THE DIRE KING by William Ritter
Kirkus Star

THE DIRE KING

From the "Jackaby" series, volume 4
Age Range: 12 & up
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A paranormal private investigator and his clever companion make a last stand against the forces of chaos in this fourth and final book.

As an assistant to eccentric detective/seer R.F. Jackaby, Abigail Rook experiences magic, mysteries, and romance. A “lady of science and reason” who accepts the supernatural, Rook prizes her madcap American adventures over her comfortable yet confining British childhood, but she finds her new home threatened by war. As a wave of racist attacks turns their whimsical house at 926 Augur Ln. into a cryptozoological asylum, Jackaby, Rook, and resident ghost Jenny Cavanaugh take a new case and uncover a bigger conspiracy. Hunting mythical talismans, the trio discovers the veil between the mundane world and that of the Annwyn (fae) weakening and the Unseelie armies of the Dire King gathering. Jackaby is a delightful supernaturalist Sherlock, but Rook carries the story, narrating with dry wit, alliteration, and an appreciation for the absurd; faced with war, bureaucrats, and a diabolical life-sucking machine, Rook frets about a potential proposal from her Om Caini (lycanthropic) swain, Charlie. Ritter sets his story in a geographically nonspecific, slightly steampunk 1890s New England port city. It’s helmed by a trio of white protagonists but offers a pointed and timely message about pluralism and the value of bridges over barriers.

A humorous, energetic, action-packed, and magical conclusion. (Fantasy. 12-adult)

Pub Date: Aug. 22nd, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-61620-670-3
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Algonquin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 2017




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