Jaye Wells, Mage in Black

Posted January 6, 2012 by Kathy Davie in

The Mage in Black (Sabina Kane, #2)The Mage in Black by Jaye Wells
Series: Sabina Kane, 2
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Second in the Sabina Kane urban fantasy series. This story takes place in New York City and revolves around a young half-vampire, half-witch who feels betrayed by the vampire half of her heritage.

My Take

I am glad I pushed on to read this second installment in the Sabina Kane series as this story is better than the last. I love it! Gighul thinks Rosemary’s Baby was a romantic comedy! Although, this is about as funny as Gighul gets in this story.

Nah, the reunion between Sabina and Slade is just too easy. And what’s with Sabina thinking she has to get everything perfect right out the gate? How long did it take her to learn to be a successful assassin? Why would Wells feel the need to make Sabina believe she should be perfect at her mage skills when she also knows that she knows nothing?

Slade’s introduction of Demon Fight Club and his management of it along with how he treats Gighul is just too cliché. And the last fight was too obvious. Although, the betrayers were unexpected so kudos for that one.

Yes, I still gave this a “4” because Wells is giving this a twist in spite of the too-obvious clichés.

The Story

It’s an eventful trip back to New York what with demons and vampires attacking. And things don’t feel much better when Sabina arrives at the mage stronghold for Adam is torn from her side and her sister Maisie is just too cheery for words. As for Aunt Rhea! Eeek, she is quite a stern taskmistress forcing Sabina to learn magic without much input. Of course, it does help reveal some pretty special powers…but Sabina’s not sure about the cruelty of the tests.

Sabina’s impetuosity and anger over Adam’s defection leads her to commit a political crisis when she attempts to feed in Central Park. Seems there are rules no one bothered to tell Sabina. It is a bit useful as it enables a reunion with someone Sabina has been “just dying” to track down. A vampire who owes her quite a bit of money. But it also requires Sabina to fight in a private fight club. Ahhh, just the release she needs coming up against the were leader.

It’s a fight that leads to yet more and quite possibly Sabina has a source of income if a bit unconventional for the sister of the Oracle. It does result in some very useful info that Sabina uses to save her new family. Well, some of them as it seems Lavinia has a new hold.

The Characters

The vampire-mage Sabina Kane is discovered by her witch side of the family and is escorted back to New York City to learn more about the skills she inherited from them. And to meet her sister, Maisie Graecus, the High Priestess of the Chaste Moon and the Oracle of New York. Ameritat is her paternal grandmother. Tristan Graecus is their father whose body was never recovered. Rhea Lazarus is Adam’s aunt and intends to teach Sabina how to use her magical powers. Damara is Rhea’s assistant. Stryx is the white owl following Sabina.

Giguhl/Mr. Kitty is a demon sent to test Sabina and now he can’t return to Hell. But he certainly turns out to be quite useful at Fight Club! Valva is a Vanity demon set up to fight Gighul to the death ‘cept when it backfires. Her mage handler, Lenny, is trying to pay off too many debts; it screws up with Slade’s betrayals as well!

Adam Lazarus is the mage who found and brought Sabina back to New York. Unfortunately, the powers-that-be are rushing him off leaving Sabina feeling quite lost and alone. Slade Corbin, a.k.a., Shade, is a former assassin and now the boss of New York’s Black Light District when he isn’t running his bar, the Vein. He keeps the peace between them all. He and Sabina have quite a history (see Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance 2: Vampsploitation, Sabina Kane, 0.5). A history that Sabina seems to put aside rather easily. Michael Romulus is an aggrieved were leader; Rex is his second-in-command. Tiny Malone is Sabina’s first assignment with Shade.

Orpheus is the leader of the Hekate Council. The Caste of Nod is an organization of various supernaturals who want to see Lilith return which means Sabina needs to be removed. Queen Maeve rules the fairies and Hawthorne Banathsheh is her envoy to the mages and, supposedly, supportive of the alliance between the mages and the fairies. Lavinia Kane is Sabina’s vampire grandmother who has been using Sabina.

The Cover

The cover is black and purple along with the flesh Sabina displays wearing her lace-trimmed black tank top, her red hair flowing behind her as she keeps a relaxed two-handed grip on her gun, a city background behind her.

I still can’t figure out why Mage in Black unless it refers to vampires going against the Black Covenant.

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