The Qwillery | category: Kate Daniels


The Qwillery

A blog about books and other things speculative

Review: Magic Triumphs by Ilona Andrews

Magic Triumphs
Author:  Ilona Andrews
Series:  Kate Daniels 10
Publisher:  Ace, August 28, 2018
Format:  Hardcover and eBook, 336 pages
List Price:  US$26.00 (print);  US$12.99 (eBook)
ISBN:  9780425270714 (print); 9780698136823 (eBook)

Review: Magic Triumphs by Ilona Andrews
Mercenary Kate Daniels must risk all to protect everything she holds dear in this epic, can’t-miss entry in the thrilling #1 New York Times bestselling urban fantasy series.

Kate has come a long way from her origins as a loner taking care of paranormal problems in post-Shift Atlanta. She’s made friends and enemies. She’s found love and started a family with Curran Lennart, the former Beast Lord. But her magic is too strong for the power players of the world to let her be.

Kate and her father, Roland, currently have an uneasy truce, but when he starts testing her defenses again, she knows that sooner or later, a confrontation is inevitable. The Witch Oracle has begun seeing visions of blood, fire, and human bones. And when a mysterious box is delivered to Kate’s doorstep, a threat of war from the ancient enemy who nearly destroyed her family, she knows their time is up.

Kate Daniels sees no other choice but to combine forces with the unlikeliest of allies. She knows betrayal is inevitable. She knows she may not survive the coming battle. But she has to try.

For her child.

For Atlanta.

For the world.

Melanie's Thoughts

Kate thought it was too good to be true. Over the past two years she has married her hunky shapeshifter Curran and had an adorable son, Conlan, her business is thriving and there is no sign of her megalomaniac father Roland who has tried kill her loved far. However, when an ancient power decides that humanity has lived long enough and wants to purge the world Kate knows she has to make a stand. If she has to ally with the enemy then she is prepared to do what it takes to save everything and everyone she loves. War is on her doorstep and Kate isn't sure she has the power to survive.

I can't believe that it is finally here - Magic Triumphs the - 10th and final Kate Daniels instalment. I have been a fan from the very start and Kate has been one of my favourite heroines. There has been a lot of hype about Magic Triumphs and it doesn't disappoint. This story is almost more of a continuation of Iron and Magic* than it is of Magic Binds with the return of the soldiers and beasts that Hugh D'Ambray fought in the first book of the Iron Covenant series. I thought that this was an interesting re-use of a really scary baddy. Obviously Kate has grown up now  - a wife and mother and while she loves her new life she is desperate to keep her family safe. Roland has always been a threat to her and her family but Neig is the bigger threat and she isn't sure she has the ability to defeat them both. It is this vulnerability that makes Kate even more interesting as a character than she was before.

Andrews brings back so many of the characters that I have loved over the series - Andrea, Derek, Dali, Doolittle and Saiman. Even Grendel, the mutant poodle is back! However, when one of my newest favourite characters makes a dramatic appearance I actually did a fist pump and whooped. I can't really say that there was more character development in Magic Triumphs but there is 'rounding' out of a few of the lead characters - specifically Derek, Christopher, Erra and to a small extent Adora. Andrews uses the action and fight scenes to further establish Kate's relationships with regular characters and helps to setup the new ones. There are quite a few fight scenes and these all lead to the epic battle at the end.

Overall, I really enjoyed Magic Triumphs and thought the ending of the book and of the series was really satisfying. Ten books makes for a long series but this instalment was worth waiting for. Andrews avoided making the ending too sugary and sweet, which I appreciated. The epilogue is a bit of a tease and is creating A LOT of discussion on the blog. It's good that not everything was spelled out for us even though it is a bit of a very small cliffhanger. I am looking forward to see what Andrews has in store for us besides two more Hugh books (hurray!). Magic Triumphs is a great book and even better ending to a great series.

*See my review of Iron and Magic here.

Melanie's Week in Review - November 13, 2016

Melanie's Week in Review - November 13, 2016

Hello American friends. I am sure that you all probably still in a state of shock....amongst other emotions and I can sympathise living in post Brexit England. I have what I like to refer to as 'reading malaise'. In my very own vocabulary this is that feeling you get when you don't want to risk reading something new in case you end up disappointed and/or can't find anything that takes your fancy. So what did I end up reading?

