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Magic Slays (Kate Daniels) Mass Market Paperback – May 31, 2011
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"It takes both talent and hard work to keep a series consistently high quality, a feat deftly demonstrated by Andrews ... NO ONE does it better!" --Jill Smith, Romantic Times, 4.5 stars, TOP PICK
"Magic Slays by Ilona Andrews is simply amazing. The Kate Daniels series honestly gets better with each new release." --Night Owl Reviews
"Magic Slays was an excellent addition to powerhouse series that hits the spot. I cannot wait to see what else Ilona Andrews will come up with next, but I'm betting it'll be good." --Books by Their Cover
"Fifth of the Kate Daniels series delivers nonstop action and a few surprises while adding considerable background and depth to Kate's character ... This series continues to deliver top-notch urban fantasy." --Monsters and Critics
If Magic Bleeds was the turning point for the series, then Magic Slays is the reassurance and comfort we need afterwords. --Smexy Books
From the Author
Magic Slays: Happily Ever After... Not So Fast
Every one of us has read fairy tales. Most of them follow the same pattern: a hero or heroine face a great enemy and many challenges. They fight against overwhelming odds and eventually they prevail. They marry a prince or a princess and live Happily Ever After. No sequels - the story is complete and it's over the moment the hero kisses the princess against the backdrop of the setting sun.
It's a great narrative pattern and it endured through thousands of years. That's why MAGIC SLAYS is a kind of book most authors hope they will never have to write. It's the story that takes place after the sun has set and new collection of monsters besieges the happy couple's castle.
When you look at the rest of the series, the calm and sweet Happily Ever After doesn't really makes sense. Kate, who has been a loner all of her life and avoided responsibility for other people, suddenly finds herself responsible for hundreds of shapeshifters within the Pack. And when they say "responsible", they mean it: they expect her to manage their troubled offspring, they expect her to sit in judgment and sort out their squabbles, and when danger arises, they expect her to put herself between them and that danger. Stepping into the path of a threat for the sake of other people is nothing new to Kate. However, this time the enemy isn't a single individual, but many. They are well organized, ruthless and fanatic in pursuit of their goal. And they threaten not just one or two people but literally everyone Kate knows. How do you guard thousands of potential targets against an enemy who could strike anywhere at any time?
It doesn't help that she isn't universally loved within the Pack. Technically her position as the Beast Lord's mate comes with great power. Practically, she faces opposition. She loves Curran, but he isn't the easiest man to live with either. He is stubborn and overly protective, and mind-numbingly difficult when he wants to be. And just when she thinks she has things in hand, her past returns once again and threatens to shatter her from inside out.
On other hand, Curran, who never had to share power before, is faced with the reality: Kate is his mate and he must share. From the moment Mahon had found him, Mahon's intention had always been to hammer Curran into the ultimate alpha, a man who could subdue and keep control of the violent unpredictable leaders of the shapeshifter clans. Mahon succeeded. Curran is a skilled ruler: he manipulates, manages, rewards, encourages, and threatens the shapeshifters under his command to ensure peace within the Pack.
None of his methods work with Kate. She reacts badly to any attempt at manipulation. She refuses commands. And occasionally she laughs at him. So Curran must learn how to request rather than order, and that doesn't come naturally to the man who'd been an near absolute ruler for the better part of his life.
MAGIC SLAYS is a volatile book. It's a boiling pot of emotions and danger, tragedy and comedy, defeat and victory. It's a story of love and devotion above all else, but it's also a story of friendship and hate, where failure carries an ultimate price tag. We won't promise you a smooth sailing, but we ask you to trust us. When it comes to our books, that one, most important adage of fairy tales always stays true: we will bring our characters safely to port.
MAGIC SLAYS is a Happily Ever After in progress, wrought with danger, and perils, and some laughs. We hope you'll give it a try. Come fight the monsters with us. You won't regret it.
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The story begins with Kate adjusting to her life as the Beast Lord's mate, dealing with her ward, Julie, accepting the return of her best pal, Andrea, and struggling to make her new investigations business a success. After two months of sheer boredom, everything ends up hitting her at once and she ends up landing her first real client. An inventor has gone missing along with a mysterious device and she's hired on to retrieve the artifact and the inventor in that order. She delves into the case, but it's hard to prioritize with all the strange and seemingly unrelated events that are wreaking havoc in Atlanta. During her investigations, she uncovers deceptions and truths that rock her to her core and we end up seeing Kate more vulnerable than she's ever been before. While she deals with her internal struggles, she slowly connects the dots that all these strange events are tied together with her investigation and that there is an imminent threat that jeopardizes everyone she cares for.
