Jacka is a relative newcomer to the urban fantasy genre, but a most welcome one. His mage, Alex Verus, is the everyman wizard. He is an adept diviner – having the ability to see into the future and suss out the most likely outcome. But this skill conveys little respect and almost no power. He is useful to some, and expendable to most. After a youth under the training (and eventual escape from) of dark wizard Richard Drakh, Verus wants nothing more than to keep his head down. He has a small shop, a close circle of friends and no desire for trouble or adventure. So, of course, trouble and adventure batter down his door on a regular schedule.
Jacka’s magical Britain is inventive and well-imagined. His characters are rarely wholly good or bad, nor are the two mage factions of Light and Dark. Intrigue and politics influence everything the mage community does and rarely can anyone or anything be taken at face value. Verus is clever, friendly, kind and immensely inventive with what skills and bits of magic he can lay hands on. Fans of Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden books and Simon R. Green’s Ishmael Jones books will welcome this enjoyable and highly readable series.