Melanie's Week in Review - November 13, 2016
In my hours/days of reading need I turned to Ilona Andrews Kate Daniels' series books 1-3 - Magic Bites, Magic Burns and Magic Strikes. I miss waking up on a Saturday morning and reading the recent instalment of the Innkeeper series so sought solace in the many trials and tribulations of the former merc and soon to be mate of the Beast Lord - Kate Daniels. I have or one of my fellow reviewers have probably reviewed these before so I won't go too much into detail of the plot here. It did make me wonder who would have run if Roland was running in the election. I think I probably would have kept on reading but I don't have books 4 and 5 on my Kindle so I decided to risk something I hadn't read before.

Melanie's Week in Review - November 13, 2016I turned to an Amazon recommendation The Immortals by S.E. Lister. The story starts in 1945 where Rosa returns home. It wasn't a happy homecoming. Rosa and her father are time travellers. Her father was deeply and irrevocably impacted by the death of his own father in WW2 and keeps re-living 1945 over and over again. Rosa grew angry at her parents for forcing her to re-live the same year over and over again and leaves home at 17 to find her own way travelling across the world and across the centuries. On her travels she meets others like her and potentially the one man who can help her find her way back home.

I was a bit ambivalent about The Immortals as I thought it was a bit too similar to The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger except the characters weren't as likable. Rosa acted very spoiled and selfish especially when she went back in time to the middle ages and became The Fabulist where she told stories from the future to the local royalty in exchange for fame and fortune. Rosa flits through the centuries but becomes deeply traumatised when she ends up travelling too far in to the past  - during prehistoric times. When she does manage to return back to her family home in 1945 she cannot console herself by how her family have changed and grown without her. Rosa half heartily searches for the ability to stay in one place/time when she meets a fellow traveller she calls the Soldier but I couldn't really see what she did that was any different than before. This was another story that when I got to the end I had no clue what was going on. While I didn't struggle reading this story I didn't especially enjoy it either. I didn't like Rosa and none of the other characters were in it long enough for them for me to have an opinion. For me it was just a bit 'meh' and didn't help life my malaise.

That is it for me this week. Keep your fingers crossed my 'reading malaise' leaves soon so that I have more to tell you about next week.

Melanie's Week in Review - August 7, 2016

Melanie's Week in Review - August 7, 2016

This has been a really good week for me. Not only was this my last week in my current job and I had a great send off but I also finished 2 excellent books.  Without further adieu this is what I read.

Melanie's Week in Review - August 7, 2016
If you have been reading my WIR you will know I have been glutting on Wilkie Martin's Inspector Hobbes series. I just couldn't resist book 3 - Inspector Hobbes and the Gold Diggers. Martin does it again with another great adventure for the larger than life Hobbes and his accident prone assistant Andy Caplet. In this instalment Hobbes becomes a minor celebrity when trying to capture some bank robbers. With the paparazzi on the doorstep Hobbes decides to take Andy camping in the Blacker Mountains until his notoriety blows over. When Andy (well really Dregs) finds a skeleton of a local man the pair find themselves, not only trying to find the missing gold but also who was murdered and why. This isn't the only surprise in story for Hobbes and Andy. When they eventually return home there is another surprise in store for Hobbes in the form of Kathy - his alleged long lost daughter. All this while Andy tries to impress the new lady in town. Life is never dull on Black Dog Street.

Martin does it again with another fantastic instalment. There is a lot happening in this one with the mystery of the stolen gold and the murder but it gets ramped up a notch when Kathy turns up. Andy ends up having to entertain Kathy with rather hilarious results. The funny doesn't end there especially when Andy tries to impress the newest single lady in town. When his lady love gets targeted by the new thug in town Andy decides to step up and protect her. I think this hapless hero gets knocked out and rescued more times than everyone else added together. There is a lot happening in this instalment and we actually get to find out what Hobbes really is. I was a teeny bit disappointed by this but laughing over Andy's antics made up for it. This certainly read like a final book and I hope Martin leaves us with just the three stories. Sometimes you can have too much of a good thing.

