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Circle of Enemies: A Twenty Palaces Novel (Twentry Palaces) [Mass Market Paperback]

Harry Connolly
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
RRP: 4.71
Price: 4.67 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

15 Sep 2011 Twentry Palaces
Former car thief Ray Lilly is now the expendable grunt of a sorcerer responsible for destroying extradimensional predators summoned to our world by power-hungry magicians. Luckily, Ray has some magic of his own, and so far it’s kept him alive. But when a friend from his former gang calls him back to his old stomping grounds in Los Angeles, Ray may have to face a threat even he can’t handle. A mysterious spell is killing Ray’s former associates, and they blame him. Worse yet, the spell was cast by Wally King, the sorcerer who first dragged Ray into the brutal world of the Twenty Palace Society. Now Ray will have to choose between the ties of the past and the responsibilities of the present, as he and the Society face not only Wally King but a bizarre new predator.

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Circle of Enemies: A Twenty Palaces Novel (Twentry Palaces) + Game of Cages: A Twenty Palaces Novel + Child of Fire: A Twenty Palaces Novel
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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Inc; Original edition (15 Sep 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345508912
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345508911
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 12.7 x 15.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 697,039 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By Max Z
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
This grabbed me in a way very few books have recently. One of those books you read despite the fact you have other important things to do. This is very well written with great pace and believable characters.

It is hard-boiled, in the tradition of Dashiell Hammett or Raymond Chandler. A man working on his own against impossible odds and in a world with no moral certainties. What is the right thing to do is never clear, and some of the brutal things he has to do to get the job done weigh on his concience. Enemies surround him, and only a quick wit, a quicker right hook and instant action keep him alive.

This has a typical twisty Urban Fantasy Noir plot, with double crossing baddies creating a complex problem for the straight talking hero. Whenever the pace slows, someone comes through the door with a gun, or perhaps a nameless horror from the places outside of time. The hero (Ray Lilly) always has a wise-crack ready to greet them.

Ray Lilly isn't one of those ridiculous super-powered wizards (yet). He is human, and vulnerable. That is what makes him tough. The people he fights are the wannabe Harry Potters, obssessed with getting power and a trick bag full of flashy effects. Ray just wants to save the greatest number of people, and agonises over those he can't save and those he is forced to kill.

One of the things I love about the series is the way it is being miserly with the underlying story about the nature of how magic exists and the Twenty Palace Society which polices it. The Twenty Palace Society is a great invention, such a self-absorbed and brutal secret society. Almost as bad as the horrors they fight. Except their enemy is truly terrifying. Lovecraftian Horrors from the 'Deeps'.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
I disagree with the negative review that precedes this one.

I discovered The Twenty Palaces series last week through Charles Stross' blog and have now read all three.

I found the third novel just as good as the first two, building nicely from them, filling in more information on the nature of magic and the Twenty Palaces society. I am looking forward to the fourth. I see from the author's blog that he has written it and deciding how to make it available to the public.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
What do you do when an old friend appears, tells you you killed them and then disappears?

Raymond Lilly - wooden man to the 20 palaces Society, associate of sorceroes and no stranger to magic doesnt believe in ghosts.
So when it happens to him, he packs up and heads to Chicago to check up on his old buddies.

This is the third book in the series and finally fills in the details of Ray's past. His old friends, his criminal past and his introduction to magic are all laid out here. This is no retrospective. Ray's past has come back to get him, in spades. His homies and the person who intoduced him to magic and his old flames are all bound up in a tangled web of magic, greed and powerlust. For once - its not the 20 palaces society calling on Ray. This is a disaster all of his own.

New place, new people, new predator. Thats usually the rule for Ray and it holds true here. As is the case in the past - we expect the ante to be upped from book to book. So it follows that there shold be multiple threats and creatures. Well dont expect to be be disappointed. Ray is toting some major enhancements of his own now - so it follows that the bad guys are exceedingly bad. The biggest threat comes from the very person from whom he got his one and only spell. A person who is seeking one of the three original spellbooks.

The authors style has evolved over the 20 palaces books and this book is the best constructed of the three. The secondary characters stand out as individuals , the dialogue is snappy and believeable, the story pacy and multilayered. Theres action, suspense, mystery - and of course plenty of action - though less of a bodycount than in any of the previous books. Im very glad it was dialled back.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read 23 May 2014
By Grant
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, as I did the previous two books. One thing I especially like is that while this is an Urban Fantasy setting, it does not go down any romance route that so many others seem to. Hopefully the author will be able to come back to this series at some point in future.
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