Tag Archives: Kate Daniels

Magic Triumphs by Ilona Andrews

Overview
Magic Triumphs (Kate Daniels, #10) by Ilona Andrews

Title: Magic Triumphs
Author: Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #10
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Dystopia, Paranormal fantasy, ShapeshiftersStrong women
Dates read: 17th – 18th June 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Ace Fantasy
Year: 2018
5th sentence, 74th page: So, what triggered it?

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Synopsis

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

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 has no choice but to combine forces with the unlikeliest of allies.

She knows betrayal is inevitable and survival uncertain, but she has to try.

For her child.

For Atlanta.

For the world.

Thoughts

I have been putting off and putting off reading this. Simply because it is the last book in the series, and I really, really didn’t want the Kate Daniels adventure to be over! After all, this has been one of my favourite series since I first picked it up a few years ago and it’s one that I have absolutely adored. That final read is so bittersweet… and I really dreaded knowing what the ending was going to be like.

Sometimes when a series ends, one of two things happens. The first, the series doesn’t really end, and it just drags on and on until you kind of lose interest. Or two, it ties things up in a neat bow and just doesn’t really work with the rest of the storyline. This story was one of the rare third option – a closing of novel that is both brilliantly tying up ends, but leaving the future open-ended. There will be more battles and  monsters in the future, but the great challenge of Roland that has been building up throughout this entire series… that is solved. It leaves future stories open, but you don’t need to know them. Because there is this great sense of completion to the whole storyline.

The whole way through this novel, I had my heart in my throat. I think partly because I knew that this was the conclusion to the series. But, there was also no gradual build up like all of the other books in the series. This started at a crest and just kept on rising. I almost didn’t talk to my partner for a twenty-four hour period because I was so desperate just to finish off this book. There are NO GOOD places to put this down and take a breath. No crests and troughs, just rise after rise after rise. It’s not the kind of novel I always want to read… but when it’s the conclusion to such an amazing series… yeah, that’s the kind of novel I want to finish everything off.

After finishing this novel, I got straight onto the phone to my sister to tell her how much she needed to read this. Now, I’m hoping that she catches up soon so we can discuss it… in depth. Not only did I feel the mad need to discuss this with everyone and anyone… I also now have an insane urge to go right back to the beginning and reread all of the books in this series. Regardless of the fact that I have a TBR pile that towers over my head…

<- Iron and MagicCurran’s POV ->

Image source: Goodreads

Iron and Magic by Ilona Andrews

Overview
IRON AND MAGIC

Title: Iron and Magic
Author: Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #9.5
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Dystopia, Paranormal fantasy, ShapeshiftersStrong women
Dates read: 24th – 27th March 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Ilona Andrews
Year: 2018
5th sentence, 74th page: And Elara would fight to the bitter end.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

No day is ordinary in a world where Technology and Magic compete for supremacy… But no matter which force is winning, in the apocalypse, a sword will always work.

Hugh d’Ambray, Preceptor of the Iron Dogs, Warlord of the Builder of Towers, served only one man. Now his immortal, nearly omnipotent master has cast him aside. Hugh is a shadow of the warrior he was, but when he learns that the Iron Dogs, soldiers who would follow him anywhere, are being hunted down and murdered, he must make a choice: to fade away or to be the leader he was born to be. Hugh knows he must carve a new place for himself and his people, but they have no money, no shelter, and no food, and the necromancers are coming. Fast.

Elara Harper is a creature who should not exist. Her enemies call her Abomination; her people call her White Lady. Tasked with their protection, she’s trapped between magical heavyweights about to collide and plunge the state of Kentucky intoa war that humans have no power to stop. Desperate to shield her people and their simple way of life, she would accept help from the devil himself – and Hugh d’Ambray might qualify.

Hugh needs a base. Elara needs soldiers. Both are infamous for betraying their allies, so how can they create a believable alliance to meet the challenge of their enemies?

As the propher says: “It is better to marry than to burn.”

Hugh and Elara may do both.

Thoughts

I have a really horrible habit of putting aside the series that I really love so that I don’t get too hooked into the books. Mostly when I have a lot of other work that I need to keep on top of. Which is why it’s taken me so long to get to this book. And it’s probably still a good way to go about things – because once I opened this up, I couldn’t keep my nose out of it! Or my mind away from it. And I’ve literally had to bury Magic Triumphs in a pile of books so I can’t quite pick that up quite yet.

