RogerBW's Blog

Magic Bleeds, Ilona Andrews 28 April 2019

2010 modern fantasy, fourth in the Kate Daniels series. A bar fight that went a bit strange turns out to have been the first inkling of a deity-level supernatural threat to Atlanta. Just another day at the office.

And while there's a lot to be done about that, it's not just about Kate getting fighty (at which she's very good). She needs to forge alliances between factions that hate each other, and to get good at playing politics, quickly, because these problems don't wait until you're ready for them.

On the other hand, one could reasonably argue that the main business of this book is the relationship between Kate and Curran, the werelion leader of Atlanta's shapeshifters. Here Andrews pulls off a very neat trick: Kate and Curran are very clearly right for each other, without being generic about it. In many romantic stories one partner or the other is left deliberately bland, either so that the reader can see themselves in that role or so that they won't find anything to object to in the pairing; but both these principals are major pains in the backside, and when (inevitably, since this is book 4 out of 10) the relationship doesn't run smooth I think I'm going to be able to believe in it, rather than thinking that a supposedly perfect love shouldn't be so easily derailed.

If anything, the supernatural threat gets left slightly to one side; there's a connection with Kate's family background that's interestingly developed, and as always the violence is well-written, but the idea of an active, mobile and perhaps even slightly intelligent set of disease organisms is dropped after the second fight. I found that fascinating, and I'd have liked to have seen more of it; ah well.

Definitely one for the series reader; there's payoff here for things that have been set up in the previous books, and setup for things that will clearly happen later. I suppose you could start here, but there'd be far less emotional resonance.

Followed by Magic Slays.

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Previous in series: Magic Mourns | Series: Kate Daniels | Next in series: Magic Dreams

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