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Kate Daniels #6

Magic Rises

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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…

Includes the short story "An Ill-Advised Rescue"

329 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published July 30, 2013

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About the author

Ilona Andrews

110 books29.7k followers
Ilona Andrews is the pseudonym for a husband-and-wife writing team. Ilona is a native-born Russian and Gordon is a former communications sergeant in the U.S. Army. Contrary to popular belief, Gordon was never an intelligence officer with a license to kill, and Ilona was never the mysterious Russian spy who seduced him. They met in college, in English Composition 101, where Ilona got a better grade. (Gordon is still sore about that.)

Gordon and Ilona currently reside in Oregon with their two children, three dogs and a cat. They have co-authored two series, the bestselling urban fantasy of Kate Daniels and romantic urban fantasy of The Edge.

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Profile Image for Navessa.
Author 10 books7,523 followers
April 15, 2018

2.5 stars

Okay, before everyone freaks out, let me explain something here. My modus operandi for reading books I’m really looking forward to is to go into them blind. I don’t read reviews, I ignore status updates from friends, and sometimes, I don’t even read the book blurb. So that’s what I did going into this. I ignored everyone and everything.

Don’t do that.

You need to prepare yourself. There’s a lot of fucking drama in this book. For me, too much drama. I spent over two hundred pages feeling like this:

I already have rage issues (as some of you know), so you can understand how it could be…upsetting to be that mad for nearly two thirds of a book.

One of the reasons I love this series so much is because it’s stayed away from the kind of relationship-based angst that leads to my epic bitch fits. I can get that crap anywhere and pretty much everywhere else and so these books had become a sort of safe harbor for me. Not so much with this one.

Aside from the drama-llamas, I had other issues, but I won’t go into them until the book has been out for a few weeks as I don’t want to spoil anything. I will say this, there were plot inconsistencies, there were actions and behaviors that were so out of character that they were hard for me to swallow and in the end, everything was too quickly and neatly tied up with a bow.

Deus ex machina, people.

I’m not sure if it was all the rage I’d endured or my annoyance at the way things seemed to resolve themselves but by the admittedly epic climax I wasn’t as emotionally invested as I should have been. There’s a scene I’m pretty sure I should have cried at but I didn’t because by that point I was almost…indifferent.

I still love Ilona Andrews. This is still one of my favorite series of all time. I have infinite faith in them to continue to deliver but for the reasons I listed above, this book is just not one of my favorites.

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Profile Image for Ferdy.
944 reviews1,110 followers
July 31, 2013
2.5 stars - Spoilers

Not impressed. I've never given an Ilona Andrews book less than 3 stars before but there was just too much WTFery in Magic Rises to rate it any higher. I loved all the earlier Kate Daniels books, they had the right balance of plot, action, romance and humour. Sadly, Magic Rises was a complete mess.

Random thoughts:

-What's what: Pack kids go loup, need medicine, loads of melodrama, Kate/Curran offered medicine and in exchange must protect pregnant shifter (Desendra), Kate and gang travel to Europe for the job, the gang wary of trap, loads of posturing from foreign packs, Curran acts like fucker, mystery monsters, Kate acts like doormat. The end.

-I hated all the focus on pack and pack politics. I'm sick of all their rubbish, the series feels more about the pack than about Kate. I miss Kate going on her solo adventures, I'm tired of her being tied to the pack and Curran.

-I was annoyed that Kate was the one who seemed to be handling all the pack bullshit instead of Curran. She was the one organising the security detail for the pregnant shifter, she was the one investigating the mystery monsters, and she was the one holding the group together. Curran left it all to Kate whilst he spent all his time flirting and getting his ego stroked by a hot young wolf princess (Lorelei). I didn't buy his silly excuses for hanging out with Lorelei - he did it because he wanted to, not because of Kate.

-I used to love Curran but after reading Magic Rises, I no longer like him. He did way too many unforgivable things — the way he treated Kate was awful.
It made no sense whatsoever that Curran didn't tell Kate that someone wanted her dead — he knew before they even got off the boat, but he still kept it from her. She was going to dangerous, foreign territory, and he didn't think Kate ought to know that someone was out to get her?! WTF?! Her life was in even more danger than she thought — how would keeping her in the dark help in any way?!
How dare Curran risk Kate's life further by not warning her of another threat! Did Curran have that little trust and faith in her? He didn't even have all the information on who hired the pirates to kill Kate until Saiman further question the pirate, so why not tell her straight away? His whole excuse at the end didn't add up.

-As soon as Curran saw Lorelei, he was all over her and that was BEFORE he even realised her involvement in Kate's assassination attempt. Curran only bribed Lorelei's uncle after he found out from Saiman that the money the pirate had was from Lorelei's country. So why was he all over her from the get go unless he genuinely wanted her?!
Curran's flirting with Lorelai was too much, actually he was basically mating with her, what with giving her food, letting her kill the animals he hunted, letting her sit next to him, standing naked next to her, going on romantic walks with her, talking about his relationship to Kate with her, and bitching about Kate. Ugh. I have no doubt that Curran enjoyed his time with her — he was probably buttering up Lorelai in case anything happened to Kate, that way he'd have a back up. The dick.
Hugh was right when he said that Curran wanted to have sex with Lorelei and that Curran must have thought about it. I don't know why Kate ignored Hugh's opinion — he was spot on about Curran.

-Not only did Curran cheat on Kate (yea, he did cheat on her in shifter terms), he humiliated her in front of EVERYONE, and then he lied about it repeatedly. I was irritated that Kate just believed Curran's lies. Why didn't she ask Curran that if he really didn't want Lorelei why the fuck was he spending so much time with her? Why didn't she question him further?

-The reason for Curran's behaviour towards Lorelei was BULLSHIT. He thought getting touchy feely with Lorelai would stop the assassination attempt but there was no guarantee of that. If the fuckers were willing to kill Kate in the first place so that Lorelai could have him then why wouldn't they decide to just finish Kate off straight away? That way Curran would be vulnerable enough for Lorelai to seduce him. None of it made sense. If he really wanted to keep Kate safe he should have told her and spent as much time with her as he could instead of leaving her all alone thus making it easier for her to be killed.

-If Curran had told Kate his nonsensical plan at the beginning, then not only would she have been more careful, she would have played along. She would still have been pissed and jealous at Curran's flirting even though she knew it wasn't real — it's not like she would been cool with seeing Curran pretending to want another women. It would have still hurt her — so her responses would have been genuine. That's why I didn't buy Curran not telling Kate his plan, him saying Kate couldn't lie and that she was worse at lying than a child was ABSOLUTE UTTER BULLSHIT.
Since when has Kate not being able to lie especially to strangers?! Curran might see through Kate but that's only because she wants him to - Kate could have easily played along and fooled a bunch of strangers! Also, Kate is actually a great liar — she spent her whole fucking life hiding who she was, she regularly has to act in front of the pack so they don't see her weaknesses or tiredness, she hid her emotions and feelings from everyone growing up. So how the fuck was she a bad liar?! I very much doubt she would have had any trouble pretending, acting and lying. Did he know Kate at all?! Curran's excuses were pure BULLSHIT. He must have just liked lying, humiliating and hurting Kate, and he must have loved getting cozy, and bitching about Kate with Lorelei. The FUCKING dick.

-The most unforgivable thing was not letting Kate know there was an extra threat, Curran knew their weren't at home, that they were outnumbered and that they had little control there. He knew that Kate could have easily been isolated and then killed but he still didn't feel the need to warn her so she could be extra careful. And he didn't even tell the rest of the pack that they needed to keep an extra close eye on Kate. It wasn't like Curran himself was watching out for her — he was too busy sucking up to Lorelai. So Kate was left on her own and she was in more danger than she knew — that just showed how little Curran cared for Kate's safety.

-Kate was decent enough until she turned into a doormat and forgave all Curran's bullshit after one conversation. I didn't expect her to dump him but she should have at least taken a step back. Curran's non-stop lies and full on flirting with another woman showed that their relationship wasn't right.
Their whole conversation at the end was ridiculous, Kate said they weren't okay and that she wasn't sure what to do, and then her next sentence was literally that everything was cool between them. WTF?!
Oh and then, Curran told her he would act the same way if he had to do it all again. Really?! So he basically told Kate he still didn't trust her or have faith in her, and Kate was okay with that?! When did she turn into such an idiot?
I really hated how Kate tried to justify Curran's reasoning by saying she would have done the same thing. There's NO WAY she would have lied, flirted with another man, and humiliated Curran like that. I hate when the hero and heroine have huge problems in their relationship and the heroine glosses them over by saying she would have done the same thing when it's so obvious she wouldn't have.
By the end of Kate and Curran's conversation, they didn't sort anything out - Curran made dumb excuses and then Kate made even more dumb excuses for him. Their relationship was a mess.