Iron and Magic is a fantastic story. It’s one of those tales in which you suddenly see the other side of the story. Or, in this case, you finally understand even more about Hugh D’Ambray. And, for me, who kind of hated him in the rest of the Kate Daniels books, I came to absolutely adore him. I love the backstory and the reasons behind the horrors he commits. He’s not exactly a good guy, but at least I finally managed to begin to understand his actions and decision making.

Hugh is a fantastic male lead in this story. But, for me, as normally happens, Elara stole the show. She’s strong, independent and terrifyingly powerful. She’s also got this great sense of mystery about her past and her motives. It’s a great approach and adventure. Elara is so much more graceful and put together than any of the other women in this series. she might not be my favourite, but the whole “White Lady”, prayers mystery that springs up around her. The powerful people she surrounds herself with out of love and loyalty… it all works beautifully. And I still can’t stop thinking about what an amazing character this woman is.

This is an amazing story. I love the action, I love the drama. But most of all, I love the relationship between Hugh and Elara. Even when it takes on a more serious overtone, one of real emotion, they have this great, witty banter with each other. I love that there is this sense of rivalry and war between them. A power struggle that had me laughing out loud again and again and again.

<- Magic BindsMagic Triumphs ->

Image source: Ilona Andrews

Magic Binds by Ilona Andrews

Overview

Magic Binds

Title: Magic Binds
Author: Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #9
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves:
DystopiaParanormal fantasy, Shapeshifters
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Ace fantasy
Year: 2016
5th sentence, 74th page: “Yes.”

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

Mercenary Kate Daniels knows all too well that magic in post-Shift Atlanta is a dangerous business. But nothing she’s faced could have prepared her for this…

Kate and the former Beast Lord Curran Lennart are finally making their relationship official. But there are some steep obstacles standing in the way of their walk to the altar…

Kate’s father, Roland, has kidnapped the demigod Saiman and is slowly bleeding him dry in his never-ending bid for power. A Witch Oracle has predicted that if Kate marries the man she loves, Atlanta will burn and she will lose him forever. And the only person Kate can ask for help is long dead.

The odds are impossible. The future is grim. But Kate Daniels has never been one to play by the rules…

Thoughts

As always, Ilona Andrews has created an amazing story in the world of Kate Daniels. I was so disappointed that it was over. And now I have to wait I don’t know how long for the next story in this series. I waited for this one though, so I think I can wait for the next one… plus, there’s a few other Ilona Andrews series that I have in my shelf to start…

Kate continues to experience personal progress throughout this book. In this case, she not only has to battle the new desire to conquer the world, but also the restrictions placed on her by others. Although the battle with the need to conquer is more terrifying, I found her feeling of rubbing up against her restrictions all the more powerful. After all, she has continuously put herself in harms way to protect others, and now that she is expanding in her role as city’s protector, she is being warned to not do what she has always done. There is a beautiful point that she makes in the story that it is okay to almost kill herself when others need it, but the rest of the time, she is expected to not use her considerable powers. Rather than being treated like a person by certain members of her circle, she’s merely used as a tool that can be bought out when needed and hidden the remainder of the time. This double standard echoes in all of her relationships and is a reminder that it’s important to accept people – all of them, or none of them, not just the bits that work for you.

As with the other Kate Daniels books, this is kind of a dark story. But the books seem to constantly get darker as the series continues. This time Kate isn’t only forced to face her own demons in a battle to save herself and her city. But she is also in a race against time to save Curran and their unborn (unconceived) son. The stakes continue to get higher and higher as the battles rage around and through her.

