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Sacrificial Magic (Downside Ghosts #4)

4.23  ·  Rating Details  ·  5,209 Ratings  ·  541 Reviews

When Chess Putnam is ordered by an infamous crime boss—who also happens to be her drug dealer—to use her powers as a witch to solve a grisly murder involving dark magic, she knows she must rise to the challenge. Adding to the intensity: Chess’s boyfriend, Terrible, doesn’t trust her, and Lex, the son of a rival crime lord, is trying to
Paperback, 416 pages
Published March 27th 2012 by Del Rey (Random House) (first published January 1st 2012)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Dec 24, 2011 Katie(babs) rated it it was amazing
Stacia Kane’s Sacrificial Magic, book #4 in her Downside Ghosts series is her best book to date. If you’re not reading this series about a drug addicted ghost busting witch investigator, you need to start reading ASAP. This series of books shouldn’t work for me since I’m not a big fan of ghosts, or the plight of a drug addicted protagonist, who not only has major self-esteems issues, but her destructive lifestyle is hard to swallow. But the way Stacia has written Chess Putnam, she allows the rea ...more
Feb 28, 2012 Catie rated it really liked it
While I may have a few intelligent things to say about this book later (such a dirty word), I have to admit right now that there's one thing about the series that keeps me coming back: who else do you know in Urban Fantasy who has the moxie to introduce the main love interest like this?

”’Not real verbal, are you, Terrible?’

This time he glared at her, the greenish lights from the dash highlighting the astonishing ugliness of his profile. His crooked nose – it must have been broken several times –
Chelsea [Vampire Book Club]
This review was originally published at Vampire Book Club.

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’
Annie (Under the Covers Book Blog)
Things I learned about Terrible in this book:

He is sexy when he is jealous. Or angry. Or protective.

He likes his dames o-natural. No waxing.

His ’69 Chevelle has more uses than just getting from point A to point B.

He loves Chess more than anything else in his existence.

And this is why I love him.

Aug 06, 2013 HeatherJay rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone with a pulse.
Commence gushing in 5...4...3...2....1


If I were ever lucky enough to meet her I imagine it would go something like this:

Stacia: "Hello"
Me: "Heeheeheehee"
Stacia: "What's wrong with you?"

And it would go downhill from there.

Ms. Kane has done it again with Sacrificial Magic. Creating a world that is gritty, ugly, dirty, exciting and as always, riveting.

After discovering a gruesome murder/sacrifice of one of his employees, Bump asks/orders Chess to use her powers as
Didn't have anything but hope-----especially her own chances----were about as good as her chances of discovering she was the long-lost daughter of some millionaire who couldn't wait to have her back. Hope wasn't something she's ever had much of.

For those of you that know me, I'm sure you're all fully aware that I'm a complete Fangirl when it comes to Downside Ghosts series; and not only am I a Terrible Girl, I'm also a Chess fan as well because she's fantastic. So this may come as no surprise
Mandi Schreiner
Dec 15, 2011 Mandi Schreiner rated it really liked it
Shelves: uf
Initial thoughts: I had a hard time getting into the first 100 pages. Not sure if it is just that I haven't been in this world for a long time or what. But after that this book really hit its stride.

The mystery is done really well and again Stacia Kane does such a good job not only cultivating the suspense, but giving us this vivid picture of Downside and the Church and the people that live there. I really like how she writes the details.

We get an intimate look at Terrible and Chess and Chess's
Originally posted at:

A typical night, the streets alive with degeneracy. Sometimes, she loved Downside.

In this fourth installment to the Downside Ghosts series, Stacia Kane takes us on a dark, sometimes disturbing, yet always fascinating, journey through Downside, Triumph City with drug-addicted Churchwitch Chess Putnam. Fans of this series have waited a long time since City of Ghosts was released in August 2010, and Stacia Kane delivers in spades. Returning to Downside
Sacrificial Magic blew me away. The book blew my mind, or I guess Stacia Kane did. I am not sure I even have enough brain matter to write up my thoughts. What got to me in this book is not just the pure awesomeness of the world created by Ms. Kane, or the desirableness of Terrible or the clever mystery woven through the emotional grenades going off in the story. What got to me is that Kane gets how adults act in sexual and romantic relationships. Readers and fans of the Downside Ghosts series wi ...more

Once again I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to smack Chess or hug her. Sacrificial Magic took me on a fast paced, action-packed emotional ride. I could not put this book down.

Why was this book so wonderful? First of all, Stacia Kane is a genius. Her excellent world building and well-crafted story had phenomenal character development. The reader becomes emotionally invested to these characters

Let’s take Chess, for example. Chess is one of those characters that could have everything going fo
Jan 28, 2015 Tatiana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: urban-fantasy, 2012, 2015
Is it ok to love a series mainly for the relationship drama? Because that's, frankly, why I enjoyed this particular installment. Even though City of Ghosts ended on a high note, love-wise, and the following short story Home was all lovey sweetness, Sacrificial Magic is full of delicious drama. Saying I love you doesn't really solve Chess' emotional and commitment problems. She is such a hot mess!

