Published: 6th September 2012
Synopsis: Welcome to Fountain Reach. Ancient seat of the Aubuchon dynasty. Majestic setting of the White Stone tournament Alex Verus' (not necessarily reliable) reputation attracts all sorts. Most are plain bonkers. Yet there's one invitation he just can't refuse At Fountain Reach, Alex is perfectly placed among the noted and notorious to figure out why apprentices have been vanishing. But the tournament is a minefield of ancient grudges and new threats and Alex can't afford to miss a trick as his elusive adversary stays one step ahead in this most dangerous of games.
Alex is definitely beginning to pick up a reputation for investigating things – or maybe just for finding is way right slap bang in the middle of trouble. He has been asked or pointed in the direction of Fountain Reach by several people and he has also been asked to quietly looking into the disappearances of several apprentices although a lot of people seem to know that he has been asked. So obviously Alex and Luna set off for Fountain Reach to investigate the creepy house.
I would like to start off by saying: Yes, no Deleo/Rachael!
As predicted both Sonder and Talisid make a reappearance, the more I see Sonder the more I like him. Other reappearances include Onyx and Morden. But sadly no appearance from Starbreeze, I hope she comes back soon.
I feel like Luna takes a fairly central role in Taken despite that fact that Alex spends more time with Anne. I really like the way that we get to see the way in which Luna is changing in this book (for the good) there is definitely a noticeable difference between her in the last book and her in this book as she is becoming more confident and learning to control her curse more as well as learning more about mage society. There is also a change in the relationship between her and Alex, he’s no longer trying to push her away and accepting that she can also take risks, not just him.
I liked Anne from the moment she appeared it might have just been because she is friends with Luna, but she quickly won me over herself Variam took a little longer, in fact I’m still not sure I like him.
I found the house in this very creepy from the first time Alex visited it, in fact in places I almost had goosebumps, I think it’s that feeling of a building somehow watching you, that idea has always creeped me out, although I guess in this case it was more than a feeling. I don’t want to say too much because I don’t want to spoil it, not because it isn’t something you can’t guess but because I really enjoyed the ‘who did it and how’ of this book, and in my opinion it is exactly the right mix of creepy, dark and disturbing. The longer you dwell on the scene inside the old shed with the bath tub, the worse it gets.
It’s starting to bug me a little how little we actually know about Alex, I still want to know how he became a mage, was he one before he met Richard? What about his parents? How old is he? (he seemed older in this book than he did in the others) and I also wonder how much other characters know about him, is it common knowledge that he was a Dark apprentice, because Natasha has her little speech about how Anne and Variam started off as Dark apprentices, yet Variam has a go at Alex for not understanding what it was like to be a Dark apprentice and to escape from it, which if Alex’s past was common knowledge surely Variam would realise earlier that Alex wasn’t judging him and Anne. And if Alex didn’t finish being an apprentice, how come he’s not still one, and who taught him how to be a diviner I know he learnt from the Diviner from the first book (sorry I’ve forgotten his name) but Alex mentioned that it had never been a Master, Apprentice arrangement which to me suggests that he learnt from someone else. Maybe Alex’s past is something we’ll pick up slowly from each book.
Of course I will read the next book, I want to see if Luna continues to use her whip, if anne and Variam stick around did Onyx get out or have we seen the last of him… and more importantly does Starbreeze come back?