Melanie's Week in Review - August 7, 2016
Book number 2 was Magic Binds by Ilona Andrews which is the 9th in the Kate Daniels series. I think I could probably sum up my whole review with just one word - WOW! I loved Magic Binds. If I wanted to digress into language far too young for me I would probably say I thought it was awesome!

Kate discovers that her father has kidnapped the demigod Saiman and she is determined to get him back. It's not that straightforward however as Kate learns that a Witch Oracle has had visions that her marriage to Curran will lead to the burning of her city - Atlanta - and have devastating consequences for Curran and their relationship as well. Kate needs help and the only person that can help her died at her hands. The odds are stacked against her but when has Kate ever played by the rules?

This instalment is nonstop action. I felt that I was on a roller coaster as every other page held some immensely, tense, plot advancing scene. I felt like a firecracker went off every chapter with huge fireworks in the penultimate chapter especially with the monumentally huge reveal and epic battle. I think this is the best book of the series and I really liked book 3. I can now see why the authors were totally exhausted when they finished writing this one as I felt drained just reading it. Fans of the series brace yourself. Also, plan to stay up late as you won't be able to put it down.

As you can see I read two great but very different books. What's in store for me next week? I can hardly wait to find out myself. Until then happy reading.

Melanie's Week in Review - March 6, 2016

Melanie's Week in Review  - March 6, 2016

Welcome to March. Spring is just around the corner as the daffodils in my garden are out in full display. We haven't had that much of a winter in the UK this year but I am still glad to see the first sights of spring especially as I almost turned into a human popsicle last weekend. Weather report over. So what did I read?

Melanie's Week in Review  - March 6, 2016
I have saved the best for last with Rod Duncan's The Custodian of Marvels which is the final instalment of The Fall of the Gas-Lit Empire. In my last two WIRs I reviewed books 1 and 2 (here and here). I thoroughly enjoyed this series and this final book was no different. Thank you to publisher for approving this request via NetGalley. I would never had discovered this fantastic series otherwise.

Again, Duncan mixes it up and teams Elizabeth with her one time enemy from the circus performers in book 1. They have teamed up to do the impossible - to break into the impenetrable Patent Court to steal a weapon. Elizabeth however, has an ulterior motive for agreeing to this heist. She wants to find evidence that the Duke has done the same thing to other families as he did to hers and she is certain it is hidden in the bowels of the Patent Office. While the plotting and planning of the heist was great to read it is what Elizabeth discovers while inside that is the real start of the plot. Duncan has a great imagination and ability to build tension as craftily as he develops his characters. This was a excellent conclusion to Elizabeth's story and has put Duncan right up there with one of my new favourite authors.

Melanie's Week in Review  - March 6, 2016
Despite being a big fan of the Kate Daniels series I only just bought and read Magic Shifts. I generally refuse to pay more than £6 for a Kindle book and when it was listed at £9.99 I decided to wait. Boy did I get that wrong. As the release of the paperback approached the price increased to £13.99. I was then stuck and ended up buying the paperback.. One of my fellow reviewers Doreen has already reviewed Magic Shifts so check it out. I thought it was OK. I wasn't wowed but didn't dislike it either. What I have a problem with...and this doesn't just relate to this that I get bored when the heroine almost dies every book. I got very disillusioned with Patricia Brigg's Mercy Thompson series for the very same reason. I feel that the Kate Daniels series are falling too much into a formulae in recent books - Big Baddy fights with Kate, Kate moons over Curran, friends or family are in danger, gets beaten up, super battle, almost dies, survives surmountable odds, lives to thwart her father another day. I hope the next book mixes it up a bit.

That is it for me this week. I hope you find something enjoyable to read. Fingers crossed I have more to tell you about next week but until then Happy Reading.

The Custodian of Marvels
The Fall of the Gas-Lit Empire 3
Angry Robot Books, February 2, 2016
     Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 368 pages
Angry Robot Books, February 11, 2016 (UK Print)

Melanie's Week in Review  - March 6, 2016
You’d have to be mad to steal from the feared International Patent Office. But that’s what Elizabeth Barnabus is about to try. A one-time enemy from the circus has persuaded her to attempt a heist that will be the ultimate conjuring trick.