-The thing that really pissed me off was that if the situation was reversed, Curran would not have forgiven Kate straight away, he would have acted like a dick towards her and held a grudge for ages. And Kate would have had to apologise over and over again, and then she would have had to make it up to him and prove herself. Then she'd have to make several grand declarations — then maybe just maybe he would have deigned to take her back. But it wouldn't end there, because he still wouldn't trust her completely and she'd forever have to work for his trust or some bullshit. Ugh.

-Kate's attitude towards Desendra pissed me off. She was really judgmental and unsympathetic towards her especially at the beginning. Did Kate not realise that Desendra was pregnant with twins? Had a dad who wanted her dead? Had two ex's that had their own agendas? And had no-one that genuinely loved and cared for her? With Desendra's history, it was no surprise she behaved the way she did - Kate was a total cow with her judgy attitude. I did like that Kate eventually managed to get some perspective and stopped looking down at Desendra so much.

-I loved all the scenes with Hugh D'Ambry. He was the best thing about the book, he definitely had some chemistry with Kate. I was actually wishing Kate would dump Curran and instead have a fling with Hugh.

-The secondary characters were all good - I loved Aunt B, Doolittle, Derek, George, Barbaras. I still hated Mahon, his whole acceptance of Kate was a case of too little, too late. Aunt B's death was sad, I would have preferred if Mahon had died.
I was disappointed that there was no Dali at all, I was looking forward to a little interaction between her and Jim.
Desendra's character was great - I felt sorry for her not only having a bastard dad but also two uncaring, cowardly, greedy husbands. I was so glad she killed her dad — but I was left confused as to who inherited his territory.
The Christopher thing at the end was cheesy, Hugh must have known that Christopher knew how to make panacea — there's no way Hugh would have let Christopher go, he would have at least tried to kill him.

-There were too many info dumps about the mystery flying monsters. It was really boring reading Kate's speculation about what they were and their origins and whatnot.

-I was annoyed at Kate's constant crying. Okay, she cried twice but it was still annoying.

-All the sudden marriage talk irritated me. Kate and Curran were fine before, and the whole let's get married felt less a natural step in the next stage of their relationship and more a thing they forced because other people kept bringing it up.

All in all, I was disappointed. The story wasn't my cup of tea because there was too much pack nonsense, Kate was a pushover, and Curran was a dick - I don't think he's as bad as Reyes (from the Charley Davidson series) or Owen (from the Elemental Assassin series) but he's definitely well and truly ruined for me.

February 16, 2023
And the moral of this particular rererererereread is: Lorelei challenging Kate =

👋 Until next time and stuff.

🐈 The Adventures Of A Brave Little Kitty Buddy Rerererereread (TAOABLKBR™) with the IA Addicts 🐈

And the moral of this particular rererererereread is: Desandra and her touching enthusiasm for velvety plums (never gets old, dat) + Barabas the devious, paranoid, and obsessive Heavenly Shower provider + Christopher (he sees dead doggies) + Astamur the, um, mountain chef + A hobbit wannabe Atsany + a grim yet hug-worthy executioner + Lord Bloody Shrimping Megobari + a badass Consort who requests to be pinched + scaly bastards + lectures and poisoned cookies + punching happy days in the face + scary as fish heartwarming bouda smiles + home runs, Beast Lord style =

💌 A very private, very personal message to Hugh: I've read Iron and Magic ergo you fool me no longer. Ha!

P.S. A hot body and flirting will only get you so far. Just so you know.
P.P.S. Please do punch the pack princess. Twice or thrice. At least. Thank thee kindly and stuff.

👋 Until next time and stuff.

[March 2018]

The Grand IAA™ KD Buddy Rerererereread Extravaganza (GIAAKDBRE™), aka the yellow brick road to Magic Triumphs

Presenting Episode 6, or How Kate Daniels Learned That It's Fishing Hard To Resist The Fishing Urge To Fishing Punch The Fishing Pack Princess

» And the moralssssss of this particular rererereread are:

I never wrote a proper crappy non review for this book. Yeah yeah yeah, I know, shame on me and all that crap. Anyway, what does this tell you? That I am as lazily uninspired as a Tibetan crayfish monk high on butter tea, you say? Ha. Ha. Ha. You're so funny sometimes, you crack my little self up. Let's try this again, shall we? So, what does this tell you? That this is the best bloody shrimping book in this whole bloody shrimping series, that's what. And the confused people who don't like this instalment because spoiler spoiler spoiler either 1/read it erroneously wrong or and 2/have Despicable Book Taste (DBT™).

My dear Edgar, always so supportive. He really is the best cuddly pet ever.

I will never of tire of listening to Desandra's lectures about, um, plums.

Epic fights are epic. Yes they are.

I want to go live on the mountain with Astamur and Atsany. Because hahaha and because Aarh and because second breakfast. And also becomes sometimes someone hikes up the mountain and throws tantrums and plays with rocks and stuff.

Mutant kangaroo goats, the best alternative to caffeine barnacles.

There seems to be a worldwide conspiracy to make puny humans think dolphins are cute, friendly, outgoing creatures. This is all bullshit FishShit (FS™). Yes it is. Trust me on that one, I have centuries of experience as a Ruthless Overlord of All Things Subaquatic on this Planet (ROaATSotP™). I KNOW about these things.

Damn, who let the kids out again?! Fleet Admiral DaShrimp, what the fish am I paying you for?! Can't you see I'm kinda sorta busy here?! Get the troops off my nefarious back this minute!

The Momentary End. I shall return. Yes, this is a threat. You are quite welcome.

💌 A very private, personal message to my Dearest Dearest Lorelei (DDL™): YOU DEAD YET?

[July 2016]

KD is the Cure to All of Life's Problems Buddy Read (KDitCtAoLPBR™) with my dear wife Ange, and the poor IAA souls who have fallen into our deathly KD Surprise Reread Trap (KSRT™).

Previous rating: 12 stars
New rating: no longer counting. It's useless.

» And the moral of this particular rererereread is: damn. I ♥♥LOVE♥♥ this book. I actually think I ♥♥LOVE♥♥ it more than I do Magic Strikes. That's right. I love this more than I do the Midnight Games. And flying palaces. And the Scarlet Star. AND HOT TUBS. Oh boy.

» And the other moral of this particular rererereread is: Your Smug Fussiness, you might be a complete ass, but I still love you. Sometimes. When I don't feel like chopping you into tiny little pieces, that is.

» And the other, other, other moral of this particular rererereread is: please someone, anyone, punch/slap/stab/torture/kill/whatever the Fucking Pack Princess (FPP™). Don't let me get to her first. It wouldn't be pretty.

The End. Until next time.

PS: Desandra, you slightly unhinged nutcase, I love your bedtime stories about plums. So educational and stuff.

Previous rerereread: July 2015.

Previous rating: 5 stars.
New rating: 12. Hell yeah.

Get on boat.

Say hi to the dolphins pirates.

Get off boat.

►► Crappy yet (hopefully) ♫ musical ♫ review to comeJuly 2016: still waiting for this review? Me too. Can't wait for someone to write it. Because I have no freaking clue what the whole ♫ musical ♫ thing was supposed to be about. Alzheimer's is me.

· Book 1: Magic Bites ★★★★★
· Book 2: Magic Burns ★★★★★
· Book 3: Magic Strikes ★★★★★
· Book 4: Magic Bleeds ★★★★★
· Book 5: Magic Slays ★★★★★
· Book 7: Magic Breaks ★★★★★
· Book 8: Magic Shifts ★★★★★
· Book 9: Magic Binds ★★★★★
· Book 10: Magic Triumphs ★★★★
· Book 10.5: Magic Tides ★★★★★
· Book 10.6: Magic Claims · to be published June 2023
Profile Image for Angela.
3,198 reviews368 followers
March 23, 2021
August 2016 re-read: God, I love this book. The tension in it is delicious - even excepting the thing that I hate. Because there are plenty of things that I love. And Kate is amazing, as always.

October 2015 re-read: I loved this book just as much as the first time I read it. And though I said, in my original review, to read it without any spoilers, I would amend that now. Just this one: Curran is an ass. And the emotional turmoil that Kate gets put through in this book is devastating. She's kicked when she's down more than once, and at different points in the book I wanted to kill so many people for making her hurt so badly. I understand (especially on a re-read - though I guessed the first time through) why it was happening, but it doesn't make it any less painful.

That being said, this book is so taut with tension and we meet some fantastic new characters. It broke my heart more than once, and I sighed with relief when it was done. This is - by far - the most difficult, emotionally, book in the series. It's also one of the best.

20 July 2014: $1.99 on Kindle

Seriously - this whole series is on sale. I love it so much. HIGHLY recommended. The next book comes out in a little over a week.

