Alex’s quiet, reclusive existence is now a thing of the past. His actions in the first two books has seen to that. He is now regularly sought out by other practitioners for his help or advice, whether he likes it or not.
Taken, starts out fairly quietly, Alex is continuing his training of his friend and apprentice, Luna, and it’s during one of these training sessions that we get to meet a couple of characters, Variam and Anne, that play an important part as the story develops.
Even though he turns down the stunningly attractive female mage, who tries a little too hard to engage his services as security for an upcoming apprentice tournament, it’s clear that that’s not the last we’ll see of her.
Especially, when he does start to investigate why a number of apprentices are going missing.
Benedict Jacka is doing a great job of expanding his book’s world, ensuring that events don’t just conveniently serve the plot, but also serve the world building as well, it just makes things sit together so much better. His characters also grow, learn, and continue to be affected by these events as well, which keeps them interesting.
I really liked the interactions between Varium, Anne, and Alex, regular switching from suspicion and mistrust to a team that shows signs of bonding, and back again. It’s not quite banter, but it does make for some lively dialog.
The Alex Verus series is beginning to grow quite nicely in my opinion, with each book maturing nicely on the previous one. The world is expanding, the characters are growing, and Jacka’s storytelling is more rounded, and more importantly they’re a whole lot of fun!
Welcome to Fountain Reach. Ancient seat of the Aubuchon dynasty. Majestic setting of the White Stone tournament.
Alex Verus’ (not necessarily reliable) reputation attracts all sorts. Most are plain bonkers. Yet there’s one invitation he just can’t refuse.
At Fountain Reach, Alex is perfectly placed among the noted and notorious to figure out why apprentices have been vanishing. But the tournament is a minefield of ancient grudges and new threats and Alex can’t afford to miss a trick as his elusive adversary stays one step ahead in this most dangerous of games.