So this has been on my to-read list for the longest time. It sounded interesting when I bought it at least a year or two ago. I don't know why it took me so long but hey, I finally read it.
There are some negative reviews for this book but I found myself enjoying it. Some world building had to occur for this book and it was difficult to understand when I first started reading. I felt like Sagara needed to have a glossary in the book so I could understand the world a little better before I started reading. Basically this world is an alternate universe. Elantra is a big city. This world isn't technologically advanced and they rely on horses and carriages. It's almost medieval but this world also has magic. There are 5 different races that we are introduced to. You have the immortals: Dragons and Barrani. Then you have the mortals: Liontines (Lion type humans), Aerians (People with wings), Tha'alani (creatures with probe things on their heads. They can read you mind and memories and can almost show you images), and humans. Each race has a different culture and it's pretty interesting.
Kaylin Neya is our heroine. She is a chronically late person who is also a little special. When she was younger there was a series of murders of children around her age. Each child who was found dead had strange markings on their arms and thighs. One day marks appeared on Kaylin but she was never killed. We learn why later. Kaylin’s marks have given her some power that no one understands. She knows she can heal and she does what she can for the midwives. She helps mothers and children in danger from complicated births. She also can heal injuries. Her powers are not always in her control and it's had some deadly consequences. Because of this the Hawklord requires her to wear a bracer that tamps down her powers.
When the murders begin again, Kaylin must face her childhood home in the fiefs. The fiefs are a poor area run by an outcaste Barrani named Nightshade. Lord Nightshade is in charge of the fief and even though he is an outlaw, the Lords of Law do not mess with him. He gifts Kaylin with a mark on her cheek. It is a nightshade flower. The Barrani can see this mark even if Kaylin tried to hide it. This mark protects in within Nightshade but puts her in danger outside of it.
To help Kaylin find the culprit behind the murders, she is forced with work with a Dragon and Severn. Severn betrayed Kaylin in the worst way even though he did what was necessary at the time. I will not reveal that detail either. Because of what he did, Kaylin doesn't trust him. She can't help but feel their old companionship because Severn was part of her life for so long. I find it funny that the first time she sees him she basically tries to kill him.
I really liked this book but for some reason it took me awhile to review it. I don't know why but oh well. I will reread it sometime in the future. I like to reread because I know I miss things. I would recommend this book. My only problem is that you don't really get a full explanation of the world of Elantra. It's difficult to figure things out sometimes. I feel that there should have been more of an introduction. I like that we are dropped into the middle of the story. I would have at least liked a glossary. J.R. Ward has that in her books and it's quite useful. (less)
Let’s start out with Kate. Kate is a mercenary, or merc for short, and she works for the Mercenary Guild. She deals with magical hazmat and fights the...moreLet’s start out with Kate. Kate is a mercenary, or merc for short, and she works for the Mercenary Guild. She deals with magical hazmat and fights the nasty things that most people would run away from. For example, a giant worm is making noise in the sewer tunnels and she has to go chop it up with her sword, Slayer. Kate is a sword master and it honestly makes me want to learn how to fight with a sword.
In this book we don’t know much about Kate. This is the first book so we are getting introduced to the world and the characters in the first place. I think this is why first books are a little more difficult to write and sell. It doesn’t matter. It still got five stars and I love it. I think the world Ilona and Gordon have created is brilliant. I love it. I love that there is this constant war between magic and technology and everyone just had to survive it. There are no cell phones and landlines don’t always work when magic is up. Regular cars stall and magically water-fueled cars are loud and slow. I wouldn’t want to live in this world though I would like to be a shapeshifter; some kind of cat I think.
Kate’s father is dead and she suddenly finds out that her guardian was murdered. Her guardian, Greg, was a Knight of the Order. The Order of Knights of Merciful Aid is one of three organizations that handle magical issues. Greg was a Knight Diviner so he had some pretty powerful magic. He also knew Kate’s super-secret. Apparently they hadn’t been on good terms on their last meet and Kate is feeling a lot of guilt. She leaves her safe home in Savannah and heads to Atlanta.
