1. Fated (2012)-Alex Verus series

1. Fated (2012)

The Alex Verus series is written by Benedict Jacka


  • NEXT Release: Veiled #6 — August 4th 2015 by Ace

Genre and Sub-genresEdit

Urban Fantasy / Fantasy / Alternate History UF

  • The Alex Verus series is an series with a male lead.

Brief Series Description or Overview Edit

Alex Verus runs a magic shop in London, and he's a diviner. His magic lets him see the probability of future events, predicting what'll happen by seeing the various possibilities ahead of him. It makes him very good at finding things out, but not so good when it comes to brute force. As a result, he tends to get approached by other mages, who are less good at finding things out but who possess an abundance of brute force which they're more than willing to use if they don't get their way. ~ Alex Verus - Television Tropes & Idioms

Lead's Species Edit

  • Probability mage, a diviner

Primary Supe Edit

  • Mages

What Sets it ApartEdit

Narrative Type and Narrators Edit

  • First-person narrative told by protagonist Alex Verus.

Books in Series Edit

Alex Verus Series:

  1. Fated (2012)
  2. Cursed (2012)
  3. Taken (2012)
  4. Chosen (2013)
  5. Hidden (2014)
  6. Veiled (Aug 4, 2015)
  7. Burned (2016)
  8. Bound (2017)
  9. Marked (2018)

Shorts, Anthologies and GuidesEdit

none yet

World Building Edit

Setting Edit

Alternate London / Elsewhere


  • Tobruk
  • London
  • Camden
  • Dark Wars
  • Canary Wharf
  • Heath
  • Deptford

The Supernatural Elements Edit

Types: Diviner, seers, Light mages, Dark mages, Rakshasas, sentient mist cloak, shape-shifting air elemental, half-ton spider, adept, spider mage, 

Glossary: Edit

  • Mist Cloak: sentient—woven from moonbeams and spiderwebs
  • Diviners: What a diviner sees is probability. In one future you go left; in another you go right; in a third you stop and ask for directions. A hundred branches, each branching again and again to create thousands....more likely the future, the brighter the glow; they lack any combat magic, including the blocking spells that elemental mages rely on. If a combat-trained mage attacks a diviner, the diviner usually ends up dead. Diviners are so dangerous because, with their powers, they can avoid being attacked altogether.
  • Light mages: rule the world of magic through their Council, which (up until now) has forbade Dark mages from being members
  • Dark mages: are clamoring for admittance because they see Council membership as a means of attaining more power—To a Dark mage, power is reality. The more power you have, the more you can shape the reality around you
  • Adept:
  • Elemental Mages: use blocking spells in combat;
  • Mage Types: Mages' powers seem to work on a consistent set of rules. One of the biggest ones is that mages can only use one type of magic. A fire mage can use fire magic and nothing else.

Groups & Organizations:Edit

  • Council: ruling body of Light mages

World Edit

In this alternate London, people have various degrees of magical talent. Here, Alex Verus, the series hero, summarizes the world of magic: "You can think of magical talent as a pyramid. Making the lowest and biggest layer are the normals....they don't know anything about magic and they don't want to....Next up on the pyramid are the sensitives, the ones who...are blessed (or cursed...) with a wider spectrum of vision than normals. They can feel the presence of magic....Above the sensitives...are the adepts. These guys are only one percent or so, but unlike sensitives they can actually channel magic in a subtle way....And then there are the mages." (Fated, pp. 4-5)

The mages, who are the most powerful of all, can be either Light or Dark. The Light mages rule the world of magic through their Council, which (up until now) has forbade Dark mages from being members. The Dark mages are clamoring for admittance because they see Council membership as a means of attaining more power. Here, Alex explains the differences between the two: "So long as magic has existed, there's always been a split between the two paths: the Light mages, and the Dark....Dark mages follow a philosophy called the True Way...[which] says that good and bad as we see them are conventions....A Dark mage would tell you that you only feel stealing is wrong because your parents brought you up that way....To a Dark mage, power is reality. The more power you have, the more you can shape the reality around you....If you're not strong enough to take what you want, it's your fault." (Fated, pp. 11, 25, 26) The Light mages, on the other hand, support the traditional conventions of good and evil and insist that they are on the side of the greater good, but as we'll see, they're not as pure as they would lead everyone to believe. ~ Fang-tastic Fiction: Benedict Jacka: ALEX VERUS SERIES

Protagonist: Edit

Alex Versus is a probability mage, a diviner who owns a magic shop in London. In the world of magic, diviners aren't the flashy, fire-throwing mages who can fly through the air with little effort. What a diviner can do is much more subtle. Here, he explains,