I highly, highly recommend avoiding all spoilers for this book. Read it fresh. I promise there aren't spoilers in my review below. The spoiler tags just note stream-of-consciousness thoughts I had.., If you don't want to know anything other than I loved it - Read no further. Fair warning ;)

Once upon a time, I'd never read anything by Ilona Andrews. I lived in the dark, badgered by my good friend (thank you Kat!!) constantly as she tried to get me to pick up Magic Bites. I don't even remember what my problem was – why I didn't pick up this book as soon as I knew about it. I think I thought it just wasn't for me. If I wasn't so very wrong that would be funny.

Then, one day, I was looking at my beautiful bookshelf full of books I needed to read and Magic Bites called out louder than the rest. I picked it up, laid down on my bed, and turned to the first page. I sat at a table in my shadowy kitchen, staring down a bottle of Boone's Farm Hard Lemonade, when a magic fluctuation hit...

Several hours later I surfaced to the real world again; reluctant to leave behind Kate, Derek, Curran, and even Saiman. Luckily, the next three books were out and I immediately downloaded them, and any novellas I could find, to my Kindle. And ordered them in paper to be shipped to me... The next several days were spent in a magic-induced reading high from this series. Immediately upon finishing Magic Bleeds I started the series from the beginning. Diving back into this world, spending time with the characters I couldn't yet let go of, and eagerly, , awaited Magic Slays.

I'm here to say, the magic definitely isn't waning on this series. Ilona Andrews continues to be one of the best in the Urban Fantasy genre. They've proved time and again they have excellent world–building skills as they show us an Atlanta ravaged by the effects of magic and technology fluctuating, and Kate's struggles through it. Relationships are complex and nuanced; the slow build of Kate and Curran's relationship is just one of the things that makes them my favorite literary couple, ever.

So when, Jenny was kind enough to send me her ARC to read I was ecstatic! I immediately cracked it open and started reading. I recommend flipping to the end and starting with An Ill-Advised Rescue (if you haven't already read it on their website) which is a fully-contained short story that relates to the beginning of Magic Rises; also, it's just more awesome times with Kate.

In Magic Rises Ilona Andrews takes everything a step further – expanding the world over the Black Sea, and pushing these characters I've come to love so much to the very edge of their abilities to endure. This book was an emotional roller-coaster for me. I was up, I was down; I cried, I laughed, I screamed, I cheered. My heart broke, and was put back together.

If I had the ability to jump into the pages of this book and kick some people's asses, I would have. I wanted to kill some characters. Slap others upside the head; hug and comfort if possible. It's not an exaggeration to say this book will put you through the emotional wringer. Not only are Kate and Curran fighting for the medicine to save the shapeshifter children from going loup – emotional enough in and of itself – Ilona Andrews puts everything on the line, shaking it up and pulling us through the other side.

I won't say a lot about the main story line, except to say that it blew me away. I wasn't sure how I was going to stay interested outside of Atlanta – dealing with packs I'd never heard of and didn't know. Lucky for me, and for Kate and Curran, a contingent from the Pack traveled with them. The help and support was very much needed, and I enjoyed seeing how Kate's begun to integrate from her solitary existence to being an alpha, the alpha female of the Pack. She went from working alone, having no friends, no lovers, no one she trusted to relying on others, being emotionally involved in others survival, and doing everything she can to help those under her care – no matter the cost.

The cost has the potential to be very high in Magic Rises. Even knowing they're walking into a trap, Kate and Curran don't begin to contemplate the possibilities of how dangerous this deal is. To their lives, yes, but also to everything they hold dear. Their relationship is tested, hard, in this book. And I can easily say that I wanted to kick Curran's ass more than once. I was devastated for Kate, I felt her pain and I hated to see her hurt.

There are shocks and twists, plots and schemes, danger and kick-ass fights. There are also quiet moments full of love and friendship. You may finish this book unable to look at some characters the way you did before starting, or find others mean more than you expected – I know I did. The plot, which I worried about when I first started, moved along nicely with a lot of action – there was one fight scene that had my fanning myself, it was so hot. As always, there's plenty of witty banter between Kate and everyone. Even while my heart was being torn out, slowly, they still had the ability to make me laugh.

Magic Rises is right up there with Magic Strikes for my favorite book in this series, and catapulted the Kate Daniels series to my favorite ever ! It's a fantastic addition to the series, the world, and the genre. Magic Rises is a game-changer, shaking everything up and showing yet again that Ilona Andrews are the best.

I read late into the night, staying up until I finished it – at 1AM. Sleep wasn't important to me, and I'll lay money on you not thinking so either. If you're waiting for this book as impatiently as I was, you won't be disappointed. If you haven't started this series – are you in for a treat. Go! Grab Magic Bites and dive in! You can thank me later.

Previous thoughts:

Simply Amazing.
This is one of the two best books in the series to date!
Review to come closer to release day.

ETA: Also, I think this book catapulted this series to my favorite series. Ever. Period.
Profile Image for  Teodora .
307 reviews1,644 followers
May 9, 2021
4.35/5 ⭐

Oh yes. That was a rush of adrenaline that I didn't really saw coming.
And I loved it.

It started on a high note, right from the very first chapter and from then on it only increased.
The action moves from Atlanta to the Georgian side of the Black Sea and there are all sorts of new characters.
I was super impressed with the bit of Romanian geographical knowledge the Gordons brought into the book - very few people know about the Prislop Pass in Romania, that's not generalised information. They aced the description, all my respect.


And, ha!, of course the Carpathians are some sort of barbarians, how else?
As a real-life 'Carpathian' myself, I don't even know if I should be offended or so. I'm rather amused.

The main theme of this book though was the sound of me grinding my teeth at how annoyingly uncommunicative Kate and Curran are. I wanted to slap them both so many times my palms itched. And also, I felt an urgent need to through that girl Lorelei off a very high Carpathian cliff.

And also, I will never get used to how those books end. Like for real, they always leave us wanting more. You don't even know what to expect.

August 18, 2020
This review can now be found on Rosaline's Rolls & Scrolls.

What. The. Fuck?
This was one of my favorite series! How the hell did they manage to fuck it up so much?! I am raging! This drama shit was too close to home for me and I will tell you why, but first I gotta rage!

There are so many things wrong with this book. I have to say, I still love Kate. She's badass and cool. But fuck Curran! Loving Curran has turned Kate soft and mushy and at times I miss her occasional self-serving attitude.
Okay so this series was going in the right direction. There was action, a kickass heroine, hotness, lovable side characters (looking at my boys Barabas and Derek), and super cool mythological creatures to destroy. The world building is designed in a such a way that you could pull anything out of your ass and it would work. There are endless possibilities for endless books in this world. Then why oh why dear authors, did you have to go and dump a heavy amount of DRAMA into my favorite series?!

Usually in romantic literature, lovers don't really and officially get together until the end of the book or series. But Curran and Kate did. So probably in order to introduce some challenges to that front, our dear authors decided to cook up some drama so that, God forbid, we don't get tired of happiness.
Here's my question though: WHY isn't it okay for a couple to maintain a strong and comfortable relationship without third-party drama? Maybe they could have some differences they could overcome, or explore more about how to improve their relationship. Maybe those could be some challenges to keep things going. I would happily read that. What I don't stand for though, is unnecessary dumb pretty women who come in between a couple and try to ruin them and for this to go on for more than 60 percent of the book! And for dumbness heroes who encourage this. You're supposed to be better than the average male, dude! That's why I'm reading about you.

Now I know that there was some half-assed explanation to this and Curran's behavior was supposed to be justified. But no! I've been in a relationship where the guy was a dick and made me miserable and then came to me and apologized and begged me not to leave him. That entire scene was a punch to my gut. Kate can't leave him because he's her happiness and that is supposed to be romantic and we're supposed feel all warm and fuzzy and bask in this happy couple's love. But nobody is your happiness but yourself and this type of relationship ends shitty and you will feel like shit and it's all just a big stinky pile of shit!
The ugly truth here that I can't ignore which makes me so mad because I really want to is that Curran is a little shit who doesn't trust his woman enough to tell her the truth and Kate doesn't trust Curran all that much and in their own words they are too screwed up for anyone else to love and that is not a reason to be together. The only reason they're going to work is because the authors say so, otherwise this whole ship is doomed!

In short, the authors managed to fuck up this entire relationship for me in a single book and I don't know where we're gonna go from here. The only way I can move forward with this series is to pretend that this shit never happened!

To be honest, a small part of me ships Kate with Hugh!


But hear me out! If Hugh was not trying to kill us and was instead written as a misunderstood hotty who did not have a choice but to be this way and went out of his way to woo us, more than half of you would be on that ship with me! Angst works! And we've all shipped worse.
Though, the lack of angst and drama is the thing that attracts me to Hugh. He's just... for lack of a better word... hot!

