for you; do you still want it as much as you thought? But Elayne refused to stay there. She turned out to have moral agency, and her own motives; her roots twined through and around my story’s heart.

She’s stitched, in various forms, through every Craft Sequence book so far, even though she stayed off on the sidelines in Two Serpents Rise; there are a couple blink-and-you’ll-miss-it references to her that may only be obvious after people read Last First Snow. She shows up prosecuting Kai for malpractice in Full Fathom Five. Last First Snow finds her earlier in her career, before she becomes quite the implacable force of the later novels. She starts Last First Snow as a successful fifty-year-old Craftswoman who thinks the system works—a God Wars veteran who fought old oppressive deities for the freedom she now enjoys to warp reality and raise the dead.

Last First Snow doesn’t leave her there, of course. When the book opens she’s working for the King in Red, trying to open a poor district of the city of Dresediel Lex for development. The locals turn out in force to resist her attempts—which brings her face to face with Temoc Almotil, last priest of the old gods, who she hasn’t seen since they were both much younger, and on different sides of a war. It’s up to the pair of them to stop another one.

Readers end up drawn to Elayne for a range of reasons. Personally, I love her because she’s so damn sharp. She has brilliance and power and she uses them constantly; she doesn’t have an off switch. She also doesn’t care at all whether people like her, so long as the job gets done. She’s been through too much in her life to brook nonsense.

Which was, really, the hardest part of moving her into a starring role. In Three Parts Dead and Full Fathom Five, Elayne experiences very little conflict. She’s a blade, a machine—she knows what she wants, she knows what she has to sacrifice to get it, and she executes methodically. She makes for a fantastic foil, but to recast her as a protagonist in Last First Snow I had to get deeper into her mind—to bring out the person behind the force of nature.

I can’t really say more without breaking open the book—but Last First Snow hints at the chaos and bloodshed of the God Wars where Elayne forged herself, and forces her to the edge of the comfortable life she’s built in the decades since. What happens here sets Elayne on the path to Three Parts Dead, and the rest of the Craft Sequence.

Gods help her.

Or not, as she’d probably prefer.


We have two copies of Last First Snow to giveaway. Even though this is the fourth book in the series, it works as a great entry point to the series because it is the first in chronological order so don’t be shy to enter the giveaway if you haven’t read the other books yet! The sweepstakes will run until Saturday July 25 11:59AM EST. To enter, use the form below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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  • Judith
    July 23, 2015 at 1:56 am

    I heard a ton of good things about Max’s books. Very excited to possibly get the chance to dive into this one.

  • Sara
    July 23, 2015 at 3:18 am

    Loved the first book and look forward to reading more!

  • Paul Weimer
    July 23, 2015 at 6:04 am

    Elayne is my favorite character in the Craftverse, no question.

  • Alex B
    July 23, 2015 at 6:33 am

    I just finished reading Two Serpents Rise and I’ve got to say this is one of the most imaginative and gripping series. I was sad to miss Elayne but so glad that she comes back in the next book.

  • Mary A
    July 23, 2015 at 6:59 am

    Thanks for the giveaway. Have been seeing info on the Tor Tour that is currently going on and have been interested in this one.

  • Matthew
    July 23, 2015 at 7:39 am

    I am so excited about this book! There’s something about each novel, so far, that sticks with me long after I’ve finished them.

  • Lexi
    July 23, 2015 at 8:09 am

    I have not read these yet but they look very interesting. If the story is about Elayne then who is on the cover?

  • Ana
    July 23, 2015 at 8:11 am

    Lexi: that’s Temoc, the other viewpoint character

  • Mindy
    July 23, 2015 at 8:57 am

    I loved Three Parts Dead, but haven’t gotten to the other ones yet. Elayne is super cool and we don’t see a lot of female characters like her. This sounds great!

  • Margo
    July 23, 2015 at 9:23 am

    I’ve collected the first 3 Craft books but haven’t read them yet. I am so looking forward to binge reading the whole series. Every one I trust on such things says it’s amazing.

