Publisher: Ace Books.
Where did you get this book: Review copy from author:
Release date: Out now.
This review contains spoilers!
Blurb taken from authors’ official website:
Kate Daniels works for the Order of the Knights of Merciful Aid, officially as a liaison with the mercenary guild. Unofficially, she cleans up the paranormal problems no one else wants to handle—especially if they involve Atlanta’s shapeshifting community.
When she’s called in to investigate a fight at the Steel Horse, a bar midway between the territories of the shapeshifters and the necromancers, Kate quickly discovers there’s a new player in town. One who’s been around for thousands of years—and rode to war at the side of Kate’s father.
This foe may be too much even for Kate and Curran, the Lord of the Beasts, to handle. Because this time, Kate will be taking on family…
Magic Bleeds is the fourth instalment in the Kate Daniels series by writing duo Ilona Andrews. This book has an epic fantasy tone that contrasts so well with the urban setting. The world building is so imaginative and descriptive; magic, gods, myths and supernaturals are explained in such vivid detail that it never fails to amaze me. I’ve mentioned before how I think Ilona Andrews’ worldbuilding is some of the best I have read, and Magic Bleeds, I believe, reinforces this.
Everything that transpires in this book blends into a rollercoaster ride of excitement, magic and romance. For me, it’s a tantalising combination. One of the many things that I loved so much about this book is seeing Kate in a much more emotional setting. Instead of shrugging emotions off as she would have done in previous books, Kate allows herself to feel heartbreak, and allows people past her own personal barrier. She’s still a smart ass who has such a way with words, she still kicks ass and she still has that ‘I keel you’ look in her eye, but it’s tempered down compared to the first three books. But! The ‘I keel you’ look still manages to glare strongly towards her very own – in her own words -’psychopath’ that is the Beast Lord – also known as Curran.
The relationship between these two has never been so intense, and so full of passion. In previous books, the romance between them was very slow, but it heated up a degree in each book. In Bleeds, the temperature went off the rocks! But it doesn’t happen instantly as Kate and Curran are at odds for the first half of the book. I did think that the misunderstanding between them felt forced, and I felt it was another way to keep these two apart. But things finally came to a head in a fashion that was smoking hot. They has smex! Yes, the two finally do the dirty deed *grins*. The love scene was not lovey dovey which I don’t think would have suited these hot-headed characters, but it was rough, primitive and oh so sexy. And somehow featured the sneaky Saiman that had me laughing – especially when he tried to run over Kate in such haste to escape Curran.
Kate and Curran still become uber smart asses when interacting with each other — this is still Curran and Kate, who manage to make arguing an art — but underneath there is a very strong love that these two stubborn characters can’t deny, and there are tender moments that show how far these two characters have come. And with Magic Bleeds finally cementing their relationship, I think it definitely brings about a new direction in the series. Not only does it affect them personally, it also affects the pack in many ways, and Kate’s work. And even though they finally admit what they are to each other, there is no instantaneously perfect relationship. Kate and Curran are two very important people that have dangerous working roles, and I think it would have felt false to the characters if they ignored what they did, and who they are, for love.
So not only does the romance bring about a new direction, but Magic Bleeds brings Kate’s very dangerous – and evil – family closer. With diseases and plagues riddling the city of Atlanta, causing havoc for everyone – especially deadly consequences for the shapeshifter pack – we learn about the past of Roland – Kate’s father - and a surprising family member. The baddies in the Kate Daniels world are not cardboard cut-out baddies, but are lethal and downright scary. There are many fighting scenes in Bleeds, and one of my favourite scenes is where giant golem statues come to life in an almighty battle. I said at the beginning that this book has an epic feel to it, and in certain scenes, epic definitely describes what’s going on.
Magic Bleeds ties strongly with my favourite book in the series, Strikes, but Bleeds tips the balance with Kate’s character changing for the better, and being able to empathise with her a lot more. Even though I didn’t like the ‘misunderstanding’, Bleeds is a fantastic book, and I would have no hesitation in book pushing this series onto the masses.
I give Magic Bleeds 5.0 stars.