<- Magic StarsIron and Magic ->

Image source: Penguin Random House

Top 16 Books of 2016

2016 was a good year for me – I got to read a lot of books, both new and old. So here is a list of my favourite sixteen reads for this year.

falling-pomegranate-seeds16. Falling Pomegranate Seeds by Wendy J. Dunn
This is the first historical fiction that I have ever had the privilege of reading, and it has almost made me a convert. The topic is dense and heart-wrenching, but there is such a strength to the characters, that you can’t help but fall in love. The fact that Dunn used real historical figures to create her masterpiece of women’s rights, the relationships of mothers and daughters and a beautiful tale of coming of age just added to the poignancy of this tale.

skinwalker15. Skinwalker by Faith Hunter
I loved the new take on Native American skinwalkers in this story. The fact that it primarily focused on a woman of a minority culture was a great added bonus. To add to the great basis of fantasy, this story was dark and slightly twisted, but frankly honest about it’s chief protagonist – she was never painted as pure, but rather as a flawed human being.

 

Wickedly Powerful14. Wickedly Powerful by Deborah Blake
I found this series this year, and it completely changed my previously sceptical view on paranormal romance. Of the three books and five stories, this was by far my favourite. The lead Baba Yaga in this tale was far pricklier and more awkward around people than the others, and the love interest was a victim of mental illness – PTSD. This combined to create a beautiful love story with a potent message about PTSD that I cherished.

haunted13. Haunted by Kelley Armstrong
I love the Women of the Otherworld series – the heroines are not in any way, shape or form innocent and “good”. At least as books traditionally portray people. Instead they have their own challenges in life and difficulties. Eve Levine of Haunted has so far been my favourite of these characters. She is dead, but that doesn’t stop her from constantly attempting to help and guard her young daughter. This at the beginning of the story appears to be her only redeeming aspect, and as the story progresses, the true depth of her character is slowly revealed. It is a story that will make you fall in love with a flawed woman and this series again and again and again.

Raelia12. Raelia by Lynette Noni
A great sequel to the first Medoran Chronicles story, Raelia is all about the choices that we make. The storyline in this is so much more intense which is why I rated it slightly above the first book in the series, Akarnae. The ability of this story to capture my attention was immensely impressive, and I am constantly double checking what the release date for the next book in the series is.


The One11. The One by Kiera Cass
This story can make anyone believe in true love again. It is the sweetest, most charming love story I have ever read. Although, it doesn’t go over board with the sappy factor. The dystopian future setting helps to create a more fantastical and enhanced world than our own, which I thoroughly enjoyed and the creation of the caste system seriously made me question how I view and judge others. However, it is America and Maxon’s dance of romance that truly had me hooked and this story let me find out how their negotiation of love ended.

bad-blood10. Bad Blood by Lucienne Diver
I have an obsession with mythology, so any story or series that does a good job of recreating one of the ancient mythologies is going to get my attention. However, Diver’s approach to this was so completely unique that I was mesmerised from the first page. The sass and smart-mouthed attitude of the lead only added to my very quick falling for this series. As did her unique ancestry.

 

Kicking It9. Forked Tongues by Rachel Caine
This was one of the best short stories that I read this year – it combined fantasy with a strong woman and love. Not an easy combination to throw into less than one hundred pages. The image of a Cowboy Witch has stuck in my head since I read this months ago. A great, easy read to bunker down with for half hour or so.

 

 

body-double8. Body Double by Tess Gerritsen
The best crime book that I have read this year by far. Not only is it a tale of spine-tingling criminal acts, but it also investigates the nature versus nurture debates – one of my favourite intellectual discussions. Maura’s slow discovery of who she comes from and who she is highlights this, but it also reminds us that we are who we choose to be, not who other people want us to be. The strength of both Maura and Jane throughout the story is astonishing and admirable – it is so easy to imagine them walking around the streets of Boston.

night-shift7. Night Shift edited by Nalini Singh
A great way to find new authors and series is anthologies, which was partly why I bought this collection. I didn’t know that it would introduce me to one of my favourite series. Not one of these four short stories was even remotely tedious, and it was incredibly difficult to decide which author I wanted to read more of. The variety in the stories was enough that they were fascinating tales, but the underlying themes present in all of them still tied the anthology together nicely.

Queen of Shadows6. Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas
The Throne of Glass series is such an epic tale of war, love, loss and inner strength, so any book in this series could make it onto this list. However, I loved Queen of Shadows the most because Aelin is able to truly embrace her future and role in life. She is also able to find someone who sees her for who she is and truly accept the fact. One battle in this series is finally over, but a much, much larger one is looming in the future.

black-wings5. Black Wings by Christina Henry
So much sass and blundering in this story, which is probably why I love it so much. There is something that I find so relatable about an uncoordinated heroine that makes me fall in love with a story – probably because I myself am more than a little accident prone. The use of old lore such as Gremlins and Fallen Angels was also a unique spin on a tale of paranormal fantasy.