Anyways, moving on from the drama and the doomed love affairs, the rest of the book was just meh for me. There could've been so much more "oomph" to rock our lives, but noooooo, the plot was all over the place and the mystery was boring.

I've run out of fuel and don't feel like continuing this review!  So good luck with this book...



Okay, so much has been said about this book. Apparently the ending was weird, plot was inconsistent, and drama was overused. And somebody dies???
I have to say, this is one of my favorite series, and the thought of things going badly really scares me. I really want these books to remain in my good graces so I really hope I disagree with everyone.
But we'll just have to see...
Profile Image for Em Lost In Books.
874 reviews1,763 followers
May 12, 2023

Removing a star since this reminds me so much of Magic Bleed, where almost half of the book suffered because Curran and Kate did not talk and sort out things. If it was Kate there, then it was Curran here. They both got played by Hugh because of this miscommunication which Curran called, "I was trying to keep you safe, baby!" and blah blah blah. Half of the book again was about Kate's insecurities and how she should not trust or love anyone as they ultimately decide to leave her.

I remember loving Hugh first time around, and this time I just kept rolling my eyes at his shenanigans. Move over boy, Kate would beat you to a pulp on her worst day and you kept baiting her.

One thing that came out of this "I was trying to keep you safe" episode was Kate realizing that she would the same thing if she ever finds herself in the same situation and understanding that and forgiving Curran was a big step in their relation. Hope there will be no more secrets between them and I will get a funny, quirky, and nasty Kate in next books (kidding, I know what is there in next three books;)).

Now am going back to Atlanta to kill some vampires.
Profile Image for Sophia Triad.
2,239 reviews3,458 followers
April 1, 2019
Far far away, somewhere in Europe, two of the biggest European Packs are in turmoil. A wolf princess, Desandra is pregnant with twins by both packs. One baby is from Volkodavi from Ukraine and one baby from Belve Ravennati from Italy. Apparently this is something that can happen in shifters: A female can be pregnant by two males and get twins.

The result is two families arguing about their rights over her children.

Moreover, Desandra’s cruel father is waiting to see which baby will be born first and to give him as a heritage a profitable mountain pass at the Carpathian Mountains.

Curran and Kate are brought into this mess in order to protect Desandra and to be the incorruptible judge. They will gain the greatest award, if they manage to do their duty and not be murdered in the process: Panacea, a substance needed desperately since this mix of herbs reduces loupism at birth.

Curran, Kate and their team will have a great adventure across the ocean and the Mediterranean Sea where they battle mythical creatures, storms and boredom.

The action will move to Europe.

Unfortunately the whole trip seems to be a well orchestrated trap. Not for Curran, but for Kate who meets again with old enemies.

I never expected to say that, but I really disliked Curran in this book. A beautiful shifter (daughter of the ruler from Alaska Pack) is basically offered to his feet the moment he steps his foot on the land, Kate is constantly verbally attacked by all the shifters who doubt her abilities and her suitability to be Curran’s consort. And Curran does not really do much. Just accepts everything until they finish their assignment and go home.

Did he tell her? : “Don’t worry baby, I know what I am doing. I have a plan.” NO HE DIDN’T
Did he tell her? : “Don’t pay attention to what they say or to what I am doing, we are still good.” NO HE DIDN’T
Did he tell her? : “I love you. You are the only one. Please, trust me.” NO HE DIDN’T

On the contrary, he starts avoiding her, not explaining anything and behaving in a way mated shifters are not supposed to behave. As a result, he is confusing Kate and he is a jerk for most of the book

God, I seriously wanted to slap Curran.....and then backslap him....and then kick him where it hurts the most....

And Kate is just not herself. When she fights in perfect unison with one of her worst enemies knowing that his back would be there to brace her, there is something wrong with the whole picture. Especially when her apparently smitten enemy stakes his claim and starts provoking Curran:
“No marriage, no division of property and no strings attached. Well played, Lennart. Well played.”

In the end of the book we are saying our heartbreaking goodbyes to one of our favorite characters of the series, while new important characters are introduced to the pack.

I cannot find words to describe how much I enjoyed this book! It is the best book of the series so far.
Great hand-to-hand combats, sword fighting, new mythical creatures and the realization that Roland is not the oldest player around.
Profile Image for Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ .
1,258 reviews8,705 followers
November 24, 2021
3.5 stars

First of all, it's still amazing to me how the Andrews can reduce you to tears over peripheral characters with just a few sentences.

One minute you're fine, then the next you're, "Well, that sucks," and then your face gets warm, your eyes get hot, and before you even know what's happened, you're blubbering.

YES. Blubbering.

Why are you blubbering?

B/c a mother gets down on the floor to sing her child, who will more-than-likely have to be killed b/c she's gone rabid, a lullaby, barely able to choke out the words. Through plexiglass.


But more than simply messing with your FEELS b/c they can, this situation clearly illustrates Curran and Kate's willingness to sail to Europe as neutral third parties, and play bodyguard/arbitrate a situation that has three separate packs ready to come to blows.

And they are willing to do this despite being fully aware that they are walking into a trap. The reward is too great to ignore, b/c the payment for arbitrating this cluster fuck is a year supply of panacea, an herbal mixture that greatly decreases the chance of loupism in shifters, especially during birth and in adolescence.

In short . . . a worthy cause.

But for the first time, I had a couple of issues with a KATE DANIELS book:

1. One of my biggest RAGE buttons when I'm reading is anything that involves cheating, the appearance of cheating, ex-lovers, wives, etc. showing up and trying to get back what they didn't appreciate when it was theirs, and . . . pretty, young things trying to steal your man.

*grinds teeth*

I'm really angry at myself for not reviewing this properly the first time I read it, b/c as hesitant as I was to put myself through the reading of MAGIC RISES a second time, all of my anxiety was for nothing. I already knew what was going on, so I wasn't able to recapture the absolute misery I went through on the first pass, and am therefore unable to adequately describe it for you.

But I'm still determined to try.

It. Was. A-W-F-U-L.

I was in the depths of despair, b/c damn the Andrews, they made you walk with Kate through her steadfast belief in Curran's love and loyalty, through the steady decline to fear and doubt, all the way to the end that was heartbreak, disbelief, fury, and a bitter numbness.

It was physically painful to read this book, which brings me to my second issue:

2. I'm not sure how I feel about Kate and Curran being so perfect for each other based on their "sameness," which makes them capable of understanding the horrible things they put each other through.<-----I'm not convinced that's a healthy relationship.

3. Lastly, and I can't decide if it's this or the RAGE button that I have the biggest problem with, but there were too many weird creatures. 11\24\2021 update: the weredolphins were def silly, but they were the only creatures that weren’t awesome. I would’ve deleted this section entirely, except that it sings the praises of the other very cool creatures.

I'm fine with the creatures that were ultimately the Big Bad in this installment (excluding Hugh, of course), and I even thought Doolittle's walkthrough that first insinuated the statues were an allegory was really cool.

The astanay was awesome. Loved that guy. The monster eel was fine, too.

But weredolphins?

I get that there's mythology to support their existence, but it's just so cornball. It pushed me over the hey-that's-a-really-cool-mythical-creature line and into the realm of that's-just-silly.

BUT . . . my least favorite KATE DANIELS book is still way better than most of the other Urban Fantasy available. This was still a good book. I just hate that it was necessary for Curran to do what he did, and I'm not sure I'll be able to love Kate and Curran the same way as a couple after this.

And I don't want to taco 'bout it.

An Ill-Advised Rescue

Some recently dismissed Red Guards decide to take up kidnapping as a new profession.

Their target? Saiman.

The million dollar (heh) question: will Kate pay the ransom or make the former Red Guards pay?

Read it and find out.

Jessica Signature

My other reviews for this series:

A Questionable Client (Kate Daniels, #0.5)
Magic Bites (Kate Daniels, #1)
Magic Burns (Kate Daniels, #2)
Magic Strikes (Kate Daniels, #3)
Magic Mourns (Kate Daniels, #3.5)
Magic Bleeds (Kate Daniels, #4)
Magic Dreams (Kate Daniels, #4.5)
Magic Slays (Kate Daniels, #5)
Magic Tests (Kate Daniels, #5.3)
Magic Gifts (Kate Daniels, #5.4)
Gunmetal Magic (Kate Daniels, #5.5)
Retribution Clause (Kate Daniels, #5.6)
Magic Rises (Kate Daniels, #6)
Magic Steals (Kate Daniels, #6.5)
Magic Breaks (Kate Daniels, #7)
Magic Shifts (Kate Daniels, #8)
Magic Stars (Kate Daniels, #8.5, Grey Wolf, #1)
Magic Binds (Kate Daniels, #9)
Iron and Magic (Kate Daniels, #9.5)
Magic Triumphs (Kate Daniels, #10)
Curran POV Collection
Profile Image for Julio Genao.
Author 9 books1,989 followers
October 21, 2015
the ending of this book in one gif:


but maybe my perception is colored by the COMPLETELY UNNECESSARY DEATH OF MY FAVORITE CHARACTER.

