by Terrance Mc Arthur
Details on how to win a copy of Chosen at the end of this post.
Alex Verus is a diviner, able to see paths of alternate futures and choose the option that will keep himself and others the safest. Some magic users don’t trust him because he spent two years being trained by a Dark mage, and he participated in acts of which he is not proud. The apprentices and adepts around him don’t know all about his history, but they are about to learn in Chosen, Benedict Jacka’s fourth Alex Verus novel.
A Council Keeper wants Alex’s help in confirming rumors that Richard, his former Dark Master, may return to England from another dimensional realm. Alex has a problem though; a group of young adepts are out to kill him, because one of them claims Alex killed his sister. Alex didn’t kill her, but he did find her for Richard, which led to her capture and death.
Alex’s magic isn’t good as a weapon to attack his enemies. It’s better for finding ways to avoid conflict, but he needs to find a way to “weaponize” his knowledge of the future. If he does, will he be partaking of the same evil he has spent years trying to avoid?
The battle sequences are intricate and innovative. Just because his magic isn’t good as a blow-things-up offense it doesn’t mean he is helpless. He has magical devices that can create indoor fog, block off passageways and conceal people from sight. They are marvelous toys and he is not afraid to use them.
Alex’s adepts are getting chances to use their talents, and there is a theme that some of the simplest and unappreciated powers can be the most powerful and dangerous. The attitude of the Light mages is interesting. They don’t trust Alex because of his Dark associations and they won’t protect him, but the Council Keepers call on him to use his abilities.
This leads me to my own Confession Time. This is not the first Alex Verus book I’ve been sent to review; it’s the third. The others had these black covers with unnaturally-tinted pictures of London. They didn’t look exciting and I put them at the bottom of my to-read pile, from which they seemed to migrate under my bed. Chosen came in an Uncorrected Proof format with no cover art and I read it. Now, I’m searching under the bed for the other books, because I want to read them!
The moral is…Never Judge a Book by Its Cover!
Check out more fantasy & horror book reviews in our fantasy and fangs section.
To enter to win a copy of Chosen, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Chosen,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen September 21, 2013. U.S. residents only.
Use this link to purchase the book & a portion goes to help keep KRL going: