Dirty Magic (The Prospero's War -1) by Jaye Wells

Dirty Magic (The Prospero's War #1) by Jaye Wells

The Prospero's War series by Jaye Wells

Genres and Sub-GenresEdit

Urban Fantasy / Speculatie Crime / "Cops & Wizards" / Police Procedural

Series Description or Overview Edit

✤ The Prospero’s War series combines the action of police procedurals with the speculative elements of urban fantasy. It’s a world where cops and wizards are fighting a war over addictive, dangerous, and illegal dirty magic.

Kate Prospero knows a lot about dirty magic. Before she became a cop, she was raised in a coven that ran the Arcane criminal underworld of Babylon, Ohio. Her history helped her land a spot on a Magic Enforcement Agency task force, but as she works to bring down old friends and family members, she’ll have to face her own dysfunctional relationship with magic. ~ Prospero’s War | Jaye Wells

✤ Kate Prospero lives in a world overrun with magic. There’s “clean” magic that the rich can buy in potion form to make themselves more attractive, smarter, faster, more virile. . . and then there’s dirty magic cooked on the streets and distributed by cartel-like organizations for the rest of the population. ~ Review: Dirty Magic | Rabid Reads

Lead's Supe Edit

Cop for Magical Law Enforcenemt

Primary SupeEdit


What Sets it ApartEdit

A fresh and inventive world—a world of magic in a decaying Rust Belt city.

Narrative Type and NarratorsEdit

Books in Series Edit

Prospero's War series:

  1. Dirty Magic (Jan 2014) ~ Chapter One: Dirty Magic Excerpt
  2. Cursed Moon (Aug 2014)
  3. Deadly Spells (Feb 10, 2015)

Shorts, Novellas, Anthologies and Guides:  Edit

none yet

Other Series by Author on this site: Edit

Sabina Kane series

Themes Edit

  • Magic Addict / Recovering Magic Addict: Person who uses magic potions to the extreme, regardless of them being clean or dirty magic. Group that meets to help stay off potions and away from magic.

World Building Edit

More: Shelfari


Babylon, Ohio: Fictional town in the rust belt that is decayed and rotting because of magic usage. (modeled after Cleveland, according to the author)

Supernatural ElementsEdit

✥ Wizard, vampires, werewolf, dirty magic, witches, covens, alchemists, dirty-magic addicts, Alchemy Symbols, , , , ,


  • Adepts: people born with a genetic predisposition to do magic—Adepts cook up magical concoctions. Adepts are left handed. Called "Sinisters" by Mundanes.
  • Mundanes: non-magical people—ingest or inject the Adepts' concoctions, becoming hopelessly addicted
  • Dominae: Vampire race that Sabina grew up in, her grandmother is it's leader.
  • Dirty Magic:
  • Clean Magic: Magic sold openly and legally in the form of potions and powders that provide life-improving powers
  • Hexhead: Someone who was in the grips of a magic potion.
  • CI: Confidential Informant

Groups and Organizations Edit

  • MEA: Magic Enforcement Agency: federal agency that fights a losing battle to keep dirty magic off the streets
  • BPD: Babylon Police Department
  • Top Three Covens:
    • Votary Coven: wizards who use an alchemical form of dirty magic —led by Abraxas Prospero from his prison cell.
    • Mystical Coven of the Sacred Orgasm: specialize in sex magic—led by the priestess Aphrodite Johnson.
    • Sanguinarian Coven ("Sangs"): specialize in blood magic—led by Ramses Bane and his son, Hieronymus.


✥ This is a whole world built around a relatively simple concept involving “clean” versus “dirty” magic. Those individuals who are magically adept can “cook” potions, creating all sorts of concoctions with a variety of uses. Clean potions are made, sold, and used legally, whereas dirty potions are cooked and distributed by cartel-like organizations on the streets for the less law-abiding citizenry. ~ The BiblioSanctum

Magic: A world of magic in a decaying Rust Belt city. In a blurb on her web site, Wells explains that the series "combines the action of police procedurals with the speculative elements of urban fantasy. It's a world where cops and wizards are fighting a war over addictive, dangerous, and illegal dirty magic." In this world, "Just say no" isn't an anti-drug slogan, it's an anti-dirty-magic slogan. In the town of Babylon, Ohio (modeled after Cleveland, according to the author), magic, not meth, is the drug of choice. The population is divided between Adepts (people born with a genetic predisposition to do magic) and Mundanes (non-magical people). The Adepts cook up magical concoctions, and the Mundanes ingest or inject them, becoming hopelessly addicted in no time at all. In this mythology, all Adepts are instantly recognizable because they are left handed. Many Mundanes distrust Adepts (whom they call Sinisters) because they believe that anyone who can use magic will become corrupted by its power.

