cover image Risen


Benedict Jacka. Ace, $8.99 mass market (336p) ISBN 978-0-440-00062-4

Jacka brings his astonishingly smart Alex Verus urban fantasy series to a thoroughly satisfying conclusion (after Forged) with the long-awaited epic battle between the Dark mages, led by devious Richard Drakh, and the squabbling, morally compromised Light Council, its members now uneasily united against a hoard of jinn possessing the body of Anne Walker. But as that battle rages on, the story’s focus is on Alex Verus, formerly a minor divining mage who has been forced to accept the magical, deadly fateweaver into his body as the source of the power he needs to rescue Anne, his lover. The action sequences are handled wonderfully, but Jacka doesn’t stop there. He goes on to consider what Anne needs to be truly saved not just from the jinn but also from her own self-destructive impulses. And, having sacrificed his own life for magical power, Alex is qualified to ask Drakh, during their final confrontation, what they’ve really been fighting for. With mature emotional stakes, rousing combat, and wry humor, this is urban fantasy done right. New readers should start at the beginning and savor each installment. Agent: Sophie Hicks, Sophie Hicks Agency. (Dec.)