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Sacrificial Magic (Downside Ghosts) Mass Market Paperback – March 27, 2012

4.5 out of 5 stars 93 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


''Kane delivers dark, sexy urban fantasy at its finest.'' --Karen Marie Moning, #1 New York Times bestselling author

''Whether [the reader's heart] is pounding in fear or breaking in sympathy, this book was satisfying on pretty much every level . . . This is such an addictive, compelling series.'' --Urban Fantasy Book Reviews (five stars) --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

About the Author

Stacia Kane has been a phone psychic, a customer service representative, a bartender, and a movie theater usher, and she thinks that writing is more fun than all of them combined. She wears a lot of black, still makes great cocktails, likes to play music loud in the car, and thinks Die Hard is one of the greatest movies ever made. She believes in dragons and the divine right of kings, and is a fervent Ricardian. Stacia Kane lives outside Atlanta with her husband and their two little girls.

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Product Details

  • Series: Downside Ghosts (Book 4)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey; 1st edition (March 27, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 034552750X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345527509
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.1 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,365,703 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By C. Mueller on March 27, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Chess needed to grow for the Downside Ghosts series to truly move forward, and Stacia Kane didn't disappoint. Sacrificial Magic pushes on Chess from all sides. She needs to evaluate her position at the Church of Real Truth and what the trust she's earned there means. She fights her own nature to attempt a relationship with Terrible.

At the crux of Sacrificial Magic is Chess rebelling against her self-imposed isolation and self-hatred. She's still the Chess who sees little value in herself, but she's trying to reconcile that with the realization people might care for her as more than a means to an end.

As one of the Church's debunkers, it's not surprising when they ask Chess to take up a sensitive case. It's not even all that surprising they've passed a case on to her that another debunker failed with - actually, he went missing after the case. But nothing is ever simple for her. Three books have proved that. The case has Chess spending a lot of time in Slobag's territory among less-than-helpful witnesses who hate the Church for prohibiting their culture.

At the same time, Bump has his favorite Churchwitch looking into arson on his side of Downside - and it looks like ritual sacrifice is part of the problem. When more ritual murders pop up in Downside - on both sides of the drug territory - Chess has to solve things quickly. She doesn't want Terrible thinking she's spending time with Lex when she's really working a case.

That's just the tip of the Chess and Terrible drama. Kane gives us more insight into Chess' trust issues and a much more expansive examples of her neuroses. Chess is someone who has never been truly loved. She's never had a relationship where her partner wasn't using her for something.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Life...work... love... these things have never been easy for Chess Putnam. In Sacrificial Magic, the fourth book in the Downside Ghosts series, all three collide with shocking and often heartbreaking results.

It's hard to read about a character that struggles and messes up as much as Chess. This poor girl has had the worst of life thrown at her and she numbs the pain with drugs and self-destructive behavior. Kane has the herculean task of pushing us out of our comfort zone while still keeping us rooting for Chess. She accomplishes that task.

I was definitely pushed out my comfort zone in this book. Chess is working on yet another case for the Church with help from Lex, her ex- lover, while she battles her insecurities in her relationship with her current lover, Terrible. Just when Chess and Terrible take one giant leap forward they do something that makes them fall two steps back. I was really frustrated with Chess for a lot of this book but man the things she confronts are huge and ultimately she's growing as a character and I was proud of her.

There are several big ( and I mean BIG) developments on different fronts that all come to a head at the end of Sacrificial Magic. I would say that this book is a game changer. Chess will no longer be able to hang back and work for all the various sides - Lex, Bump, and the Church. She's going to have some tough choices to make. This couldn't come at a worse time for her since she's finally learning to let people show her some affection and realizes that she can have people in her life that don't want anything in return from her.

Out of all the ghosts and personal issues Chess has to face the thing that creeps me out the most continues to be the Church. I chafe at anything that requires that kind of blind loyalty.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Ah, the long awaited book to arrive. Was a chore to get this one. I ordered it the first time and after waiting almost two weeks, was sent the wrong book! The second time, I ordered it with a pre-order and noted to ship separately but they did not, so I had to wait for the fifth book to be released and then for it to all finally arrive. When finally here I gobbled it in record speed.

Again Chess is an emotional mess dealing with her past, which we get more glimpses of, and continued drug excessiveness as she deals with anxiety and pain over her new-found relationship. There is more emotional angst and relationship stuff in this one by far. The story itself is one of the more intriguing of the series, with the unusual setting of a school as a background. The beginning started out clever with the mystery of the missing debunker and set-up of the unusual players. Pacing never let up in the relationship department but the author did let the story take a small backseat sometimes. The ending battle was awesome. Also, there was plenty of sweetness with Elder Griffin.

In almost every story, book, movie, play, production, you name it, for the story to continue the character has to start changing and evolving. Most of the time the change is for the better, occasionally for the worst. Chess is finally starting to grow a bit. She's as addicted as ever to the drugs and there's still no end in sight, even in her thoughts she's not considering quitting. I'm pleased to see her confidence is boosting ever so slightly every once in awhile - she's still a low self esteem mess waiting for the other shoe to drop and "her" to ruin her relationships with the few she cares about, waiting for them to see the real her and how horrible she is and turn away like everyone has done before her.
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