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…
Magic Rises is an intense, action-packed and emotional ride through the Kate Daniels-verse that leaves the reader begging for the next book. Wow...just...wow! Now, could someone smack me upside the head for taking so long to read this book? I have followed this series for years, yet for whatever reason, I kept putting this book off. What a mistake I made. Remind me to never do that again.
Kate and Curran spend almost the entire book in Europe. With so many Pack kids turning loupe, a cure needs to be acquisitioned immediately. Luckily for Curran, there is a magical cure, panacea, that he can get his hands on - if he agrees to a devil's deal. If Curran agrees to act as a mediator for a couple of crazy-ass European packs, and as the bodyguard for a very pregnant werewolf shifter princess, he can have a load of panacea. However, Kate and Curran acknowledge that this mission could be the death of them all - it's a dangerous game they are about to play with different factions that all have their own agendas.
Go to the Black Sea, meet new people, see beautiful places, get killed by a mutant carnivorous kangaroo goat. One item off my bucket list.
Kate and Curran...what can I say about our bad ass ex-mercenary and His Furriness? They begin this book solidly. They have been together at the Keep for some time now, and their relationship seems stronger than ever. As this book progresses, the insecurities Curran and Kate both harbor come to light. It is obvious that Curran will keep Kate safe by any means possible. There is a load of Curran-Kate angst and drama in this book, but thankfully Ilona Andrews lets us off the hook before too long. I can't think of a more solid UF relationship than this one, and the emotional scenes between Kate and Curran are sure to have you oohing and ahhing.
"I love you and you love me, and we're both too fucked up for anyone else. Who else would have us?" I sighed. "Well, clearly we're both crazy and this relationship is doomed."Kate meets a familiar acquaintance while on this mission - the very scary Hugh d'Ambray. Not only is Hugh dark, dangerous and sexy in a terrifying way, but he has an agenda. We learn why all the packs are really meeting, and we see just a touch of what Hugh can do with his magic. He lets Kate know that he knows who her father is, and that he is interested in Kate. He is an intelligent predator, waiting for the exact right moment to take what he wants. Hugh and Roland are going to be major characters moving forward in this series, and I can't wait to see where Andrews takes us.
"You'll try, and I will enjoy that, too. I meant what I said, Kate. You make me feel that interesting something. That's rare for me. And I like having you around. You're funny."
Curran makes me a bit angry in this book. Although he is attempting to do the right thing in regards to Kate, she suffers greatly throughout this book. He causes her to doubt herself and him, and it's cringe worthy at best. However, he redeems himself quite nicely and shows how very noble he is. For as much as Curran thinks that he's screwed up, he's a very good, upstanding and noble character. He protects what is his, whether it's Kate or his entire Pack. I think that Curran would do anything for Kate, including leaving the Pack if it came down to that.
"You want to know the difference between you and Curran? If you gave this castle to him, within a month there would be a court, due process, and a working police force accountable to its citizens. Curran sees himself as serving the people he leads; you see yourself as being served."
There are many side characters in this book, which made me very happy. We see Andrea and Raphael, Aunt B, Mahon, Doolittle, Barabas, Derek and a few other shifters from the Pack. We also meet a slew of new ones...from the deplorable Jarek Kral, to the simpering Lorelei, to the enigmatic Christopher. Oh, Christopher. I see big things coming for you! There are many new faces, some I hope will be staying around for a while. I wish that we could have seen more of what happened to Lorelei at the end of this book. Is it awful that I want bad things to happen to a character? We also lose a beloved character that we've known for a while. It's heartbreaking, especially when you understand the altruistic means behind the character's actions. Mahon and Doolittle were the most surprising of the bunch, and both for different reasons. And Saiman, sweet, crazy Saiman. He is only in a small portion of this book, but his presence is greatly felt from the beginning to the end.
"I finally realized the source of your mutual attraction," Saiman said, his voice dry. I looked up. He was standing a few feet away. "Do enlighten us." Curran tried to roll into me to break the lock. Oh no you don't. "You both think violence is foreplay."
I am most concerned moving forward about Roland and what his plans are regarding Kate. He is big-time scary, and I don't know if Kate is in a place where she is ready to face him. I'm not even sure if he wants Kate dead, or if he just wants to use her, or if he has other ideas. All I know is that when the show down occurs, I will be on the edge of my seat. I'm also a tad nervous about Kate. Kate has only just recently allowed other humans into her life. Curran is her only real relationship. Will something happen that is the catalyst to push Kate back into her mercenary ways? Will her blood lust become too much to handle? Will Roland be able to flip a switch? Kate is from bad stock, but has clawed her way into being a good person. Will she always chose good, or can she revert to her roots? I think the quote below is very telling of Kate, though.
"I've known him for a long time. We met when the sea and the mountains were younger. No matter what time and the world do to him, he won't change. He is what he is. You're not so bad. You try too hard and you lust for blood, but your heart is good."
Gordon and Ilona Andrews have written an excellent addition to this amazing series. They are so consistent in their writing, and I highly recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of well-written, dark UF. I love the dry humor that is used in this book, and I adore the various nods to The Princess Bride that were sprinkled throughout. The fantastic duo has planned out this epic journey - all we have to do is sit back, wait patiently and enjoy. I can't wait until Magic Breaks is released. I have a feeling it will be a major, major book in this series that could potentially change everything.