Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance
Also by this author: Magic Bites (Kate Daniels, #1)
Series: Kate Daniels #6
Source: My shelves
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…
In the interest of transparency … I reread this series often ? Ilona Andrews (a husband-and-wife writing duo) were also the first (and only!) author I’ve gone to see specifically. I’ve certainly gone to different book conferences and such where many authors are, but I drove to a different state specifically for them in this case! I would show pictures, but that was several years ago, and … let’s just say braces were involved.
* As this is the sixth book in the series, I am not going into super deep detail in explaining things. If you feel confused, please navigate to the other reviews at the bottom of this post (they’re listed in order from one to three). Or you can click the links provided here (or at the bottom of this review): Magic Bites (book one), Magic Burns (book two), Magic Strikes (book three), Magic Bleeds (book four), Magic Slays (book five).
This is the one I was most nervous to reread. When I jump into my IA series rereads, I never got through the whole series in one go, and this is typically the point where I make myself read other books, so this book on are ones that I’ve reread not nearly as often. I didn’t remember much about this one, other than there is travel involved, and they leave Atlanta to go to Europe.
“I’m so used to watching people for swords,
I never saw the knife. You were too close.”
In this one, Kate and Curran (and some of the more famous pack members) do travel to Europe. They were strong-armed into arbitrating and serving as a neutral third-party/bodyguard to a pregnant woman who is the source of a dispute between three warring European Packs, in exchange for medicine. Many of the Pack’s young fail to survive to adulthood as they surrender to the beast within, and the medicine is their only hope to save them.
The Kate Daniels series is one that I’ve loved since I read it… five years ago now?? wow. It features a striking cast of characters (whom I just adore! Like oh god I would die for all of them, hi Derek) and an ever-changing world that is just so damn addictive. There’s never a ton of emotional angst, but instead, their books feature an engaging and intricate mystery full of action, tension, sarcasm, and life ✨
But this one actually did feature a healthy dose of emotional drama. It was played out in true IA form (and Kate form, to be noted), but to be honest, their relationship was due for some hurtles, even if I didn’t exactly love how it played out on principle. Kate is nothing but practical (except in her love for Curran ?), so she handled everything with grace and purpose. She never allows people to dig into her skin and will instead continue protecting the life she’s been charged to guard and will instead corner Curran at a later time for a flaying that he well deserves ??? I miss Curran, and I’m excited to get him back in the next book.
While reading this, my irritation, panic, and anxiety were paced with hers, and I really had to blink when I was finished and remind myself that I wasn’t that Kate, but this Kate. No matter how much I wish, LOL ?
“Aha! So I’m not crazy.”
“You are most definitely crazy,” Derek said. “But in a deranged, endearing way.”
This series is so incredibly well-rounded, it’s quite difficult to explain to you why I love it so much. Kate herself grows so much during this series, and I can’t help but take everything on – she used to be this solitary, lonely badass desperately trying not to stand out, and now she has so much: power, friends, family, trust in herself, and people she can depend on and who embrace her for who she is. She’s more assured and settled, and I’m truly so happy for her ???.
The nuances are difficult to describe, so I just suggest you read it yourself ??? Ilona Andrews is one of the most skilled writers I’ve been lucky enough to read from, and I am desperate for more ? but I had to make myself write this first :) It’s an emotionally weighty story, that manages to pivot the central story while still making this standalone book absolutely explosive with intrigue, danger, heart-stopping action, and betrayal. My friend Bec @booktineus (Instagram) describes this book as “the biggest adrenaline rush yet” of the series, and that is definitely true.
Reading one of these books feels like I’m hanging with my friends. Each character has such a distinctly separate personality, it’s actually incredible the skill that IA possesses ? They’re such good people, and I already miss them. Okay, time to get back!! See you soon for my review of Magic Breaks ✨
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Series Reading Order…
Are you an Ilona Andrews fan? What’s your favorite urban fantasy series? Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you!