RogerBW's Blog

Magic Gifts, Ilona Andrews 14 June 2019

2011 modern fantasy novella in the Kate Daniels series. Kate's out for a meal with Curran when a fellow diner is handed a necklace… and is promptly strangled by it.

Of course, saving the necklace's next victim isn't the only thing on the cards; Kate also has to resolve the problem of the Mercenary Guild, which has been leaderless and inoperative since Magic Bleeds… without taking it over herself. This is a surprisingly substantial story, albeit with another new super-powerful enemy (though this one is too tough to get killed off; conveniently, though, you can only visit him once, or he'll know your smell and kill you before you can bribe him to help).

Mostly this is the usual Kate Daniels narrative in minature: there's a problem, and there's casting around and investigation to try to find out more detail. This time there's a fair bit of the Norse Heritage, introduced in Magic Slays and here even more clearly a bunch of nutters who like drinking and fighting first, leaving questions of theology until much later.

It's only when one considers the various mythologies in play that it becomes apparent just what a neat trick Andrews is pulling: like one of those RPG or comics settings where new and unexpected factors are constantly introduced, there's an awful lot going on in this universe, and yet it's never confusing to the reader.

For paper purchasers, this is in the back of (some?) copies of Gunmetal Magic, with which it is more or less contemporary.

Previous in series: Magic Tests | Series: Kate Daniels | Next in series: Gunmetal Magic

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