Of Swine and Roses by Ilona Andrews

Of Swine and Rose by Ilona Andrews is now available in Amazon. I read it back when it was available as free fiction on their site as Days of Swine and Roses. Now that it has a new cover and is available for purchase, I thought I’d spread the word by sharing my thoughts about this short story.

Here’s the description from the authors’ blog:

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 Koronov 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 love the cover for this one – I like how the reds stand out against the black background. I don’t have much experience reviewing short stories because I’m afraid of saying too much that I give away the story. Also, I feel like I’m a bit biased when it comes to Ilona and Gordon’s writing because I’d read anything that they come up with. I’m continually amazed at how they can create (and keep track of) different fiction worlds. In Of Swine and Roses, magical families claim certain territories as their own and they also go into business ventures that utilize their magical abilities. Alena Koronov doesn’t want to go on a date with Chad Thurman, who she believes is a thug. Her family was never rich to begin with and they need to be in good terms with the Thurmans for their business so she’s persuaded to go out with him. So Alena reluctantly says yes and a disaster of a date takes place. Based on the title, you know that there are roses and a pig in this one. I really enjoyed reading this one and would gladly read more stories from this world. I even have a favorite quote from Alena’s mother:

Do you know what separates adults from children? Self-discipline. We don’t want to go to work, we don’t want to do our chores, and we don’t want to make unpleasant decisions, but we do all those things because we’re aware of the consequences which will follow if we don’t.

If you’re an Ilona Andrews fan, then I know it won’t take more convincing for you to read this. If you’ve never read their work, I think it would be a good idea to start with their short fiction to get an idea of whether you’d like the books in their series. I’m not much of an urban fantasy fan but I love both the Kate Daniels and the Edge series.

4 thoughts on “Of Swine and Roses by Ilona Andrews

  1. This is one of my favorite short stories of theirs. I think there’s a bit of the Edge universe in it because there’s mention of clans and of the laws that govern them as well as particular magics within families. So for the Edge series lovers? Really worth getting a copy of this.

    • Yes, this is one of my favorites as well. I really liked the novella Silent Blade too. I wonder if that was ever available as free fiction in their site? You’re right, there’s a bit of the Edge in the structure of magical families in this one. Oh and hey, the business ventures thing is similar to Silent Blade as well.

  2. Oooh, this world is like the Edge? I need to read it for sure then. I love Ilona and Gordon anyway so I should really get on the ball and read their short stories and Silent Blade. Love that this one is a date premise too. Sounds interesting.

    • It has some similarities to the Edge world. I hope you get to read this as well as the other short stories available on their blog – some of them are still free. I really wouldn’t mind reading a book set in this world but I know they already have a lot on their plate with the Kate and Edge series.

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