"What a diviner sees is probability. In one future you go left; in another you go right; in a third you stop and ask for directions. A hundred branches, each branching again and again to create thousands....To me, futures appear as lines of light in the darkness. The stronger and more likely the future, the brighter the glow. The next thing you learn is how to sort futures, search for groupings of events in which things happen a certain way. And once you've done that, all you have to do is look back along the strands and find out which actions lead to them." (Fated, pp. 39-40)

Diviners can't predict every action or event because some things are truly random, like the roll of dice. The easiest predictions are made in situations in which choices are the fewest, while those involving free will are among the most difficult. Although Alex doesn't possess any warrior mage powers, he can create spells and use objects imbued with certain powers—enough to protect and defend himself, so far at least. Alex's most prized possession is his sentient mist cloak, which is woven from moonbeams and spiderwebs. This cloak can sense its surroundings and change itself to match, thus making Alex invisible both to human eyes and to detection spells.

When Alex was a teenager, he was apprenticed to Richard Drakh, a Dark mage who treated his apprentices cruelly. Eventually Alex rebelled against the mage's evil ways and was imprisoned in Richard's mansion. When Alex finally escaped and went to the Council for help, the Council members turned their backs on him, forcing him to survive on his own. Now, he tends his store and tries to keep a very low profile, wanting nothing to do with any mages—neither the Light mages of the Council nor the Dark mages of the shadow realms.

Suppporting CastEdit

Alex has only a few friends. Starbreeze, an ancient, shape-shifting air elemental, serves as Alex's means of transportation when he needs to travel quickly and quietly over a distance. Since Starbreeze hears everything that is going on in London (being a spirit of the wind), she is also a great source of information, although her attention span is so short that her facts tend to be somewhat garbled. Another one of Alex's supernatural friends is Arachne, a ten-foot-tall, half-ton spider who lives in a hidden tunnel in Hampstead Heath where she makes clothing for her special clients and counsels Alex as he grapples with his ongoing problems with the other mages.

Alex's best human friend is Luna Mancuso, a young adept who lives under a horrible curse. Luna's curse protects her from harm, but the harm gets redirected to those who are close to her. In fact, the closer Luna gets to someone, the harder the curse hits them. For example, the first boy she kissed went into a coma. Alex has tried to break the curse but has been unsuccessful, so Luna just lives with it, keeping people at a distance and living a very lonely life. Luna's curse reminds me of Chance, the heroine's on-again, off-again boyfriend in Ann Aguirre's Corine Solomon series, whose magical talent for luck works the same way.

This is a terrific series, with quirky characters and an imaginative premise. Alex has just enough flaws and more than enough honor and intelligence to make a satisfying hero, especially when you add in his curiosity and his innate ability to irritate and enrage authority figures of all kinds. The action is compelling and fast paced, and the world-building is complex without being labyrinthine. Jim Butcher has praised the series highly, and I can see why. As Butcher says in his cover blurb, "Harry Dresden would like Alex Verus tremendously—and be a little nervous around him."

Another strong element of the series is Jacka's descriptive skill as he presents a gorgeous rendering of London. From the serenity of the Thames to the woods and fields of Hampstead Heath to midnight views of the city lights, Jacka paints an eloquent portrait of a city he obviously loves.

Click HERE to go to a web page of links to articles the author has written for a set of "Encyclopedia" articles about the background and setting for the ALEX VERUS series. It's kind of an "everything you ever wanted to know about magic" collection, all related directly to Alex's world. Click HERE to read the “Ask Luna” Q&A page on Jacka’s web site. ~ Fang-tastic Fiction: Benedict Jacka: ALEX VERUS SERIES

Sidekick Edit

Name: — What: — Sidekick-to: — About: — Book First Seen In:

