A young adult short story about a girl, a pig, some magic, and the worst date ever.
Chad Thurman is a thug, who carries brass knuckles in both pockets and lays magic traps for intruders into “his” neighborhood. The last thing Alena Kornov wants to do is to go on the date with him. But when her family pressures her, she can’t say no. Now the ice-cream is absent, the pig is running for its life, and we won’t even mention the dead guy…
I’ve not really been on many dates, so I don’t have terrifying first date stories like many of my friends, but, Of Swine and Roses is kind of exactly how I picture some of those more horrific first dates. Awkward, unpleasant and just one disaster after another. It kind of makes me grateful that I fell in love with my best friend! Having said that, this great and uplifting short story is in no way a deterrent from finding someone to spend your time with. In fact, the ending is so damn sweet that it reminds you that sometimes the most awkward clouds have a silver lining.
Alena’s sweet and endearing goodness burst from the very first page of this story. Normally I find naïve heroines a little tedious and frustrating, but Alena somehow just worked. She is sweet, kind and does get talked into doing things for her family. However, her morals still stand and her standards and ability to hold herself up to these morals helps to dispel some of the frustration at her borderline angelic disposition. Something for which I was very grateful, and made me enjoy the story even more.
A woman must repay her family’s debt to a shapeshifting magician.
Grace of Small Magics is a fantastic reminder that “offense is the best defense”. Grace’s quiet strength and stability in the face of overwhelming odds is inspiring, and her ability to take control of her future admirable. I love the way that Andrews uses this to poignantly remind us that just because someone appears mousey and weak, they are still capable of great feats.
Both the main characters in this story are battling their own inner demons and preconceived misconceptions. By working together and being themselves, they slowly are able to not only take account of their own past, but also find love and acceptance within each other. I love the idea that when you find someone, your past is just that, in the past, and your good points are grasped and embraced.
Now collected for the first time, an irresistible compilation of five previously published stories by the bestselling author of the Kate Daniels series; including Kate’s very first meeting with Saiman, some related adventures, and two unforgettable ‘outside’ excursions.
This is a beautiful collection of short stories – five tales sweet tales that left me with a huge smile across my face. Three of these stories are from the Kate Daniels series, but the other two are completely new tales. I would actually love it if they were each part of a much larger series, the heroines are so relatable.
Every story within Small Magics is uplifting and inspiring, not only because of true love, but also in beating the odds and being triumphant, in spite of all odds.
Teenage Julie is sent to a school for exceptional children by her guardian, Kate Daniels.
The events of Magic Tests take place after Magic Slays. The story is told from Julie’s point of view.
Julie is probably the cutest and sassiest of the Kate Daniels characters, which is saying something – most of the women in the Kate Daniels universe are sassy and have an attitude problem. Her cheekiness and contrary attitude translate beautifully into the narrative’s voice and left me giggling quietly throughout the story.
Julie’s attempt at emulating Kate throughout her first solo mission (of sorts) is kind of adorable – you can tell how much admiration there is between the two. Although she spends much of the time trying to figure out how Kate would solve the problem, Julie is still able to have her own unique style. Her talents and skills are used beautifully and help her to shine in her own right.
Magic Tests also leaves Julie to find her own place that she is comfortable and happy in – better than her years on the streets and months in the boarding school.
In a world beset by magic waves, Kate Daniels works as a mercenary. She is tired, hungry, and there is foul-smelling blood on her boots. All she wants to do is to go home, but when Mercenary Guild offers her a job she can’t refuse, she finds herself protecting a man against Russian wizards.
Kate Daniels is quite possibly my favourite literary heroine. At least this week. And her introduction in A Questionable Client did not disappoint. This short story was a fantastic way to be thrown into Daniels’ chaotic future, one where magic and technology war for dominance and humans are powerless to do anything about it.
In Magic Bites, Kate’s past gig as a bodyguard for Sianim is often mentioned and alluded to, it was great to read the full story. Not only did it give me more of a glimpse into her work as a mercenary, and even the reasons why she isn’t insanely well off, but it also provided a glimpse into the selfish and manipulative nature of Sianim.
This was a great Kate Daniels fix while I wait for the next book in the series to arrive, and I would definitely recommend reading it as part of the overall series.