 

lirael4. Lirael by Garth Nix
I have always felt insanely connected to the character of Lirael in Garth Nix’s Old Kingdom series. She doesn’t quite belong with the people she calls family, and is always an outcast. Even after she finds her true calling in life, she walks a lonely path and isn’t quite able to relate to her peers. Yet, for all of that, I don’t think that her story is a sad one, rather one about finding out who you are and how you fit in the world. And realising that not everyone is going to fit in with others very well.

on-the-prowl3. Alpha and Omega by Patricia Briggs
I have been in love with Patricia Briggs for a long time now, but there is something about the novella Alpha and Omega that holds my attention every single time. Anna and Charles truly have love and first sight, but it has such a great twist to it. Add to that the fact that they both have some pretty serious inner demons, and it is a really sweet tale of overcoming the odds and finding that perfect fit in your life. Even if it is the last fit that you would expect.

magic-breaks2. Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews
It was so incredibly difficult to choose a favourite story in the Kate Daniels series. I’ve loved every single tale and would check the post office religiously when a new book was going to be delivered. However, I think that this is a good selection. Kate and Curran are not only battling for the children of their people, but they are also being forced to deal with the challenges of a new relationship. I got so emotionally invested in this story that I actually threw it across the room whenever it bothered me.

mine-to-possess1. Mine to Possess by Nalini Singh
Tales of paranormal romance are a new genre to me, and this series is a GREAT introduction. Like the Kate Daniels series, it was incredibly hard to find a favourite, but ultimately, this is the book that I found the sweetest and continue to think about. Aside from the rest of the developing Psy-Changeling drama, the story of Clay and Tally is what a lot of people dream of. Finding that one person in childhood who will always be yours – someone who is able to always understand you on an entirely different level.

So there you have it, my favourite stories from my reading list for 2016. I can’t wait to find some more great tales in the new year!

Feature image source: Now! Bali
Image 1 source: Amazon
Image 2 source: Amazon

Image 3 source: Deborah Blake
Image 4 source: Goodreads
Image 5 source: Lynette Noni
Image 6 source: Wikia
Image 7 source: Goodreads
Image 8 source: Penguin
Image 9 source: Amazon
Image 10 source: Audiobooks
Image 11 source: Live Journal
Image 12 source: Christina Henry
Image 13 source: Garth Nix
Image 14 source: Patricia Briggs
Image 15 source: Ilona Andrews
Image 16 source: Pinterest

Magic Stars by Ilona Andrews

Overview

magic-stars

Title: Magic Bites
Author: Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #8.5
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves:
 DystopiaParanormal fantasy, Shapeshifters
Pace: Fast
Format: Novella
Publisher: NYLA
Year: 2015
5th sentence, 74th page: She looked away and pulled smoked venison and a jug of iced tea out of the bag.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

Scarred, solitary Derek Gaunt has separated from his Pack, and is truly a lone wolf. With no family he answers to no one; but is fiercely loyal to a chosen few. So, when several of those close to him are murdered, he’ll stop at nothing to hunt their killer through the magic-drenched streets of Atlanta.

Never one to be left on the sidelines, equally determined—some might say stubborn—Julie Lennart-Olsen soon joins in his pursuit; and what began as revenge turns into a race to save the city. Their search pits them against powers they never imagined and magic so old, it predates history. It may cost Derek his life, but there are things for which even he would risk everything.

Thoughts

I haven’t read any of the Kate Daniels books for a little while, since I was waiting for this short novella to arrive, and honestly, I had forgotten how violent these stories were. And how much I LOVE them! The entire series is filled with sass and dry wit, and Magic Stars was absolutely no different. Derek’s first short story and his friendship with Julie are beautifully told in this story. As are some of the aspects of their lives that can’t make it into the main novels.

Derek’s role as the Grey Wolf and his opinions at his trajectory through the Pack are outlined within the first half of the book. Although we have watched his change from happy, bright young wolf to the Grey Wolf from Kate’s POV, it is nice to see how the circumstances of his past have shaped and changed him. As with his different status near loupism, Derek is completely unique and fascinating within the world of Kate Daniels. And definitely worth his own short story.

