Author: Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels 6
Publisher: Ace, July 30, 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 368 pages
Price: $7.99 (print)
ISBN: 9781937007584 (print)
Review copy: Provided by the Publisher
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…
Prepare yourself readers, Magic Rises is action packed from the first page and Andrews' keeps the pressure on the reader from start to finish. This instalment of the story is set in Europe rather than Atlanta which adds a whole new dimension to the plot and makes a great change. Curran has been coerced by the European packs to witness to the birth of a set of shifter twins and in exchange he will receive a large shipment of panacea which would save the Pack's children from the threat of loupism. It may seem on the surface like a simple case of babysitting the mother and waiting for the birth. Curran and Kate know they are probably walking into a trap and risking their own lives and those of their friends. The opportunity to save shifter children is something they aren't willing to miss.
Moving the setting in Europe was really effective for refreshing the plot. While I love this series it could have had the potential to get a bit 'samey' with every book focusing on the same core characters in the same location. While most of my favourite characters made the trip across the Atlantic with Kate and Curran there was lots of opportunity to get to meet new characters. Barabas has started to take a more central role as a strong secondary character. In fact, at one point I think that he has more page time than Derek. I did miss that there wasn't further development of Kate's and Julie's relationship. Although Julie appears at the start and end of the book she is not part of the 'European/baby' plot for reasons which are clear when you read the book. I feel that this relationship really 'humanises' Kate as she struggles to be a parent to the teenager. Kate is flawed - she isn't the perfect adopted mother, or perfect friend or partner. This makes her more human and therefore, more realistic than other females characters in similar books in this genre. Kate and Curran's relationship is fleshed out even more in the course of the plot with satisfying results. This is a great couple and I enjoy the roller-coaster that is their relationship.
Andrews' also treats us to a subtle history lesson about Assyrian mythology through one of the antagonists. Not only was this a very clever way to introduce a new shifter species but also seems to add a sense of gravitas to the plot. There is even a reference to Assyrian statuary that I have seen at the British Museum (replicas of the real thing) which has me wanting to study Assyrian history and then go back and re-read these chapters. That is not an easy feat!
In my view Kate Daniels is a fantastic heroine. She isn't perfect but she is multi-faceted and conflicted which makes her such an engaging character. If kick-assery was a real word and kick-assery was in the dictionary Kate's picture would be beneath it. We get to see yet another side of Kate's character both in her relationship with Curran but also with the other characters who feature in this instalment.
I love this series and Magic Rises is yet another great in the series. I read it really quickly and now have that sense of disappointment I often get when I finish one of the books in this series. Not disappointment in the book but rather, that I have to wait for another year to find out what happens next. Although I generally re-read the series quite often in between releases I still miss these characters in between books. This isn't a series to start mid-way through so if you haven't read any of the books make sure you start at the beginning. It won't take you long to get to Magic Rises and you will be left like me and pining for more.