Ace / July 30, 2013 / $7.99 print, $7.59 digital
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…
Ilona Andrews’s Kate Daniels series remains one of my top urban fantasy series to read and recommend, and I reread the series multiple times a year. While the familiar draws me in, it’s the ever changing world and vibrant characters that keep me returning. The writing is addictive and the series is the perfect urban fantasy, balancing power and vulnerability. We are not overburdened with emotional angst or ridiculous unbelievable feats.
Plot action and ripe tension is tempered with snarky humor and everyday life.
A strongly character-driven series, we share an intimate connection with our protagonist, Kate Daniels. Her pain, sorrow, triumphs, and defeats are also ours. She's grown from a solitary lonely figure hiding herself and her power to having friends, family, and a lover who is more than able to handle her and all her idiosyncrasies. Her personality shines through more and more with each book. She is still scared, but she is learning how to trust in herself and others. The world building stays fresh and exciting, constantly evolving through each successive book as we travel through an alternative magical version of Atlanta, GA.
Magic Rises opens up new pathways in the arc and the romance, both of which has been a steady presence in the background. Kate and Curran are one of my favorite urban fantasy couples; enemies to lovers has always been a favorite trope of mine and these two have given us an outstanding show. From book one, the two have slowly and somewhat antagonistically carved out a relationship, eventually obliterating anyone and anything that tried to stand in the way of their romance. Secure as Liege and Consort of the Southwestern Pack, Kate and Curran must now begin the delicate process of trying to sustain that love. Jealousy, anger, and hurt feelings fill this installment when the pack is required to head to Europe to obtain a rare much needed herbal mixture that stops loupism.
Kate and Curran’s relationship has provided plenty of entertainment throughout the series. It’s not the main focus, but it is a huge part of it. The plot and romance blend so effortlessly you're often not sure where one starts and the other ends. I enjoy the dynamics of their relationship and the subtle challenges that are presented to Curran and Kate.
Curran admits he is not quite human and more dominant than most, but he tries so hard to adapt for Kate. Kate is still unsure of how to proceed in this relationship (or any relationship) but she makes remarkable advancements. She doesn’t understand why Curran loves her. She constantly builds walls to keep him away, only to tear them down in her rush to get back into his arms. Curran’s ability to effortlessly and unknowingly hurt Kate, often in his need to protect her, still shocks Kate.
“I’m so used to watching people for swords, I never saw the knife. You were too close.”
That’s not to say Kate is a pushover—she carries a big sword and fought
22 shapeshifters for her right to stand by him. She gives as good as she gets and is one of the few people who can make Curran second guess some of the decisions he has made. His biggest fear is losing her, yet by his own actions he pushes them towards that action.
“You still don’t get it [...] I trusted you and you used it against me [...] We are not okay."
Though they both still try to operate independently of each other, each trying to assert their dominance and control, there are some very sweet moments that have you sighing with pure pleasure and assure us that these two have a very good chance at making it. Also, it's great that Kate has a life and and emotional relationships with others besides Curran. We see evidence of this in her friendship with her BFF, Andrea. Andrea has always had Kate’s back. She has proven time and time again her loyalty to Kate and their friendship.
“I hate her already,” said Andrea. “George hates her too, don’t you, George?”
“I think she’s adorable,” George volunteered. “We should give her cookies and milk and if she promises to keep quiet, she can sit at the big people's table.”
Magic Rises is another delightful, hilarious, action packed installment in the Kate Daniels series that addresses love, loss, and choices.
Learn more about or pre-order a copy of Ilona Andrews's Magic Rises before its July 30 release: