->''"My name is Alex Verus. I'm a mage, a diviner. In mage terms I'm unaligned, which means I'm not affiliated with the Council but don't count myself as a Dark mage either."''

An urban fantasy series by Benedict Jacka.

Alex Verus runs a magic shop in London, and he's a diviner. His magic lets him see the probability of future events, predicting what'll happen by seeing the various possibilities ahead of him. It makes him very good at finding things out, but not so good when it comes to brute force. As a result, he tends to get approached by other mages, who are less good at finding things out but who possess an abundance of brute force which they're more than willing to use if they don't get their way.

Five books have been released in the series so far, with the author and publisher working to get the sixth out, probably sometime in 2015.

* ''Fated'' (2012)
* ''Cursed'' (2012)
* ''Taken'' (2012)
* ''Chosen'' (2013)
* ''Hidden'' (2014)
* ''Veiled'' (2015)

There's also a series of articles about the world and setting called the ''Encyclopaedia Arcana'' which can be found on the author's website [[http://benedictjacka.co.uk/ here]].
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!!This series provides examples of:

* BadassBoast: Alex gives one of these during the climax of ''Taken'':
-->'''Alex:''' Iíve had enchantresses bewitch me and elemental mages burn me. Iíve stood against one of the most powerful battle-mages in this country and watched him die. Iíve faced Light mages and Dark, constructs and assassins, elementals and dragons, and Iím still here. You think youíll be the one to take me down? You think youíre going to succeed when they couldnít? Not you. Not today!
* BadassNormal: Council security operatives in general but Garrick from the second book especially.
* BigBad: Levistus and [[spoiler:Richard]] are shaping up to be this, with Alex right in the middle of them.
* BroughtDownToNormal: [[spoiler:Briefly, thanks to the [[ArtifactOfDoom monkey's paw]], Alex is robbed of his Divination]]. He gets better, though.
* CharmPerson: Enchanters and Enchantresses like Meredith as well as Mind mages like Crystal are good at this sort of thing, though Enchanters are much more subtle about it.
* ChronicBackstabbingDisorder: Crystal.
** Also the Light council's modus operandi.
* CombatClairvoyance: Alex exploits this heavily, which is the reason he can survive fights with things massively more powerful than he is.
* CombatPragmatist: Alex uses whatever is on-hand to fight, and states outright in the second book that killing people is often safer than trying to disable them. [[spoiler:The one person he does spare in the assault on the keep nearly kills him later in the assault]]. A particularly impressive example happens early in the second book: He finds some mercenary wiring an AP mine, waits until the trip wire is set and [[CrowningMomentofAwesome throws a wrench into it while the mercenary is still right next to it]].
* ConvectionSchmonvection: According to the Encyclopaedia Arcana, trying to burn a Fire mage is like trying to drown a fish and it's specifically mentioned that some of them can walk ''through'' lava. It's generally {{averted}} for everyone else, though.
* CursedWithAwesome: Luna's curse has the nice side effect of rendering her immune to casual misfortunes and making her generally lucky. It brings bad luck to her enemies, too. Justified in that the curse was created by taking a useful (if morally questionable) luck-draining spell and making it permanent.
* DeadpanSnarker: Alex has his moments.
* ElementalEmbodiment: Starbreeze is the 'Made of Air' type. Most other elementals that appear are used as Guardians or, in [[NightmareFuel Thirteen]]'s case, as assassins.
* EnemyCivilWar: It's more or less stated that this is the reason Dark mages don't run everything. The protagonist points out in the first book that even though it might not feel that way, Dark mages are actually much more dangerous to each other than they are to everyone else.
* FirstPersonSmartass: Alex.
* FlashStep: Blink foxes are basically space-adepts that can use this spell.
* FunctionalMagic: The series pretty much runs on this.
* GiantSpider: Arachne. Oddly enough, she's nicer than most of the humans. She also makes dresses.
-->'''Luna:''' Alex, she's a giant spider.
-->'''Alex:''' I know.
-->'''Luna:''' Alex, ''she's a giant spider''.
* GuileHero: Alex uses knowledge and quick thinking to take on opponents who really ought to be way out of his weight class.
