Published 20132 327 pages
Summary (from the book jacket)
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…
Magic Rises is the sixth book in the bestselling Kate Daniels urban fantasy series. If you’re new to the series this is no place to start – hightail it to the library, book store or Kindle app, grab yourself a copy of Magic Bites (Kate Daniels book 1) and start reading – I promise you, you won’t regret it.
What do readers already familiar with the series need to know about Magic Rises? That this is the best instalment so far in a fantasy series that has already distinguished itself in the overcrowded urban fantasy field? That the Ilona Andrews writing team just keeps going from strength-to-strength, with each new publication exceeding already high expectations? That it’s a truly awesome story? Magic Rises is all of the above and more.
The plotline revolves around the Pack securing a supply of “panacea” the magical medicine that helps to stop pack children from turning loup and dying at birth or puberty. The pack usually buys panacea but their dealer turns up dead and since the recipe for panacea is a closely guarded secret they need to secure a new supply from Europe. They are offered the chance to earn some panacea if they travel to Europe to bodyguard a pregnant werewolf at a gathering of the European packs. The Atlanta Pack pick their best fighters and head over the Atlantic Ocean knowing that the journey is dangerous and the European pack summit probably a trap. The plot has no shortage of action and excitement and the main mystery twists and turns like…well, a big twisty turny thing.
If you’re looking for a kick-ass heroine with real intelligence, a lively wit, valiant heart and killer sword skills then Kate Daniels is definitely your woman. She is a fully-realised, three-dimensional character in a genre that has a tendency to serve-up one-dimensional caricatures of strong women and call them symbols of female empowerment. (Female urban fantasy readers insert eye-role here.) Even after five books the author still finds new ways to explore the depths of Kate’s character, her vulnerabilities and her strengths, revealing the disturbing realisation that Kate could easily be a killing machine if time and circumstance were changed.
The character development isn’t just limited to just the story’s protagonist. The story gives plenty of opportunity for secondary characters to be expanded upon, and even the antagonist’s personality gets fleshed out to show him to be a conflicted and complex character – although one full of regrettably evil tendencies.
Magic Rises is published with the bonus short story “An Ill-Advised Rescue” at the back. As per the instructions in the Author’s Acknowledgements the short story is best read before starting Magic Rises. It is a Kate Daniels mini-adventure and it explains how shapeshifting magic consultant Saiman comes to owe Kate the big favour that she calls in during the Magic Rises. Saimen is perhaps a little bit too shifty to sit comfortably in the role of anti-hero for the series but he’s still one of my favourite series characters and either way he usually manages to stir up extra trouble whenever he’s around so I’m always happy to read stories where he’s included.
To recapitulate: Magic Rises is just awesome. This is urban fantasy at its very best. I totally recommend reading this book.
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