For those following my blog, it’s pretty easy to see that two of my favorite things are travel and books. And any time I can combine those two loves… it’s magic! I discovered the first book in the Alex Verus series by Benedict Jacka on a trip to London with my husband and loved it. Sad things is, the books are hard to find in the states. Luckily, I have a wonderful husband who ordered the next three books in the series online for my birthday 🙂
Since his second sight made him infamous for defeating powerful dark mages, Alex has been keeping his head down. But now he’s discovered the resurgence of a forbidden ritual. Someone is harvesting the life-force of magical creatures—destroying them in the process. And draining humans is next on the agenda. Hired to investigate, Alex realizes that not everyone on the Council wants him delving any deeper. Struggling to distinguish ally from enemy, he finds himself the target of those who would risk their own sanity for power…
Another great book by Jacka, though I feel it was a bit darker than the Fated, the first installment in the series. Our narrator, Alex, is drawn more deeply into Council matters, which invariably means messy politics, shady deals, and multiple assassination attempts. The plot moves fast, jumping from one unfortunate event to the next as Alex faces dark mages, dragons, dream monsters, and other deadly opponents. In between all the action scenes, readers are introduced to multiple new types of mages, painting a much more vivid picture of England’s wizarding community.
The character interactions in Cursed were intriguing. Relations between Alex and Luna become strained when Luna begins spending more time with her new friend, Martin, leading Alex to reconsider his feelings for his would-be apprentice. At the same time, a beautiful and mysterious woman tracked by a magical assassin seeks out Alex’s protection, further muddling his feelings and confusing his love life.
As mentioned earlier, this book is darker than the previous novel. Life as a counsel mage is violent, bloody business. Alex is forced to chose between killing first or forfeiting the lives of his friends and has to deal with the emotional and psychological impact of these decisions.
Overall I give Cursed Four out of Five Stars– a great book for readers looking for a fast-paced modern day fantasy series.