Welcome to this week’s Read-along and the book we will be looking at is MAGIC RISES! For the first time ever we get out of Atlanta, see more of Kate and Curran’s developing relationship, and shed quite a few tears! BEWARE: Don’t read any further if you haven’t read the book yet, there are spoilers below!
Atlanta is a city plagued by magical problems. Kate Daniels will fight to solve them—no matter the cost.
Mercenary Kate Daniels and her mate, Curran, the Beast Lord, are struggling to solve a heartbreaking crisis. Unable to control their beasts, many of the Pack’s shapeshifting children fail to survive to adulthood. While there is a medicine that can help, the secret to its making is closely guarded by the European packs, and there’s little available in Atlanta.
Kate can’t bear to watch innocents suffer, but the solution she and Curran have found threatens to be even more painful. The European shapeshifters who once outmaneuvered the Beast Lord have asked him to arbitrate a dispute—and they’ll pay him in medicine. With the young people’s survival and the Pack’s future at stake, Kate and Curran know they must accept the offer—but they have little doubt that they’re heading straight into a trap…
MinnChica: This book killed me. Absolutely, positively killed me. It’s been a week since I finished it and I’m still reeling. The romance aspect of this book flayed me open and literally squeezed my heart till it hurt. There were twists and turns that Andrews sprinkled in the book that had me both laughing and crying. The end had me sobbing, literal tears streaming down my face as one of my favorite characters in the series sacrificed their live to safe the others. There were so many different emotions packed within every moment, every scene, every word. I am so excited about the way this series has progressed, and I love the way that Andrews had made it possible for the world and characters to stay true to themselves. I love the journey that Kate is on, and I am so excited and sad with each book that comes out, because it means that Kate’s journey will soon be coming to an end.
This series remains my all time favorite. The romance, the action, the drama, it is all the perfect blend of harsh and unforgiving and loving and sweet. Never before has a book cut me open as much as this did!
Has: I’ve never ceased to be amazed that each installment for the Kate Daniels series , gets better and better and Magic Rises certainly came up with the goods in terms of high action and emotions. I literally inhaled the book in one sitting….and then reread it again because there was so much jam-packed into the book that I was afraid that I missed something. Especially with the epic ending which literally left me breathless. I loved Kate’s confrontation with an old face from the past and what a confrontation!
And like MinnChica stated about the romance, I really liked how Kate and Curran’s relationship developed throughout the series and in Magic Rises, there were a few bumps along the road, which explored Kate’s insecurities. But I was highly satisfied how they resolved their issues and I also liked how their differences in the books highlighted potential choices they could have made and showed how far their characters changed. And I adored how much stronger they were as a team as well as romantic partners because despite faults, I was glad they had vulnerabilities and that they both faced up to because it helped to cement their relationship to be so much stronger. And for me, this is one of the best Urban Fantasy’s couple ever, because despite being together causes problems and probably more troubles in the future, they really balance each other.
I also loved the new additions to the cast of characters, although this was certainly the darkest book yet which has a major death and fallout for other characters in the book. Magic Rises, for me certainly sets up an epic showdown with Kate’s father Roland in the future and I am literally on tenterhooks on how it will pan out!
Lou: I’m on reviewing hiatus but I’ve come out just to write this paragraph.
Magic Rises is one of this year’s best books EVA. Kate and Curran are more badass than ever, and this book wallops you over the head with vulnerability and sadness. It also fills you with hope, love, and family ties that Kate cannot escape from. Ilona Andrews was also super sneaky with Hugh. One minute I was thinking they’re taking him in this direction, and then the next, BAM. Totally blew me away with Hugh’s motivations and what he wants with Kate.
Also, I shall now forever picture Curran with big boulders. And mountains. Big ones. CURRAN HULK SMASH. *grins*.
Has: Lou and I found this scene to be one of the highlights of the book, although there is another scene which has Kate sparring with Lord Megobari, which I think was one of the best fight scenes I’ve ever read!
The colossal lion jumped and landed a foot away from me, the dark mane streaming. The impact of his leap sent sparks flying from the fire. His eyes burned with molten gold. The powerful feline maw gaped open, showing terrifying fangs as big as my hand. Curran snarled.
I swatted him on the nose. “Stop it! You’re scaring the people who rescued me.”
The gray lion snapped into a human form. Curran jerked his hands up as if crushing an invisible boulder. “Aaaaaa!”
He grabbed the edge of a big rock sticking out of the grass. Muscles flexed on his naked frame. He wrenched the boulder out of the ground. The four-foot-long rock had to weigh several thousand pounds—his feet sank into the grass. Curran snarled and hurled the rock against the mountain. The boulder flew, hit like a cannon ball, and rolled back down. Curran chased it, pulled another smaller rock out of the dirt, and smashed it against the first one.
Wow. He was really pissed.Astamur’s eyes were as big as plates.
