Veiled by Benedict Jacka
In order to survive the coming badness that is Morden and Drahk together, Alex joins the Keepers of the Council — and learns that not everyone on the council is as apathetic as he thought.
Publisher’s Description: I thought I’d escaped my past. But my old master is back and making a new play for power. And he’s not the only one targeting me…
Diviner Alex Verus and the Council that governs the magical community have never gotten along. But with his former teacher back in Britain, Alex is in desperate need of allies, and he’ll do whatever it takes to get them—even if it means accepting a job with the Keepers, enforcing magical law.
Alex forms an uneasy alliance with his new partner, Caldera, but his attempt at legitimacy quickly turns lethal when a mission puts him in possession of an item that factions both inside and outside of the Council would kill to get their hands on.
Once again caught in the middle of a deadly conflict, Alex will need all his abilities to figure out who his friends are—especially when enemies are hiding on all sides…
Possible spoilers beyond this point.
I have really enjoyed the Alex Verus series. The characters, even the nasty ones, are interesting and the world just keeps getting bigger. In Veiled, we get a look at the world of the Keepers and see that they are not as homogeneous as Alex once believed.
Because of his experiences in the past, Alex is an unreliable narrator when it comes to all things Council-related. Seeing how the future my play out with Drahk and Morden, Alex reluctantly joins the Keepers — on an auxiliary basis–in order to bolster his defenses and allies against the dark mages’ schemes.
Through his interactions with Caldera, his Keeper “handler,” Landis, Vari, Hakin, and others, he realizes that not everyone who is involved with the Keeper or the Council is 100% on board with their policies. Much like Dark Mage society, though, the people with the most power can pretty much command those that don’t, just in a different way. We learn that there are seven factions within the council—seven!—each with their own beliefs and goals, and that individual greed and lust for power is a human universal, even among light mages.
It’s so much easier to see the world in black and white, and it sucks when you have to give credit or respect to someone you can’t stand, someone who has done crappy things to you. This is what Alex is facing in Veiled — he can’t continue believing the Light Council is apathetic as a whole. While the policies, bureaucracy, and selfish interests of those in power may still result in crappy things, it’s a better system than Dark Mages have. Sounds a lot like modern day politics, doesn’t it?
- Fantasy Book Review
- KD Did It Edits (GREAT summary of characters and concepts on this page)
- Whatchamacallit Reviews
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