* HappyPlace: [[spoiler:Anne has one built up in Elsewhere that she used during her apprenticeship. Note that a Happy Place in Elsewhere is a bit like a hammock over an active vulcano.]]
* HealingHands: The standard spell of Life mages. Unfortunately, Anne was once apprenticed to a Dark mage, so most people don't trust her to heal them, since Life mages can do the TouchOfDeath-thing as well. [[spoiler:As it turns out, that distrust is [[DarkAndTroubledPast well justified]].]]
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Slate, a Light Death Mage Keeper introduced in ''Veiled'', spends the entire novel sniping at Alex for being Ex-Dark and generally being unpleasant, and even Caldera says he is an asshole. [[spoiler: But he is horrified by the little girl that he and Alex find inside White Rose, and at the end when the slaves are leaving and a Council Security guard grabs said little girl and tries to hurry her along out of impatience, Slate comes along, verbally tears into him and gently helps the girl to the Gate. Alex sees this and notes that, even if the Council does nothing for them, the slaves will very likely have some help in the future.]]
* {{Irony}}: ''Hidden'' is the first book in the series in which Alex does not kill anyone, however indirectly. It is also the book in which he is accused of murder most often.
* LadyInRed: [[spoiler:not-Anne]] appears this way.
* LightIsNotGood: [[spoiler:Levistus]], in particular, who is just as sociopathic as the Dark villains. Even among the rank-and-file Light mages, enthralling mundanes for entertainment appears to be socially acceptable.
* MagicAIsMagicA: Mages' powers seem to work on a consistent set of rules. One of the biggest ones is that mages can only use one type of magic. A fire mage can use fire magic and nothing else.
* MeaningfulName: Surely it's not a coincidence that the most prominent Dark wizard of the series has a last name that's a near-anagram of "Dark?" In the same vein, almost all the mage names are meaningful, which is probably because the mages choose them at the end of their apprenticeship:
** Morden means "to kill" in German. He's a Death mage.
** Deleo means "I delete" in Latin. She's a Water mage who specializes in disintegration spells.
** Vitus comes from Latin for "life". He desperately wanted to live forever.
* MutuallyExclusiveMagic: Of the 'no-one can use multiple schools at all' variety.
* MyNameIsInigoMontoya:
-->'''Will Traviss:''' My name is Will Traviss. [[spoiler: [[YouKilledMyFather You. Killed. My.]] ''[[PunctuatedForEmphasis Sister!]]'']]
* NoSell: A Life-Drainer uses his powers on Anne, it doesn't succeed, since she has the same magic, only stronger. Alex then gives us this gem:
-->'''Ja-Ja:''' That should have worked.
-->'''Alex:''' [[FreudWasRight Itís okay. It happens to a lot of guys.]]
-->'''Ja-Ja:''' Shut up!
-->'''Alex:''' Iím sure it doesnít happen to you usually. Maybe you can take a rest and try again in a few minutes.
* OrderVsChaos: The conflict between Light and Dark is much more this than one between good and evil, because there are quite a few LawfulEvil people on the council and Dark mages are most definitely ''not'' AlwaysChaoticEvil.
* OurDragonsAreDifferent: They give out vague hints and prophecies. Shireen gave one such prophecy to Alex in ''Fated'', Alex got such vague help during ''Cursed'' and Variam got one regarding [[spoiler:Anne]] that had and still has him all kinds of worried.
* OurVampiresAreDifferent: [[spoiler:They're dead]]
* {{Pegasus}}: A diviner Alex goes to visit has one of these. He likes sugar lumps.
* PocketDimension: Only two novels so far did not involve one such place in their big showdown. ''Fated'' had the Fateweaver's tomb, ''Taken'' had [[spoiler: the other side of Crystal's estate]] and ''Hidden'' had Sagash's shadow realm.
* PsychicStatic: In ''Hidden'', Alex briefly works together with [[spoiler:Crystal]]. He sees her use a gate stone and fills his thoughts with annoyance at the fact that she's better with them than he is, so she can't hear [[spoiler:his plans to stab her in the back, before [[ChronicBackstabbingDisorder she can do the same to him]].]]
* RedShirtArmy: Council security. The council has no illusions that they could take on a Dark mage and survive. They are only there as living shields for the mages and as early warning system that is more paranoid than a ward.