Julie’s childhood crush on Derek has been alluded to within other books, but as she seems to have grown into herself and her own powers, this seems to have become a more mature regard. Her views of him and simple acceptance of all that he is and does hints at a really great romance to come. Or at least, that’s the way I read the story.

<- Magic ShiftsMagic Binds ->

Image source: Ilona Andrews

Curran’s POV by Gordon Andrews

Overview

currans-pov

Title: Curran’s POV
Author: Gordon Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels Companion
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: DystopiaParanormal fantasy, Shapeshifters
Pace: Medium
Format: Free online collection
Publisher: Ilona Andrews
Year: 2013
5th sentence, 74th page: …seems like a decent guy.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

Snippets from Curran’s POV in chronilogical order.

Thoughts

Rereading scenes from the first four books from Curran’s point of view is one of the most exciting things that I have done in a while. This also happens to be the first eBook that I have ever read (a little behind the times, I know). A great experience, and I was actually a little disappointed when the short stories ended.

Some of Curran’s reactions (from Kate’s point of view) seemed incredibly extreme and potent. It was discerning to understand these acts from his point of view. Not only did it help me to understand why he was so dramatic, but it also made him far more endearing and likeable. Many of his somewhat petulant reactions were driven by very sweet and pure motivations.

The tone with which this story is written is stunning. It is distinct and strong, much like I imagined Curran. I could hear his strong, velvety voice in my head as I read the words, bringing him to life in a vivid and engaging way.

<- Magic TriumpsA Questionable Client ->

Image source: Goodreads

Magic Shifts by Ilona Andrews

Overview

magic-shifts

Title: Magic Shifts
Author: Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #8
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves:
DystopiaParanormal fantasy, Shapeshifters
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Ace fantasy
Year: 2015
5th sentence, 74th page: My fingers came out bloody.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

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, Curran misses the constant challenges of leading the shapeshifters.

So when the Pack offers him its stake in the Mercenary Guild, Curran seizes the opportunity—too bad the Guild wants nothing to do with him and Kate. Luckily, as a veteran merc, Kate can take over any of the Guild’s unfinished jobs in order to bring in money and build their reputation. But what Kate and Curran don’t realize is that the odd jobs they’ve been working are all connected.

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…

Thoughts

Curran and Kate start a new life and a new era is ushered in with the beginning of Magic Shifts. Their new life embraces their love and small family – which you quickly realise is much bigger than just the three of them. Having a family away from The Pack was an incredibly new dynamic and one that just feels so right within their lives.

Most children would love for their father’s to be a part of their lives, which helps to make Kate’s reluctance to have hers a part of her life all the more entertaining. His involvement in her life is tenuous and incredibly risky – it is difficult to tell which way he will turn and how this is going to affect Kate’s life. I can’t wait to see what happens next in the series – Kate and Roland’s relationship balances on a knife edge and it is impossible to see which way it will slide.

The message that absolute power can, and often does, corrupt absolutely is poignant throughout this book. Roland has been a reminder of this throughout the series, but there are others. Mahon’s pigheaded ideals cause a huge rift within the tale, and his inability to see beyond his own ideals and grasps of reality had potential disastrous consequences. Contrastingly, when most of the characters are vying for power and control, Kate and Curran find their peace and happiness in the lack of power. Although they are still incredibly formidable in their own rights, the lack of power over others and that responsibility is refreshing and leads to pure happiness in their lives.

<- Magic BreaksMagic Stars ->

Image source: Ilona Andrews

Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews

Overview

magic-breaks

Title: Magic Breaks
Author: Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #7
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves:
DystopiaParanormal fantasy, Shapeshifters
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Ace fantasy
Year: 2014
5th sentence, 74th page: I don’t know if he bribed them, blackmailed them, or what, but he’s done something.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

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…

Thoughts

This isn’t the last book in the series; luckily. However, it acts as a bit of a midway point, a mid-end to the series. It ties up some character arcs and storylines and answers so many questions that it is actually a really safe place to pause reading the series in. Not that I would recommend pausing this series, but regardless, it is a great way to neatly tie up some lose ends. Andrews also managed to seriously surprise me with the way in which they did this – the conclusion was startling and took a turn which I never expected.

