The start of a compelling new urban fantasy series based in Camden, featuring Alex Verus - a mage with a dark past who can see the future . . .
'Harry Dresden would like Alex Verus tremendously - and be a little nervous around him. I just added Benedict Jacka to my must-read list. Fated is an excellent novel, a gorgeously realized world with a uniquely powerful, vulnerable protagonist. Books this good remind me why I got into the storytelling business in the first place' Jim Butcher, author of the Dresden Files
Camden, North London. A tangled, mangled junction of train lines, roads and waterways. Where minor celebrities hang out with minor criminals and where tourists and moody teenagers mingle.
In the heart of Camden, where rail meets road meets leyline, you might find the Arcana Emporium, run by one Alex Verus. He won't sell you a wand or mix you a potion, but if you know what you're looking for, he might just be able to help. That's if he's not too busy avoiding his would-be apprentice, foiling the Dark, outwitting the Light, and investigating a mysterious relic that has just turned up at the British Museum.
The books in the Alex Verus series are as follows:
Jacka's extremely promising urban fantasy series starter introduces cheeky British diviner Alex Verus, who's caught in the middle of a conflict between Light and Dark mages over an ancient magical weapon. Alex can not only see all possible futures but can often choose which ones to make real, so both sides want to use him as a tool. Alex, alienated from other mages because he has developed empathy for the beings around him, refuses to take sides. To save himself and his dependents Luna, a lonely, cursed young woman, and Starbreeze, an ancient air elemental who's "dumb as a sack of rocks" he's forced to think and move nimbly through London and its associated magical realms. Jacka deftly invents the rules of magic as he goes along, creating an emotionally satisfying story arc and a protagonist who will keep readers coming back.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Light and fun but not an attention grabber.
Its light weight entertainment but holds none of the power of the Rivers of London series by Aaranovich. I felt this was very much the B movie version and wont be bothering with the rest of the series.
This is bland, thin, watery stuff, derivative and uninspired, and laced with casual misogyny. Won't be buying any more.
Tremendously disappointing - not a patch on the sparkling prose and exquisitely detailed evocations of Twenty First century London that one can find in the urban fantasies of Kate Griffin and Ben Aaronovitch. It's definitely a soggy Tesco Value take on the genre.
(The central conceit of a protagonist burdened with the mixed blessing of being a diviner rather than a mage is good, and had a lot of potential; sadly that doesn't suffice to save this book.)