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Circle of Enemies (Twenty Palaces #3)

4.1 of 5 stars 4.10  ·  rating details  ·  2,130 ratings  ·  111 reviews
Former car thief Ray Lilly is now the expendable grunt of a sorcerer responsible for destroying extradimensional predators summoned to our world by power-hungry magicians. Luckily, Ray has some magic of his own, and so far it’s kept him alive. But when a friend from his former gang calls him back to his old stomping grounds in Los Angeles, Ray may have to face a threat eve ...more
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Published August 30th 2011 by Del Rey (first published January 1st 2011)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja)
Fast-paced, hard-hitting, and quite disturbing. Connolly pulls no punches with this latest in his very hard-edged magic noir series. I hope that somehow he is able to continue this series.

Overall rating: 4.5/5.0 stars.

Reviewed for Bitten by Books.
JJ DeBenedictis
Dang, I love these books. I'm so bummed the publisher had to cancel the series (and they seemed sorry about it too.) If the author decides to self-publish, I'll definitely keep buying this series.

As I quipped on Twitter, this book grabbed me like a facehugger from the Alien movies. It had me reading until late into the night (and wobbling with sleep-deprivation the next day.) The plot is gripping, and while the action moves quickly, the writing is so clean and skillful that you never get confus
Bryan Brown
Let me say right up front that my score on this book is strongly influenced by my meta-understanding that there will be no more books in the series. If there were going to me more this book would be much more satisfying.

I continue to like this world and found that the character development enjoyable and believable. There were very hard choices that had to be made in this book and they were handled well with a mix of dread and resolute determination. The understanding Ray had of his boss and the
Shanshad Whelan
Got this book as a first reads giveaway from Goodreads. Happening to win this particular book was fortunate since I'd been aiming to read it anyway.

There's a lot of urban fantasy out there these days. There are also a lot of paranormal romances out there. Often it can be hard to tell the difference or mark exactly where a book crosses the line in subgenre. With Connolly's Twenty Palaces series that's not a problem in the slightest. This uber-violent take no prisoners series is the furthest thin
K. Bird
I'm not a fan of gritty/noir investigations, but boy does author Harry Connolly know how to draw you in and leave you no room for attention wandering.

I really enjoyed the first two books, but only at the 4 star level. I think this the first time in my reading career I've ever given a 5 start review to the third book in a series when the other two were 4 stars.

If you like Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden or Kevin Hearne's Atticus, and you haven't hung out yet with Connolly's Ray Lily, then you're tota
Ranting Dragon

The third installment in Harry Connolly’s Twenty Palaces series, Circle of Enemies returns us once again to the story of Ray Lilly. Continuing in the footsteps of its predecessors, Circle of Enemies is full of wonderfully gritty realism and a completely morally ambiguous protagonist who is a lot of fun to follow.

This time, it’s personal
Yes, the tagline is cheesy, but it’s the best way to sum up the initial premise of the novel. An ex-convict, Ray has survi
Once again, Harry Connolly comes up with bizarre monsters and impossible choices for his hero Ray Lilly to struggle against.

I like this series. It's different from most UF that I read -- these aren't your typical monsters, and Ray is often left so much in the dark that my heart really goes out to the guy. On the other hand, his "ghost knife" often seems like the Ginsu knife of the magic world -- it slices, it dices, it can do anything the plot requires of it. So at times Ray seems very underpow
I was about to give up on this series after the last book(Game of Cages). It was a grim series to start with and it looked to just keep getting grimmer. Well, I'm glad I didn't give up, because Circle of Enemies is a really good book. And it is a bit lighter in tone(but don't take that to mean it's a bundle of laughs). Ray is not an upbeat character and probably never will be.
Ray is back in sunny southern California because members of the car-heist gang he used to belong to have acquired some ma
Christopher Valin
If Circle of Enemies were made into a film and marketed by the wrong people, the tagline would definitely read: "This time it's personal." Still, in a nutshell, that's what makes the third Twenty Palaces novel stand out from the other two. Rather than protagonist Ray Lilly running around meeting new people in a new place, he's back to his old haunts trying to figure out why one of his old group of friends is accusing him of killing them all. This one has all the things that made the first two bo ...more
Harry Connolly is one of the most innovative new voices in Urban Fantasy, and I wish his sales numbers reflected how mind-blowingly awesometasticsauce his books are. Harry creates original monsters that are truly formidable, not just because they appear difficult to defeat, but because they are so strange and alien that those fighting them often have no idea what their weaknesses are, or if those who fall prey to the monsters have any chance of being saved. This series is gritty and brutal and u ...more
That this series was dropped and all prospects of a fourth book appear to be gone is an absolute tragedy. It's so rare to find a series which holds back explanations instead of just infodumping all the intricacies of the world. And having your good guys be mass murders and homicidal vigilantes is not something that you see much of. This series was unique all round so of course it gets dropped.
Ed Nemo
An excellent book! Better even than the first two! I love to see a series just get better and better because you know the next book is going to be an even bigger treat!

In this book the protagonists prove who they really are. The villains die, the world is safe and the good guys finally decide to make the world a better place.

I highly recommend this novel!
I devoured this series and didn't burn out on it. As far as I know this is the last one, which is a shame, as there are many things in this world that could be explored further, but at least it stops at a nice stopping point. (I think I actually said, (view spoiler) when I finished it, but I meant it in a good way.)

