Magorian & Jones 5.0

Urban Fantasy Novel

More books by Taylen Carver
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The old gods have arrived, ready to punish humans and Old Ones with tribulations that resemble hell on Earth.

Magorian, the world’s first modern wizard, and Dr. Michael Jones, failed to stop the Siren, Aurelius, from summoning the old gods.  Now the world is reeling from the destruction that Agrona, God of Slaughter and Carnage, is hailing down upon every mortal, no matter what their race.

Magorian and Jones must find a way to send the old gods back to where they came from before their ways crack open the world and destroy everyone upon it, both human and Old Ones.

The Divine and Deadly
is the final book in the urban fantasy series, Magorian & Jones, by Taylen Carver.

The Magorian & Jones series:
1.0: The Memory of Water
2.0: The Triumph of Felix
3.0: The Shield of Agrona
3.5: The Wizard Must Be Stopped
4.0: The Rivers Ran Red
5.0: The Divine and Deadly

Urban Fantasy Novel

This series is also available as a Special Bundle
{Also see: Urban Fantasy, Novels}

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The Divine and Deadly
Average rating:  
 3 reviews
 by Marjorie
when there are no good choices, what is left?

I knew going into this that it is the last book in the series, and ends in such a way that has massive consequences for spin off series Harley Firebird and co. way over in Canada - and this series has already dealt some serious devastation to the planet (any one remember that volcano?!) One of those where I'm so invested in these characters I need to know what happens but OMG I am terrified of what is going to happen. (imaging me as a little kid covering my face and peeking out past one lifted finger - yep, that is totally how I read this book!

and WOW did Carver deliver! that ending - HUGE and satisfying and a total twist on what I thought it was building up and was expecting. So many lose ends tied up too - and I just love how intimate and real the story stayed to the relatable issues the central characters were dealing with at the same time as it expanded to well, can't tell you - spoilers - but some of the reveals in this book ... if there are future spin offs in this universe it will be a completely different genre of book. There was some unexpected humor in there too - especially with the gods.

Series finale - you can read this as a standalone and it is a full story arc and enjoyable book, BUT that would be like watching Avengers Endgame without having seen any other MCU movies. You really need to read the whole series to appreciate the everything that is built up and tied in and the depth of character development and growth through the books! Amazing series, I am sad to have reached the end but WOW was that worth the ride!

 by Susanne Huxhorn
A great end to a gripping and unique series

This is the conclusion of one of my favourite series of the last years…. I tried to read the book slowly to last bit longer, but failed miserably. It took me only three days to finish it. I would be devastated- but I am fairly sure Taylen Carver will write equally great fantasy books.

 by Marilyn Putman
The explosively charged ending of a fabulous series

Just as I had anticipated, The Divine and the Deadly was a whopping super rollercoaster of a ride, with surprises around every tight curve and frighteningly big drop. There is only one bad thing I can say about it: this is the last book in the Magorian & Jones series. In its final entry, this richly-imagined series comes to a surprising and intensely satisfying conclusion, with plenty of adventure along the way.

The worldbuilding in this series is nothing short of genius. The infinitely and masterfully detailed universe of Magorian & Jones never fails to amaze me as all the many and varied moving parts of this imaginary world dovetail wonderfully. The jawdropping plot twists in this book (I do love that I can’t ever see these things coming) would not be possible if not for the exceptional foundation work that was put in place from the very first book in the series. Nearly every chapter in The Divine and the Deadly leaves the reader poised at the edge of a cliff, each chapter slowly racheting the suspense higher and tighter. Stakes were high, and the reader feels the tension.

There were also things that made me smile or caught my fancy in one way or another. There was a wonderful Star Trek reference; some very amusing confusion (by a character, not the reader) between Georgia and Georgia; a quick nod and a tip of the cap to Top Gun that I also appreciated; and a long-awaited reference to the Man of La Mancha. I was certain the author had that one slid into her back pocket and was just waiting to pull it out; it was a long wait, but the result was satisfying when it got here. As I was reading this book, on April 8, 2024, I was in the center of the path of totality during the “great North American Eclipse.” That event seemed to go right along with the subject matter of this book, and I was strongly drawn to the small image used as a scene divider; it reminded me of the sun in total eclipse. Small details such as these, I find, greatly enrich my reading experience. I have noticed similar little grace notes in all of this author’s books, which does make me enjoy them even more. I also learned a new word, which doesn’t happen all that often and was very pleasing.