Hidden in the vaults of the Patent Court in London lie secrets that could shake the very pillars of the Gas-Lit Empire. All that stands in Elizabeth’s way are the agents of the Patent Office, a Duke’s private army and the mysterious Custodian of Marvels.

Rod Duncan returns with the climactic volume of The Fall of the Gas-Lit Empire, the breathtaking alternate history series that began with the Philip K. Dick Award-nominated The Bullet-Catcher’s Daughter.

File Under: Fantasy [ Time Runs Out | The Duke’s Enemy | Open the Vault | A Union ]

Magic Shifts
Kate Daniels 8
Ace, February 23, 2016
Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
Hardcover and eBook, August 4, 2015

Melanie's Week in Review  - March 6, 2016
The eighth Kate Daniels novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author who “defines urban fantasy” (Fresh Fiction).

Magic is coming and going in waves in post-Shift Atlanta—and each crest leaves danger in its wake…

After breaking from life with the Pack, mercenary Kate Daniels and her mate—former Beast Lord Curran Lennart—are adjusting to a very different pace. While they’re thrilled to escape all the infighting, Kate and Curran know that separating from the Pack completely is a process that will take time.

But when they learn that their friend Eduardo has gone missing, Kate and Curran shift their focus to investigate his disappearance. As they dig further into the merc’s business, they discover that the Mercenary Guild has gone to hell and that Eduardo’s recent assignments are connected in the most sinister way…

An ancient enemy has arisen, and Kate and Curran are the only ones who can stop it—before it takes their city apart piece by piece.

Review: Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews

Magic Breaks
Author:   Ilona Andrews
Series:  Kate Daniels 7
Publisher:  Ace, July 29, 2014
Format:  Hardcover and eBook, 400 pages
List Price:   $25.95 (print)
ISBN:  9780425256220 (print)
Review Copy:   ARC provided by the Publisher

Review: Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews
No matter how much the paranormal politics of Atlanta change, one thing always remains the same: if there’s trouble, Kate Daniels will be in the middle of it…

As the mate of the Beast Lord, Curran, former mercenary Kate Daniels has more responsibilities than it seems possible to juggle. Not only is she still struggling to keep her investigative business afloat, she must now deal with the affairs of the pack, including preparing her people for attack from Roland, a cruel ancient being with god-like powers. Since Kate’s connection to Roland has come out into the open, no one is safe—especially those closest to Kate.

As Roland’s long shadow looms ever nearer, Kate is called to attend the Conclave, a gathering of the leaders from the various supernatural factions in Atlanta. When one of the Masters of the Dead is found murdered there, apparently at the hands of a shapeshifter, Kate is given only twenty-four hours to hunt down the killer. And this time, if she fails, she’ll find herself embroiled in a war which could destroy everything she holds dear…

**Includes the bonus Kate Daniels story Magic Tests**

Melanie's Thoughts

Magic Breaks is a topsy turvy love story. It's a story of romantic love, parental love, love felt for friends and family but more importantly it is a story of the love of power. Kate finds herself pulled in almost every direction with a killer to track down, the inevitable politics of the pack and Hugh on her doorstep bringing her closer and closer to her overlord of a father, Roland. Curran has left Atlanta on another mission and his absence is felt in almost trial Kate has to face. Her love for him is palatable on every page. Hugh is pursuing Kate for the power she represents and how her capture will demonstrate his value to his boss Roland. The man himself, Roland takes centre stage in this the 7th book of the series. Kate's whole life has been about avoiding her father but that time has ended as she comes face to face with the god-like tyrant who has the ability to destroy everything and everyone Kate has grown to love. It's not all hearts and roses as Kate does have a murder to solve and the Pack to save. Needless to say a lot happens in this book but I don't want to give too much away.

