Bantam, Oct 2007, $6.99
On the east coast lies the gritty city of Felport, but Marla Mason loves it and rules the place with a sorcerer’s fire touch. Her consigliore Rondeau is an unknown supernatural entity whose voracious essence drifted into that of six years old boy. He is one of Marla’s true friends and he has the power to Curse and make the Curse happen. Powerful sorceress Susan Wellorslore wants Marla’s position, and is preparing a spell to destroy her rival and as a collateral damage by-product Felport.
Marla and Rondeau travel to San Francisco to find her friend, the might sorcerer Lao Tsung, who she hopes to persuade to let her use the Cornerstone, a magical artifact that will allow Marla to bind her to the earth in a spell that cannot be broken. However, when they arrive they find Lao dead killed by another strong sorcerer Mutex who is using blood spells in the name of the Aztec God Tlatecuhtli. If Muller wins, the world will literally turn to hell without a hand-basket; only Marla and Rondeau stand in the way, but they cannot call on the bloodthirsty Aztec pantheon for support.
T.A. Pratt’s vivid urban fantasy will remind readers of the works of Kelly Armstrong and Lilith Saintcrow. The protagonist is a pragmatic soul who is kind and caring when she can be and ruthless when she must be. She goes out of her way to the point of risking her life to cause no needless harm to innocents, but will go down and dirty when the stakes require her to do so. BLOOD ENGINES is an enchanting work that sub-genre fans will want to read as T.A. Pratt casts an obsession spell on her audience.