Magic is not all dirty, though. Clean magic is sold openly and legally in the form of potions and powders that provide life-improving powers. Instead of taking Viagra, men of a certain age take a magic-infused sex potion. Instead of dieting, women take magical diet potions. Instead of using a washer and dryer, people use magic to clean their clothes. Unfortunately, the problem with all magic is that it is addictive—just like drugs in our world. Dirty magic is more dangerous and more addictive than clean magic because the wizards who produce dirty magic products promise spectacular results, but use illegal and harmful ingredients. The federal government has a Magical Enforcement Agency (MEA) that fights a losing battle to keep dirty magic off the streets.

History: Babylon is a dying city whose steel-based economy was destroyed back in the 1960s when Chinese alchemists revolutionized steel processing, causing the collapse of the U.S. steel industry. After those alchemists changed the world's economy, people began to study ancient magic and to apply new scientific methods to the old concepts. Now, the biggest industry in the U.S. is the magic industry.

Covens: Babylon is divided in two parts: the magical slum (aka the Cauldron) and the upscale part of town where the Mundanes live. The Cauldron is subdivided into sections similar to the way that street gangs divide their turf. Each section is run by and populated by a different coven, each headed by a wizard. These are the top three covens:

  • Votary Coven (aka the "Votaries"): This coven is named for wizards who use an alchemical form of dirty magic and is led by Abraxas Prospero from his from prison cell. As the series opens, Abraxas has been in prison for five years. Before his imprisonment, he functioned as a godfather—keeping all of Babylon's covens in line.
  • Mystical Coven of the Sacred Orgasm (aka the "Os"): They specialize in sex magic and are led by the priestess Aphrodite Johnson (or Jones, both names are used in book 1, on pp. 39 and 395).
  • Sanguinarian Coven (aka the "Sangs"): They specialize in blood magic and are led by Ramses Bane and his son, Hieronymus.

✥ The Babylon Police Department (BPD) has mostly Mundane officers on staff, with just a few Adepts, who are viewed suspiciously by the Mundanes. The series heroine is a BPD patrol officer named Kate Prospero. Kate grew up in the Votaries coven, the dirty-magic-cooking niece of Abraxas, whom she calls Uncle Abe. Ten years ago, for reasons that are made clear part-way through book 1, Kate left the coven and struck out on her own, taking her younger brother, Danny, with her. Since then, she has worked hard to make a life for the two of them—a life that includes absolutely no magic.

Kate's beat is the Cauldron, and she works hard every day dealing with the sad, but often violent, ✥ ) who squat in abandoned buildings and hang out in dark alleys. Kate longs for promotion to a level at the BPD that deals with the creators and dealers of dirty magic. As she explains, "To make a dent, you had to go after the runners and stash boys the potion cookers—the moneymen. The way I figured, better to hunt the vipers instead of the 'hood rats who craved the bite of their fangs." (Dirty Magic, p. 1) She hates all magic, and she wants to wipe it out of Babylon. Here, Kate muses about clean and dirty magic: "Black versus white, legal versus illegal. Hell, the Big Magic corporations claimed their government-sanctioned potions weren't even addictive, which they 'proved' using studies they themselves had funded. But anyone who cooked potions could tell you the line between the two was little more than vapor. Whether you used it with good intentions or ill, magic was magic, and instead of being black or white, most of it was smoke-screen gray." (p. 20


Kate Prospero grew up as the dirty magic heiress, groomed by her uncle to take over his empire one day, but when a family tragedy occurs, she wants out, and she takes her kid brother with her. Compelled to pay her debt to society, she becomes a cop. But after nearly five years she’s still working the beat with no promotions in sight—cops are mostly mundanes (non-magical) and as ever, they fear what they don’t understand. ~ Rabid Reads

Kate Prospero, former scion of a dirty magic coven who has turned her back on her old life in order to start clean. Now a beat cop on loan to the Magical Enforcement Agency, Kate is hoping to shed the prejudices of her notorious family name by helping her new team members investigate magic-related crimes in the rust belt city of Babylon, while also trying to raise her younger brother by herself. ~ The BiblioSanctum


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

Characters Chart Edit

Characters What About
Kate Prospero adept; Officer in Babylon Police Department was a member of a coven and the heir of her uncles drug empire; she left the life to raise her little brother; an adept; avoids all magic to avoid temptation;
Eldritch Captain of the Babylon Police Kate's boss, he is waiting for his promotion to be commissioner
John Volos He testified, put Abe in prison; has his own company and an agenda which Kate doesn't trust.
Danny Younger brother of Kate she took him when he was six and their mom had died and left the magic behind so he could grow up with choices.
John Volos heir to Abe's drug empire; Kate's ex;
Abe, Abraxas Prospero wizard; 'Godfather' type leader: Votary Coven from his prison cell
Sybil Kate's jeep
Aphrodite Johnson Head of the Mystical Coven of the Sacred Orgasms or "O" coven they practiced sex magics
Mr. Nowiki Baba's dead husband.
Ramses Bane Coven leader of the Sanguinarian coven they do dirty blood magic. He lives underground and has lost all pigment in his skin he looks like a mole with creepy eyes.
Drew Morales MEA team member gives Kate a hard time calling her Cupcake and Nancy Drew.
Penelope Griffin AKA Pen Kate's best friend She is a therapist for the school that Danny goes to. She met Kate while they were working in a diner going to school
Hieronymus Bane AKA Harry Son of Ramses the one who does the above ground things his father wants. Harry is a nickname he HATES that John and Kate gave him.
Ferris Harkins CI for MEA kills him after he attacks her and then finds out he was a CI for MEA.
Mesmer Wizard for the MEA team
Miranda Gardner Special Agent; adept Special Agent in charge of the team looking into Grey Wolf