Andrew's has effectively re-booted the Kate Daniels series with book 7, Magic Breaks. The format of the story is different and the plot takes so many unexpected turns it was like wearing a blindfold on a roller coaster. I never knew where Andrews' was going to take Kate next. It made for a very exciting read and has made me start to look forward to book 8, even though it's release is over a year away. In many ways this book seems like the end of series and you could almost be fooled into thinking it was if I didn't already know the authors have been contracted for 3 more books. It is very much a book of endings and new beginnings and not just for the characters. Andrews' also slightly changes the format of the book. They added two features to this book that I have mixed feelings about - one was a diary piece written by Barabas and the other was a 'Who's Who'. The diary I am a bit ambivalent about as I am a loyal fan and didn't need the back story but this gives the opportunity for new readers to catch up on what has been happening over the last few books. I thought the 'Who's Who' gave to much away as then I knew exactly who was going to feature in the plot. Having said that I like the fact that Andrews' decided to keep the format fresh and not stick to a formula.

I felt that Andrews focused much more on characterisation in this instalment of the series. I really liked the further development of Gastek and Kate's relationship and the story of how he became a navigator. More was divulged about Hugh and I think he is one best villains around. He is makes me want to jump inside the page and give him a nice hard slap. Roland almost comes across as a pussy cat in comparison to Hugh but I am sure that Roland is just biding his time before he turns super evil. In fact, this instalment has bad guys galore. I am sure that there was a secret competition happening in Atlanta over who could be the meanest to the feisty heroine, Kate.

I could spend much longer explaining how much I enjoyed Magic Breaks but that would be too spoilery and the one of the best things about this book are all the surprises in store for my favourite characters. This is a great book and yet another in a series that keeps delivering excellent characterisation, exciting action and a plot that keeps you gripped from the first word until the last. A definite must read.

Melanie's Week in Review - April 27, 2014

Melanie's Week in Review - April 27, 2014

I started the week on a reading roll but have rather limped in towards the end of the week. This is mainly due to the fact that I read such a great book at the start of the week and then nothing else could compare to it and I couldn't find anything to catch my interest afterwards. So what did I read?

Melanie's Week in Review - April 27, 2014
I was  really lucky when my request for an ARC of Magic Breaks was granted by the publisher (Ace). I was really trying to avoid reading it until June as I want to respect the publisher's request not post a review until about a month before the release date which is July 29th. I always prefer to write my review as soon as possible after finishing a book and I don't usually have the luxury of writing them months before they can be posted. I couldn't resist this time as it was like the book cover was taunting me every time I opened my Kindle. I really like this series and Kate is one of my all time favourite heroines. Unfortunately, for you dear reader I can't give too much away about Magic Breaks as I will be writing a full review and you will have to wait until late June/early July to read it. All I can say is that if you haven't had a chance to read any of the other books in the series then you have almost 2 months to catch up because its a cracker!

Melanie's Week in Review - April 27, 2014I bought The Digital Wolf by Jon Rosenberg a few months ago not realising it was the second book of The Academy series. I don't really like skipping books if I don't have to so went and bought book 1 - The Unicorn Crisis. This first book in the series starts with the Summoner David Ash chasing a mad unicorn around a field in Stratford-upon-Avon. Ash didn't think his day could get any worse until he learns that a fellow Summoner has been killed and with the King of Fairy enraged that someone effectively stole his favourite pet Ash is charged with finding the murderer and stopping anyone or anything else escaping from Fairy. Ash has not one but two side kicks to help him with this case including Llewellyn the Welsh elf with a fondness for bitter and soap operas and the fellow Summoner and American, Jenny who has come bearing a grudge. The unlikely trio uncover that there are plans afoot to bring down the Hidden Academy and its up to them to ensure that they don't succeed. Unicorns, flying monkeys and drunk university students, Ash has his work cut out for him!

I enjoyed this book and thought that Rosenberg has a gift for humour and a fantastic imagination. David Ash reminded me a tiny bit of Ben Aaronovitch's Peter Grant series. Both authors have the ability to mix humour with murder and/or mayhem without making their heroes sound like wise cracking jerks. Not an easy feat! I thought it was quite effective how Rosenberg teased out Ash's background and then wove this into the plot. Not everything was spelled out at the start which made it really easy to engage with the story as you wanted to find out meaning or importance of certain events from David's past that are regularly referred to throughout the novel. My only one very tiny criticism was that I thought it as a little bit too long. By about 3/4 of the way through I wanted Ash to have solved the case already. All in all a great start to the series and I am looking forward to The Digital Wolf.