More enemies, some growth with Ray Lilly (who I pictured as having some sort of Pacific Islander heritage, although he sure doesn't look i
I am extreamly that there is no sequal to this series. I really enjoyed this series so far and I was looking forward to the next book. Hopefully in the future the series will continue.
Bo Williams
Connolly is really hitting his stride with this series- some jaw-dropping, wtf-just-happened moments in this book, and a super satisfying ending. Can't wait for the next one!
Gerard Coleman
Mar 19, 2012 Gerard Coleman rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: UF fans, Dresden fans
Shelves: myfantasy
The best so far. I'm looking forward to more from this author. These stories seem to get better as they go. Please tell me there will be more.
Circle of Enemies is number three of the series and, IMHO, the very best so far.
Michael Hoyt
Very sorry to discover that the series was cancelled after this episode.
John Bogart
The third book in the Twenty Palaces series is personal for Ray. Someone from his past comes to him and has clearly been impacted by magic. She's doomed and she tells Ray it's all his fault. He goes to take care of things. He's hoping to find a way to save them (the way he couldn't save his childhood best friend in the prequel, Twenty Palaces), but he's seen too much to be optimistic.

Like the earlier books (Child of Fire and Game of Cages), Ray is increasingly damaged by the past. In particular,
REally I would give it 3 1/2, though I thought Annalise' sudden chattiness odd and disruptive in the extreme. She did a 180 degree turn. And, the author, also racheted way down, Ray's unrequited hunger for her. I think Iliked her mean. She was way too mean before, but it made sense- he was an untried asshole, and likely to die any minute. She was mysterious, almost godlike. Now she is like any other harried middle-management with asshole bosses, difficult coworkers and challenging subordinates. ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I thought Circle of Enemies was the best of it's series so far. Not only is a great book by itself it's also a great part of the series.

I was a bit reluctant about the plot at first because, frankly, I felt like I got too strong a dose of Ray Lilly's "I used to be a criminal" introspection in the first book. Which has always been the least interesting part of this series for me and not something I wanted to revisit. So the idea of him returning to his old criminal stomping ground did not appeal
Ray Lilly hasn’t had much contact with the Twenty Palace Society or his sometime boss, Annalise Powliss, lately, until someone from his past mysteriously appears to him, telling him all of his old friends are going to die because of him. This has Ray heading back to L.A., his old home, to revisit the gang he used to run around committing crimes with years ago. Once there, he realizes magic is being used, predators are being loosed on Earth and he knows that, despite what it might mean for his fo ...more
Jami Zehr
Circle of Enemies is the third book in Harry Connolly’s Twenty Palaces series, and the last book to be published by Del Rey. Which is completely unfortunate. This book was amazing, most definitely the best of the three, and had only just begun to explain Ray Lily’s background and how he was thrown into magic, predators, and spell books.

Ray is visited by a ghost from his past. She appears out of nowhere in his apartment above his aunt’s garage, blames him for killing her and the rest of their mut
Christine Rains
Ray Lilly is an ex-con and has been thrown into a world much more brutal than a jailhouse. As a Wooden Man for the Twenty Palace Society, he has the life expectancy of a fruit fly, but he's somehow managed to survive a few encounters with predators already. When an old friend calls for help, Ray heads back to his old neighborhood and is faced with the supernatural mess they blame him for. He has to decide if he should help them or destroy them, but only if he manages to survive the new predators ...more
Kathy Davie
Third in the Twenty Palaces urban fantasy series revolving around Ray Lilly, a man with a ghost knife who is both attracted and repelled by the organization for which he works.

My Take
Phfft...this is a bunch of "friends" Ray is much better off without! Friends who betray and rob each other at the drop of a hat.

How sick is this? Wally claims he's doing these things to his old circle because Ray helped him in high school???

Why is it people never seem to grasp when to shut up and be still in a dange
Writing about the Twenty Palaces series is mildly frustrating.

Overall, this book was good- very good, even. A lot of the problems that I had in the series were ironed out, and whereas I felt like the second book was absurdly unlikable and borderline pointless, this one felt solid. Ray Lily, the protagonist, is still the vaguely misanthropic yet moralistic asshole who works for powerful mages, but by introducing elements of his past, the character seems to become much more fleshed out. Likewise,
Garrett Jones

The third installment in Harry Connolly's Twenty Palaces series, Circle of Enemies returns us once again to the story of Ray Lilly. Continuing in the footsteps of its predecessors, Circle of Enemies is full of wonderfully gritty realism and a completely morally ambiguous protagonist who is a lot of fun to follow.

This time, it's personal

Yes, the tagline is cheesy, but it's the best way to sum up the initial premise of the novel. An ex-convict, Ray has survi

Sep 13, 2011 Bridget rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who enjoys the genre this book is in
This was a book that I couldn't put down and now that I've finished it, I'm still going back to read over my favorite parts, and there is a lot of them. I'm also feeling the sleep deprivation from staying up too late and getting up too early to read it in-between taking care of my kids but this book was worth it. It was the third in a series though and I just ordered the first two to be able to read them. If I had known this book was going to be so good, I would have waited until I received and ...more
Greg Kemble
I've been reading up on urban fantasy as a way to become familiar with the genre, since I'm in the process of writing one myself. I read the first book of a number of series, and Connolly's first book in this series (Child of Fire) remains my favorite first-in-a-series. I was mildly disappointed with the second, which seems to be a common reaction. It's unfortunate, because I fear that second disappointment led people not to read the third -- this book, Circle of Enemies. I like this one best (t ...more
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Other Books in the Series

Twenty Palaces (4 books)
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