Characters Edit

More Characters: Alex Verus Series ~ Shelfari

Characters What About
Alexander Verus Divination Mage The narrator of the story
Luna Adept Chance Mage Young woman with a deadly curse which seeps luck from those around her, usually resulting in injury or death; Friend of Alex
Richard Drakh Dark Mage (Type Unknown) Alex's former Master;
Cinder Dark Fire Mage Delio's Partner;
Khazad Dark Death Mage Ally of Cinder; Especially hates Alex;
Starbreeze Air Elemental Friend of Alex, if she can keep her mind on him
Ilmarin Light Air Mage investigation how to open the relic;
Sonder Light Time Mage
Varium Light Fire Mage Hot tempered Sikh friend of Alex; possible feelings for Luna.
Tobruk Dark Fire Apprentice
Griff Blackstone Earth mage helping with opening the relic
Shireen Former Dark Apprentice One of Richard's past apprentices, along with Alex and Rachel; deceased
Morden Dark Death Mage master to Cinder, Khazad and Deleo
Vaal Levistus Light Council, possibly Mind Mage
Onyx Dark Chosen, Force Mage
Helikaon Diviner
Mr. Talisid
Abithriax original wielder of the fateweaver who merged ultimately himself with the fate weaver;
Thermopylae Pegasus
Rachel Former Dark Apprentice Was with Alex under Master Richard and also managed to escape
Deleo Dark Water Mage Rachel's new name; Specializes in disintegration magic.
Arachne Arachnoid Magic Creature from the Old World Besides being a very powerful creature, she enjoys making clothing for her friends, often imbued with magic; one of Alex's oldest and truest friends.
Lyle Trahelis Light Mind Mage
Crystal Mind Mage
Belthas Light Ice Mage
Jagadev Rakshasa
Anne Life Mage Powerful Life Mage; Friend of Alex
Symmaris Space Mage Specializes in gate magic
Slate Light Death Keeper Light Keeper; doesn't particularly like Alex, due to his dark past.
Trask Light Water Keeper

To expand the table, in Edit–Visual mode, right-press on a Row of the table or Column (Control-press on a Mac)—choose add Row or Column.

Benedict Jacka

Benedict Jacka — Author of Alex Verus series

Author Edit

Benedict Jacka

Bio: Benedict Jacka became a writer almost by accident, when at nineteen he sat in his school library and started a story in the back of an exercise book. Since then he's studied philosophy at Cambridge, lived in China, and worked as everything from civil servant to bouncer to teacher before returning to London to take up law. ~ FF

Cover ArtistEdit

Artist: Sian Wilson—book #2 UK, Orbit publishers — source: Bibliography: Cover: Cursed (only cover credited)

Publishing InformationEdit

  • Publisher: Ace
  • Author Page:
  1. Fated: Paperback, 1st Ed, 295 pages, Pub: Feb 28th 2012—ISBN 1937007294
  2. Cursed: Paperback, USA Ed, 293 pages, Pub: May 29th 2012—ISBN 1937007596
  3. Taken: Paperback, 313 pages, Pub: August 28th 2012—ISBN 1937007723
  4. Chosen: Paperback, 294 pages, Pub: August 27th 2013—ISBN 0425264920
  5. Hidden: Paperback, 293 pages, Pub: Sept 2, 2014 by Ace, ISBN 0425264947
  6. Veiled: Paperback, 304 pages, Pub: August 4th 2015—ISBN 0425275757
  7. Burned: Paperback, 331 pages, Pub: April 4th 2016—ISBN 0425275764
  8. Bound: Paperback, 346 pages, Pub: April 4th, 2017—ISBN 1101988527

Book Cover Blurbs Edit

BOOK ONE BLURB—Fated (2012): Alex Verus is part of a world hidden in plain sight, running a magic shop in London. And while Alex's own powers aren't as showy as some mages, he does have the advantage of foreseeing the possible future--allowing him to pull off operations that have a million-to-one-chance of success. But when Alex is approached by multiple factions to crack open a relic from a long-ago mage war, he knows that whatever's inside must be beyond powerful. And thanks to his abilities, Alex can predict that by taking the job, his odds of survival are about to go from slim to none… ~ Goodreads | Fated (Alex Verus, #1)

BOOK TWO BLURB—Cursed (2012): Since his second sight made him infamous for defeating powerful dark mages, Alex has been keeping his head down. But now he's discovered the resurgence of a forbidden ritual. Someone is harvesting the life-force of magical creatures—destroying them in the process. And draining humans is next on the agenda. Hired to investigate, Alex realizes that not everyone on the Council wants him delving any deeper. Struggling to distinguish ally from enemy, he finds himself the target of those who would risk their own sanity for power. ~ Goodreads | Cursed (Alex Verus, #2)

BOOK THREE BLURB—Taken (2012): Mage apprentices have been vanishing without a trace—and someone on the council might be involved. Alex Verus has no evidence, no witnesses, and no suspects. All he knows is that someone is keeping tabs on him. And after assassins target his own apprentice’s classmate, Alex sees that he doesn’t know the half of it—and that he could be the next to disappear. ~ Goodreads | Taken (Alex Verus, #3)

