Review: The Mage in Black

Jaye Wells
Urban Fantasy
326 pages
Sabina Kane #2
Chapter 1

Sabina Kane doesn't have the best track record when it comes to family. After all, her own grandmother, leader of the vampire race, wants her dead. So when she arrives in New York to meet her mage relatives, the reunion puts the fun in dysfunctional. Not only is mage culture completely bizarre, but everyone seems to think she's some kind of 'Chosen' who'll unite the dark races. Sabina doesn't care who chose her, she's not into destiny. But the mages aren't Sabina's only problem. In New York's Black Light District, she has run-ins with fighting demons, hostile werewolves and an opportunistic old flame. Sabina thought she'd take a bite out of the Big Apple - but it looks like it wants to bite back.

The Mage in Black feels different from Red-Headed Stepchild and I think the series is better for it.  Sabina is working with the mages (her other half) this time around and I loved getting a glimpse into the hierarchy and the goings on in mage-land.  We're also introduced to warewolves and Sabina's twin sister and a vamp from Sabina's past, and oh yeah, demon fight club!  See, a lot of new... it's a good thing.

Sabina really opens herself up in this book, and it made me form some serious attachment. There were a couple of times were she would make a statement like "Chicks like me don't get happily-ever-afters.  I might be able to handle happy-for-a-night-or-two..." where as a reader I'm instantly reminded of all the crap she's been through.  I enjoyed watching her vulnerability unfold; glimpse at her "human" side. 

The other big change this time around is the introduction of Sabina's sister, Maisie.  Maisie is Sabina's twin but she's more like her opposite.  Maisie grew up with everything that Sabina didn't.  She has a community that respects her and family that love her.  Not that I would want Sabina any other way, but as a physch-major dropout it made me wonder, if Sabina had different opportunities what kind of person would she be. They form an easy relationship early on, and their interactions were great to watch.

The story dipped a little too long in the middle in my opinion, but along the way we got to witness Sabina blow stuff up with her magic, root for Gighul during his weekly fight club matches, and get a tiny glimpse into Sabina's past through the eyes of another assassin. And the last 2/3 of the story had me on the edge of my seat.  The action is full-on and you wont be able to stop until the very last page...and even then you wont want to give Sabina up.

Bottom Line: Great next step in the series that left me desperate to know what happens next.  

3.5 stars


  1. Gah!!! Neeed to crack into this series! Even with the slowdown you mention occurs in the middle, the book sounds like so much fun.

  2. Kristin: Just wait until my Green Eyed Demon review... LOVE

    Alisha: I think you'd really like this series. Sabina is awesome!

  3. We had the same feelings about this book. I can't wait to get to GED...

  4. Great review! I know I have the first book on my TBR list so I'll have to see how I like that one to see if I'll keep reading (but from your reviews I think I will read it).

  5. Colette: GED is AMAZING. You're gonna freak out...and laugh...and cry when you hear that the next one if a year away *sobs*

    Deanna: honestly I wasn't sold on the series until the end of this book, now I'm hooked!