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Cursed

Best Seller
Cursed by Benedict Jacka
Mass Market Paperback
May 29, 2012 | 304 Pages
*This format is not eligible to earn points towards the Reader Rewards program
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  • Mass Market Paperback $7.99

    May 29, 2012 | 304 Pages

    *This format is not eligible to earn points towards the Reader Rewards program
  • Ebook $7.99

    May 29, 2012 | 304 Pages

Product Details

Praise

Praise for Cursed

“Benedict Jacka started off his Alex Verus series with a bang with Fated, and doesn’t lose pace with Cursed.”—SF Site
 
“Jacka follows his urban fantasy debut, Fated, with an even more impressive tale of gunplay and spellcraft in present-day London…Readers will savor this tasty blend of magic, explosions, and moral complexity.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“A wonderfully fun, action-packed story with witty dialogue making it another great installment for the Alex Verus series.”—All Things Urban Fantasy
 
Cursed ups the ante in almost every department of the book, and it will fetch the author more fans as they strive to find satisfaction from books other than the Dresden Files. Be sure to check out this wonderful series.”—Fantasy Book Critic
 
“Benedict Jacka is a master storyteller. He has a wonderful way of taking familiar ideas and polishing them until they glow, then intertwining them with something new…A brilliant urban fantasy that is so professionally polished and paced that you barely remember to come up for air. Cursed takes everything that was great about Fated and then puts it on a diet of steroids. It is fun and action packed but now bigger, angrier, and absolutely nuts. I loved it.”—Fantasy Faction
 
“If you like action-packed, magic-fueled story then this is the series for you. It has a fast-paced story which captivated me from start till finish and had a complex mystery that you could really get into.”—Under the Covers Book Blog

Author Essay

Curse Magic in the Alex Verus Series Curses are a type of chance magic from the universal family, also known as luck or fortune magic. A mage who can use them is called a chance mage, a luck mage, or sometimes (especially if the mage is female) a witch. Like all chance magic, curses affect luck and probability. A curse can only affect the random element in any series of events, and the more static and predictable a system, the harder it is for a curse to affect it. For a normal person, knocking over a chair is easy but getting a set of dice to come up all ones is hard. For a chance mage using a curse, it’s the other way around. Why is a set of dice easier to affect than a chair? It’s not because the chair’s heavier, it’s because the dice are moving. When a human being throws a die, there are thousands of tiny factors affecting which way it rolls: the person’s conscious decision, their subconscious actions, their reflexes, the way the die slips in their hand, the air resistance, the angle at which it bounces off the table . . . all of those factors add up to a result that’s completely unpredictable. But for a chance mage, those thousands of factors are exactly what their magic needs. The more unpredictable an event, the easier it is for a chance mage to control. When turned on a person all those thousands of factors can be used to protect, bending probability so that dangers and misfortunes just miss them. But when used in a curse, a chance mage takes those same factors and twists them so that they always come up with the most harmful result possible. A piece of bad luck that might happen one time in a thousand, or a million, not only happens but happens at exactly the worst possible time. This can be as mild as making someone skin their knee, or as deadly as making them fall into the road just as a car swerves towards them, and there’s absolutely no way to predict which one you’ll get. Luna’s particular curse uses both positive and negative chance magic at the same time. It focuses good luck upon her, and wards bad luck away. It makes her as safe from accidents as a person can possibly be—she doesn’t get sick, she doesn’t fall down, and anyone trying to hurt her will have to fight against dozens of little things going wrong. You might not think that that’s much of a curse, and you’d be right—the spell was originally intended as a defensive one, designed to protect its caster. The problem is that all the bad luck doesn’t go away, it gets redirected to everyone and everything around her, and she can’t turn it off. Touching Luna is about as safe as handling radioactive contact poison, and has a similar effect on your life expectancy. One of the reasons curses such as Luna’s are so dangerous is that since they only work on what’s already there, it’s very hard for anyone else to realise what’s going on. Bad luck is obvious, but figuring out what’s causing the bad luck isn’t. Even if someone makes the connection, unless they understand how the curse works it’s almost impossible for them to protect themselves against it. From their perspective, just being near Luna is bad luck . . . which is more or less true.

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