Melanie's Week in Review - April 27, 2014After one super exciting book and one rather hefty book I needed something light and short to finish off my week. I was trawling through my Kindle recommendations and found Devil to Pay by Jeaniene Frost. I have mixed views of Frost's books. I wasn't fond of the Night Huntress series but sort of like the Night Prince series. This novella is part of the Night Huntress world and even for a novella it was pretty short. In retrospect I was glad that it was as it was pretty dull. For vampires and demons they were all  pretty much goody-two-shoes and not at all engaging. I should have read a few more reviews before I decided to buy a book from a series I quit reading after book 2.

That is all for me for this week. I am keeping my fingers crossed for getting through some good books this week. We have a 48 hour tube strike next week and I will need to work from home which means I have less concentrated reading time. Wish me luck!  Until next week Happy Reading.

Melanie's Week in Review - August 18, 2013

Melanie's Week in Review - August 18, 2013

I read some really great books this week. First, I waved good-bye to Hadrian and Royce as I finished the last book of the Riyria Revelations by Michael J. Sullivan. So here endeth my Riyria reunion. The Heir of Novron  re-affirmed everything I loved about this series. It was an amazing book, or in fact 2 books. So much happened in this final episode. It was one twist, turn, heart break and triumph in every chapter. You can check out my review of The Riyria Chronicles which was posted yesterday (8/17), which kicked off my Riyria reunion in the first place.

Melanie's Week in Review - August 18, 2013
I started to read A Thousand Perfect Things by Kay Kenyon but had to stop reading it when this arrived from the lovely Qwill. What a fantastic box of goodies. Even though I knew what I was going to get it was still a surprise to see them there in the flesh...or should I say in the print. You might notice Magic Rises on the top of the pack...well...I was really looking for that to arrive and anything else I had on the cards to read got sidelined for the latest from 'chateau Andrews'. I am going to be reviewing Magic Rises so I won't let anything else slip.

Melanie's Week in Review - August 18, 2013
I will however, tell you about A Thousand Perfect Things by Kay Kenyon. I didn't know what to expect when I started this book. I hadn't read anything else by this author. I got the book from the lovely people at NetGalley and I became instantly gripped. The story is set in the late 1800's in a steampunk version of England - referred to Anglica and moves quickly to Bharata (India) where the young, aristocrat, Tori, searches for the 'golden lotus'. Tori hopes to follow in the footsteps of her grandfather, who is a renowned scientist, by becoming the first woman to be admitted into the the Royal Society for finding and documenting the golden lotus. Anglica is rich but resource poor with a love of science whereas, Bharati is rich both in resources and in magic but where people are poor and deemed by the Anglica's to be uncivilised. Those in Tori's world shun her belief in magic but she is determined to find the flower of the gods and prove the existence of magic. Betrayal, political revolution and forbidden love are all in store for the intrepid, budding scientist. I really enjoyed A Thousand Perfect Things. I read it quite quickly, despite the interruption. I thought that Kenyon was very clever in her depiction of Bharati.  It was very colourful and you could almost feel the heat and smell the rich, pungent spices. There were distinct parallels to the British rule of India over the period and their desire to rid themselves of foreign rule. While I thoroughly enjoyed this book it did have some minor faults. I felt latter part of the book was rushed. There was one specific scene where one of the characters just died without really any explanation of how they were killed. Then at the very end nearly a decade passes one scene and the next and it felt a bit contrived. On the whole I liked this book and thought it was a great depiction of two intriguing worlds.

Melanie's Week in Review - August 18, 2013
I just started Thirteen by Kelley Armstrong. I forgot that I hadn't read this final book of the Otherworld series yet. So far so good but don't want to give too much away as this is another review. Still so many books to read and so little time but until next week Happy Reading!

Review: Magic Rises by Ilona Andrews - August 18, 2013

Magic Rises
Author:  Ilona Andrews
Series:  Kate Daniels 6
Publisher:  Ace, July 30, 2013
Format:  Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 368 pages
Price:  $7.99 (print)
ISBN:  9781937007584 (print)
Review copy:  Provided by the Publisher

Review: Magic Rises by Ilona Andrews - August 18, 2013
Atlanta is a city plagued by magical problems. Kate Daniels will fight to solve them—no matter the cost.

