Writer: David Mack
Publisher: Tor Books
Series: Dark Arts (Book 3)
Paperback: 352 pages
As spoiler-free as possible, The Shadow Commission is the final chapter in David Mack’s Dark Arts Trilogy and in true Mack fashion, finishes with a high-speed roller coaster ride as our heroes continue dancing around the real-world events of the Cold War to fight the Shadow Commission, a rival cluster of mages with a hidden agenda.
Shadow Commission kicks off in November of 1963, 9 years after the events of The Iron Codex, the second book in the Dark Arts series. Our heroes Cade Martin and Anja Kernova are living quietly in the cracks of history, training a new generation of magicians, while their frienemy Briet Segfrunsdóttir is in charge of the U.S.’s militarized Occult Defense Program when the assassination of John Kennedy kicks off a series of events to determine the future of all magic users as their centuries-long magical Cold War becomes an inferno.
If you’ve read the previous books then you know Shadow Commission is not for the squeamish, filled with hard-drinking and drug-using mages that deal out violent deaths or crippling injuries with demented demons for company in their heads, Cade and the rest of the users of the Dark Arts live in constant discomfort when carrying the power of yolked demons.
Whether it’s magical warfare or demonic torture, Mack doesn’t romanticize any aspect of the combat or magic with the description of these graphic acts, leaving us with engaging depictions of the blood and sweat our characters shed in their fight for survival, which adds an intensity to the read as you follow along in this closing chapter.
Shadow Commission is published by Tor Books and is in stores now.