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Alex Verus Series #9
Benedict Jacka

Ace Books
July 3, 2018/ ISBN 978-1101988541

Reviewed by Jan Fields


Diviner Alex Verus is now a junior member of the Light Council, which has both made him marginally safer and much worse off. Seems Alex's life just works that way sometimes. All Alex really wants is to keep the people he loves safe, but more and more, that looks impossible. Then the Light Council wants to use Alex to strike back against one particular Dark Mage by negotiating with another. Alex can tell there is no way that will go well, but he doesn't see any way around it either, so it's up to Alex, his friends, and a lot of luck to make it out of the negotiations alive. This was probably my favorite of the Verus novels as I enjoyed the deepening of Alex's relationships. Loyalties grow stronger in this one, and hatred burns brighter, making it an exciting ride from beginning to end. It's definitely not a great entry point to the series, though the story is interesting even if you have no idea what's going on more of the time, but these books are so complex and the politics of the Light and Dark Mages can be tough to follow until you've read previous books, so I'd recommend starting this series at the beginning and reading up to this installment to get the most from it. The fascinating world here and the great dark wit that runs through the writing of every book will make it worth the effort to find and read them all.

Reviews of other titles in this series

Hidden #5
Bound #8
Marked #9

Reviewer Janis Fields is the author of over two dozen books for children and adults including Threads of Deceit, Ghost Light Burning, Wellspring of Magic, and Emerald Dragon.

Reviewed 2018