Mercenary Kate Daniels and her mate, Curran, the Beast Lord, are struggling to solve a heartbreaking crisis. Unable to control their beasts, many of the Pack’s shapeshifting children fail to survive to adulthood. While there is a medicine that can help, the secret to its making is closely guarded by the European packs, and there’s little available in Atlanta.

Kate can’t bear to watch innocents suffer, but the solution she and Curran have found threatens to be even more painful. The European shapeshifters who once outmaneuvered the Beast Lord have asked him to arbitrate a dispute—and they’ll pay him in medicine. With the young people’s survival and the Pack’s future at stake, Kate and Curran know they must accept the offer—but they have little doubt that they’re heading straight into a trap…

Melanie's Thoughts

Prepare yourself readers, Magic Rises is action packed from the first page and Andrews' keeps the pressure on the reader from start to finish. This instalment of the story is set in Europe rather than Atlanta  which adds a whole new dimension to the plot and makes a great change. Curran has been coerced by the European packs to witness to the birth of a set of shifter twins and in exchange he will receive a large shipment of panacea which would save the Pack's children from the threat of loupism. It may seem on the surface like a simple case of babysitting the mother and waiting for the birth. Curran and Kate know they are probably walking into a trap and risking their own lives and those of their friends. The opportunity to save shifter children is something they aren't willing to miss.

Moving the setting in Europe was really effective for refreshing the plot. While I love this series it could have had the potential to get a bit 'samey' with every book focusing on the same core characters in the same location.  While most of my favourite characters made the trip across the Atlantic with Kate and Curran there was lots of opportunity to get to meet new characters. Barabas has started to take a more central role as a strong secondary character. In fact, at one point I think that he has more page time than Derek. I did miss that there wasn't further development of Kate's and Julie's relationship.  Although Julie appears at the start and end of the book she is not part of the 'European/baby' plot for reasons which are clear when you read the book. I feel that this relationship really 'humanises' Kate as she struggles to be a parent to the teenager. Kate is flawed - she isn't the perfect adopted mother, or perfect friend or partner. This makes her more human and therefore, more realistic than other females characters in similar books in this genre.  Kate and Curran's relationship is fleshed out even more in the course of the plot with satisfying results. This is a great couple and I enjoy the roller-coaster that is their relationship.

Andrews' also treats us to a subtle history lesson about Assyrian mythology through one of the antagonists. Not only was this a very clever way to introduce a new shifter species but also seems to add a sense of gravitas to the plot. There is even a reference to Assyrian statuary that I have seen at the British Museum (replicas of the real thing) which has me wanting to study Assyrian history and then go back and re-read these chapters. That is not an easy feat!

In my view Kate Daniels is a fantastic heroine. She isn't perfect but she is multi-faceted and conflicted which makes her such an engaging character.  If kick-assery was a real word and kick-assery was in the dictionary Kate's picture would be beneath it. We get to see yet another side of Kate's character both in her relationship with Curran but also with the other characters who feature in this instalment.

I love this series and Magic Rises is yet another great in the series. I read it really quickly and now have that sense of disappointment I often get when I finish one of the books in this series.  Not disappointment in the book but rather, that I have to wait for another year to find out what happens next. Although I generally re-read the series quite often in between releases I still miss these characters in between books. This isn't a series to start mid-way through so if you haven't read any of the books make sure you start at the beginning. It won't take you long to get to Magic Rises and you will be left like me and pining for more.
Review: Magic Triumphs by Ilona AndrewsMelanie's Week in Review - November 13, 2016Melanie's Week in Review - August 7, 2016Melanie's Week in Review  - March 6, 2016Review: Magic Breaks by Ilona AndrewsMelanie's Week in Review - April 27, 2014Melanie's Week in Review - August 18, 2013Review: Magic Rises by Ilona Andrews - August 18, 2013Giveaway - Magic Bites (Kate Daniels 1) and Magic Rises (Kate Daniels 6) by Ilona Andrews - July 26, 2013

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