* RequiredSecondaryPowers: Fire mages are more or less immune to heat, Ice mages are more or less immune to cold, you can't drown a Water mage et cetera. Generally, most RequiredSecondaryPowers are expected.
* SacrificedBasicSkillForAwesomeTraining: As it turns out, [[spoiler:Alex did. When he loses his divination for a time in ''Cursed'', it becomes very apparent that he is unable to make logical connections and even ''walk straight without stumbling'' without his magic telling him what to avoid.]]
* ShoutOut: One to Literature/TheDresdenFiles. In the first book Alex refers to Harry Dresden as 'a practicing wizard in Chicago'. Hidden also has one to {{House}}.
-->'''Luna:''' Maybe it's Lupus.
-->'''Variam''' It's never Lupus.
* SlidingScaleOfFreeWillVsFate: Appears to fall in the "Prophecies Are Predictions" category; Alex can only see the future in terms of probability, and he has trouble seeing past a decision that somebody has not already made. Of course, this only applies to human magic: The existence of the [[OurDragonsAreDifferent dragon prophecy]] might push the setting towards the "Fate" end.
* TheSocialDarwinist: Dark mages believe that people only have a right to what they can take and what they can keep. They have no problem with slavery or killing people in their way. [[spoiler:Alex was apprenticed to a dark mage and admits that, while he sees himself as a good guy, most of the people who oppose him wind up dead]].
** Yet this is also defied. Cinder in particular is quite able to keep his word and act according to prior agreements, even when there's no immediate payoff for him. Deleo... not so much.
* ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill: The fate of [[spoiler:Griff.]]
--> [[spoiler:Griff, needless to say, was very dead. After being shredded, incinerated, and disintegrated all at once, what was left of his body could fit in a pencil case. Anyone planning to give him a burial would need a mop and a vacuum cleaner.]]
** In general, battle magic runs on this. As Alex explains, 90% of a fight between mages is about building shields, as one solid blow is usually all it takes to kill the other guy.
* TakenForGranite: Caldera, the Keeper Alex meets in book 4.
* TookALevelInJerkass: Anne and Sonder starting with the Aftermath of ''Chosen''. Anne's reaction is {{justified}} because [[spoiler: it unpleasantly reminded her of her own DarkAndTroubledPast]]. Sonder's reaction... not so much. Especially when Alex points out the [[{{Hypocrite}} hypocrisy]] of it by pointing out that Sonder apparently was fine with Alex killing people when it was Sonder's own life on the line.
** To a lesser extent, Alex himself, starting with the middle of ''Chosen'' and apparently ending with [[spoiler: the end of ''Hidden'']]. His interactions with people who stood by his side for the last three books seems very abrasive. He got better, though. This is actually pretty justified, though, as the possibility of his [[spoiler: EvilMentor Richard Drakh being alive and well is wearing on his nerves.]]
* UnequalRites: Diviners like Alex seem to be looked down on, due to being physically weaker than other mages. They're really good at finding things out, though, which helps them avoid fights in the first place.
** Mind you, this doesn't keep the very smart elemental mages from being at least a little bit afraid of Alex.
* VillainsNeverLie: According to Alex, this is exactly what makes Richard Drakh so dangerous. He never lies, but it's what he doesn't say that ends up hurting the people he manipulates.
* WeakButSkilled: Diviners in general. They lack any sort of combat magic, including the shielding spells that elemental mages rely on. If a combat-trained mage attacks a diviner, the diviner usually ends up dead. Diviners are so dangerous because, with their powers, they can avoid being attacked altogether.
* WindsOfDestinyChange: Luna essentially steals luck from those around her, causing misfortune to anyone who crosses her path in exchange for being immune to random accidents herself. The catch is that she can't turn it off.
* YouBastard: In ''Hidden'', Alex has an unconscious bad guy in front of him. He then, in case the reader was wondering why he did not simply kill the guy, gives several good arguments as to why killing him would have made things worse and ends with "point 3, what the hell is wrong with you? You seriously think I want to be responsible for [[spoiler:''more'' dead kids]]? Jesus!"

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