RogerBW's Blog

Magic Claims, Ilona Andrews 10 November 2023

2023 modern fantasy, continuation of the Kate Daniels series. Kate and Curran are still trying to live in peace, but the effort is still doomed.

Which, one feels, they probably knew anyway, but they wanted to give it a try, living as normal people rather than as well-known super-powerful good guys. But they are still obviously significant players, and there's a town that has a magical something demanding sacrifices…

What really works for me is having multiple things happening on multiple levels but also linking them together. The town needs to be rescued, sure. But the town's bribe to Kate and Curran is a huge tract of forest, obviously interesting to a werewolf with shape-changing friends, but when someone else lets Curran know what's going on with the Pack in Atlanta that he stepped down from leading, well, it's going to be a good place to build structures that'll help resolve that too – but in turn that will attract attention from others in the Pack. (Even assuming the super-powerful ancient evil living there is dealt with, of course.) One of the options available in Kate's magical toolbox will similarly involve breaking anonymity and make it obvious that she's back in the game – but can she do what's needed without using it?

Then there's the question of what's actually going on, always an enjoyable part of the Kate books: powerful shapeshifters of a type not seen before, humans with no common language but complex magic… all right, it was a bit more obvious to me than to the protagonists, but there's someone else in the story to whom it's obvious as soon as he finds out a key clue. It's not as though Kate and Curran know everything.

And the Andrews collective continue to disprove the lazy writer's excuse that stable relationships are boring. Kate and Curran are still very much in love, and when they have serious discussions that's part of the backdrop; and they've grown up a bit since they were falling in love back in the original series. It's lovely to read.

You could start here, but the original books are still out there and some of the pleasure is in seeing how these characters have changed since the beginning.

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