“I can get him to put those back after he’s done,” I told him.
“No,” Astamur said slowly. “It’s fine.”
Curran picked up the smaller rock with both hands and threw it onto the larger boulder. The boulder cracked and fell apart. Oops.
“Sorry we broke your rock.”
Atsany took the pipe out of his mouth and said something.
“Mrrrhhhm,” Astamur said.
“What did he say?”
“He said that the man must be your husband, because only someone we love very much can make us this crazy.”
Curran kicked the remains of the boulder, spun, and marched toward me.
I crossed my arms. “I thought you were dead! And you’re here, sitting around the fire, eating and . . .”
“Listening to fairy tales.” Helpful, that’s me. “We’re about to have s’mores and you’re not invited.”
Curran opened his mouth. His gaze paused on Atsany. He blinked. “What the fuck?”
“Don’t stare. You’ll hurt his feelings.”
Atsany nodded at Curran in a solemn way.
Curran shook his head and pivoted toward me. “I almost killed B. The only reason she’s alive right now is because she had to show me where you fell.”
“Oh, so Princess Wilson let you out of the castle? Did she have to sign your permission slip? You got a hall pass, woo-hoo!”
“So this is what it’s about? This is your mature response—to go off into the mountains rather than talking about it and have s’mores with a gnome and a mountain man.”
“What’s your plan for tomorrow? Brunch with a unicorn?”
MinnChica: That one was a good one. There are so many memorable moments in this, I’m struggling what to pick. I think one of the scenes that kinda flew under the radar the first time, but stayed with me after reading was when Kate and Mahon FINALLY reached an understanding.
“Let’s sit here a minute,” Mahon said.
I didn’t want to sit. I wanted to punch something.
“Please,” Mahon said.
Fine. I sat. He sat on the other end. Barabas leaned against the wall next to me.
“I was born before the Shift,” Mahon said. “For me, magic changed everything. Martha is my second wife. I buried my first and I buried our children. I have no love for ‘normal’ people. To me, I’m normal. I’m a shapeshifter, but I’m human. Things that I endured were done to me by ‘normal’ humans, and they did them because they never tried to understand me and mine, and even if they did, they couldn’t. I didn’t belong with them and they sure as hell didn’t belong with me or my family. There was no common ground between us.”
Why was he telling me this? I already felt like I’d been through a gauntlet. I didn’t need extra punches.
“You’ll never be a shapeshifter,” Mahon said. “If you live with us for a hundred years, a newborn werebear will be more of a shapeshifter than you are.”
Barabas looked at him. “Enough. That back there was plenty. She doesn’t need any more shit today.”
“Let me finish,” Mahon said, his voice calm. “You’ll never fully understand what it’s like and we’ll never fully understand you. But it doesn’t matter. You’re Pack.”
I blinked. I must’ve misheard.
“Why take their abuse?” Mahon asked. “I know it goes against your nature.”
“Because it’s not about me. It’s about the panacea, our people, and a pregnant woman. I can make them eat their words, but it will derail everything. They’re counting on me blowing my gasket, and playing to their expectations helps them and hurts us. I would rather win big at the end than win small right now.”
“And that’s why no matter what happens, you will always be Pack. Because you have that loyalty and restraint.” Mahon raised his hands, as if holding an invisible ball. “The Pack is bigger than all of us. It’s an institution. A thing built on self-sacrifice. We’re a violent breed. To exist in peace, we have to sacrifice that violence. We have to praise control and discipline, and it starts at the top. Having an alpha who is a loose cannon is worse than having no alpha at all. The world is falling around us in pieces and will be for some time. It’s all about stability now, about giving people a safe place, a reassuring routine, so they don’t feel frightened and so they don’t feel the need to resort to violence, because if we go down that road, we’ll either self-destruct or be exterminated. That’s why we build so many safeguards. In time, I’d like to see things change. I’d like the challenges to go away. We lose too many good people to those. But it will come with time, a long time, perhaps years, perhaps generations, and it will start at the top. We lead by example.”
I never knew that about him.
Mahon faced me. “You and us, we have things in common. You know what it’s like to not be ‘normal,’ except in this case you’re the odd one out. You may respect our ways, but you don’t have to try to be something you are not. Some people will take longer to adjust, but in time, you will be accepted just as you are. Not ‘human,’ not whatever, but Kate. Unique and different, but not separate. Kate is just Kate and you belong with us. That’s all that matters.”
I was the badass Consort and he was the grim Pack’s executioner. Hugging him in the hallways would be entirely inappropriate.
“Thank you for your help,” I said.
“Anytime,” Mahon said.
– Do you think there is a mole or a traitor in the pack who told Hugh about Kate’s speech and her favourite book?
– What did you think about Curran’s little plot to keep Kate safe?
– What was your favorite scene?
– What do you think was Christopher’s true reason for being with Hugh?
– What injury/death hurt you the most and why?