Reviewed by Tori
Favorite Quote: “Nobody likes a quitter.”
The end has arrived. Only one person can rule Atlanta and winner takes all.
Kate Daniels has grown from a psychopathic killer with no ties to a wife and mother with a wide base of friends, allies, and unfortunately a lot of enemies. She has embraced her heritage, challenged her destiny, and claimed Atlanta as her own to stop her megalomaniac father from taking over the world. Now an ancient enemy has risen, determined to claim Kate as his own and enslave the world. Kate must put aside her fear, anger, and hatred for the sake of her family and friends and accept help from her enemies if she is to once again save mankind from certain doom.
Ahhh…here we are. The last book in Ilona Andrews’ epic and bestselling urban fantasy Kate Daniels series. Fans have waited a long time for this book though once in hand, the feeling is decidedly bittersweet. Saying goodbye is never easy, especially for someone who spends half their life enmeshed in the world of make-believe.
I do want to note that it is in the reader’s best interest to read Iron and Magic (The Iron Covenant, #1) first as there are events from it that relate and help to push this story forward.
This series is what all fantasy writers strive to create and every fan wants to read. It embodies everything I love in the genre. Action, suspense, alternative worlds, magic, love, loss, sacrifice, forgiveness, family, and humor. Witty dialogue, a strong cohesive storyline, fast pacing, and an eclectic personable cast of characters will hook you up and hold you hostage till the very end. The lack of pretentiousness is perhaps one of its most compelling factors for me. No need for a spreadsheet to keep track of everyone and everything happening. Its sheer ability to flow effortlessly from one plot line to another is a sight to behold. Real social and political issues slide under the radar, the Andrews using their writing to hammer home the injustices that plague us to this day and uses Kate to teach some much needed lessons in humanity and tolerance. We’ve been led from the beginning to this very moment and the Andrews’ shine bright as they guide us to the end of this road.
From the beginning, Magic Bites, through now, we have watched a young women whose life has been spent in hiding slowly emerge into a power to be reckoned with. She has thrown off the shackles of her guilt, fear, and childhood. She has lost many but gained so much in return. Now she has everything she never dared to dream for herself and she will do whatever it takes to keep it.
[spoiler show=”Spoiler”]“The first generation of the sahanu is dead.
The second generation of the sahanu is dead.
The Order of the sahanu is dead.
Everybody is dead.”
“Praise be to In-Shinar, the Merciful.”
The balance between the usual and unusual blends perfectly as the conflict opens to a scene that affects all of Atlanta’s magical heavy hitters. The sins of the father play a huge role in that Kate’s last challenge is a face from the past. A nasty villain whose lack of humanity and immense power will require everyone to play their part. Faces from the past and present step up to offer advice, put aside differences, makes us laugh, cause some chaos, and unsheathe their swords in this ultimate battle.
Atlanta would come together. We weren’t just one thing. We were many: shapeshifters, necromancers, witches, mages, mercenaries…We came in all shapes and sizes, in every age, in every human color, in every variation of magic, and from that we drew our strength. We were surprising and unexpected, and united.
The Andrews once again go for broke, tossing aside all the rules and embrace the outrageous, fantastical, confounding, and unexpected. Kate’s need to protect everyone is intensified by her responsibilities to the land and everyone who lives there. Even if it destroys her in the end.
“The word of the Sharratum is binding…I don’t rule but I am a queen. I claimed the city. They all need my protection. They don’t even know it, but they need me to survive….”
While the main arc and its various subplots are definitely the prize of the story, it’s the relationships that Kate has built that have intrigued with me throughout. Like a web with Kate at its center, it’s glistening strands encompass a wide variety of people from the love of her life to her greatest enemy. All of whom share a strong bond with Kate despite their humble sometimes antagonistic beginnings. The themes of family and forgiveness is expanded up with everyone owning their deeds and learning that we are not always the sum of our actions. No one is taken for granted or used to pad the storyline. Each is a formidable entity that can more than hold their own in this ever-changing world.
My favorite character in here though, besides the obvious, has to be Conlan. Sweet, adorable, unpredictable Conlan. Kate’s heart and soul. Her as a mother is not only enlightening but hilarious. As magical beings, the most mundane scenes are usually the most amusing as you watch Kate deal with a child who is the product of the Beast Lord and In-Shinar. And Kate handles it like a champ…sometimes.
“He’s eating something. What could he be chewing under there?”
“Electric cords. Old tissues dead bugs.”
Kate Lennart, mother of the year. What do you feed your son? Dead bugs he found under the bed, of course. “We need to get him out now!”
“Have I told your a helicopter parent?”
“I’m going to to be the Wrath of Hell parent in a minute.”
The finale is sublime and everything you’d expect it to be with one last twist that delighted me with its devious cleverness. Andrews’ effectively resolved the conflict, the arc and STILL left room for possibly more stories.
Magic Triumphs is indeed a triumph for this author duo who eleven years ago introduced us to a smart-mouthed merc, an autocratic lion, and an adventure that enchanted readers of all ages. Well worth all the praise, Kate Daniels has stood the test of time and in my opinion will continue to do so.