Book Review: The Dire King by William Ritter

Book Review: The Dire King by William Ritter
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Title: The Dire King
Genre: Fantasy
Author: William Ritter
Rating: 4.6

The Dire KingThe fate of the world is in the hands of detective of the supernatural R. F. Jackaby and his intrepid assistant, Abigail Rook. An evil king is turning ancient tensions into modern strife, using a blend of magic and technology to push Earth and the Otherworld into a mortal competition. Jackaby and Abigail are caught in the middle as they continue to solve the daily mysteries of New Fiddleham, New England — like who’s created the rend between the worlds, how to close it, and why zombies are appearing around town. At the same time, the romance between Abigail and the shape-shifting police detective Charlie Cane deepens, and Jackaby’s resistance to his feelings for 926 Augur Lane’s ghostly lady, Jenny, begins to give way. Before the four can think about their own futures, they will have to defeat an evil that wants to destroy the future altogether.

Reviewed by: Katheryn J. Avila
Rating: 5 stars


It’s been a while since a book has made me as emotional as The Dire King. It’s also been a while (years!) since I saw a series through. After dedicating so much time to a world like Harry Potter, I went on a crusade against long series and would go out of my way to avoid them. I can’t tell you how glad I am that I made the Jackaby series my exception.

From book one, I was captivated by the characters and the mythos. Book four definitely didn’t disappoint! Like the rest in the series, the reader gets taken on a great adventure, sprinkled with mystery, deceit, and intrigue. My favorite part of this book, and really the series as a whole, was watching Abigail – the narrator and Watson to Jackaby’s Sherlock – grow into her own. She started the series lost and unsure of where her life was going, but by the end of The Dire King she’s as capable as the most experienced detective, and really comes into her own as a character. Jackaby also gets his fair share of development in this book. For most of the series he was a pretty unyielding character. He knew what he was doing, had his goals, and didn’t really grow as a person in any major significant way. In this installment, though, we catch glimpses of how the events of the series are beginning to catch up with him, and how they have had an effect on him. The rest of the cast is as amazing as always – though we don’t spend as much time with them as I would have liked (I would read entire books about Lydia Lee).

Ritter does an amazing job of bringing the town of New Fiddleham to life in a vivid and endearing way. As the characters travel from place to place, it’s like you’re right there with them. He makes it easy to believe in a world full of fairies and monsters. I could honestly rant about this book (and the other three) forever. Suffice it to say that it’s replaced Harry Potter as my all-time favorite series.

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