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Benedict Jacka. Ace, $7.99 mass market (304p) ISBN 978-0-440-00058-7

The exciting 10th novel featuring British mage Alex Verus blows apart the series’ underpinnings and releases Alex’s power as well as his rage. Until now, Alex, a diviner who can see many possible futures, has tried to play it safe during the escalating war between the supposedly moral Light Council and scheming, enigmatic dark mage Richard Drakh, focusing on trying to protect his friends and especially his lover, Anne. Then Richard reveals that he has been manipulating Alex all along and coldly replaces Anne with her dark doppelganger, whom he unites with a jinn so that he can draw on their combined magical power. Badly injured, Alex realizes that he must stop reacting to outside pressures. Rather than just seeing the future as it might be, he must start seizing the future he wants. After uniting with the superpowerful fateweaver while obliterating the shade of the master sorcerer guarding it, he becomes much less inhibited and more ruthless, opening fascinating possibilities for future novels. Considering how much lore has accumulated in the series, this isn’t an ideal place to begin reading about Alex’s adventures, but returning readers will be satisfied by how the story keeps building momentum and excitement. This remains a superior urban fantasy series that’s worth any reader’s time. Agent: Sophie Hicks, Sophie Hicks Agency. (Oct.)