Reviewed by Tori
Favorite Quote: “Only two kinds of people drink their coffee black: cops and serial killers.”
Kate and Curran have finally set a date for their wedding but if they think everything is smooth sailing from here on out, they obviously haven’t been paying attention. Roland has been systematically taunting Kate, using his people to harass and intimidate others just outside of Atlanta. Kate has been on a slow simmer, keeping her head and sword firmly in check but when Kate learns Roland has kidnapped a friend, she is done. But she must be very careful. The Witch Oracle has warned her that they have seen her future and it shows nothing but devastation and pain for her, no matter what choices she makes. As Kate begins to prepare for the unavoidable, she finds herself looking into the past for help. Because no matter what happens in the end…family’s still family.
I don’t have to tell any of you how much I love this series and its authors. Every review I’ve written pretty much sings of my love and admiration. As always, I find myself re-reading the series at least once, twice, three times (DON’T JUDGE ME) a year for comfort. The familiar world draws me in while the characters and the exceptional writing holds me tight. Horror and humor are the mainstays of this vibrant and consistently inventive urban fantasy series, keeping you on the edge of your seat as the Andrews take Kate and her friends deeper into the chaos of Atlanta.
A strong appreciation of this series for me is the realism that is buried within the story. Though set in a fantasy-based world, we seen plenty of real world issues addressed. Racism, bigotry, poverty, homophobia, classism, genocide, etc…Yet for all the seriousness imparted, there is an equal amount of light, love, hope, and humor to help offset the darkness. We are shown that true heroines and heroes are made when we are at our lowest point and survival seems futile. Sometimes we need a champion who fights against all odds and Kate Daniels certainly fits the bill.
Magic Binds is certainly aptly titled. This tightly woven story speeds along at breathtaking speeds, giving readers a fully developed action packed adventure that warns you to hold on tight because you’re in for a wild ride. In Kate’s efforts to discover how to defeat her father before he destroys Atlanta and plan her upcoming nuptials, Kate begins to look deeply at all the bonds she has created with the people around her, which is ironic considering her upbringing. Raised to be an ultimate killing machine with only one end goal, Kate’s life has done a complete 180, resulting in family, friends, allies, and a life with the man she loves.
Roland’s latest escapade has pushed Kate to her limits. She has remained firmly on the defensive as she has fought and defeated everything her father has tossed at her while trying not to antagonize him. She walks a very fine line for someone whose first instinct is to grab her sword and charge headfirst into battle. Kidnapping Saiman is the last straw. Kate goes on the offensive and fully embraces her heritage.
“I’m a princess of Shinar, granddaughter of the Semiramis, the niece of the City Eater, daughter of the Builder of Towers!”
Fans will love this installment. Andrews not only ups the ante in here, they go for broke, tossing aside all the rules and embracing the outrageous, fantastical, confounding, and diabolical. Kate’s need to protect those she loves and cares for is a constant battle that leaves her struggling under the weight of her responsibilities. Claiming Atlanta had only added to that weight. Kate knows she has to go big here but is scared of the price she may be forced to pay in the end.
“The magic is changing me and I’m not even always aware of it.”
Luckily for her, she has some serious power players in her corner. Curran is there for her no matter what. He will always have her back. Whether to encourage her, keep her grounded, or pull her back from the edge, nothing scares him. Except losing her.
“I’ll be here…I’ll fight for you. We’ll beat this. We’ve beaten everything else.”
Secrets are revealed and open plotlines tied up, giving us an intimate into the lives of almost everyone who has a vested interest in Kate’s future-Christopher, Julie, Roman. I was shocked by the deviousness shown here. BRAVO! Everyone’s backstory is far more complicated than we ever imagined and the time has come for for us to know all. Some changes in friendships Some new, interesting people are introduced into the storyline that only add to the complicated finale we are headed towards. As always, the Andrews hold their cards close to the vest, leaving readers with plenty of questions and concerns.
Destiny and choice play a strong role in here. How much of your destiny can be negated by choice? And how far will destiny go to reassert itself? I love that a large portion of the storyline is devoted to the relationship between Kate and her father. The Andrews focus on the similarities and differences between them, creating humorous scenes that strike at the heart of their complicated bond. Roland has to be the most amusing villainous father I’m come across in awhile. This thousand of years old narcissistic megalomaniac adores his Blossom though his love for her is heavily taxed by his absolute need to be obeyed in all things. Kate’s natural aversion to authority and strength of character is a thorn in his side. Yet for all her denials, she tries repeatedly to reason with him. To convince him to be at her side as a father and not as a God to be worshiped. Death threats in the morning and dinner in the evening. Both are extremely stubborn and the thought of giving into the other’s demands is inconceivable, but the time has come to make a choice.
I turned around. A wall of light bisected the Guild, showing my father, his hands behind his back. Yes, he did. Oh, he did. Now was really the wrong time to screw with me. My magic shot out of me. All of the anger I’d been trying to keep under the lid boiled out.
“Which part of ‘go fuck yourself’ did you not understand?”
His power was an inferno. “I AM YOUR FATHER. I AM SHARRUM. YOU WILL SHOW ME RESPECT!”
God, I wanted to punch him in the face. “You are despicable. I’m ashamed to be your daughter. I should walk the street apologizing to everyone I meet for the fact that you still exist.”
“I MADE YOU. WITHOUT ME YOU WOULDN’T EXIST. I CAN SNUFF OUT YOUR LIFE WITH A FLICK OF MY FINGERS AND MAKE A DOZEN JUST LIKE YOU.”
“Do it.” I spread my arms. “Come on. I’m waiting.”
Rage shivered in the corners of his mouth. I’d really pissed him off this time. Good. Have a taste of your own medicine.
The ending is an epic showing of courage, power, and sacrifice as Kate and her friends make their stand. Lines are drawn, choices are made, and for all involved, there is no turning back. War has been declared and I for one won’t miss it for the world.
“You can do this. You will walk in there like you own the place and you will kick ass.”
The Kate Daniels series remains one of the strongest evolutionary Urban Fantasies to date. The Andrews have created a world and a heroine that will continue to entertain and fascinate long after we say goodbye.