Mage Alex Verus is caught between a rock and a hard place in the eighth urban fantasy novel from the national bestselling author of Burned.
Right now I wasn’t seeing Richard as the teacher out of my nightmares; he was just another Dark mage, and I looked into the future to see what would happen if I turned that knife on him instead…
Alex Verus is still haunted by his time apprenticed to Richard Drakh. He’s been free of him for many years, but now the only way to keep his friends from being harmed is to again work for Richard and his deadly ally. Even worse, Alex is forced to bring the life mage Anne into this servitude as well.
After weeks of being hunted and finally cornered into what he thought was his last stand, Alex never imagined his life would be spared—and never anticipated at what price. This time, the diviner can see no way out…
The outstanding eighth Alex Verus urban fantasy (after Burned) begins with morally grey diviner Alex and his ally, life mage Anne, being forced to do the bidding of Dark mage master Richard Drakh and his crony Morden in their plot to rule the world. Whether the assignments are risky or trivial, all somehow aid the cause of evil. The distinction between the Dark and Light groups of mages has become thoroughly blurred; Alex encounters a Dark mage who delights in torturing children but also battles a pair of Crusader mages from the Light Council who imagine that they have the right to indulge their sadism on Anne. People and concerns from earlier novels are carried forward successfully as Alex tries to figure out what he can and should do with his life. Sustaining interest inside a long story line like this depends on maintaining action, developing characters, and intelligently extrapolating magical possibilities. Jacka is doing a splendid job in all respects, and this volume builds up to a jaw-dropping cliff-hanger climax.