With his talent for divining the future, Alex Verus should have foreseen his friends’ reactions to the revelations about his previous life. Anne Walker no longer trusts him—and has also cut all ties with the mage community after getting kicked out of the apprentice program. As a favor to Luna, Alex’s own apprentice and Anne’s best friend, he checks in on her only to be told to leave her alone.
Then Anne gets kidnapped. The Council Keepers of the Order of the Star believe Dark mages from her past may be involved. Working with the Keepers, Alex and Luna discover that Anne has been taken into the shadow realm of Sagash, her former Dark mage mentor, and they must find a way to rescue her.
But another shadow from the past has resurfaced—Alex’s former master may be back in London, and Alex has no idea what his agenda is…
Jacka's strong fifth urban fantasy (after Chosen) continues the development of his alternate London. Probability mage Alex Verus is struggling to come to terms with his dark side. He was previously forced to make ruthless decisions that alienated several friends, and now he learns that one of those friends, Anne, has been kidnapped by masked mages. Cooperating with police agents of the mages in the Light Council proves to be pointlessly time-consuming, so Alex enters the private shadow realm of an especially powerful and frightening Dark mage to rescue Anne. Unlike the mages who divide themselves into bureaucratic Light and self-serving Dark, Alex reluctantly acknowledges the mixture of both in his own nature, which makes him uniquely fit to interpret morally confused situations and act on them accordingly. This installment also confirms that Alex's original master, the Dark mage Richard, has returned to the earthly realm of existence in order to recruit his old servants, a terrifying prospect that promises really exciting, substantial conflict for future books in the series.