Judged, by Liz de Jagar

Judged, by Liz de Jagar book coverGenre: Fantasy
Publisher: Tor Books
Published: 2016
Reviewer Rating: four and a half stars
Book Review by SJ Higbee

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This is the next slice of the adventure featuring Kit Blackhart in this UK-based urban fantasy. Would I enjoy Judged as much as Banished and Vowed?

Kit’s job description includes solving crimes — the supernatural kind . . . Glow, a fae-created drug, is rapidly going viral and the suppliers have to be shut down. Teaming up with Aiden and Dante, Kit follows leads across London, tracking down dealers. They stir up trouble, making themselves a target for the gang they’re trying to stop. In the Otherwhere, Thorn stumbles across a secret that could destroy both the human and Fae worlds. The Veil that separates our human world from the fae realms is weakening and the goddess is dying. And if she dies and the Veil fails, madness and chaos will wreak unstoppable havoc upon both lands.

My firm advice is not to start this one — if you have mistakenly picked it up thinking it is a stand-alone, then go back and track down Banished. The overarching story arc stretches across all three books and what happened previously is still having consequences such that your reading experience will be significantly compromised, which would be a shame with such an enjoyable series.

Kit’s first person viewpoint continues to bounce off the page as she is teamed up with werewolf Aiden and fae Dante. I really like the fact that de Jagar doesn’t have these two fit young men vying for her attention, but instead they are busy flirting with each other. Aiden, in particular, is very drawn to Dante, yet unsure whether his feelings are returned so is reluctant to endanger their friendship and working relationship by declaring his attraction. This dynamic, frequently used when heterosexual couples are working together, is given an even stronger impetus here that I thoroughly enjoyed and felt de Jagar handled the situation very well. Not that they have all that much time to gaze into each others’ eyes to exchange unspoken desire — the relentless spread of Glow is causing death and misery so that Kit, Aiden and Dante are desperate to track down the suppliers and put a stop to their activities.

Meanwhile Prince Thorn is also dealing with a gnarly problem as the Veil is failing with disastrous consequences particularly for humanity if hordes of lethal creatures are free to flood into their world. The two main plot points are nicely balanced as the narrative steadily gathers pace throughout the book. There are some interesting twists along the way that provided some surprises — I enjoyed the unfolding story around Dante’s origins and one of the consequences which appears to be happening before it isn’t…

The climax provides plenty of action and yet another shock I hadn’t seen coming. All the plot points are satisfactorily tidied away, bringing this book and series to a triumphant conclusion. If you are looking for an escapist fantasy adventure during the holiday season, then I can recommend this series.

Brainfluff

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