The seventh Alex Verus novel (after Veiled) may be the best so far in a consistently outstanding urban fantasy series. Jacka ruthlessly rips away all the protections that London-based diviner mage Alex built against his former master, power-hungry Dark mage Richard Drakh. While trying to reverse a death sentence engineered by a grudge-holding mage on Britain’s Light Council, Alex is distracted by a fiery assassination attempt that destroys his home and livelihood. He is then coerced into taking part in a Light mission to retrieve a dangerous magical artifact hidden in Aleppo, Syria, where civil war is as much of a danger as rival mages. And, as always, he must protect the three young magicians in his care. Alex has been reliably clever and resourceful while remaining independent of both Dark and Light cabals, but this novel shows him recognizing his own desperate vulnerability. The stakes suddenly are much higher for Alex and his friends, putting the complex, sympathetic central characters in real peril and rousing serious concern in readers. As the action gathers momentum, a dramatic series climax hovers on the horizon. Fans of Jim Butcher and Ben Aaronovich absolutely should not miss this deeply intelligent, morally complex, and action-packed series. Agent: Sophie Hicks, Sophie Hicks Agency (U.K.). (Apr.)
I’m used to people wanting me dead. But, this time, I’m not the only one on the hit list—and time is running out...
Diviner Alex Verus finally made one too many enemies on the Council of Mages, and now one of them is angry enough to have him executed. Fighting for his life is nothing new, but this kill order also calls for the death of Alex’s dependents—and there’s no way that he’ll let Luna, Anne, and Vari take the heat.
With only a week before he’s history, Alex will have to figure out how to disassociate himself from his friends, scrounge up allies on the Council, and hopefully keep his head attached to his body.
But saving himself is going to bring him into direct opposition with his former master and the Dark mages surrounding him. And, this time, escaping with his life might mean losing his soul...
Praise for the Alex Verus novels
"Benedict Jacka writes a deft thrill ride of an urban fantasy-a stay-up-all-night read."-#1 New York Times bestselling author Patricia Briggs
"Harry Dresden would like Alex Verus tremendously...Books this good remind me why I got into the storytelling business in the first place."-*Jim Butcher, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Dresden Files
"Benedict Jacka is a master storyteller."-Fantasy Faction
"A stellar blend of thoughtful philosophy and explosive action populated by a stereotype-defying diverse cast."-Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Tons of fun and lots of excitement."-SF Site
The Council of Mages wants Alex Versus dead in this follow-up to Veiled. But since they also wish to kill his apprentices, Alex tries to put some distance between himself and his friends to keep them safe. He'll need new allies if he is going to stay alive to face his old master, a dark mage with allies of his own.—MM