*rude gesture*
Profile Image for chan ☆.
1,052 reviews49.2k followers
August 14, 2021
trying to attack my currently reading shelf so i'm reading a lot of stuff that i'd previously gotten about 50% through with. this was.. ok? imo the weakest installment so far, i was really not into the setting for this story. but i really love kate and curran so i'll likely finish this series.
Profile Image for Jen Davis.
Author 7 books700 followers
December 4, 2013
Is it too early to post this? Probably. But it was so damn good. Here is the review:

Ilona Andrews is the gold standard for urban fantasy. This book made me laugh and it made me ache. It kept me glued to the page. And after six installments, Kate Daniels is every bit as engaging as ever... maybe even more so.

You get to a point in almost every series where the gang takes a road trip --and this is that book. All of the core characters are there: Kate, Curran, Derek... Andrea, Rafael, and even Saiman. So I didn't feel like we were leaving much behind. The basic conflict pits Kate and the gang against other shapeshifting factions and a surprise Big Bad, but for me, this book is more of an examination of the ties Kate has to her own Pack and whether they'll stand against the external pressure.

Basically, there are some European Packs who have access to a special blend of herbs that can stop a shifter from going loup. But they will only give it to Curran if he can protect a pregnant wolf princess long enough for her to deliver her babies. He knows it's some kind of trap, but the reward is too great to pass up, so he loads up (most of) his best people and sets sail for the Black Sea.

In the ever expanding Kate-verse, I was worried that all of the new characters would be overwhelming or confusing. They weren't. I thought the plot was constructed very well, and though there were twists, turns, and surprises, I never found it cumbersome. The dialogue is snappy and funny. And ultimately, the story advances the overall series arc quite well.

I say all this, but when you finish reading the book, the only thing you'll be thinking about will be emotional roller coaster we go through with Kate and Curran.

I'm always a bit wary of long running series with a single love interest. I worry that they'll get boring; they'll lose their spark and I'll stop caring. That is most definitely not the case here. We've got Trouble (with a capital T.) And the thing is, despite everything these two have gone through to get together, the conflict is very real. It was hard to read at times, because I have grown to love Kate and it hurts to see her hurt. I'm not going to tell you what happens or how it all ends up, but I will say that I was riveted and --by the time it was all said and done-- emotionally spent.

Plus, there was a

All in all, I thought it was pretty fabulous. And it has me really amped up for the confrontations that lie ahead. The next book can't come soon enough.

Rating: A

*ARC provided for review

**My initial response when finishing the book: I am emotionally spent. No one can say Kate and Curran are boring now that they are mated. I need a cookie or something.**
Profile Image for Adina ( A lot of catching up to do) .
826 reviews3,243 followers
November 1, 2017

Kate Daniels was exactly what I needed to get through my reading slump. It helped me 1 year ago when I binged read the first 5 volumes in the series and I have the feeling it helped now as well. I needed fast paced, engaging adventure to absorb me completely and compel me to open the kindle whenever I got the chance.

Kate is my favorite UF heroine, smart, witty, kick ass and funny. I enjoyed that the setting in this volume shifts to Europe, more exactly to Georgia, a country I do not know too much. I always appreciate about the Andrews team that they introduce the reader to different mythologies in each book and I am never bored by the world building or the characters, old or new.

Although I had so much fun reading Magic Rises, I gave it only 3.5 stars because I spotted quite a few plot inconsistencies and the love drama between Kate and Curran did not work for me.

If you like urban Fantasy do yourself a favor and read this series.
Profile Image for Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽.
1,880 reviews22.7k followers
March 13, 2020
AKA Kate and Curran's European Vacation. It's the vacation from hell, of course, but the change of setting did make for an interesting read.

The likelihood of shapeshifter children going "loup" (a terrible brand of murderous insanity), especially at birth or puberty, and needing to be killed off as a result, has always haunted Atlanta's Pack. The European shapeshifters have a magical herbal concoction called panacea that prevents or cures the loupism problem a high percentage of the time. But the making of panacea is a closely guarded secret and, because of Reasons, they refuse to sell panacea to Atlanta's Pack. A very small amount is available on the black market, for insanely expensive prices.

Things come to a head when Kate's adoptive daughter Julie's best friend, Maddie, and Maddie's sister go loup. About the same time, three European shapeshifter packs ask Curran to come to Europe to arbitrate a problem between them. Curran and Kate know it's a trap ... but the reward for coming is a year's worth of panacea, so they go.

A ton of DRAMA ensues, including - gasp! - relationship drama. Some don't like this book as much as a result, but I still did. Either I'm hardhearted or I just had faith; I'm not sure which. This is a heart-wrenching installment in the series, though, for several reasons.
Profile Image for Haïfa.
185 reviews179 followers
September 22, 2022
The reread marathon continues!
5th read, audiobook this time.
Original, spoiler-free (a bit revamped) review below

Actual rating: 4.5 stars

It's strangely very hard for me to review these books. I don't know why but it's easier to review books I mildly liked. They feel more balanced. Reviewing books and series I love is way harder because I want my reviews to both be objective and reflect my passion and attract new readers. But the Kate Daniels series is definitely becoming one of my absolutely favorite reads of all times. So writing a review without overdoing it is consequently way harder than usual.

In my twenty-six years, I’ve held many jobs. Teaching wasn’t one of them. Mostly I killed people in bloody and creative ways.

I loved the set and the atmosphere of Magic Rises, so different from Atlanta's crumbling buildings and magically-modified districts: Europe, castles and lords, ancient magical beasts... Less "Urban", more "Fantasy". I also loved reading about the new "job" that drew Kate, Curran and some of the Pack's finest to the shores of the Black Sea. The investigation was complexe, as usual, and multiple parties seemingly pulled the strings of a game bigger and more convoluted than it first appeared.

There were some parts (and one virginal, cute, owl-eyed young character) that I hated with a passion. But it wasn't the read in itself. It was the atmosphere, Kate's churning emotions, some unfair situations and heartbreaking moments that made this book less fun than usual and even anxiety-inducing at places. One of my favorite characters' unusual behavior added an unwelcome tension to an already uncomfortable situation and the need to know the reasons behind one particular supposed betrayal mesmerized me and made me finish the last 30% in a row.

I balled my fists, ground my teeth, hissed in anger but also cried (yes, even during my 3rd read), laughed and had to protect my melting heart in more than one occasion. Very few books succeed at channeling and conveying this amount of emotions (not all of them were pleasant) for me and I must pay homage to the authors for their talent.

Gorgeous new french cover

A lot of twists and encounters made this book one of the best for me so far. You might feel differently guys but whatever you think of this book, it definitely won't leave you indifferent. I won't say much unless I spoil something vital or your reading experience. I must say however that the main romantic relationship in this series is one of the most emotional (in a twisted and sometimes unhealthy way by "human" standards) I've ever read and I totally unconditionally ship them! After a few books, I was a bit reluctant to continue because I was afraid the tension, the passion and the hilarious banter would disappear but I couldn't be more wrong. Yes, they argue a lot, yes they still have trust issues, but the unconditional love and acceptance they share are profoundly touching.

I totally recommend these books to all UF and PNR readers. If you're not one of them but you would like to read about a badass, kickass, resilient and hilarious female lead, you might wanna try this series!
Profile Image for ȷαεlα.
674 reviews
May 15, 2016
First read July 2014, rating 4 stars
Second read May 2016, rating 3 stars

I'm having such a hard time reviewing this book. Maybe the hardest.
I'm so sorry I have to lower my rating, but this book didn't make me feel good at all. This reread made me dislike Curran more than I already did. Some things are just unacceptable.

Review contains spoilers and it is not recommended to Curran's fans. If you think he's the ultimate Alpha male and perfect for Kate, please do not proceed reading this.

Since this is my second read, I'll be concentrated only in Curran and Kate's relationship.

In all the previous reviews I've written about KD series, I'm always sceptical and doubtful about Curran's intentions toward Kate. He has failed so far to convince me that his feelings are true and this book was the last nail in his coffin regarding my opinion on him. I'm sorry Curran. I guess I'll never love you.

I hated so much how the Lorelei issue was handled. You tell me things could have been different if Kate wasn't on that trip? Give Curran a carte Blanche? Right! If Kate wouldn't go I'm so sure Curran would have acted in some kind of way. It is totally the way Hugh describes it. He may "love" Kate but he wouldn't mind dipping it in fresh honey from time to time, so he could feel like he was "on game" and wanted again. I don't care for his reasons, he shouldn't have lied to Kate, they're a pair. Kate would never EVER do that.

