Amongst Our Weapons is the ninth novel in Ben Aaronovotich’s Rivers of London series of fantasy meets police procedural with a touch of comedy series. A series that also now includes three novellas, a book of short stories and a bunch of graphic novels. And while it is theoretically possible to read Amongst Our Weapons as a stand alone, and you certainly do not have to read all of the preceding material to enjoy this entry, like all long running series, any familiarity with the preceding material can only help. For those interested in going back (and that is recommended as this is a great series) there are some unavoidable, mild spoilers for earlier books in this review.
Like all good procedurals, Amongst Our Weapons starts with a murder. This one takes place in the London Silver Vaults, a real place where silver traders once kept their wares but over time founbd it easier to just operate out of. This murder has a supernatural edge so DC Peter Grant and his team are brought in. Soon they are deep in a mystery involving enchanted rings, a university cult, another branch of magicians, a historical vendetta and what could possibly be the angel of death (if angels actually existed). At the same time, Grant’s River Goddess partner Beverly is close to giving birth to twins and his old partner-now-nemesis Lesley is still somewhere on the scene.
Amongst Our Weapons is full of familiar characters but also takes time to introduce some new ones (and a new branch of magic). Aaronovitch uses his unique take on urban fantasy and its tropes used to explore real places and actual events such as the Silver Vaults and the bombing of Manchester in the Second World War. And of course, as always, plenty of pop culture Easter eggs, plenty of references to Lord of the Rings (given the centrality of rings to the plot), Doctor Who (because, always) and a fairly large bouquet for those who know their Monty Python (including in the title). Making this another fun entry in a world that continues to grow.