It goes without saying, for a series of this kind, that to truly appreciate this book you should read the entire series in order. I highly recommend the series as a whole and, today, I particularly recommend The Divine and the Deadly as an excellent reading experience. I have to say it: it is a fan-damn-tastic conclusion to this marvelous series, and this is my honest opinion after reading an ARC. With this book, both the Magorian & Jones series and the Harley Firebird series (which shares the same universe) are complete but, I’m happy to have heard a rumor that there may be a spin-off series sometime in the future. I certainly hope so! Both series bring to my mind Star Trek’s ability to translate today’s problems and concerns into a future world situation where they can be considered more dispassionately. These books are a master course in writing.

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Chapter One

I have watched hundreds of humans suffer through their transformation from human to Old One.  Some say I am an expert in this, but I would dispute that.  I don’t think there are any experts.  Too little is known about the transformation process for anyone to claim the status.  The experience I have lets me ease my patients’ agony a little, and avoids harming them in the process. But no skill of mine changes the course of the transformation by a single micron.

I watched Henry Magorian writhe and twist on the bed I stood beside, reviewing my uselessness, and finding it ironic that I was so helpless.  Henry was Benjamin Magorian’s older brother, and a slimey wretch of a man.  Yet he was my patient. I was required to give him the best care possible.  His family had flown us out to Montreal from Toledo, Spain, on a private and very expensive jet, for this purpose.

Pain is pain.  I hated seeing the man claw at the expensive sheets, the tendons in his neck and wrists standing out like ships’ hawsers.   He wore only boxer briefs and his entire body was bathed in sweat.  He had been sweating for hours, now.  We had changed the sheets twice.

I made myself look away.  Watching him helped no one.  I put the stethascope on the tray table the family had thoughtfully provided and looked at Jaimie.

She held her hands out over Henry’s body, just above the thrashing shoulders, concentrating on whatever information travelled through her palms.  I wasn’t certain what she could detect, for the mystery of fae magic was not readily shared by any of them. 

Jaimie wore her thick pale hair up in a pony tail at the back of her head, which allowed her pointed ears to be seen.  Normally, she was careful to drape her hair over her ears when among humans, but we’d long since passed that consideration.  We’d been in this room for nearly thirty hours, and members of the family had stopped stepping in to check on their cousin/uncle. 

She held her flawless face in a stiff, neutral expression.  She was not allowing herself to show how worried she was.  But I’d had seen too many transitions.  I was worried myself.

“He’s fighting it,” I said.

Jaimie looked up, then back down at her patient.  “Yes.” 

It was the first time either of us had said it, although I think we’d both guessed as soon as we’d walked into the elegant pale blue and cream room.  The family had bundled all three of us, including Ben, onto a jet on standby at Toledo’s small private landing field, the moment Henry Magorian had shown the first signs of transition.  It had taken nine hours to reach Montreal, plus an hour at either end for local travel and ten minutes of lightning-speed packing. 

So we had first seen Henry over eleven hours after he had begun transitioning, and we’d been here, save for small cat naps in the bedroom next door, for thirty hours. 

Forty hours, more or less, and he still showed no physical changes. 

Henry kicked and moaned, then curled up into a tight ball.

“I can take away the pain. A little, at least,” Jaimie said.  Her voice was strained.  She had slept less than I.  Fae could reduce pain by breathing in bad humours—which was not a medieval conceit for them.  It wasn’t as effective as an angel breathing on the patient, but it did work.

“You know the danger in that.”  We’d both learned that reducing the pain too much let the patient relax.  The transition required that they move, so that the metabolism was elevated, allowing the organs to evolve.  The extreme fever was another function of the transition. It was the mechanism that changed the patient’s DNA expression, the key to the transition.  Lowering the body temperature could suspend the transition, too. 

Jaimie put her fingers to her temples.  She had no medical training in her human history. She had been a soldier in the British army.  It was only her transition to a fae that made health work feasible.  She was less used to watching a patient suffer than I, although she would always find it stressful, no matter how used to it she became.  We all did, despite a hardening of one’s empathy once exposed to too much of it.

“He should have changed by now.”  Her voice wavered.  “I don’t know of anyone taking this long.”

“I have seen some cases last this long,” I said grimly.  I didn’t add the remainder of that statement—that everyone who had fought their transition for this long did not survive.  Jaimie didn’t need that additional worry.   It was quite likely she was well aware of this statistic.  I just didn’t want to bring it to the forefront of her thoughts.

