With intricate plotting and ink-black humor, Somers’ new series is a gritty, grim success that will keep readers spellbound. The lack of much outright exposition makes discovering the world of bloody magic and its shady practitioners as engaging as the story itself, sustained by intriguing insight and lively noir-style writing. Though the action is often tense and the themes dark, there is a well of deep emotions in play that makes even the most fantastic situations seem real and affecting and will no doubt leave fans hungry for future installments.
: Every act of magic requires payment in blood. Even though he has a distinct talent with the Words, Lem has always refused to take anyone else’s blood to cast his spells — which means that Lem is always broke, starving and scarred. He and his enormous, none- too-bright sidekick, Mags, have nearly reached rock bottom when they stumble upon a girl locked in the trunk of a car, covered in invisible runes. It is only after they try to save her that Lem realizes he’s meddled in the plans of one of the world’s most powerful and soulless mages — a mage who has now set her sights on Lem. (POCKET, Mar., 384 pp., $7.99)