Black Magic Sanction: Another great installment

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsurban fantasy novel reviews Kim Harrison Rachel Morgan The Hollows 8. Black Magic Sanction Black Magic Sanction by Kim Harrison

I love the Hollows series. Kim Harrison has taken us on some really great adventures and still manages to keep things from spinning completely out of control. The characters are well developed and the plots typically balance the heavy romantic themes with plenty of story and action to keep things exciting. Black Magic Sanction is another great installment.

Rachel Morgan continues to evolve in Black Magic Sanction. Her training in using “Black Magic” by the Demon Algiarept provides some of the more amusing moments in the story. I also like the way Harrison lets Rachel gradually change, as opposed to the way some urban fantasy protagonists go through complete moral reversals from one chapter to the next.

Rachel’s friends, Ivy and Jenks, continue to be solid supporting characters, and Harrison goes to great lengths to keep them growing into something more than placeholders. Jenks in particular is given a lot of important growth in Black Magic Sanction. The continued development of these characters makes for strong and believable friendships, too — it’s nice to see that in this genre.

Black Magic Sanction finds Rachel in trouble with multiple people who are trying to either kill her, use her, or in some way force her hand. Her stubborn resistance to all of these forces sometimes comes with natural consequences, and these real costs make the story that much better. Rachel’s insistence that there is always a better way to do things is allowed to backfire this time, and that had to happen if she wasn’t going to become ridiculous.

Harrison’s eighth installment in the The Hollows is a welcome addition. Characters grow, the story evolves and you get a large helping of the action, humor, and relationships that make this series one of the best urban fantasies on the market. Black Magic Sanction is well worth reading.


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JOHN HULET (on FanLit's staff July 2007 -- March 2015) is a member of the Utah Army National Guard. John’s experiences have often left a great void that has been filled by countless hours spent between the pages of a book lost in the words and images of the authors he admires. During a 12 month tour of Iraq, he spent well over $1000 on books and found sanity in the process. John lives in Utah and works slavishly to prepare soldiers to serve their country with the honor and distinction that Sturm Brightblade or Arithon s’Ffalenn would be proud of. John retired from FanLit in March 2015 after being with us for nearly 8 years.

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