Monday, 18 June 2012

The Mage in Black by Jaye Wells

Title: The Mage in Black
Author: Jaye Wells
Publisher: Orbit
ISBN: 978-1-84149-757-0
Pages: 326
Series: Sabina Kane #2
Type: Adult Urban Fantasy
Source: Purchased

After turning her back on her vampire upbringing half-blood Sabina Kane finds herself thrust into the mage world in New York. United with the twin sister she never knew she had, Sabina has to deal with her family issues whilst suddenly having to follow mage rules. Faced with a prophecy claiming that she is destined to unite the dark races, Sabina isn't into destiny. But faced with demonic fight club, territorial werewolves and an old flame it looks like the Big Apple may be about to take a bite out of her...

This is the second book in the now complete Sabina Kane series (after Red-Headed Stepchild) which is one of my favourite urban fantasy series. It really needs to be read in order from the beginning due to the character development and world building. The storyline is both well plotted and well paced, and surprised me by the amount of twists, turns and manipulation still echoing throughout Sabina's life. The mysterious Caste of Nod are covered in more detail and are beginning to come out as a key player.

Sabina is really thrown in at the deep end, both with her sister Maisie and with mage culture in general. She has to further remove herself from vampire culture (drinking bagged blood for example) and also needs to learn to harness the innate talents endowed by her mage blood. Not only is she turning her back on her childhood, Sabina really doesn't think she is capable of doing anything but assassinate people and it is her insecurity that makes her accessible.

Maisie is the complete opposite of Sabina. She is a huggy, emotionally open earth mother type who paints her dreams and automatically accepts Sabina with no questions. She even supports Sabina's much-resisted attraction to Adam, who is sadly absent for much of the book. In his place is Sabina's old flame Slade who gives Sabina a chance to access elements of her old life. Adam's absence does means that the overdone love triangle is avoided and allows Sabina the space to make a decision as to which life (and guy) she truly wants.

Slade also opens a door for Giguhl, who is still my favourite character and is just as awesome and hilarious as ever. Slade's club hosts a demon fight club where Giguhl soon finds himself star of the show. The whole idea of the fight club is hilarious and the concept is well handled, managing to be action-packed and entertaining whilst growing Sabina and Giguhl's friendship.

I love that the designers kept Sabina's "Things to do:" checklist that looks paperclipped to the back covers. This installment has:
     1. Survive Magic 101
     2. Bond with long-lost sister
     3. Stay alive

All in all, this was another great read and I can't wait for Green-Eyed Demon.

Plot: 10/10
Characters: 10/10
Ending: 10/10
Enjoyment: 10/10
Cover: 8/10

Overall: 48/50

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