Review of BLACK MAGIC SANCTION by Kim Harrison (see her website)
RACHEL MORGAN BOOK 8
Eos, February 2010
Shunned by the white witches, tutored by a demon, and caught in the eternal war between elf and demon, Rachel Morgan thinks she has it rough. But when a member of the white witch enforcers tries to snatch her at the neighborhood grocery store, Rachel learns that there are a lot of things worse than being shunned. One of those is to be locked in Alcatraz, the prison where witches are held. Another is to become an egg donor to the effort to raise a new race of demons.
The white witches are hostile, the vampires undependable, the demons caught up in their own games and the one elf in Rachel's life willing to offer his protection only if Rachel will become his thrall. Fortunately, however, Rachel does have friends, including her roommate/vampire and the pixies who live in a stump in her back yard. Whether the demon familiar who plays with her hormones is one of those friends or something else remains to be seen.
Compared to the other Kim Harrison books I've read and reviewed (see more BooksForABuck.com reviews of urban fantasy by Harrison) BLACK MAGIC SANCTION ups the ante. Rachel continues as an interesting, sympathetic and conflicted character trying to do right even if it means breaking the rules, concerned that her hormones attract her to exactly the wrong men, and anxious over the demon marks she's taken on herself. SANCTION kept me reading, without the saggy middle I've found in some other Harrison books. Harrison kept twisting the plot, adding difficulties to Rachel's life but doing so in ways that were consistent with the character and the world she's created.
It's hard to create a character and a world that is worth a multi-volume series. Kim Harrison has done so and I'll look forward to getting my hands on the next in the Rachel Morgan saga.
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