“Is there anything else we can do?” Her wonderful silvery eyes were red-rimmed, but still worth staring into.  Even after thirty hours of hard work and worry, even wearing the travel creased clothing she’d arrived in and slept in, she looked wonderful. 

I pushed away the betraying thought and tried to find an answer to her question, for the fear in her voice was real.  It wasn’t fear of death.  She had been a soldier and now was a fae who dispensed magical healing.  She was accustomed to death.

I knew the source of her fear.   This was Henry Magorian.  Ben’s brother.  Jaimie did not want to let Ben down.  She wanted to save Henry for him. 

So did I, even though I had learned to loathe Henry not long after meeting him. 

I’d sent Ben out of the room hours ago.  His pacing and his unhelpful suggestions, along with his anxious questions every time Henry moaned or moved, had not helped either Jaimie or I concentrate.  As far as I knew, Ben was in the next room and, as it was two in the morning, Toledo time, he was probably sleeping, even though bright summer sunlight streamed through the windows. 

It was eight in the evening, Quebec time, on a blazingly hot day, but none of the external weather reached us, for this house had a controlled environment kept at a pleasant twenty-three degrees with just the right degree of humidity.  The window of the room we were in had remained closed and sealed against the heat outside. The view from the window was magnificent, for the house stood high upon the exlsuive Summit area, with a jaw-dropping view of the Old City and the St. Lawrence river twinkling on the horizon.

The Magorian family could afford the luxury of whole-house environmental controls, just as they could afford private transatlantic flights, and bribes to ease an Old One through two nations’ customs and immigration border checks.

Ben had insisted that they make the arrangements to bring Jaimie into the country.  He had argued that Jaimie could help Henry as much as I could. The family, desparate as they were, had complied, although I had no idea what it had taken to make it happen.  Canada was particular about who they let into their country, especially when it came to the Old Ones.  Unlike Spain, Canada had so far refused refugees, although there were many unofficial refugees flooding across the Canada/United Stated border.  Canada was not xenophobic, though.  It was the first country in the world to acknowledge the Old Ones legally. 

Here, Old Ones were not automatically considered “dead” after turning.  They were in a legal limbo, still, but the assets they’d held as a human, and might acquire as an Old One, were also held in legal stasis, rather than passed onto heirs.  It was a half-step toward giving Old Ones full citizenship, or at least residency, and the rights and obligations that came with it.  The government was still arguing the point in Ottawa.

 But Jaimie, despite a lack of indentity documentation, had merely received a nod of acknowledgement from the customs official who had stamped Ben’s and my passports.  I had spotted a photograph of Jaimie attached to his clipboard.

She stared at me now, hope showing in her eyes, as I appeared to be thinking of another way to save Henry Magorian. 

I desparately wanted to come up with a solution.  I wanted her to look at me with relief and gratitude.  I wanted her to….well, that was never going to happen.  But still, I wanted to please her.

So I made myself consider every single possibility.  What had we not done for this horrible man?  What else could we try?

I stared down at his curled up body.  If he continued to fight the transition, it would not end well.  Did he know that?  Did he resent the idea of becoming an Old One so passionately, that he was putting up this marathon resistance?

That gave me an idea.  I looked at Jaimie.  “It’s a long shot.”

“I don’t care.”

That was exactly what I had expected her to say.   “That thing Ben did, in New York, with the proto-wizard?”

“The mind meld?” She didn’t smile at the pop culture name we’d adopted for whatever it was that Ben had done to the man, as she usually did.  She was a huge Star Trek fan, which I found, well, illlogical, given her former profession.  Or perhaps that was exactly why she liked the show so much.  A professional soldier would appreciate a peaceful utopia.   “What of it?” she added.

“If he could reach Henry, he could tell him to stop fighting the transition.”

Jaimie looked down at Henry, who certainly couldn’t hear us now.  “Do you think he doesn’t already know that?”

“He quite likely does know that.  But Henry likes to get his own way.”  He’d fooled Ben into signing over his portion of the family inheritence because he didn’t like Ben’s choice of lifestyle.  “If Ben could appeal to him, let him see…”  I made myself say it.  “Let him see that if he doesn’t let this happen, he’ll die.  Henry’s sense of self-preservation might kick in.”

Jaimie pressed her lips together.  She hadn’t met Henry, but I’m sure Ben had shared with her the reason why he had to rely on his income as a wizard, when his family was so well off.  “I’ll go and get him,” she said.  “A long shot is better than the nothing we’ve got without it.” 

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