There were a number of conclusions to plot lines throughout the piece – Andrea takes her place in The Pack; Kate is forced to face her father and past; and their issues with the order are bought to a head.

There isn’t as much of Curran throughout this tale – he is elsewhere, and Kate is left fighting her battles alone. It’s kind of nice though, so many stories, once the couple couples up, there is always an us and a we, but the fact that Kate reverts back to being independent and kicking butt on her own is exactly what I wanted. Strong independent women are great when they’re coupled, but they’re even better when they are able to stand independently of their partner.

<- Magic StealsMagic Shifts ->

Image source: Ilona Andrews

Magic Steals by Ilona Andrews

Overview

magic-steals

Title: Magic Steals
Author: Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #6.5
In: Night Shift (Nalini Singh)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves:
DystopiaParanormal fantasy, Shapeshifters
Pace: Fast
Format: Novella
Publisher: Berkley
Year: 2014
5th sentence, 74th page: Don’t you faint.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

Shapeshifting tigress Dali Harimau may be a powerful healer and magic user, but she’s far from what might be called “normal”. She dislikes the violence and bloodshed that are a way of life for most of her kind, even going so far as to become a vegetarian. The last thing she wants is trouble…

Jim Shrapshire is an original, hardcore badass. A jaguar shifter, he’s been tasked with keeping Atlanta’s Cat Clan in line, which he does with swift and lethal force when necessary. His only soft spot is for the petite Dali, whose kindness he calls upon when he is injured.

When Dali is approached by a desperate woman whose grandmother has vanished, Jim is concerned enough to help investigate. But what they find may just be the end of them—an enemy whose skill in the dark arts is matched only by their willingness to kill anyone in their way…

Thoughts

Revisiting Dali and Jim is always a pleasure, and this novella was no different. Dali and Jim’s relationship is so much more subtle than the other relationships in the Kate Daniels series, but no more passionate. Dali’s strikingly different attitude and outlook on life is so refreshing, and I am really hoping that more of her stories will be told as the series continues.

Dali’s tales explore a different aspect of magic, shapeshifter life and mythology than the other books. Dali’s position as a purveyor of good within the East Asian (specifically Indonesian) community is further explored. This is so different from the usual positioning of the shapeshifters within this dystopian society, and I love the juxtaposition between Dali’s two identities. And the way that she eventually realises that she can use both aspects of her life in her partnership and leadership with Jim.

<- Magic RisesMagic Breaks ->

Image source: Ilona Andrews

Magic Rises by Ilona Andrews

Overview

magic-rises

Title: Magic Rises
Author: Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #6
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves:
DystopiaParanormal fantasy, Shapeshifters
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Ace fantasy
Year: 2013
5th sentence, 74th page: He tossed the limp body aside.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

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…

Thoughts

Kate and Curran are truly tested in Magic Rises. This is the most heart-stopping and gut-wrenching tale of the Kate Daniels series so far. At least for me, I cried at multiple points throughout the tale, and just couldn’t put it down until I had read it from cover to cover. Part of that was also the very frustrating relationship between the two primaries – a few times I was even torn between throwing the book across the room after Curran and Kate’s pigheadedness, and ripping through to the next page to hope that they would fix up their many blunders.

Magic Rises leads to the first big conflict between Kate and her Father’s people – it’s a conflict that has been a long time coming, but still, it was a serious surprise. The gradual increasing of the potency of Kate’s enemies is subtly and intricately done. Likewise, the stakes in Kate’s life continue to increase, she’s slowly carving out a family and a life for herself, away from her past and parentage. Although, this tale does help to reveal even more insights into her more-than-slightly obscure upbringing and father-figure.

Children are always a great driver for a storyline – they are the innocents that everyone (well, almost) will battle to protect, regardless of their political and social affiliations. It’s no different for The Pack. From their writing, you can tell that Daniels understands the love for a child and the potential pain of loss. This, in combination with a supernatural flavour helps to indicate the extent to which people will go to save their young, both current and future.

<- An Ill-Advised RescueMagic Steals ->

Image source: Fantasy Book Clinic