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Publisher's Summary

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, he's forced to bring the Light 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 thought his life would be spared - and never anticipated at what price. This time, the diviner can see no way out.

©2017 Benedict Jacka (P)2017 Tantor

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Tighter Coils and Straighter Straits

This was one of the better of the recent books with all of the machinations and evil and racing from danger to more impossible danger we have come to expect from this series. I love the mental elements of his stories. Verus takes you along on his brain bending desperate schemes to just stay alive and keep his little family of friends both alive and sane, while behind it all his 'Moriarty', Richard Drakh chillingly moves his agenda forward, implacable as a glacier and seemly as unstoppable as he is inscrutable.

This set of moves on the chess board makes one feel like we can almost see the end game but not quite-and the end also leaves us as usual desperately wanting know what happens next.

One of the things I love best about his character Alex Verus is that he is not the most powerful player on the field, in fact in is a bit under-powered for the game; hampered by morals and ties of affection and compassion. He knows he is being maneuvered and even his divination can't see the long game. In the world of mages and magic he is an Everyman doing his best in an impossible situation.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

disappointing

I automatically pick up books from this series because I know that it is up to a high standard of writing. However this book is just filler - so it is highly disappointing. Readers of the series could skip this one, and wait for the next.

So what happened? A lot of running and fighting and arguing and trying to figure out who's doing what why. Lots of annoying sniping and hints of 'when will he ever figure out who he loves'?

I was hoping we would get to the end of the Richard Arc. But instead we have new weapons & complications for his cunning plan. It could have been covered in 2 short stories.

There are some incidents of torture, intimidation, & retribution that really make me think twice about continuing this series.

10 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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love all these books

all of these books are constructed so well and complete. would suggest fit 13+ it can get a little dark

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Brilliant!!!!!

This has been one of my favorite books by Jacka. The only downside is that I finished the book too quickly and now need to wait.... 😁

2 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Filler book.

Disappointed this book turned into a filler to pad the series sales figures. It built on a lot of details from previous books. It introduced new item and story lines whose background will likely be needed in later books. Thank goodness for Audible's liberal return policy. Otherwise I wouldn't risk trying book 9 to see if the author returns to the writing quality found in the earlier books.

4 people found this helpful

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loved it

I loved this book but I honestly need the next one out already. the cliff hanger for me is a killer and as always Jacka did another amazing book.

4 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Dark plans come together - finally!

After a frustratingly slow burn, the middle part of this trilogy (books 5-8) closes strong. At the start of this book, Verus is still just reacting, on the defense against an increasingly bleak set of options. He’s stuck working with the enemy,,, or rather enemies, as Drahk, Morden, Viheylis (sp?), Rachel, and pretty much every adversary except Levistus is on the game board. This itself is a welcome change, as several of the previous books were 90% Verus and 10% supporting cast/adversaries off screen. Long simmering plots come to fruition, Easter eggs from all the previous books begin to hatch. And Verus finally begins to play the game, mentally and magically.

I like that there’s more action, which helps balance the ever darkening tone of the series. I still feel like the whole “I have no choice but to join the dark side” idea is rather unbelievable. I still feel like books 4-8 could have been edited down to one 30hr book. And, I still feel like certain plot twists should have been as obvious to Verus as they were to me. But, I was also suitably impressed by the complexity of the twelve book story arc (which reaches a penultimate battle here), pleasantly surprised by some twists, and mightily entertained by the final, action filled end of this book.

Over the next three books, everything gets more. More dark, violent, action-packed. Fingers crossed that the final book will be spectacular.

1 person found this helpful

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I loved every minute of this story

I loved every minute of this story. It kept me engaged the entire time. the twist at the end took me by surprise. I look forward to the next book.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Better & better

I think each book gets better. Long term plots in the making. Will read again!

3 people found this helpful

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Can t get enough

man awesome story keeps you on the edge of you're seat and that cliffhanger makes you smile and wonder what Richard is planning even more

3 people found this helpful