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4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
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on 6 August 2013
It is important to note that these books are written for a specific audience. I am fairly confident 40+ year old single males are not what the publishers, or probably the authors, are aiming for. As such please take this review in that context.

I have loved the Kate Daniels series since the first book and my addiction has grown with every passing novel and short story.

I do love urban fantasy but I tend to dislike most paranormal romance novels that focus on romance or sex instead of the story.

For the first time in the series it felt like I was reading a paranormal romance rather than an urban fantasy action novel. I sensed the relationship between Kate and Curran was the main focus. In the previous novels their relationship has grown and developed in spite of the story, either comically or epically. I am hoping for a return to violence and less angst in the next in the series. Whilst this is not my favourite in the series it is still very good and a worthy continuation. There is also now a real feeling that Kate and Curran have passed the point of no return and a confrontation with her father is now inevitable. There is still plenty of action and there are several action segments that were simply fantastic plus there is a great reference to David Eddings to watch for.

Overall, if you have read the others in the series you are already, like me, addicted. This is still my favourite series and Kate is still my favourite heroine.
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on 30 July 2013
I adore - ADORE - the Kate Daniels series, but I'll admit I was a little worried about it losing it's spark now that our heroine and hero are all loved up. There was nothing to worry about, the book is fantastic. I devoured it in a day and it was so emotionally draining that I was left exhausted by the end.

***** beware spoilers ahead *****

The book is set away from Atlanta for a change, so not every regular character has a big part and we are also introduced to new characters, but the synopsis probably gives a better outline than I can.

Kate and Curran's relationship is believably put under strain (a difficult manouver for the authors to pull off convincingly) and not only did I believe it as a reader, I FELT it. Warning bells went off in my head before they did in Kate's and I shared the feelings of disbelief, loss and humiliation. As a reader they took me from a place of being 100% confident in a Kate/Curran HEA and turned that belief on it's head - not an easy task! I love Curran, but there were times in this book I could have cheerfully strangled him... Luckily it's impossible to stay angry with the Beast Lord.

The story arc is drawing to a close and so it's no great surprise that we meet Hugh again... but how we meet him is ;) Some VERY interesting developments on this front and there were times he absolutely stole the show. The big bad is looming on the horizon and we really start to appreciate how momentous Kate's task is. She felt very human in this book.

