Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Here I thought Butcher was writing himself into a corner...

Somewhere during the great library remodel, I managed to miss Benedict Jacka's new Alex Verus novel, Burned. Thankfully, that has now been remedied.

We start this installment off with Alex, independent Divination Mage, finding out that one of his enemies of the Light Council, has managed to get a quorum together of the Senior Council long enough to pass a death sentence on Alex. However, as the vote is 3-1, with 3 votes out of town for the Christmas holiday, Alex gets a week reprieve before the edict goes into effect. During that week, he's free to get at least 2 other votes against the edict, which would cancel out the edict. However, as the order states he and his dependents would be fair game, this means it also affects Luna, Variam, and Anne.

As such, large amounts of the book are spent trying to free the three from death by association, with arrangements trying to be made to get Anne and Varium under a different mentor and getting Luna Journeyman status (rare, since she's an Adept, technically.)

In the meantime, Alex, trying to secure the votes, winds up joining the Keepers on a mission in Syria to prevent his former mentor from retrieving an artifact from a bubble dimension that only opens during specific astrological events.

Metaplot wise, we find out more about why Chalice (the Dark Mage training Luna) is in England, the political divides in the Light council, and bits and pieces of what the Dark Mages are trying to accomplish.

While, as always, a fun read, the ending sets up what promises to be a very angsty continuation eventually. I'll be waiting with bells on.