Mar 27, 2012 Suz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: urban-fantasy, arc
Sacrificial Magic drops at stores today, March 27, 2012! The following ARC review first appeared at Paperback Dolls.

I write about my experience when I’m reading a book, and this writing will be no different. I suppose I should start this review of Stacia Kane’s next installment in the Downside Ghosts series, Sacrificial Magic, with my confession. I’m a Downside junkie, right up, and I have no interest in giving it up. Now, that’s not to say that I wasn’t ridden hard and put away wet, because I w
Duchess Nicole


"His eyes sparked hard behind their darkness as he crossed the kitchen floor, not speaking. Too much energy moved in the air around him, and when he stood right in front of her-close enough to make her tilt her head all the way back-and reached out to touch her cheek she knew what it was. He'd had quite a day, she guessed; violence clung to him like black oil. Violence and a wild sort of intoxication from that violence, to be more exact. Whatever it was inside him th
Mar 07, 2014 Brandi rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
It was almost a given that I would give this a 5 star because of my love of this series. I admit though that I was a bit worried that I was going to be let down simply because of how high I held this series (thinking of course of the other series that just produced crap after several books in). I should have known that Stacia Kane would not do that me.

Sacrificial Magic took a long time to come, but the wait was worth it considering the quality of the story we are provided. Chess and Terrible le
Mar 12, 2012 Jill rated it really liked it

The images in her head slowed, and she turned to see that big guy standing there, an uncertain look on his craggy, bleeding face. "You right, baby? Be a problem?"


Cesaria (Chess) Putnam, Debunker for the Church of Real Truth is still doing Cepts, smoking cigarettes and living the lowlife. Terrible is still the most feared man in Downside, Chess's boyfriend and Lex's rival. Bump is still her dealer. And as usual Chess has a job to do for the Church and a job to do for Bump.

This series is
Jul 03, 2012 Tom rated it it was amazing
I really love this series and this book is no different. I’m going 4.5 even though I believe it was a step down from City of Ghosts. Instead of doing a review and explaining the book I’m going to justify what that 5th star is doing up there.

This book wasn’t much different than the others in the series. The first 20% was like reading every other first 20% in the series. But I loved every bit of it. I even saved this book as a rebound book to get me over a 5 star book which worked out perfectly. N
Mar 14, 2012 Mariya rated it really liked it
"Giving a fuck what other people thought was a road straight to misery and pain; an obsession of the weak. To believe otherwise was to live in a fairy tale."

I was pleasantly surprised to love SACRIFICIAL MAGIC as much as I did, especially since I have not been madly in love with this series since the beginning like many other fans of the series. But I am glad to give the Downside Ghosts Series my full attention now.

I really have a love and hate relationship with Chess for the stuff with the
Jen (Red Hot Books)
This book is amazing. This series is phenomenal. The characters are so very deeply flawed: filled with insecurities, addiction, rage, lust and sorrow. But through that, they so are so very real. I read most of this book with a knot in my stomach. In turns, I felt hopeless and crushed, joyous and elated. Because that is what Chess felt. And Stacia Kane masterfully put me inside of her head.

The story picks up shortly after the ending of City of Ghosts. Chess and Terrible are in love, but there are
Christen *Goldilox And The Three Weres*
"Giving a fuck what other people thought was a road straight to misery and pain; an obsession of the weak. To believe otherwise was to live in a fairy tale."

One thing I love about author Stacia Kane...and there are about 736 things I love about her and her that she always starts her books with a bang. The reader is immediately thrown into the story and is entertained right away.

The latest book in her dark urban fantasy series, Downside Ghosts, is no different. Sacrificial Magic star
I don’t keep up with book awards but I hope somebody is putting statues in Stacia Kane’s office. The woman has mad skills that need to be recognized. Normally I only think of authors in relationship to what they create, call a book, and pimp out to the masses. Sometimes its awe inspiring and other times its complete crap. Too many of these books land somewhere in between and end up simply being time-sucks. What I like most about Ms. Kane’s writing is the boldness. I don’t ever feel like a scene ...more
Suzanne (Under the Covers Book blog)
God damn this book had me swearing at it, crying at it and drooling all over it, sometimes all at wasn't a pretty sight. But Chess, poor fucked up Chess, who has more self esteem issues then an overweight teenage girl with acne, breaks my heart, espcially with her relationship with Terrible. Unlike a lot of relationships you see portrayed in books heavy on romance, things don't fall in to place just because they have announced their mutual feelings of love and are now shagging like bun ...more
Heather Book Savvy Babe
This review is also published at Book Savvy Babe

