Pocket, Dec 28 2010, $7.99
Although witch Persephone “Seph” Alcmedi and her boyfriend werewolf rock musician Johnny Newman defeated the Fairy (see Fatal Circle) insuring the monsters did not devour Cleveland (paraphrasing Maynard G. Krebs again), the cost remains high. Seph gets veterinarian Dr. Geoffrey Lincoln to help Johnny who had his chest ripped apart in his wolf form that fails to heal as normally occurs when he is hurt. Dr. Lincoln explains the wound came from magic; he uses salt to cleanse the wound.
Johnny announced to his pack that he is the werewolf Domn Lup. If he was not, the phoenix’s claw would have killed him. His magic resides in his tattoos, but the one on his chest was ripped in the attack. His number two informs Johnny the world wide werewolf ruler the Rege is coming from Romania to determine if he who he claims. With his magic muted from the assault, he has to find a way to access his inner talent or face a painful execution. Seph plans to assist him, but has a horde of paranormals camping out on her farm; requiring basic human needs even if they are not human. Seph also is throwing a tenth birthday party for her foster child Beverly.
The fourth Circle urban fantasy (see Vicious Circle and Hallowed Circle) is an exciting entry that is low-keyed as the major foe from the previous entries has been vanquished, but now the lead couple deals with the aftermath. Johnny knows that no one lives wasting a nanosecond of the Rege’s time; if he proves a false prophet because he cannot generate the magic from a key tattoo, the Zvonul will rip him apart. Sub-genre readers will appreciate the Arcane thriller.