BOOK FOUR BLURB—Chosen (2013): I don’t publicly advertise that I’m a mage, but I don’t exactly hide it either, and one of the odd things I’ve learnt over the years is just how much you can get away with if you’re blatant enough. Hide something behind smoke and mirrors and make people work to find it, and they’ll tear the place down looking for what’s there. Alex Verus is a diviner who can see probable futures—a talent that’s gotten him out of many a tough scrape. But this time, he may be in over his head. Alex was once apprenticed to a Dark mage, and in his service he did a lot of things he isn’t proud of. As rumors swirl that his old master is coming back, Alex comes face to face with his misdeeds in the form of a young adept whose only goal is to get revenge. Alex has changed his life for the better, but he’s afraid of what his friends—including his apprentice, Luna—will think of his past. But if they’re going to put themselves at risk, they need to know exactly what kind of man they’re fighting for. ~ Goodreads | Chosen (Alex Verus, #4)

BOOK FIVE BLURB—Hidden (Sept 2014): Alex Verus is a diviner who can see probable futures—a talent that's gotten him and his friends out of many a tough scrape. But what happens when someone doesn't want Alex's help? Alex's friend, the life mage Anne, distanced herself from him when she found out about his past as a Dark apprentice. Now she's in serious trouble, but wants nothing to do with him. Alex has to start wondering if Anne's problem is really with him—or if there's a secret she's trying to hide. On top of that, rumours are swirling around London that Alex's former master may be back in town. Alex has no idea what his agenda may be, or who it involves. ~ Goodreads | Hidden (Alex Verus, #5)

BOOK SIX BLURB—Veiled (2015): 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 ~ Alex Verus #6 by Benedict Jacka

BOOK SEVEN BLURB— Burned (2016): I’m used to people wanting me dead. But, this time, I’m not the only one on the hit list—and time is running out... Diviner Alex Verus finally made one too many enemies on the Council of Mages, and now one of them is angry enough to have him executed. Fighting for his life is nothing new, but this kill order also calls for the death of Alex’s dependents—and there’s no way that he’ll let Luna, Anne, and Vari take the heat. With only a week before he’s history, Alex will have to figure out how to disassociate himself from his friends, scrounge up allies on the Council, and hopefully keep his head attached to his body.  But saving himself is going to bring him into direct opposition with his former master and the Dark mages surrounding him. And, this time, escaping with his life might mean losing his soul...~ Alex Verus #7 by Benedict Jacka

BOOK EIGHT BLURB— Bound (2017): Right now I wasn’t seeing Richard as the teacher out of my nightmares, he was just another Dark mage, and I looked into the future to see what would happen if I turned that knife on him instead... Alex Verus is still haunted by his time apprenticed to Richard Drakh. He's been free of him for many years, but now the only way to keep his friends from being harmed is to again work for Richard and his deadly ally. Even worse, he’s forced to bring the Light mage Anne into this servitude as well. After weeks of being hunted and finally cornered into what he thought was his last stand, Alex never thought his life would be spared—and never anticipated at what price. This time, the diviner can see no way out...~ Alex Verus #8 by Benedict Jacka

First Sentences Edit

  1. Fated (2012) — It was a slow day, so I was reading a book at my desk and seeing into the future.
  2. Cursed (2012) — The old factory was the kind of place you only find in the very worst parts of big cities.
  3. Taken (2012) — The Starbucks in Angel is on the corner of the busy intersection of Pentoville Road and Upper Street, set deep into the offices around it with a glass font that lets in the light.
  4. Chosen (2013) — The night was warm and still.
  5. Hidden (Sept 2014) — Russel Square is one of the odder areas of London. 
  6. Veiled (Aug 4, 2015) — 

~ Source: Shelfari

Quotes Edit

Read AlikesEdit

— If you like this, you may like these:

✥ If you like this series, you might enjoy reading about a sorcerer in a different version of an alternate London: Kate Griffin's Matthew Swift series. And definitely take a look at Jim Butcher's Dresden Files series if you haven't already done so. ~ Fangtastic

Awards Edit

Trivia Edit


See Also Edit

Category links at bottom of page

Notes Edit

The action is compelling and fast paced, and the world-building is complex without being labyrinthine. Jim Butcher has praised the series highly, and I can see why. As Butcher says in his cover blurb, "Harry Dresden would like Alex Verus tremendously—and be a little nervous around him." ~ Fangtastic

External References Edit



Alex Verus Universe–Characters, etc:





Community and Fan Sites:

Gallery of Book Covers Edit