I am completely blown away by this urban fantasy series. Each installment in the series brings more emotions, reveals more depth to the characters, and the power gets stronger and stronger. After what seemed like an epic battle in book 3, I was concerned that this book might feel like a filler book, or a set up for the next book. So, I was unprepared when Stacia Kane upped the ante with Sacrificial Magic and blew all of my expectations out of the w
Mrs. Badass
Feb 18, 2012 Mrs. Badass rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2011
What the hell, five stars.
Apr 06, 2012 Julie rated it really liked it
Posted at Yummy Men & Kick Ass Chicks

Sacrificial Magic is the fourth book in Stacia Kane’s dark and gritty Downside Ghosts series. I can’t say why but it took me quite a while to really get into this book but once I did, wow!

Right from the get go you are thrown into the action. You tag along as Chess takes care of a job as a Debunker (basically she banishes crazy creepy and mostly violent ghosts) then you follow her to Church where she received a new assignment. And this new assignment is
Lisa - (Aussie Girl)
The Downside Ghosts series is a great Urban Fantasy series, a unique mythology, fantastic world building and a well written plot in each instalment. What makes it an awesome five star read is the way Stacia Kane fleshes out the characters and particular the rollercoaster relationship between the two protaganists, Chess and Terrible. By rights Chess should be an unlikable character, a drug affected heroine whose past influences her to make some awful decisions and Terrible, an ugly enforcer for t ...more
Prelim Review: This is more of a 4.5--and that .5 is only taken off because holee hell on a stick there is going to be smackdowns in the next book and I don't know who to vote for. I mean I really like Terrible--something about the man just makes me feel warm and smile. But Lex. Oh man. We share a name! And the cadence of his speech just sounds...beautiful. Of the two Lex is more my type honestly.

Chess just doesn't get a break from the crap life is tossing at her. And this time something far bet
Apr 02, 2012 Sandra rated it really liked it
Oh Ms. Kane, you hurt me so good! I freakin love this series. I love effed up Chess. I love badass Terrible. I love the ghosts. I love the world. I love the Church with it's warped control over everything. I love it. And this one hit on everything just right.

I know we've all been worried about where Chess and Terrible would go after their HFN from the last book and that sweet little peak in Home. And to be honest, if things had been perfect, we wouldn't have believed it. Because Chess is a self-
Anna (Bobs Her Hair)
May 10, 2012 Anna (Bobs Her Hair) rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Urban Fantasy fans
Shelves: urban-fantasy

Grade: A or 4.5 stars...Raw, intense, explosive!

The overall storyline in the series progresses (Chess's growing addiction, chaotic lifestyle, turbulent relationships, the crime lords' turf war, and Church politics and conspiracy theories). We see Cesaria "Chess" Putnam in all her ugly glory! Sacrificial Magic is sad, moving, and violent. It also has a solid plot with twists, turns, and new developments.

Despite this series featuring such a defective heroine, I love her seeming frailty, her courag
Feb 10, 2015 Tanya rated it really liked it
Buddy read with these fine fellows :)))
[Fellows as in learned colleagues, not males. Right, DAD????]
Milda Page Runner
Apr 06, 2015 Milda Page Runner rated it it was ok
Recommended to Milda by: Giedre
The weakest book in the series so far. The case Chess is investigating wasn't as interesting and scary as in the previous books and plot got taken over by relationship melodrama. It was kind of heading that way since the third book, but at least there was a valid reason for melodrama and the investigation was much more interesting. Now we have Chess doing stupid mistakes and blurting out exactly the wrong things repeatedly and then acting all drama queen. It just felt a bit fake for me. I don't ...more
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Stacia Kane is the author of the light-hearted romantic urban fantasy "Megan Chase" series starting with PERSONAL DEMONS.

She currently writes the gritty dystopian urban fantasy "Downside" series starring Chess Putnam and featuring ghosts, human sacrifice, drugs, witchcraft, punk rock, and a badass '69 Chevelle. She bleaches her hair and wears a lot of black.
More about Stacia Kane...

Other Books in the Series

Downside Ghosts (6 books)
  • Unholy Ghosts (Downside Ghosts, #1)
  • Unholy Magic (Downside Ghosts, #2)
  • City of Ghosts (Downside Ghosts, #3)
  • Chasing Magic (Downside Ghosts, #5)
  • Unholy Luck (Downside Ghosts, #6)

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“Always want you, Chessiebomb. Always.” 45 likes
“Chessie … shit, Chessie, I love you so bad.” His teeth on her throat, biting hard, his lips soothing the spot. “So fucking much, so … so bad.” 38 likes
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