Ted, the Knight Protector, allows Kate to work on Greg’s case. There is someone who is obviously doing to investigation as well and we soon learn the Kate is just the distraction. The crusader, one crazy SOB, was on the case and he needs to stay hidden. There have been several deaths surrounding this case. Seven shapeshifters and six vampires had all been murdered along with Greg. Also, there were missing women Greg was trying to find. Somehow all these things were connected. First, Kate calls Jim to get him to help her meet with the Beast Lord of Atlanta. The Beast Lord is the shapeshifter in charge of all shapeshifters in Atlanta. We find out his name, Curran, and what he shifts in to, a lion. I love Curran. He just makes me smile and Kate is totally scared of him. This makes me like her character even more.
Kate goes to the Keep, home of the shapeshifters. Curran tries to mess with her by letting wolves get in her way. She forces one particular wolf to obey her every command. The wolf is Derek and he is ridiculously beautiful. Kate calls him Boy Wonder. They head the casino, home of the People. The People are necromancers and their trainees, aka journeymen, who pilot the undead. When humans get infected with a pathogen, they become undead killing machines. The vampire is another creature. They have no thoughts and their blood lust is never sated. Because their minds are blank, necromancers can pilot them. It’s very hard to kill a shapeshifter and it’s very hard to kill a vampire. Something that can kill both is pretty scary.
We have lots of action, lots of fighting, a horrible date, and a huge finale. The writing is great and flows really well. I don’t know how Kate functions because she barely sleeps. It’s a great first book and it’s followed by another great book. Kate Daniels is amazing and I tell everyone who likes fantasy to read it. I can always escape into Kate’s world and I’ll continue to do so.
There is a Curran POV from the Magic Bites Special Edition. It's Curran's view from the night at Fernando's. Read it here There is also a Curran POV in Curran: Volume 1. In it we have Curran's thoughts as he watches Kate from before they meet in Unicorn Lane. It's fantastic. Read it free here
The only reason this gets four stars instead of five is because of the absolutely awful way it ended. Honestly, it is one of the worst endings ever. I...moreThe only reason this gets four stars instead of five is because of the absolutely awful way it ended. Honestly, it is one of the worst endings ever. It at least needed an epilogue!(less)
I was a little hesitant to pick this book up at first even though it sounded interesting. I'm glad I did. It was a good book and I enjoyed it. Despite my enjoyment, I had a hard time rating this. I went back and forth between 3.5 and 4 stars. The concept is great but some of the things in the story bothered me enough to knock it down to 3.5. I would still recommend it though. Overall it's a good story with a good plot line despite some of the things I did not particularly like.
It's quite obvious from the first time Jon and Maddie meet that there is going to be a love story between them. Jon appears in an astral form in Maddie's bedroom. Maddie has been living alone ever since her husband died in a fire. She is afraid of hurting anyone with her power because she has no control. Jon is dying and something is forcing him to appear before her. Maddie thinks she's going crazy until Jon warns her about missing teenagers from the area her sister and her nephew, Ethan, visited two weeks prior. Jon begs her to find him and save him. When Ethan disappears like the other teenagers who visited AREA, Maddie decides to set out to save Jon and then find Ethan.
Along with Maddie's pyrokinesis, she is also clairvoyant. Ethan has inherited that power as well. Maddie's power helps her with trying to locate Ethan but since she doesn't have much control, the visions are confusing and unclear. Jon can't help her focus her powers because he is a shapeshifter, a hawk to be exact, and he doesn't know the finer arts of the craft. He does help her calm down when she sets the inn on fire by accident.
Maddie stays at an inn where there is a creepy owner named Hank. This guy is so well written that when you are reading it, you get that creepy vibe. He's nasty and you know that he is evil. He has a fascination with Maddie and it scares her. I would be scared too. We find out pretty early who is behind the kidnappings and murders. It was quite obvious from the beginning so I was a little annoyed by that. There really wasn't a sense of mystery. I'm not sure is this is what Arthur was aiming for but it was extremely predictable.
I was also a little annoyed by the hot and cold vibes Jon sent towards Maddie. I understand the reasoning behind it but it was a constant thing so I found it tiring.
I was a little surprised by the ending. I wasn't expecting the time difference, something you will understand when you read the last chapter. It did have a HEA which I am grateful for. Overall it was a good book. The next book in the Damask Circle series focuses on two different characters. It's one of those series that have different main characters for each book. I will be reading the next book in the series.