RogerBW's Blog

Magic Dreams, Ilona Andrews 30 May 2019

2011 modern fantasy novella, side story between fourth and fifth in the Kate Daniels series. Dali Harimau, vegetarian weretiger, finds her pack leader (and crush) passed out in her house. A new magical threat needs a competent magician not only to handle it but to work out what's going on.

On the technical side, what I like best about these stories is the occult detection: starting with a set of observations, the protagonists have to work out just what sort of magical entity is causing the trouble, and how to do something about it. The authors are managing to keep this basic shape of plot fresh, not only by plundering the world's mythologies but by tying each case to its specific person who thinks in a specific way.

There also has to be a reason for the Obviously Perfect Couple not to have got together before now, and this does a pretty decent job with that – and again keeps it distinct from the reasons for the other couples we've met in the series.

The plot is straightforward, but handled well; the team that's Ilona Andrews always manages to keep their writing clear and enjoyable; the supernatural beastie is one that's new to me, but seems to be broadly true to the legends (as in, one can see how a thing like this might have given rise to a legend like that).

This probably isn't the best place to start the series; there's only a brief introduction to the principals, whom we're supposed to have met before in the novels. Still, the new reader shouldn't be completely lost.

For paper purchasers, this is in the anthology Hexed. Followed by Magic Slays.

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Previous in series: Magic Bleeds | Series: Kate Daniels | Next in series: Magic Slays

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