I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
This urban fantasy is a paperback edition that was published by Ace Books on February 28, 2012 and has 295 pages.
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Other books by this author include Cursed, Taken, Chosen, Hidden, Veiled, Burned, Bound
First in the Alex Verus urban fantasy series about an unaligned mage who learned from past mistakes.
I do like the tweak Jacka has taken on both magic, balance, and the age-old head-in-the-sand approach. And yes, I’d agree with Butcher in that Alex Verus is something of an English Harry Dresden when considering the series with a broad scope. When it comes down to the details, Alex is his own person.
There’s a coldness in this story, and I can’t identify it. It has all the things I like: the magic, of course; interesting characters; an English setting; but, no warmth. I’m thinking it’s the every-man-for-him/herself mindset as there certainly isn’t any sense of help coming from the side of Light! I’ll just hafta to keep on reading…poor me…*grin*…
Yeah, I’m with Alex, let the Council figure it out on their own. It’s a horrible magic world with a few bright spots. The one constant is betrayal. No one is your friend. No one cares. Except for those few bright spots.
Luna’s character makes me nuts. She’s an intelligent person who chooses not to utilize it that often.
That last betrayal was confusing. I do prefer not having to struggle to understand what’s going on. Although it is an interesting insight into the mind of a Dark mage. Fascinating as a train wreck, and there’s lots of action with more twists and turns than the most vicious roller coaster you’ve ever ridden. I’ll be curious to find out what happens next in Cursed, 2.
After escaping his Master, Richard Drakh, Alex escaped into selling magic from his shop and kept away from the more organized aspects of magic. Especially any to do with the Council who had refused to help him. Now they’re all after him, as the only diviner they can find, both sides want his help to retrieve the fateweaver.
Alex Verus is a diviner, able to see thousands of possible futures at a time. And, sometimes, too curious for his own good. The Dark mage to whom he was apprenticed turned out to be the wrong choice. Not that the Light is any better. Today he runs a magic shop in Camden Town, isolated, independent.
Luna Mancuso is between sensitive and adept, and she searches for arcane artifacts for Alex’s shop. Unfortunately, there’s a nasty curse on her that protects her while destroying anyone who gets close. Starbreeze is an Air elemental with a very, very short memory and is “as dumb as a box of rocks”. Arachne is a specialist weaver who designs clothes.
Rachel, Shireen, and Tobruk were apprentices like Alex under Richard Drakh.
Cinder is a fire mage working with Deleo and Khazad who wields death magic via black lightning. Morden is a name to be invoked when you want respect. He’s a very powerful mage. Lisa is one of his apprentices. The lethal and ruthless Onyx also works for Morden. Griff Blackstone, an earth mage, leads Levistus’ team which includes David Sonder.
The Council is the ruling body of Light Mages. Remember, “light” is just a term. Vaal Levistus and Travis are members of the Council; Thirteen is an Air elemental who serves Levistus. Lyle Trahelis and Talisid work for the Council.
Alaundo and Helikaon, a mentor to Alex, are diviners. Thermopylae is a pegasus belonging to Helikaon. Abithriax is a general from olden days, battle commander of all the Light armies.
Sensitives are a step up from normals. They can “feel the presence of magic”. Next up are the adepts who can “actually channel magic in a subtle way”. Then there are the mages. Arrogant, self-absorbed, if they see something they want, they take it. Elsewhere is a world not a place to which you can only travel in dreams. Where you can touch people through dreams, through their minds.
The Cover and Title
The cover is aswirl in oranges with Parliament and Big Ben across the river.
The title is a reflection on humanity’s greed and self-interest. How it interacts with Alex is simply Fated.