To expand the table, right-press on a row of the table or (Control-press on a Mac)—choose add row.

Jaye Wells close

Jaye Wells

Author Edit

Jaye Wells

Bio: Jaye Wells is a USA Today-bestselling author of urban fantasy and speculative crime fiction. Raised by booksellers, she loved reading books from a very young age. That gateway drug eventually led to a full-blown writing addiction. When she’s not chasing the word dragon, she loves to travel, drink good bourbon and do things that scare her so she can put them in her books. Jaye lives in Texas with her husband and son. For more about her books. ~ Goodreads

Cover ArtistEdit

Publishing InformationEdit

  • Publisher: Orbit
  • Author Page:
  • Bk-1: Paperback, 381 pages, Pub: Jan 21st—ISBN: 0316228435
  • Bk-2: Paperback, 400 pages, Expected Pub: Aug 12th 2014—ISBN: 031622846X
  • Bk-3: Paperback, 400 pages, Expected Pub: Mar 3rd 2015—ISBN: 0316228427

Book Cover Blurbs Edit

BOOK ONE BLURB—Dirty Magic: The last thing patrol cop Kate Prospero expected to find on her nightly rounds was a werewolf covered in the blood of his latest victim. But then, she also didn't expect that shooting him would land her in the crosshairs of a Magic Enforcement Agency task force, who wants to know why she killed their lead snitch.

The more Prospero learns about the dangerous new potion the MEA is investigating, the more she's convinced that earning a spot on their task force is the career break she's been wanting. But getting the assignment proves much easier than solving the case. Especially once the investigation reveals their lead suspect is the man she walked away from ten years earlier—on the same day she swore she'd never use dirty magic again. Kate Prospero's about to learn the hard way that crossing a wizard will always get you burned, and that when it comes to magic, you should be never say never. ~ Goodreads | Dirty Magic

BOOK TWO—Cursed Moon: When a rare Blue Moon upsets the magical balance in the city, Detective Kate Prospero and her Magical Enforcement colleagues pitch in to help Babylon PD keep the peace. Between potions going haywire and everyone's emotions running high, every cop in the city is on edge. But the moon's impact is especially strong for Kate who's wrestling with guilt over falling off the magic wagon.

After a rogue wizard steals dangerous potions from the local covens, Kate worries their suspect is building a dirty magic bomb. Her team must find the anarchist rogue before the covens catch him, and make sure they defuse the bomb before the Blue Moon deadline. Failure is never an option, but success will require Kate to come clean about her secrets. ~ FF

BOOK THREE—Deadly Spells: When Ramses Bane's body is discovered in an abandoned church, Kate and the team are called in to help find the coven leader's killer. Symbols at the crime scene indicate this was no run-of-the-mill gangland homicide. Could a new wizard in town be making a play for control of the Sangs? The power vacuum left behind after the murder complicates the investigation. Turf battles are erupting all over the Cauldron, and the task force and police have to scramble to contain the situation before an all-out-war begins.

Kate's got her hands full enough with the job, but things aren't so rosy on the home front either. Her brother, Danny, has been lying about where he's spending his time after school. When Kate discovers he's been working for Volos, there's going to be hell to pay. The exciting conclusion to Jaye Well's Prospero's War series, a supernatural thriller perfect for fans of Breaking Bad and The Wire. ~ Goodreads | Deadly Spells (Prospero's War, #3)

First Sentences Edit

  1. Dirty Magic (Jan 2014) — It was just another fucked-up night in the Cauldron.
  2. Cursed Moon (Aug 2014) — If you want to know the future, the last person to ask is a fortune-teller.
  3. Deadly Spells (Feb 10, 2015) — There's a body in the church.

Quotes Edit

Trivia  Edit

Awards Edit

Read Alikes (suggestions) Edit

Notes Edit

See Also Edit

Category links at bottom of page

External References Edit


Excerpts and Freebies:

Summaries, Articles:

World, Characters, etc:

Cover Reveals


Interviews, Guest Posts, Author Commentary:

Audio & Video interviews:


Community, Fan Sites:

Gallery of Book Covers Edit

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