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A Questionable Client

(Kate Daniels #0.5)

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  6,514 ratings  ·  383 reviews
In a world beset by magic waves, Kate Daniels works as a mercenary. She is tired, hungry, and there is foul-smelling blood on her boots. All she wants to do is to go home, but when Mercenary Guild offers her a job she can't refuse, she finds herself protecting a man against Russian wizards.

This story was originally published in the anthologies Dark and Stormy Knights a
ebook, 65 pages
Published April 2013 by Ilona Andrews
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Gillian Paulus I read it after the first regular book in the series, Magic Bites, and I thought that worked well. If you read it later than that it's not the end of …moreI read it after the first regular book in the series, Magic Bites, and I thought that worked well. If you read it later than that it's not the end of the world either, it basically just explains how Kate knows Saiman. The paperback that I got from the library of Magic Bites had this story in the back.(less)

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Jan 08, 2021 rated it really liked it
The short story is a prequel to Kate Daniels series and shows how Saiman and Kate met. It is full of the usual banter between the two and of kick-ass action.
Oct 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Katetards!
Recommended to Anne by: Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁
Free to read HERE.

Ever wonder how Kate first met Saiman?
Well, this little shorty is the answer to that question! In case you've forgotten, Saiman is the extremely shady {spoilery origin} guy who can morph into anyone he chooses.


This one takes place before Magic Bites, while Kate was still working for the Mercenary Guild, and trying to keep a low profile. There is a passing mention of Jim as her sometimes partner, the introduction of the Russians, and this neat picture of what Atlanta looks like
✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
The Grand IAA™ KD Buddy Rerererereread Extravaganza (GIAAKDBRE™), aka the yellow brick road to Magic Triumphs

Presenting Episode 0.5, or How Kate Daniels Learned it Takes a Lot of Effort Not to Puke in Saiman's Delicious Presence.

Previous rating: 5 stars
New rating: 10 stars. Ha.


Because Kate (view spoiler).
Because Saiman.
Because Post-Shift Atlanta. It's good to be home and stuff.
Because pissing off Russians is never a good idea.
Because ruined, stinky boots
Sophia Triad
Nov 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Saiman meets Kate. And he is very impressed. She kills a few endars (green fur creatures driven crazy by blood) and a Badzula (a middle aged woman in a filthy blanket that incites people to vagrancy) and she saves him from the volhvs (who serve pagan Slavic gods).

Kate meets Saiman. And she is not particularly impressed. She thinks he is a terrible human being, self-absorbed and egoistic.

Saiman is so impress with Kate that he offers her a discount every time she asks for his services from now on.
Jo ★The Book Sloth★
5 Freaking Kate Stars

“What happened?"
"You fell."
"Really? What did I fall into?"
"My fist.”

OMG! Kate is one of a kind and I needed a dose of IA unique writing because I was going crazy obsessing over it after I read Burn for Me so I decided reading(or re-reading some of them) the novellas and short stories from Kate Daniels should tidy me over for a while.

This story was ridiculously short but it was so worth reading it. It is a rundown of Kate's first meeting with Saiman and his ridiculousn
Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller
[4.5 stars] I had so many issues with the first book of the Kate Daniels series, I almost didn’t continue on. That would have been a shame because I’ve enjoyed every subsequent novel and short story since. Had I started with A Questionable Client, I likely would’ve been a little more enthusiastic for the series. Heck, I think even if you’ve read the series, you’d probably enjoy this snippet. It was about how Kate and Saiman first met and I actually thought it gave Kate a lot of depth of characte ...more
Jan 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Even though this was only a 65 pages novella, I fell in love with the story!! Really liked Kate and although I didn't understand much about the world (haven't started the actual series yet) it was kinda intriguing. I'm already a fan of Kate! I'm sure I'll be reading it asap. I have high hopes for this series, hope I won't be disappointed. ...more
1st read - January 2012
2nd read - April 2015
3rd read - April 2016
4th read - November 2017
5th read - July 2018
6th read - May 2019
7th read - October 2020
8th read - January 2021

Original Review

A Questionable Client is a prequel short story for the Kate Daniels series and shows a bit of Kate's history with the Mercenary Guild and we see her first meeting with shape shifter Saiman. This is a great introduction to the series and I loved finding out more about Saiman who is a character that intrigued me
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
Online freebie time! This is a cool prequel to the first Kate Daniels novel, Magic Bites, telling about Kate's first meeting with Saiman, who's shifty in more ways than one.


