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Benedict Jacka became a writer almost by accident, when at nineteen he sat in his school library and began writing in the back of an exercise book. Since then he has worked for the civil service and studied philosophy at Cambridge, but has always found the time to keep writing.
Fated is an excellent example of not just great urban fantasy but also of brilliant story-telling. There is a near perfect mix of everything and it has been masterfully crafted with a meticulous eye for those pieces of humanity that make a great protagonist and a fantastic story -- Fantasy Faction London's hidden wizardly community spell-blast each other entertainingly in this urban fantasy romp. Fated is highly enjoyable -- Sun Filled with tense and compelling writing -- SFX Whoop-ass excitment from the new master of magical London -- Charles Stross Jacka writes a deft thrill-ride of an urban fantasy - a stay-up-all-night read. Alex Verus is a very smart man surviving in a very dangerous world -- Patricia Briggs Harry Dresden would like Alex Verus tremendously - and be a little nervous around him. I just added Benedict Jacka to my must-read list. FATED is an excellent novel, a gorgeously realized world with a uniquely powerful, vulnerable protagonist. Books this good remind me why I got into the storytelling business in the first place -- Jim Butcher
Jacka's extremely promising urban fantasy series starter introduces cheeky British diviner Alex Verus, who's caught in the middle of a conflict between Light and Dark mages over an ancient magical weapon. Alex can not only see all possible futures but can often choose which ones to make real, so both sides want to use him as a tool. Alex, alienated from other mages because he has developed empathy for the beings around him, refuses to take sides. To save himself and his dependents-Luna, a lonely, cursed young woman, and Starbreeze, an ancient air elemental who's "dumb as a sack of rocks"-he's forced to think and move nimbly through London and its associated magical realms. Jacka deftly invents the rules of magic as he goes along, creating an emotionally satisfying story arc and a protagonist who will keep readers coming back. Agent: Sophie Hicks, Ed Victor Literary Agency. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
As the proprietor of a magic and novelty shop in London, Alex Verus spends his days catering to show and hobby magicians as well as a group of secret mages whose powers come from a source deeper than the mastery of tricks. Alex is a diviner, able to sense the future, and his talent has kept him away from both the Council-the official organization of mages of the "light"-and the mages who follow the path of darkness and personal power. But when a magical artifact turns up in a London museum, Alex finds his talents eagerly sought by both sides. VERDICT Jacka's first novel presages an urban fantasy that relies less on erotic scenarios and more on classic action and problem solving. For fans of Jim Butcher's "Dresden Files," Tanya Huff's "Blood" series, and Seanan McGuire's "October Daye" series. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.