The good is mostly returned with evil,… The rumored master is in town now and Alex requires support from his friends. The cliffhanger at the end rings of opportunity and a possible resolution to the whole mess. His loyal team remain as does his giant spider friend Arachne as they face a minefield of politics and violence trying to do the right thing. Volume 8 in the saga and he is now working reluctant for his old mentor and the Dark Mages. We also learn a little more about Richard Drakh, and it's particularly good have him move into the ranks of actual characters rather than off-stage bogeymen.
Although the action takes place over several months - rather than the more typical several days - it moves quickly enough that this book felt shorter than the 416 pages Amazon says it is; I read it over the course of a single day. Who, as it turns out, are really the bad guys but apparently good bosses. Anne being a Life Mage, her full physical recovery was a given, so it left me wondering exactly what the purpose of this scene was. The Alex Verus series does a few things differently, from the magic system, to the locale. Alex and Anne are now working for Drakh, which is not what they really wanted, but with the way Burned left off, there weren't many options to work with. The series is solidly written, the enemies are interesting, and the end games are unpredictable.
Unfortunately, Jacka falls into a common pitfall where he spends a lot of time telling readers what is happening rather than actually showing the events. Alex spends most of his time in this book just trying to stay alive and figure out what Richard is really up to. The writing in this book, as well as the intricate plot details are really really strong. Ancient seat of the Aubuchon dynasty. The Archon negotiates and runs errands for Richard.
I thought this was a clever handicap for the author. Just when I thought I had a handle on how this book was going and what was happening the rug gets pulled out from under you again. The climax is crackerjack, though, and the book ends with a strong, intriguing shake-up that may turn this into a very different series going forward. Am looking forward to the ninth book, but have yet to be fully won back. At the same time it seems that everyone else is several steps ahead of this new proactive attitude of Alex's and no matter what he is still behind. However, he quickly finds that he might have unbidden enemies hiding in plain sight.
He's interesting, and I hope he gets more page-time in future. Lightbringer and Zilean are Keeper auxiliaries who also work for the Crusaders' black ops as assassins going after Alex. Hermes is the blink-fox who came through in Hidden , 5. Other aides include Ictis and Tarantis. Jacka yanks us in from the first page with Alex's inner thoughts hook that combines with an emotional hook…Drakh is such a horrible man. Now, with the aid of his apprentice, Luna, his unique investigative talents are all the rage.
I need the next book now because I just have to know what happens next. Alex Verus is part of a world hidden in plain sight, running a magic shop in London. Yes, most of what Alex feared from the earliest introductions of the series are more-or-less coming to pass. . Even worse, he's forced to bring the Light mage Anne into this servitude as well.
Lightbringer and Zilean are Keeper auxiliaries who also work for the Crusaders' black ops as assassins going after Alex. He's starting to think ahead, and this gives the potential for more interesting developments in the future. A shadow realm is formed by taking a reflection of a location in the world. Benedict invented an ingenious world. The series just keeps getting better. And they report to Jarnaff. Even worse, Alex is forced to bring the life mage Anne into this servitude as well.
It changes what plans Alex and his group do have for the future, but they may not be able to stay away from it as much as they want. The dark power image on him makes him loose some trust form the people he has served for so long. I think what I enjoy most about this series is the fact that the bad guys are intelligent and have plans. Also there are still people who'd like to kill Alex, because generally, he's way too high profile now. Nope, it's merely the side of behind-the-scene machinations, vicious power struggles, and back-stabbing politics. He seems very talented in predictions that always come true. Yes, most of what Alex feared from the earliest introductions of the series are more-or-less coming to pass.
I don't think even he with his Fateweaving ability could have predicted that outcome. I can't believe the twists and turns. David Sonder is a Time mage, who likes Luna, who rejected him. The world was to be populated by a group of teenage elementals, the primary characters of the books he would set within this particular landscape. Without giving any spoilers, I can tell you that Verus' core group find themselves reevaluating their relationships as they find places on their own, and start acting more like the journeymen they now are. The importance of this time spread is to allow events to unfurl as there are some long-term plans that come into play. Reyes is a heat mage with a bad rep.