Published 2010 384 pages
Reviewed by Ania Tyburska
Summary (from the book jacket)
Atlanta would be a nice place to live, if it weren’t for the magic. When the magic is up, rogue mages cast their spells and monsters appear, while guns refuse to fire and cars fail to start. But then technology returns, and the magic recedes as unpredictably as it rose.
Kate Daniels works for the Order of the Knights of Merciful Aid, officially as a liaison with the mercenary guild. Unofficially, she cleans up the paranormal problems no one else wants to handle—especially if they involve Atlanta’s shapeshifting community.
When she’s called in to investigate a fight at the Steel Horse, a bar midway between the territories of the shapeshifters and the necromancers, Kate quickly discovers there’s a new player in town. One who’s been around for thousands of years—and rode to war at the side of Kate’s father. This foe may be too much even for Kate and Curran, the Lord of the Beasts, to handle. Because this time, Kate will be taking on family…
It took me two days to read Magic Bleeds. And that is in between the opening of a new shop by one of my clients and a media outrage targeting the other (just a normal week in a PR agency). Saying it is good would be describing the nearing Football World Cup as rather anticipated.
Magic Bleeds resumes where the previous book in the series left of. Kate Daniels lost a bet to the Beast Lord Curran and has to serve him a dinner. In her underwear. The object of her more or less undisclosed desires never shows, though. Kate is furious. Fury is a normal state of mind for Kate, so she carries on like nothing happened. And than the big bad hits the town.
Ilona Andrew’s series shows how an urban fantasy novel should be written. It is original, reshaping the vampire mythos to fit the landscape of post-apocalyptical Atlanta. It is engaging, keeping a perfect balance between the action sequences and some tender moments. And it is funny. Like laugh out loud and keep rolling on the floor, funny.
When, in earlier books, Kate’s love life was just a commercial break between series of fights, in Magic Bleeds it gets the full coverage. Her relationship with Curran is volatile and probably doomed, but at the same time incredibly hot. They both reveal some things about themselves, but not enough to become transparent. Also some other characters show new depths, or rather the lack of thereof, which rather nicely suggests that the big showdown in the end of this series may be very dramatic.
There is one more thing in Magic Bleeds I would like to pay some tribute to. The language is sublime. It is full of catchy phrases and unlikely comparisons, but in the same time it is clipped. It does not insult readers’ intelligence with lengthy descriptions and comments to every mysterious fact that happens in the book. Turn of phrase gives this rather dramatic story levity. For this thing alone I would give Magic Bleeds the full set of stars.
Editor’s note: Magic Bleeds is the fourth novel in the best-selling Kate Daniels urban fantasy series by author Ilona Andrews. These books could be read out of series order but for maximum reading enjoyment newbies would probably do best to read these books in order starting with Magic Bites. Trust me, it's no hardship since all of these books are remarkably good…
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