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Summary

Alex Verus faces his dark side in this return to the best-selling urban fantasy series about a London-based mage.

To protect his friends, Mage Alex Verus has had to change - and embrace his dark side. But the life mage Anne has changed too and made a bond with a dangerous power. She's going after everyone she's got a grudge against - and it's a long list. 

In the meantime, Alex has to deal with his arch-enemy, Levistus. The Council's death squads are hunting Alex as well as Anne, and the only way for Alex to stop them is to end his long war with Levistus and the Council, by whatever means necessary. It will take everything Alex has to stay a step ahead of the Council and stop Anne from letting the world burn.

©2020 Benedict Jacka (P)2020 Hachette Audio UK

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Action-packed but not very interesting

Yawn. Best to re-read book 11 first as there’s no recap at the start; it just goes straight into an extended fight sequence that lasts for pretty much the entire book. No real plot development other than lots of killing, dressed up as heroic defeat of a few more bad guys. Meanwhile, Bad Anne pops up numerous times, being generally bad and distracting Verus with her clingy dresses, bare arms and red-brown eyes. If you like gaming then you’ll probably like this instalment but I preferred it when Jacka told stories. This merely cleared the decks, setting the scene for the final showdown in book 12. A generous two stars as Gildart’s familiar narration reminded me of the better episodes in the series- although he seems to have forgotten Richard Drakh’s voice. NB: no idea what the title refers to.

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Still love the narrator but story lacking

Too many dramatic, detailed battles, not enough character time. They are the reason I stick with a series, so I want more time with them. November was a brilliant character. The narrator is brilliant

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

The narrator forgets his voices

I love the narrator crisp and clear and have enjoyed the different character voices over the years of listening to the books. But in the last few he has forgotten and changed the characters voices, ie Levistus, he used to have a sickly smooth voice and this has distinctly changed in this book, same for Morden. It sounds picky but makes a difference.

1 person found this helpful

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

Excellent book

Anybody who likes fantasy will enjoy this series, well worth reading. All books in the series are good and this one is no exception, good story good narration.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Boring

I think that this one was boring. Just a long fight. Where is the story. Feels a bit like the author didn't find anything to write about and thought that describing a lot of killing was enough. Sorry I just didn't like this one. Perhaps it is time to end the story of Verus.

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

Disappointing

I’m hoping the next book improves and the series has really gone down hill fast

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Getting frantic

Be honest, Alex isn’t really the sort of chap you want round for afternoon tea anymore is he. Must be the quickest I’ve listened to a story as it whipped from one bloodbath to another. Thought it was all going to end with this one but there still seems to be a few hearts pumping out there to be abruptly stopped!

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    4 out of 5 stars

A new Alex Verus is forged in elsewhere

To really appreciate this book, I had to reread the last one. It ties up lots of lose ends from the entire sequence. In it Alex undergoes a transformation physical, magical and psychological. Many of the protagonists from earlier books meet their comeuppance, and the scene is set for final confrontations in the next volume. I would recommend it

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Fantastic

I really though the author had painted himself into a corner in this series but this book blows the narrative wide open again! Alex finds direction and the book starts to truly wrestle with the realities of the council's authority.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant

Never fails to impress these books are so well written. Every fight is described to the last chip of exploding statue. There is some light relief with moments that had me laughing out loud. Now I am all keyed up ready for the next instalment.