Last but not least, there was the unexpected death of a much beloved character - I'll admit it, I cried. Like I said at the start of my review, emotionally draining stuff. Take the day off to read Magic Rises, because once you start you wont be able to put it down and if you're new to the series don't start here because you have missed soooooo much character development, start with Magic Bites: A Kate Daniels Novel: 1 and enjoy the ride!
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on 24 December 2015
OK, there's a kick-ass heroine with a secret who is in a love/hate relationship with the leader/member of the local shapeshifters or vampires or other supernatural beasties. So far so conventional in the world of Urban Fantasy. There are dozens of books with variations on that theme out there, aping the success of the early Anita Blake series by Laurell K. Hamilton. Many have gone the 'relationships' route with the lead characters agonising over their love life, including Hamilton herself in her later Blake books. For me, most end up too Mills & Boon with little sense of danger or scary otherness in the supernatural bad guys or good guys. Enter Ilona Andrews, whose Kate Daniels series takes the genre's cliches and gives them a right kicking. Yes, the Kate Daniels character has a secret (she's the sole surviving child of the first vampire king); she's kick-ass to the max; she's Consort to the local Beast Lord of Atlanta - all cliche boxes ticked. But the husband-and-wife duo behind the Ilona Andrews name tie all that to tight plots and visceral action with believable characters and vitally, that shivery alien otherness required in the supernatural critters good and (especially) bad. The vampires will actually kill you; the werewolves regard you as a snack and the Kate Daniels character is as hard-edged as any of them. Magic Rises is an extremely satisfactory entry into the series with Kate, Beast Lord Curran and a motley crew of shapeshifters heading to Middle Europe to act as mediators in a territorial dispute. They know it's some kind of trap - why do the European supernatural tribes want their US cousins to intervene? But the reward is the medicine which stops shapeshifter children from potentially going insane at puberty. What follows ties in everything from Greek and Assyrian myth and magic to Hugh d'Ambray, lethal right-hand man of Kate's less-than-loving Daddy. The whole trip has been aimed at luring Kate away from her defenders so that he can confirm his suspicions that she is the last surviving daughter and if necessary, eliminate her. Or is it? d'Ambray seems to have issues of his own. The plot twists and turns with action aplenty before the final showdown which sees the death of a long-running character. Nothing cosy or safe in this series, thankfully. Highly recommended.
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on 9 May 2016
Ilona Andrews books suck you into the story from the first chapter & spits you out at the end like you've been on the best & most exciting roller coaster through a world more magical than Mordor & would nuke Hogwarts to a pile of ashes!!! Her characters are just brilliant & grow with every book & storyline. I can't dip-in-&-out of these books as they're like quicksand. They pull you under & before you know it it's 3am & you've got to be up for work at 5am!!! They are some of the best Paranormal books out there & Ilona Andrews makes up my trio of unmissable authors along with Darynda Jones & Nalini Singhs archangel series.
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on 16 May 2016
Love this series. The characters come to life and you will either love or hate them ( I love them). I am not really into shifter fantasy books but these books have so much in them and they are so well written, you will not be able to put them down.
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on 3 October 2013
If I could give it more than 5 stars, I would. The book is incredible, the story line pulls you in from the start, the characters are well written and thought out, and it's one of the few books that's written by two authors that I've read that doesn't feel like two authors, it's so smooth. The male characters are obviously written by a male, as you really do feel that you are seeing it from a male's point of view, not what a woman thinks a man is thinking. And the female characters are really well written to, but none as good as the lead character, Kate. She is a great heroine, amazing sense of humour that has me laughing out loud at certain points. She's also not overly perfect as a lot of heroines lately seem to be, so it makes it easier to empathize with her.

If you've read all the books til now, like me, then reading this is frustratingly great. The actions of the characters frustrates because you don't understand why because you and they should know better!

There are also several shocks and twists in the story, and I refuse to write more about it so as not to give any spoilers. Suffice it to say it's great to have Kate back (wasn't a big fan - although still enjoyed it of book 5 - Gunmetal Magic) and to know they've been given the go ahead by their publishers for many more books, as it was originally going to end at book 7 and to think no more Kate and her world after that, is great news.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 26 September 2014
Kate and her Beast Lord lover Curran face a whole new type of threat to their relationship when they travel abroad on a mission to guard a pregnant shape shifter in exchange for a herbal/magical concoction that can alleviate the chances of shape shifters turning loup and having to be destroyed. Of course it's a trap, but the local shape shifters have no idea what Kate is capable of. They see only a puny human woman, but Kate eventually gets to prove to them all just how tough she really is.

Kate has no problems with the thought of fighting the shape shifters that hate her, yet she's got to remain diplomatic and not jeopardise the Pack's chance of obtaining the much sought after but scarce and hideously expensive drug that can alleviate loupism. What she isn't prepared for is the appearance of an enemy who knows who her father is and a winsome werewolf princess who displays too much interest in Curran.

This series continues to thrill with its engaging characters and action packed plots. There are a couple of surprising twists, the introduction of some enigmatic but clearly powerful individuals and the unexpected and heart-breaking loss of a character I initially didn't think much of but grew to like.
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on 20 October 2013
The star rating is within the context of an Urban Fantasy series. If you are looking at this having never met Kate Daniels, stop and look up book 1 in the series (and note the series takes a couple of books to warm up).

If you are wondering whether to continue, don't hesitate. Ilona Andrews manages to keep the Kate and Curran dynamic lively despite them being an item. Unlike some other reviewers, I do think the story takes primary place in the novel, with developments in the mythology, the setting (Europe) and overall the story arc. Whilst the relationships are well illustrated, they don't overpower the narrative, (I speak as someone irritated by the PR genre.) High action and fight scenes are there aplenty and I liked the unfamiliar setting filled with my favourite characters and nasty surprises (a little reminiscent of The Castle of Otranto).

