Things are going well for Alex Verus. He's on moderately good terms with the Council, his apprentice is settling in and his shop in Camden is gaining quite a reputation.
But when a mysterious woman bursts into the Arcana Emporium one night with an assassin on her tail, Alex is thrown into a plot to revive a long-forbidden ritual. His old enemies are after the secret, as well as a Council mage named Belthas and a mercenary named Garrick, and at least one of them is trying to get Alex killed - if he only knew which.
He can see the future, but knowing who to trust is something else.
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.