If you know your mate is being led to a trap and you know who's organising it, why not prevent it from the beginning? It is your mate!! You've always been so fast to act before, why "use logic" this time?? Because another female was involved, that's why. You let her near you, let her touch you, feed her, take long walks with her and then blame Kate for fighting Hugh? You're such a piece of shit, Curran. You don't deserve her! Double standards do not apply!

"You are being replaced, and you are so stupid, you don’t even realize it. When a shapeshifter loves a woman, he doesn’t let another woman hunt next to him, nor does he let her finish his kills."


“So far, he’d let her stand naked next to him, he’d let her hunt with him, he’d let her finish his kills—whatever the fuck that meant—and in the past twenty-four hours he’d spent more time listening to her than he had speaking to me."


“She had literally taken my place and he allowed it.”

HOW CAN I Love or Like Curran after all these? If you can change my mind and show me any proves that Curran wasn't interested just a little in Lorelei, please DO TELL ME!

Why was Curran defending Lorelei when Kate asked about her? Why was there a need for him to act as a "big brother"? (bwahahaha!!)And the most important: why didn't he let Kate kill her when Lorelei challenged her? WHY??!

Curran and his Lorelei bitch can go fuck or kill themselves. I like some shapeshifters , but I agree with Hugh. Sometimes they are just animals and they are led by their urges. Kate is so much better that this.

The only person that saved this book for me was Hugh. Usually I hate when the MC has changes of heart about their love interest, but I would have loved for that to have happened this time. Hugh and Kate are so similar, they'd have been such a spectacular couple.

“So,” Hugh said. “You never told me. Did you like the flowers I sent?”

Their fight was the best scene in all 6 books. It amazes me. The chemistry was so powerful. That's how a team works.

“We moved in perfect unison. He tossed a body at me, I sliced it, drove one at him, and he finished it with a precise, brutal cut.”


"I backed away until my spine touched Hugh’s. I had no idea how, but I had known with one hundred percent certainty that his back would be there to brace me.”

So, Kate and Hugh. Who's with me?? :D

“You feel something for me, Kate. Whether you want to admit it or not, something is there. I can guarantee we would never grow tired of it.”

This would have been so amazing!

I love how IA end their books, but this felt so empty. Curran asking Kate marriage was so lame. Really Curran? It felt like an apology for being a jerk and an asshole. There was nothing romantic about that. I could only feel his guilt and nothing more.

Despite everything there were new characters that I liked. Christopher and Astamur were so interesting.

I am sure I'll never read this book again.

3 stars *** only for Hugh and Kate.
Profile Image for Robin (Bridge Four).
1,608 reviews1,481 followers
July 14, 2015
3rd read....I never get enough.

Kate Daniels Buddy Read/Reread with the gang at Ilona Andrews Addicts (IAA) before the release of Magic Shifts

I loved this all over again. The emotional development of Kate/Currans relationship, Saiman as an ally, Hugh as an Enemy and all the side character that are so rich with their own personalities that always shine through. I eat it all up and want more. This is one of my favorite series of all time and that stays true even on the 3rd read through.

2nd read:
Re-read before Magic Breaks coming out on Tuesday!!!

4.5 Stars

There are books that develop the plot, books that develop characters and books that manage to do both without you noticing. I think it is a week after reading this that I think I see why the authors chose to present this story in this way. It is something that needed to happen to clarify lines before the big battle with Kate’s Daddy can happen.

Kate and Curran are together and Kate is happy or as happy you can possibly be when you rule the were-packs and your Father or one of his minions might come to kill you at any time. At least you were until a tragedy strikes. Most were-children don’t make it through either birth or puberty and Kate and Curran must walk into a trap, concocted by the European packs, in order to get the one thing that might help them keep the kids in the pack from going loup. But will their love be enough to survive it?

“One time I was dying in a cage inside a palace that was flying over a magic jungle. And some idiot went in there, chased the palace down, fought his way through hundreds of rakshasas, and rescued me.”
“I remember,” he said.
“That’s when I realized you loved me,” I said. “I was in the cage and I heard you roar.”

Knowing you are walking into a trap is one thing, not knowing exactly what your partner is doing is another and Curran is definitely sending mixed signals. Kate must decide if she should trust the man she loves or does she believe like those around her that he might betray her. It might be getting her down a little bit, she is Kate though and this is about as whiny as she gets.

“Outside the windows the day was bright: golden sunshine, blue sky, pleasant wind ... I wanted to punch the happy day in the face, grab it by the hair, and beat it until it told me what the hell it was so happy about.”

Our Kate is strong and perseveres even when in doubt. She doesn’t hold up and pout in a bedroom, no she still takes charge, focuses and gets the job done. As you should girls, even when you question your life’s happiness, go girl power. Kate has some serious trust issues that needed to be addressed after being alone for so long. Curran has this habit of making decisions for everyone, including Kate, without consulting anyone. These are both big character weaknesses that needed to be addressed before the big battle happens.

This was the most emotional book for me of the series. It was great to see how Kate is fitting into the pack. Some have come to her side right away while she is still trying to win others over. As always I loved Derek and Barabas’s fierce devotion to Kate. Even Mahon had a touching moment or two.

As a parent, it was believable the lengths members of the pack would take to be able to procure the medication that helps reduce the risk of kids going loup. There were surprises and heartbreaks I didn’t expect throughout and some set up as to what Daddy really wants with Kate.

But as always I love the interactions between Kate and Curran. They are if nothing else passionate.

“He said that the man must be your husband, because only someone we love very much can make us this crazy.”

I’ve been married awhile and that is totally true. We sometimes become fools for the ones we love as they are able to hurt us in ways no one else ever could.

In summary
action – check
romance – check
heartbreaking moments – check
the WTF moment – check
snarky banter – check, check

and finally the awe moment - super check
Profile Image for Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘.
841 reviews3,774 followers
August 19, 2021
“Kate is just Kate and you belong with us. That’s all that matters.”

4.5 stars. Oh my god. I cannot believe that I've waited for five years to read this book because reviews scared me off. Since I've started rereading the first books last week, I couldn't escape the utter dread I felt whenever I thought about what I had read in reviews back in 2016. What the fuck?

“Curran’s whore comes to visit us,” Jarek said in accented English.
The three men laughed as if on cue.
I glanced at Mahon. “You really shouldn’t let him talk to you like that.”
Mahon’s bushy eyebrows came together.

Full disclosure : in 2016, when I thought that I wouldn't finish this series, I checked reviews for Magic Rises because the numerous messages I got from friends and follow reviewers telling me that THEY FELL OUT OF LOVE IN BOOK 6 got me extremely curious. I mean!! I'm human, okay? This means that I knew going in that some really annoying stuff would happen (), and it colored my experience, of course. This said however, and take it from someone who loathes this specific kind of relationship drama, I'm with Anne on this : it really isn't that bad.

“You being safe is more important to me than having you.”

I'll be the first to acknowledge that knowing in advance made it easier to bear at the time, but I really don't agree with how it's been interpreted on here sometimes. And that's okay! We're allowed to disagree with each other! It's my review though so as usual, I'll share my opinion :)

“Great,” Curran said. “Another fine addition to your collection of uncanny misfits.”
“I take offense to that,” Barabas said.
“Don’t worry, I count myself in, too,” Curran told him.

Ilona Andrews never let any character flaws go unaddressed, and I love them for that. In Magic Rises, they tackled one of Curran's and they chose the most painful path to go at it. For me anyway, because I really, really dislike this trope. Really. Yet I've never been so invested? If I had to complain about one thing in this series, I'd say that the beginnings truly try my patience sometimes (often). Every book ends on such a high, and then it all fizzles out while starting the next one (binge-reading them certainly does not help, lol). None of that here : I was invested from page one, and my interest never wavered. The stakes have been raised on all fronts, and I enjoyed the hell out of it. I worried, I laughed, I teared up- I loved it.

Inside me a small voice told me that in his place I would’ve done the same thing, no matter the fallout I had to endure at the end. Having him alive and mad at me was infinitely better than having him dead. But loving someone and being with him were two different things.

Now for the spoiler tagged part of my review :

I'll definitely come back to this review in the future to add quotes at least but for now, I'll leave with this : yes, there might be a few plot holes, but I loved this and I can't wait to see where the story goes. Recommended.
Profile Image for carol..
1,538 reviews7,881 followers
August 13, 2013
Good heavens, most of the reviews GR shows on the first page are so full of fangirl squeeing that I can't read for the gifs and shouting fonts. It makes me want to hate the book out of naturally iconoclastic tendencies. However, as the Andrews continue to write a first rate urban fantasy series, I am unable to indulge--although I confess I did not reach squee-worthy heights.