It's kind of amusing to find the massively wealthy Saiman, who can assume any shape (Chris Hemsworth? Richard Armitage? You got it!), doing his best to proposition Kate from their very first meeting. Kate, bless her, has excellent reasons for telling him no. Being Saiman, he also has an underhanded matter he's involved in th
Sep 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
*** 4 ***

The Grand Kate Daniels Buddy Read/Reread/Rererereread 2017-2018

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It has been too long!!!! I have been needing some Kate in my life and boy does this Epic re-read come at the right time! Ilona Andrews to the rescue from Reality!!!

I know most fans of this series love Kate, the mercenary with the sword and vast knowledge of Russian Folklore, or any of her shifter friends who come in the picture later in the series. I am weird and I remember from the first moment I read it, th
Jun 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
While I wait impatiently for the last book of this series to be published (sob!), I figured I should read the very first prequel novella to help pass the time. I love this character, and this series so, so much. Good thing Ilona Andrews has another new spin-off series up their sleeves (Iron and Magic), along with two other books/series that I am also excited about (Innkeeper and Nevada). I don't know how they do it! ...more
Rosaline (Rosaline's Rolls & Scrolls)
This novella was just fine!

I really like the Kate Daniels series, except for the 6th book which drove me nuts! So I thought I would give the short stories a go. I liked this one mostly because of Saiman. He is actually one of my favorite characters and I don't understand why everyone is mad at him all the time.
However, the shortness of the story kind of took away from the magic the books in the series usually possess which makes Kate Daniels one of the most enjoyable urban fantasy series. So I w
April 2016 Re-read.

If you've read the Kate Daniels series you'll instantly recognize the scene set here - of when she first meets Saiman. Though it's very short, and a quick read, there's plenty of ass kicking and snark.

"What happened?"

"You fell."

"Really? What did I fall into?"

"My fist."

Kate's a merc, and when she takes a job for bodyguard detail she ends up getting more than she planned for.

But bodyguard detail was a couple's kind of dance. You had to work with the body you guarded, and in my

I read this like a part of Magic Graves last September when my intent was to start the Kate Daniels series(first attempt failed). I have this same intent now. Starting a buddy read at the end of next week. ^_^

You can read it for free here. My review here.
Milda Page Runner
What can I say - It had me laughing out loud twice on a first 2 pages - it deserves 4 stars. Light funny and well paced introduction to Kate Daniels. I would recommend it for people looking into reading Kate Daniels series - it's a short story but it gives a good feel for the series.
Recommended for anyone looking for action and humour filled urban fantasy series with female mc.

P.S. You can find it for free on Ilona Andrews page:
Irene Sim
Dec 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Now I can understand why Shaiman is so obsessed with landing Kate on his bed. Too bad for him that this ship has saled a long time ago!
Alex ☣ Deranged KittyCat ☣
This is my first time with Ilona Andrews. My interest was piqued by the BBB people who keep talking about the Andrews.

As I had the Kate Daniels series, I said I'd go chronologically. Just as with my first experience with Jeaniene Frost's (Reckoning), I can't say I'm very much impressed. True, the heroine seems a kick-ass kind of girl, but that Saiman guy annoys me. What's with him and his obsession about sex? I suppose I'll have to read some more to figure it out.

Well... moving on to Magic Bites
Liz* Fashionably Late
< Q U E E N кαтє ∂αηιєℓѕ 2020 >
A Questionable Client (#0.5) ♚♚♚♔♔

❈My 2019 Ⓚⓐⓣⓔ Ⓓⓐⓝⓘⓔⓛⓢ Re-read ❈

A Questionable Client (#0.5) ★★★★☆

Kate and Saiman's first meeting. The story doesn't add anything new but it's worth reading. One of my complaints in book #1 was how little I got to know about Kate. This short story shows not only her professional side but her wittiness and awesomeness as well.

Favorite scene:

"Ask!" the cat said.
"Ask, Kate!" Seiman prompted.
"Ask!" one of the volhv
Erica Ravenclaw
Dec 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
2018 - I know why Kate turned Saiman down, I’m just not certain I would have done the same.


No spoilers and colorful language abound!

Do you know what it feels like to discover a short that you've never read in one of your all time favorite series?

 photo OVkHnge_zpsttgqviyq.gif

This is a delicious short on the first time Kate and Saiman meet, and of course all the shenanigans that ensues. Despite his uber creep factor throughout the series, he has remained one of my favorite characters so this was especially enjoyab
Aug 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Re-reading the series with the Ilona Andrews Addicts, before 'Magic Binds' comes out in September 2016. Hadn't planned to re-read all the shorts and novellas as well, but changed my mind. Will try to read parallel to the main series...