There is a nice balance between tension and humour and there is a sense that although the world is established in great detail, the style is self aware and doesn't take itself too seriously. I'm still not sure what to make of the new magical duo-the resolution was a little too neat for my liking and I would like a little more grey in my characters; GRR Marten this is not. However, it kept me engaged, entertained and made me laugh loudly throughout the novel. I will certainly be waiting for the next in the series.
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on 5 August 2013
What a book! Book number six in the Kate Daniels series is 327 pages of full on adrenaline I needed serious recovery time after finishing it. Magic Rises is now undoubtedly my favourite book of my all time favourite Urban Fantasy series.

Made and controlled by the European packs Panacea is the only known cure for loupism and is therefore rarer than gold dust in the shifter world. Currently when teenage shifters in the pack go loup the only option available is execution so when friends of Kate's young ward Julie go loup Kate decides that she will do anything to ensure that Julie's friends and other shifter children don't have to face execution. When Curran is offered the dangerous job of protecting Desandra a pregnant shifter overseas in exchange for enough panacea to save a generation of teenage shifters he agrees to the job despite knowing that it's very likely to be some sort of trap.

Magic Rises should see Kate Daniels earn the status of everyone's favourite urban fantasy heroine. Up until now I've probably never really thought of Kate being less powerful as a human in a shifter world because she has shown time and time again that she can more than hold her own. Kate is a warrior, what she lacks in fur and claws she more than makes up with in skill, brains and training not to mention she has a few words of power up her sleeve and some seriously nifty magic to boot. However in Magic Rises I saw a much more vulnerable Kate.

Not only has Kate to protect Desandra the pregnant shifter who's life has been threatened, she also has to investigate the source of some scary new shifter species that are determined to ensure Desandra's babies are never born and not piss any of the European shifters off whilst doing it. On top of all this, Kate's position as Consort to the Beast Lord Curran seems also to be under threat. Pretty little shifter Lorelei is all over Curran like a rash and he doesn't exactly put her in her place which obviously all of other shifters notice. The European shifters relish in telling Kate repeatedly that her days as Consort are numbered and that Lorelei would be a much better shifter partner for Curran. I really would never have thought that Kate could seem so hurt and vulnerable as she is forced to question her relationship with Curran (who was acting like a complete arse, honestly I wanted to strangle the Beast Lord myself), even wondering why he hasn't asked her to marry him as well as questioning her own status as the only non-shifter. Seeing this different side to Kate was absolutely heart breaking, so much so that I ended up bawling my eyes out when a member of the Atlanta pack had to remind Kate that she had more than earned her place as one of the pack despite not being a shifter. Like Kate I think I needed that reassurance too!

As a fan of the series I've always known that someday Kate will have to face her father Roland, their battle has always loomed on the horizon. Although Kate has always been careful to protect her identity she knows that Hugh D'Ambray her father's warlord (who like Kate was trained by Voron) is now aware of her existence and as a result the battle with Hugh is much more imminent. The events of Magic Rises make that particular contest even more interesting. Without being too spoilerish the whole trip was engineered by a figure from Kate's past to get her to the Black Sea and their eventual encounter was not at all what I expected. The twists and turns of Magic Rises were so cleverly engineered I just never really knew what would happen next.

I know it is a well known cliche to say that a series gets better and better but in Magic Rises case it really is true. With secret plans, epic battles, a mysteriously scary new breed of killer shifters, a tiny mountain man and a shepherd, Magic Rises kept me on my toes from start to finish. Best book I've read this year. 5 out of 5 and then some.
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on 8 September 2013
After finishing the last novel I checked out the kindle store and was pleased to see yet another one, needless to say I grabbed that too and was not disappointed, I don't want to ruin the storyline but it does seem that the Ilona Andrews team have something planned for Kate which is making the storyline rather interesting to say the least, I'm liking the way she changes with reveals and seems to be growing.. One minor moan.. Didn't she need to feed the sword previously? No real mention of that now.. Or am I thinking of another book.. Hmmm

Only buy this book if you have 2 days to waste.. Because opening this will delete them from the week!
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