Magic Slays starts with a bang and ends with a bang, but ultimately the book had a different feel than the previous ones. So many things happened in this book and when you thought it was heading in one direction, it turned somewhere else and I wondered if they were going to go back and address it, and of course they did. There was the sass, snark, and humor we all love, but there was also a sense of foreboding throughout. The first 200 pages of just over 300 was limited in action and spent more time on world building, character introduction and revelations. Once I hit the last 100 pages, you couldn't pry the book from my fingers and the ending was so completely action packed that I didn't think they could possibly wrap it up in time. The most spine chilling moments are when Kate uses her magic and you start to see just how powerful and scary she really is. In the past, Kate typically acts on instinct and self preservation. The evil they face here unleashes a rage and determination we haven't seen before from Kate and it left me breathless. I'm not sure how this arc will be wrapped up in two more books because this installment has left it open for innumerable possibilities. I'll be waiting anxiously because the foundation that was laid here truly feels like it's leading you into a monumental storm.
As always the storytelling is good. But the book begins to bog down under the sheer weight of its cast of characters. We already have a large and diverse cast, and in this book we are introduced to not one, not two, but what seems like a dozen more. It begins to get unwieldy. And unfortunately some of the story lines with both new and old characters seem to be picked up then just kind of dropped; Ascanio is one, Andrea's issues are another. Raphael is completely off stage in this book.
I can say that once again we are treated to a "must defeat this or all around me will die" scenario. And I'm starting to feel that too is a bit tired. How many times will we hear "and a lion boiled forth" etc.
Then, near the ending climax of the book is an entire Curran/Kate discussion that just seems meaningless. I don't want to post spoilers but seriously, the need for this conversation was completely negated in literally the next paragraph. Why was it there?
I would have liked to see less time and energy spent on the Major Huge Dramatic Final Fight Scene and more spent on some of the character threads that were dropped. I am starting to be afraid that like some other authors this series might get so overburdened with different people and plotlines that it crashes under its own weight.
As always the humor is sharp and on target, and I do like what Kate learned about herself. But I hope the next book is a bit tighter.
Kate Daniels and Curran, Beast Lord of Atlanta, are now mated and living happily ever after in the Keep. Well, sort of. You had to know something weird would come along to mess up the honeymoon. This weird comes in the form of a fanatical group known as The Lighthouse Keepers who want the world to go back to being completely devoid of magic. They even have a scientist building a device for them which will get rid of any speck of magical or supernatural power within a prescribed geographic area. Then they can move on to the next geographical area. Naturally, this will also get rid of any person or being made by or using that magic.
Every time I start reading one of these Kate Daniel books I start out holding my breath. After I get going really strong with the pages simply flying by I relax into the book and understand this one is going to be another amazing experience. Not a stinker in the bunch. That's saying something too, because sustaining this high level of intensity while inventing believable urban fantasy must be quite an undertaking. Or not? When I read these books I feel like I can actually hear the bantering going on back and forth between this husband and wife writing team. They must get quite a kick out of talking through all these scenes and ideas. They have kept Kate fresh and "human". They have put her and the entire population of Atlanta into such surreal conditions and surroundings that it should take a huge amount of gullibility to keep reading. But here is the great part, it all feels so perfectly possible that I take every fantastic step as if it were perfectly logical to do so. Adventure follows adventure at break-neck speed and yet it doesn't feel rushed. How DO they do that?
Okay, so a five star rating means that I highly recommend this book for readers of urban fantasy. Even though this is book five in the series it has been written in such a smooth transitional style that you can begin here, get yourself completely hooked, then go back to the beginning and read forward. Unfortunately, unless the pattern changes, you will have time to do that before book six makes it to the stores. In some ways I feel so totally selfish. I wait and wait, I pine, I grumble, waiting for the next book to be released. As soon as it is I sit down and devour it from cover to cover. Then I begin all over again with the waiting, the pining, and the grumbling. I'm just never satisfied, right? Why don't you come join me in this little habit of mine. I'll gladly be your enabler and we can whine away together.
Most recent customer reviews
In Magic Slays, we see Kate now starting her new investigation business, and having trouble getting clients, due to...Read more