Risen (Alex Verus #12), by Benedict Jacka

Risen by Benedict Jacka

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In this final instalment of the Alex Verus series, we accompany Alex on his “farewell tour” and the final siege that will decide the fate of all mages – Dark and White – in Great Britain.

Over the run of the previous 11 (!) books Alex has had a formidable run: From a former Dark apprentice and shop owner he has risen to become a major force among mages in Britain. He has made a few friends (most of whom we encounter in this book) as well as many enemies (most of whom we also encounter in this book).

His girlfriend Anne has been possessed by a Djinn and needs rescuing, his former master, Richard Drakh, wants to use him for purposes unclear so far and, last but not least, Alex – who bonded with Fateweaver by making it a replacement hand – finds himself being “overtaken” by his artificial hand.

So, a lot of issues and unless you’ve read the previous few books at least, this won’t be a book for you. Furthermore, it has to be said that “Risen” can be divided into two major parts: In the first one Alex revisits people and places important to him in the past.

In the second part, we witness a prolonged siege inside a shadow realm; a battle, one might say, necessary for “ascension”: Not only Alex’ abilities have greatly expanded but also his methods have changed – shop owner Alex never would have resorted to what Richard rightly calls an assassination. The Alex we see in “Risen”, though, has truly risen in many regards but he knows full well that he’s on a dangerous path…

Thus, the way things are resolved and the ending make sense for this series which I enjoyed greatly and would whole-heartedly recommend to anyone enjoying urban fantasy.

While neither this book nor the series were perfect, Jacka found and refined his voice, his story telling rhythm and has grown along with his creation. I’m curious to see (and sure to read!) what he’s going to come up with next.

Four out of five stars.

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