I read this for the first time on August 20, 2012, as part of the Magic Graves anthology. Set before the main series. A nice introduction to Saiman, one of the more annoying characters of the Kate Daniels series. The story is pretty good though. Interesting superna
Sep 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a pre series book. It's before Kate becomes involved with Curran. This is when she meets Saiman and their first adventure. Excellent novella!! ...more
Maria Dimitrova
Sort of buddy read for the Grand Kate Daniels reread at IAA.
Saiman is one of the most interesting characters in the series. One I both love and hate at the same time. A valuable ally that had the potential to be a friend had he not been a massive a-hole. With an ego bigger than Earth's stratosphere. But I'm getting ahead of the story (always a risk with rereads).

I enjoyed this story a lot more the second time because I could really appreciate the potential, knowing how things will develop from
Lana *Lifeinwordsandlyricscom*
Oh My God, this was fun!

Ilona makes me so happy with her take on russian tales, I can't even tell you. Pushkin would be proud, I think.

I miss the series so much, I don't know how I'll be able to hold out for the last book. Ugh!

Over and out

What a wonderful novella!

My paper said the client's name was Saiman. No indication if it was his last or first name. Perhaps he was like Batman, one of a kind. Of course, Batman wouldn't have to hire bodyguards.

Kate Daniels, a kick-ass mercenary, has just accepted the job as bodyguard to a unknown client. Luckily Kate is very good at bodyguard duty because she and her sword Slayer definitely had to work very hard to guard Saiman who has gotten himself in trouble.

Kate was just as awesome a

Melissa (Ever So Mela)
Jul 08, 2015 rated it liked it
Recommended to Melissa (Ever So Mela) by: Evgeny
So I seriously can't remember the last time I read adult UF. I remember really liking this genre a while back but for some reason completely ditched it. And honestly? I think that was the best thing I did cause all that did was make me appreciate this a lot more.

So, I'm excited. Here we have a strong female in a world I know nothing about-this prequel did nothing to explain it but was still able to catch my attention.

So here I go...Wish me luck!

PS: Thanks Evgeny

^_^ I will not seek revenge, I
If I was a first time Kate Daniels reader, and I was starting the series in order, this short story wouldn't really give me a proper glimpse into the world of Kate. I would have acknowledged that there were some awesome things (Russian mythology! volhvs!) but no real hint of the cool things to come (Curran! Roland! Julie! Derek! Andrea! Ascanio!).

This is very much a quick nod to existing fans, but no real contribution to the mythology of the series. Not to mention that a world where Kate does no
Maggie ☘
"My paper said the client's name was Saiman. No indication if it was his last or first name. Perhaps he was like Batman, one of a kind. Of course, Batman wouldn't have to hire bodyguards."

Kate Daniels is one of the most amazing heroines I have ever read about. This novella is short, but if you're interested in how Kate and Saiman met, I definitely recommend to read this. And if you haven't read KD yet, then what are you waiting for?

You can read it free here.

"I bloody hated bodyguard detai
alicat ♡➹♡
Wow, I love this glimpse of Kate from the past. And Saiman, well, I used to think people were a bit harsh with him and now I think he deserves it!

(view spoiler)
3.5 stars.

I liked this story about how Kate meets Saiman when he needs a bodyguard. I noticed a few differences between this short story and Kate's account in Magic Bites.

Super Spoilers (view spoiler)
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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 ...more

Other books in the series

Kate Daniels (10 books)
  • Magic Bites (Kate Daniels, #1)
  • Magic Burns (Kate Daniels, #2)
  • Magic Strikes (Kate Daniels, #3)
  • Magic Bleeds (Kate Daniels, #4)
  • Magic Slays (Kate Daniels, #5)
  • Magic Rises (Kate Daniels, #6)
  • Magic Breaks (Kate Daniels, #7)
  • Magic Shifts (Kate Daniels, #8)
  • Magic Binds (Kate Daniels, #9)
  • Magic Triumphs (Kate Daniels, #10)

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31 likes · 35 comments
“Ask!" the cat said.
"Ask, Kate!" Saiman prompted.
"Ask!" one of the volhvs called out.
I took a deep breath. The cat leaned forward in anticipation.
"Would you like some milk?”
“What happened?"
"You fell."
"Really? What did I fall into?"
"My fist."
"That explains the headache.”
More quotes…