The briefest of synopsis: Curran and Consort are invited to Europe to protect a pregnant were involved in a major dispute between European shapeshifter packs. Although everyone believes it is some kind of trap, they go because of the lure of panacea, a treatment for loupism that could have dramatic and personal impact on survival rates for Pack children.

Although I was initially concerned a change in location could prove disastrous, it turned out very, very well by creating opportunities to explore exotic mythologies and take readers on a pleasure cruise through post-Shift world. (And by 'pleasure cruise,' I mean 'pirate fight'). New setting, different politics, creative species and still some progression in the overall series arc results in a solid entry into the Kate Daniels storyline while retaining enough independence to stand on its own.

Andrews shines in building dramatic tension. As usual, I meant to put down the book to go to sleep on time, but found making the "just another chapter" promise... right up until I finished. The plot contains preparation, journey, and hostile-territory politics, so there's plenty of opportunities for dramatic tension. Fight scenes were fabulous. Although Andrews have referred to them on their blog as "requiring rework," their frustration doesn't show, and the insistence on reworking results in a quality payout. One of my favorite scenes in the book was Kate's fight with .

Plotting was interesting, although I found myself somewhat conflicted after finishing. The 'trap' twist was a complete surprise, an achievement considering expectations for duplicity. I consider the ability to surprise readers on book six of a series to be an impressive feat--far too many authors are content to rework the same formula that has proven successful for them. However, there were a few too many happy coincidences for me, particularly towards the end . While I wouldn't have liked it, a more emotionally powerful ending would have lacked a solution to the switch. It would have been a bold authorial move, and would have allowed population stability to stay relatively stable. Sure, it would be crushing. But it would also have been audacious. As it was, it felt like one of those movies whose ending didn't screen well resulting in the tacked on "happily-ever-after" version (hello, I Am Legend).

Character growth was also interesting. Supporting characters stand out as usual, particularly Barabas and Aunt B. In the guest appearances category, I especially liked the Shepherd and his small but solid friend. Kate is more influenced by her emotions than in prior books, less able to be her strategic problem-solving self, and it shows in her interpretations and narration. I think overall, it achieved a greater emotional complexity with the relationship issues than most UF. I will say that the relationship between her and Curran continues to make me uncomfortable. Saiman hits it on the head when he notes, "you both think violence is foreplay." By the way, fanpeeps, Curran is not "hot," "sexy," or whatever charged word you want to use to imply some kind of urban fantasy alpha-male desirability. He's domineering, arrogant and controlling. Please don't gush all over your review or confuse his behavior with something acceptable in real life. This book, more than any of the others, demonstrates the extent of Kate and Curran's damaged personalities.

Why not five stars? Because I really, really, can't get my groove on over a star-crossed-lovers storyline and because the plotting requires some reader buy-in at exposition and ending (Really? The most dominant Pack members are allowed to go on a potential suicide mission?). Still, a solid read.

Cross posted at http://clsiewert.wordpress.com/2013/0...
Profile Image for Bradley.
Author 6 books3,977 followers
February 8, 2017
Ah, this one got me in the gut. Not short of misunderstandings between lovers, the gang goes to the old world and rubs elbows with a really old clan and can I really, in my heart, decide who's more to blame with the fallout between Curran and Kate?

At least we know those two love each other, even if the pressure's on for greater alliances, Panacea shipments, love rivalries, get in the way.

And then there's the totally gratifying reveals about Kate's past. Yummy.

And I know it's kinda a cheat to keep saying that This Book is now my favorite of the series, because, chances are, at this rate, the Next Book will be my favorite, according to basic pattern recognition, but I can unequivocally say that I had an immensely grand time reading this.

Could this series quickly be becoming one of my favorite UF's? Possibly. It's kinda scary. I've already read a ton of UFs.

Of course, nothing is purely silver linings. I'm still reeling from a favorite character's death. It was a great sendoff, but still, it hurts. I just don't understand why it couldn't have been the self-styled pervert, instead. At least I could have chuckled a little bit. But no. It has to be... but alas, I can't spoil such things here...



Profile Image for Anne.
3,922 reviews69.3k followers
August 11, 2021
4.5 stars

Oh. My. Gawd.
You die-hard Kate fans are all such a bunch of Drama Queens!
Since I've started reading this series (Yes, yes! I know I'm late to the game!), I've been getting spammed by friends warning me to 'Watch Out' for book 6.
Wait till you get to Magic Rises!
Book 6 is a killer!
I wanted to die after what happened in #6!
I'll never feel the same about Kate and Curran after reading 6!
The tears! The tears!
I was so angry at Curran that I smashed my Kindle!
Blubber-blubber *incoherent words* blubber-blubber-blubbbber!

I say this in the most loving way possible:
You guys need to seek professional help, before you find yourselves dressing up like Mother.
Kidding! I love you guys!
*runs away*

Alrighty. For those of you who haven't read this one yet, and are pawing desperately through all of these Crazy Lady reviews, let me put your mind at ease.
It's not that bad.
I was waiting for Curran to turn Kate over to Hugh, or sleep with someone else, kick her out of the pack...or something horrible...after all of these whack-jobs got done scaring me.
Yes. There is relationship drama, but not on the level that I was expecting.
Also, you may have heard that there is a DEATH.
There is, and it is sad.
But not Kindle-breaking sad.

Magic Rises is the best of the bunch, in my not-a-lunatic humble opinion. It's got lots of action, tons of intrigue, and plenty of funny moments. I'm totally looking forward to snagging a copy of the next book and chowing down!
Profile Image for Suzanne (Under the Covers Book blog).
1,732 reviews537 followers
July 21, 2021
WARNING! This review contains a large dose of fan girl squealing a little bit of gushing ( not in that way you perv!) and is weighed down completely by boulders of crazy fan bias. Enjoy.

Magic Rises brings us to the sixth book in the Kate Daniels series and the gang have decided to take a little road trip to Europe. Okay, so decided isn't precisely the right word to use "forced" would be a more accurate description. The European packs have something that Kate and Curran desperately need, a medicine that drastically reduces the chances of a child going loup; a medicine that they can get no where else. It is a perilous journey and they are guaranteed nothing but treachery when they arrive, especially when they see who is hosting the party...

As I mentioned in the warning I am very bias this is my favourite series and sometimes I wonder why I even bother to read the book before I give it the requisite 5 stars. But normally, even with series I love, at book six (or seven if you include Gunmetal Magic, which I kind of do) I have found that things start to get a little stale, packed with filler and all the excitement and tension from the previous books has faded. Not so in this case. Magic Rises was action packed, exciting, emotional and full of twists and turns, I couldn't put it down. If anything the books keep getting better as we burrow in to Kate and Curran's life and watch shit constantly hitting the fan.

This book was a little different from the rest of the series is that it wasn't set on home turf, we took a holiday from Atlanta and sailed over to Europe. This new setting added a whole batch of new tension and excitement as we see some shifters not under the control of the great and sexy Beast Lord, Curran. The plot was interesting and as usual had some weird and wonderful things in it leaving me waiting in breathless anticipation to what will happen next with the main story line. With Roland the Andrews have created not only what seems like an unbeatable foe but also a complicated and even sympathetic one as I find I don't hate him all that much and even feel a little sorry for him. And I am now both dreading and eagerly awaiting for him to finally appear in the flesh, so to speak, I truly don't have the foggiest about what will happen when he does.

As much as I enjoy the action packed story though what I love reading about is the relationship between Kate and Curran, although this is an UF it has a strong romance element in it, injecting the book with some emotional drama that really makes the book and series stand out. This is especially important now the will-they-won't-they aspect is out the books. They have pretty much jumped on the will-they train and I am loving the ride, the track is full of pot holes, sharp bends and they are going at neck breaking speed and I am savouring every minute. Who says coupledom is boring?

This was a fantastic book in the Kate Daniels series. It was emotional, intelligent, fun and packed with some killer action. I am not quite sure how I am expected to wait a until next year for the seventh book to come out!

P.S. I loved the reference to David Eddings The Diamond Throne, incidentally another author and series I love!
Profile Image for Cece ❀Rants, Raves &Reviews❀.
254 reviews941 followers
February 22, 2022
Kate Daniels
Oh man it don't feel right to call her 'just' a mercenary because she is so much more. She a fighter. Protector. Magical badass . MY GURLLLLL


Re-reading this book, I’m able to appreciate it more because of how much I love the characters and I know it gets better ... later ... eventually

But this book in itself.. okay yah its a bit of a shit show dosed with funny scenes and witty comments that keep you reading


But first the main issue… that prevents this book from gaining more than 3 stars. The Curran love interest
I’m not gonna lie, he really pissed me off in this book. Before he was supportive badass. Now he secret-keeping-sonofabitch

The beginning has our favorite pair, the badass Consort and the Beast Lord
“You’re taking a nap? Come on, Kate, I need you for this fight. Stop lying around.”
You sonovabitch. I rolled to my feet and grabbed my sword. “You must think you’re funny.”

