I’ve been saying this a lot recently: the Kate Daniels series by Ilona and Gordon is my favorite urban fantasy series. The latest installment, Magic Rises, was one of my most anticipated releases this year. When a title I’m excited about becomes available, I usually read it as soon as I can. But since I haven’t reread this series since I first discovered it, I thought it would be a better idea to reread the earlier books instead of diving right into Magic Rises. I crammed as much reading time as I can during the past few days. I was hoping that I’d have time to catch up on reviews and other blog posts while rereading but no, I was sucked into Kate’s world again and ignored the blog while I was rereading. If you haven’t read the series, then please skip this review because I wouldn’t want you to see any spoilers.
Summary from Goodreads:
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…
It feels great to be immersed in a make-believe world that I love, one that is filled with characters I’m fully invested in. When it comes to good storytelling, the authors continue to build upon an established setting as the series progresses and that is exactly what Ilona and Gordon have been doing with the Kate Daniels world. In each book, a different kind of mythology is presented and we get introduced to new (good and bad) characters. What sets Magic Rises apart from the other books in the series is that Kate, Curran and company travel to a different region and the readers get a glimpse of how things are like outside the United States. The beautiful Mediterranean setting was like a breath of fresh air and it was interesting to see how different European shapeshifter packs are compared to the Atlanta Pack that we’re used to. I love how relationships got explored and developed further in this novel. After a couple of books into the series, we already know some of the characters quite well and yet there are some aspects of their personalities that were shown in a different light. I may not have been a fan of the actions of certain individuals in this one but I had a feeling that they were being done for a reason so I didn’t let it bother me. I was just going with the flow, waiting for the story to unfold.
There was one scenario that occurred in the book that I was able to predict beforehand and I had so much fun reading about it. I found it funny, especially because it made things more complicated. Yes, I am being very vague on purpose. I don’t want to ruin the reading experience for those of you who haven’t had a chance to read this yet. Magic Rises managed to surprise me in different ways and as a result, kept me glued to the screen of my Kindle – it is an action packed story peppered with the humor and wit that we’ve come to expect from the series. The fight scenes in this one were made of pure win, I really enjoyed reading them even though I know next to nothing about physical combat. They were the kind of scenes that I would love to see on a movie screen. On the night that I started reading Magic Rises, I stayed up late to go through as many chapters as I can. I would have kept going if I didn’t have to worry about getting up in the morning to go to work. When I got to the office the next day, I couldn’t wait for the work day to end so I could get back to reading this and I was distracted for most of the day, thinking about the book. Definitely one of my favorite reads this year. I can’t wait for the next novel! For some reason, I thought the next one will be the last in the series but apparently we will be getting more Kate Daniels books. I look forward to reading all of them.