by Terrance Mc Arthur
Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of Veiled, along with a link to purchase the book.
In Benedict Jacka’s Veiled, Alex Verus is a diviner, a mage who sees the alternate paths of the future, how his decisions will affect his life…or death. He has no real weapons but his wits, so some readers call him a coward. He doesn’t want to kill, but there are often a lot of dead bodies when the smoke clears. He doesn’t want to tap in to Dark magic, so he has to think his way around his opponents, who usually have one simple goal – killing Alex Verus. He maneuvers his opponents into a position which puts them in the path of something magical and nasty. It may not be kind, but it keeps Alex alive.
Alex was mentored by a Dark mage, so the Light mages don’t trust him. He refuses to be a Dark mage, so the Dark mages want him dead. Oddly enough, a lot of Light mages want him dead, too. His solution: get into the Keepers, the Light-mage enforcement force, as a limited auxiliary member on serious probation, and a lot of people are waiting for him to make a mistake, so they can kick him out.
His first assignment sounds like a simple investigation, but things get wild and crazy, ending up with Alex in possession of an object that a number of parties want to get, a pawn in a high-stakes chess game that might put a Dark mage on the Light council.
The book is a lot like an episode of Law & Order; Alex investigates, does battle and then participates in a major raid, but when the case gets into the legal system, things change. The rotted log he turns over has some nasty things under it.
As part of his Keeper duties, he has to work under the supervision of Caldera, an Earth mage who comes off like Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter Series, but without the ulterior motives. In fact, she seems to be one of the few Light mages without a Dark Heart.
Veiled is a terrific book, but the characters, politics and motivations of Jacka’s magical Great Britain can be overwhelming without some background. Reading the earlier installments of the series (starting with Fated) would be a help. Otherwise, the presence of a giant spider with tailoring skills might be difficult to handle.
To enter to win a copy of Veiled, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Veiled,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen September 5, 2015. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address.
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