  • Kaleb
    July 23, 2015 at 9:24 am

    I appreciate Max Gladstone for writing a series where you can jump in at any point. Makes it so much easier to recommend it to friends.

  • Margo
    July 23, 2015 at 9:33 am

    I just read the “jump in anywhere” comment & have moved Three Parts Dead up on my TBR. But if I win a copy of Last First Snow, I’ll read it first. Can’t wait to meet Elayne!

  • Pam Blome
    July 23, 2015 at 11:03 am

    I’ve only read one other Max Gladstone book and loved it, I’m ready for more.

  • Niki
    July 23, 2015 at 11:40 am

    Three Parts Dead was one of my three favorite books I read last year, and Two Serpents Rise is the next book on my To Read pile, so to say I’m excited for this is perhaps a bit of an understatement.

    (Also, for the record, I recommended the series to the S.O., who is in his last year of law school – he kept giggling at all the lawyer in-jokes that I had apparently missed.)

  • Trey Palmer
    July 23, 2015 at 3:14 pm

    I’ve enjoyed every book in the Craft sequence so far. Three Parts Dead and Full Fathom Five are my favorites so far.

  • Jen
    July 23, 2015 at 3:14 pm

    Augh, I’ve heard so much great stuff about Max Gladstone already but this mini profile of Elayne Kevarian has really tipped me over the edge. She sounds like exactly my favourite kind of character. Whether or not I win with the giveaway, I’m definitely going to be getting some of the Craft Sequence books.

  • Kate K.F.
    July 23, 2015 at 4:33 pm

    I only recently read Three Parts Dead and loved it. The worldbuilding and use of magic is wonderful and I look forward to reading the other books.

  • spacefaringkitten
    July 23, 2015 at 7:09 pm

    Elayne is great. I didn’t care for the Temoc guy that much in Two Serpents Rise but I hope their confrontation makes a good story.

  • Mary Preston
    July 23, 2015 at 8:16 pm

    This looks amazing!!

  • erinf1
    July 23, 2015 at 8:20 pm

    that cover is sooo awesome! Thanks for the great post! Now I definitely want to read this series now 🙂 thanks for sharing!

  • Carl
    July 23, 2015 at 8:21 pm

    This sounds like a great series and the cover art is wonderful. I’ll read it first, then send it to my nephew, it’s right up his alley. Thanks

  • Bethany C.
    July 23, 2015 at 9:13 pm

    I finally read the first book recently and loved it. Super original.

  • Vanessa C.
    July 23, 2015 at 9:42 pm

    Can’t wait to start reading this series and the cover looks amazing. Thanks for the giveaway!

  • Cindy J.
    July 23, 2015 at 10:20 pm

    I love this series so much and especially the cover artworks! I have always pictured Elayne as Beifong from Legend of Korra which makes her even more badass. Hehe. ;P

  • Alexandra the Great
    July 23, 2015 at 10:58 pm

    Elayne is totally badass, and I’m looking forward to learning about her backstory!

  • debbie johnson
    July 24, 2015 at 6:13 am

    Thank you so much for offering this and I will keep my fingers crossed. Love this series.

  • JenM
    July 24, 2015 at 10:22 am

    Thanks for the giveaway. I have the first book on my TBR pile and I keep meaning to get to it. It sounds like all of the books have been great.

  • Mary Anne
    July 24, 2015 at 11:51 am

    How come my To Be Read pile is so overwhelming!? This series sits right in the middle of it…maybe this book will finally kickstart me on it.

  • Anita Yancey
    July 24, 2015 at 6:50 pm

    This is a new author for me, but I would love to read the book. Thanks for having the giveaway.

  • Lisalc
    July 24, 2015 at 7:53 pm

    Three Parts Dead was great and I’d love to read more about Elayne. Hoping for a win, but it goes on the TBR either way.

  • KellyK
    July 24, 2015 at 9:50 pm

    Looking forward to reading this book. Always excited to find a new author and a new series.

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