The teasing. The banter. The support that we’ve come to expect and crave between the two
“Just saying, you have to pull your own weight. A hot body and flirting will only get you so far.”

But then ....

description”/><br /><br />I was so disappointed that this book had the overused cliche “im giving you bare fucking minimal information fOr YoUr PrOtEcTiOn. <br /><br />Fuck off <br /><br /><img src=

we get Gaslighting, betrayal, cheating


“So this is what it’s about? This is your mature response—to go off into the mountains rather than talking about it and have s’mores with a gnome and a mountain man.”

All problems should be solved as a couple, whether its stabbing some monsters or dumb flirty women

The exact problem that Curran complained about— with Kate keeping secrets and not being honest with him— he DID in this book and KEPT secrets for the sake of pRotEcTiNg her

The Andrews made the whole confrontation scene funny.. and it kinda worked… but at that point I was already pretty pissed
“I crossed my arms.
“I thought you were dead! And you’re here, sitting around the fire, eating and . . .”
“Listening to fairy tales.” Helpful, that’s me. “We’re about to have s’mores and you’re not invited.”
Curran opened his mouth. His gaze paused on Atsany. He blinked. “What the fuck?”

Plot wise, this book is really different from previous *still not sure if thats a good thing yet* Because it focuses on the Pack and pack politics. Instead of some classic Kate mischief or doing battles to help people… its to help the pack drama

I have no idea how the authors got me invested in a plot thats about characters I’ve literally never fucking met before… but they absolutely did. Sad news it wasn’t *quite* as violent as the rest, but focused on the intrigue and betrayal from ALL sides while in the castle *yes thats called foreshadowing children*

The secondary characters were all great - I loved Aunt B, Doolittle, Derek, George, Barbaras
“Tell Hibla we need maid service,” I said. “We could handle trash in our room and an odd smell, but now we have a dead body. If this continues, we won’t be able to give your hotel a decent rating.”
“Yeah,” Derek said, his voice completely deadpan. “The continental breakfast better kick ass or we’ll complain to the manager.”

Christopher is our newest edition to the misfit crew *and personal favorite* . He a little broken right now and takes a while to really figure out who he is, which so creatively loops back around to be important in later books
“He insists that he used to know how to fly, but he forgot. He occasionally tries, so I have to watch him closely in high places.”

Hugh is a great antihero that I can’t wait to have more interactions with. He is such little shit but I love it
“Big talk,” Hugh said. “But can you back it up?”
I stood up and held my arms out. “Ladies, you’re both pretty. We still have a job to do. Last I checked, we were still guaranteeing Desandra’s safety.”

Overall, just not my favorite Kate Daniels book. While this book has some funny one-liners, the whole Curran side plot just totally ruins it for me. I had actually blocked it out, so I legit forgot it even happened… then when I was rereading, I was remembering and cringing. The epicness of this world and its secondary characters is ultimately what kept me going in the series because I really adore this world and its characters. And honestly? the situations these characters get into are just fucking hilarious, how can you give up living in this world for a couple of pages??
“You want to get married? I’ll marry you right now. Is the gnome a preacher, because I’ll do it.”
“That’s a hell of a proposal.”

Profile Image for ᴥ Irena ᴥ.
1,649 reviews213 followers
February 16, 2017

I will not read the next Kate Daniels book description nor will I read any reviews. Those completely ruined this book for me.

These are just some of my thoughts about the book. I don't plan to write a review.

The following are not exactly spoilers since I am not writing about the actual events, but still be warned.

Since I sometimes rate the books I've read by how they made me feel, this would be less than one star. The characters, the world and the story deserve the highest rating, although it is debatable for this book. There was too much drama for my taste. Way too much drama for this kind of book.

This book made me feel like crap. I did not enjoy it. It has exactly the thing I hate (the word is too mild). I hated how this book made me feel. There were some great things in this story, but that detail completely ruined it for me. I simply didn't expect a Kate Daniels book to be one of those. I feel as if I am saying good bye to a very good friend. Sure, I might read the rest of the books in this series, but this became just one of the good ones. Nothing more.

Just to be clear, this is my preference. It doesn't mean the book is bad. I guess you could say the book is good. Kate is a bit of a doormat here, though still strong. It's still Kate.

This book left a bad taste in my mouth. This series is not a favourite anymore.
371 reviews
May 16, 2013
Disclaimer: I received this book as an eARC from the author.

Holy shit. That's my reaction to this book--in a good way!

This entire book is full of spoilers, which makes reviewing it a little difficult. Kate is very Kate. Curran is very Curran. At some points I was hoping Kate would punch Curran straight in the face. Sadly, that never happened.

It was really interesting to see a large chunk of the group in a new setting. It was enough people that sometimes I had to think about who was who, but overall it worked.

I nearly cried on page eight. Page eight!! The emotional drama just ramps up from there.

The book takes a while to really get going, but once it does, hold on tight. Definitely one of my favorites in the series.

Now, I think I need a drink...
Profile Image for Deborah Obida.
673 reviews604 followers
February 4, 2019
We don’t have a choice in what we are. We do have a choice in who we are.

How is this even possible, this duo still manage to wow me with each book in the same series. This series is fast becoming my favourite UF series.

The magic is A+
Plot A+
Characters A+
Writing A+

There is basically nothing that this series lack, if you doubt me just go read it. There is perfect amount of everything, there all compliment each other. Enough dialogue, fight scenes and even the romance is so well depicted it didn't outshine the plot.

“But I love you and I don’t want you to be hurt. I’m not going to ask you to come with me. That would be like stepping in front of a moving train and saying, ‘Hey, honey, come stand next to me.’”
I hopped off the wall and stood next to him. “Anytime.”
He just looked at me.
“I’ve never killed a train before. It might be fun to try.”

The relationship between the characters is so good, I can feel their love and loyalty for each other even as the book is written in just one person's POV.

Kate the main character is still my favourite in the series, I just can't get tired of being in her head. She is smart, brave, meticulous, selfless and fights like a warrior which she is.

Curran my love was on all the chapters which I love, I just want to be in his head a little. He annoyed me a bit in this book but made up for it.

Derek the Wonderboy didn't have much page space, I wish he was more in this. He is still loyal.

Andrea and Raphael were also here, I so love this couple. They are perfect for each other. Am already jealous of the Bouda Clan for keeping them.
Profile Image for Anzû.
548 reviews1,108 followers
June 8, 2022
Mild spoilers, which are conveniently hidden in spoiler tags, ahead.

This was a bumpy ride. A ridiculously fun yet painful ride. Let me start by saying that I’m pretty much crazy about Ilona Andrews’ books. Kate Daniels is between my most favorite series ever. I’m not exaggerating, it really is. I’ve been waiting for this book, like all of you guys, I’m sure, for about a year. Some of my Goodreads friends got the ARC a month before the release. I hated them. Still kind of do. I’ve been avoiding Goodreads in order not to get Magic Rises spoiled in any way. Yep, I’m that paranoid.

Anyways, as much as I love the author and the characters, I can’t help but feel that there is something wrong with Magic Rises. Now don’t get me wrong, I loved it but there were some things that bothered me, and I couldn’t ignore them as much as I tried. I’m not going to say much about the positive things because they’re the typical thing you would expect from a Kate Daniels book. All the awesomeness is there, all most of the cool characters are there. A relatively new villain, Hugh, who is pretty badass. For some crazy reason I really loved him. And we get more of Kate and Curran. What more do you want?

Well, call me an asshole but I wanted more, especially from the first half of the book. Because I will get into mild spoilers, I’ll mark the next part in a spoiler tag.

That’s about it with the complaints. I can’t really think of anything else that bothered me much. The book also had a very sweet ending; I was really touched by it. And again, can’t wait to read the next one. I heard rumors that Roland will make an appearance in it. The excitement, it burns!

Profile Image for Rachel  L.
1,828 reviews2,190 followers
July 24, 2018
4 stars!

“Aha! So I’m not crazy.”
“You are most definitely crazy,” Derek said. “But in a deranged, endearing way.”

Short review. I really enjoyed this book, it's a great addition to the series and basically sets up many huge plot points for what is to come from this series. There were some low points (like the weredolphins, I mean really??) and some high points (I'm not telling you the high points lazy! Read it yourself!).

But I love this series and I want to jump right into the next one. So peace out!

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Profile Image for Heather K (dentist in my spare time).
3,861 reviews5,639 followers
December 22, 2015
*3.5 stars*

Another good installment in the Kate Daniels series, and a nice visit back to see some characters that I've missed. A little too much drama between Kate and Curran for my liking, but a strong story. Moving on to the next...
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