Author: Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels, #6
Release date: July 30th 2013
Mass Market Paperback, 337 pg
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: The Book Depository
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…
After no less than 26 agonizing months, Magic Rises, the long-awaited sixth installment in the Kate Daniels series is finally here. Breaths are being held, bets are being placed, hearts are beating faster all over the world. Fans of the series are both numerous and ridiculously loyal, but will they be disappointed, whether they voice it or not?
Honestly, I’d have to judge that on a case-by-case basis. Early reactions have been very enthusiastic. Most reviewers have nothing but high praise to share, and for the most part, I happen to agree with them. But a small part of me is also just a tad disappointed, and I’m finding it difficult to pinpoint why.
I’ll start with the good, though. There’s nothing worse in this world than an enemy who treats you like a friend. You can be fully aware of the danger and the plotting, but an occasional act of kindness can make his teeth seem not quite so big. Although she may claim otherwise, as a general rule, Kate Daniels trusts people until they prove her wrong, but when faced with the only person who is her equal, similar to her in more ways than one, drawing the line suddenly doesn’t seem so easy. Hugh D’Ambray is the closest thing to Kate’s mirror image – he has all her skills and stubbornness, but none of that pesky thing called conscience. She hates him, there is no doubt, but a part of her can’t deny the connection, the same upbringing and abuse they had to endure. This conflict is undoubtedly the highlight of this book. It’s where Gordon and Ilona showed their superior skill and insight and I hope they’ll keep it alive one way or another in books to come.
Magic Rises is not a merry adventure. It is angsty and painful, filled with conflicts and miscommunications. Characters are quick to jump to conclusions, take matters into their own hands, make a mess of things and stop talking altogether. The latter, more than anything else, drove me out of my mind. I am not fond of such situations, especially when they involve characters I think highly of, and they always leave me feeling disenchanted and sad.
At this point in the series, one expects the authors to make some hard decisions and put their readers through unexpected and difficult situations. It’s only understandable, otherwise the series would go stale and we’d all end up reading something else. But it makes no sense to decide on such a move, a very emotional, gut-punch move, and then fail to use it to its full potential. A potentially devastating event towards the end of the book was neatly swept under the rug. It happened, I was shocked, and then it was just never properly addressed, never dealt with in any way. We did not get to see the consequences or the suffering. Maybe the next book will deal with it more, but it will be too late for the full emotional impact.
Not that I wrote it all down, it seems I was a bit more disappointed about all this than I first thought. Objectively, Magic Rises is a three-star read, but I’m giving it a four for old times’ sake. Let’s hope the next one clears the air.