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Magic Rises Readalong!

Screen Shot 2013-06-09 at 15.59.20Welcome 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!

Blurb:

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!

Magic Rises

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*.

Favourite Scenes:

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!”

Okay.

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.”

“Yep.”

“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.

Questions:

– 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?

By MinnChica

MinnChica can usually be found with her nose in a book (or nook), and can ALWAYS find a few minutes to read: stuck at a red light, sitting in the doctors office, on her lunch break. She's so addicted to reading that her family frequently threatens to host an intervention. Currently MinnChica is devouring every romance book she can get her hands on, especially ones that feature 'friends to lovers' stories. Some of her favorite authors currently are Ilona Andrews, Jill Myles, Meljean Brook, Nalini Singh and Susan Mallery.

22 replies on “Magic Rises Readalong!”

There could be a traitor, maybe that person isn’t even aware that they are being used. Who knows what Hugh can do with magic.

I hate that Curran put Kate through that but it made complete sense that Curran would handle the situation the way he did. Of course Kate knew that he was working a plan she would not like but her insecurities got the best of her and being in the environment they were in did not help.

Curran SMASH scene was my favorite. I love Kate’s reaction to Curran being all scary angry.

Whether he was a librarian or something else he clearly has a great deal of information locked inside him . Also he has to be someone of some importance or why would Hugh keep him alive.

Aunt B’s death totally floored me. I understand why it needed to be but it was still difficult to read. I think she went on the journey knowing that she may have to make a sacrifice like this.

I want to thank you for having this read-along. Rereading the entire books (not just the Kate and Curran parts) was thoroughly enjoyable.

I almost wish Hugh had learned the inside information about Kate through magical means of some sort, but that presents other problems I’d rather not think about – so yeah, a mole in the Pack makes sense. It’s not like there haven’t been idiots in the ranks before who have turned on Curran (and by extension Kate – remember the aftermath of Kate’s aunt putting Curran into a coma?).

I knew better while it was happening, but still got a very sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. It wasn’t that he was acting out a plan like that, it was leaving Kate twisting and insecure and doing it ON PURPOSE. Granted, he went into it with his eyes wide open, fully expecting one possible consequence would be Kate leaving him but proceeding anyway because he believed it would protect her best at the time, but the whole time it was falling out (and during the reveal of what was really going on and why) I was just thinking “You don’t get to do this. A##hole, you don’t get to hurt Kate for her own good, you don’t get to make that decision.” …and then I realized, yeah – he does get to make that decision because that’s all he knows. I’m still twisted about it, but I understand his motivation even if I don’t like it.

Favorite scene… oh, to choose just one… (Curran and the boulders, Kate / Lord Megobari fight scene, Kate crying / Christopher’s response), but one that still stands out because I can picture it like a scene from a movie (and what I wouldn’t give to actually see this on a big screen!) is close to the beginning, when Clan Heavy is loading supplies on the ship. Smirking Keira causing nervous Eduardo to throw the container all the way over the ship and plunging it into the water. Poor, seasick Barabas, a very belligerent Doolittle insisting on boarding, then Saiman singing the sea shanty. All of this with Kate and Curran looking on and interacting each time – I just have the most amazing film reel in my head for this part of the story, and I really like it.

Christopher is still a mystery to me, and I cannot begin to guess at his history with Hugh. I know that I like his character very much and am seriously looking forward to finding out more about him and seeing how his story develops.

Doolittle’s injury had me almost in shock, and then his reaction to the healing. It was like a double-whammy – I expected the upset from a beloved character being hurt so badly (and thinking the worst was about to happen). I did not anticipate the knife between the ribs feeling of his reaction to thinking Kate had performed her special brand of magic on him. Mainly because Kate was already in a vulnerable place because of everything else, and Doolittle had always been a source of support and comfort for her. This was the first time he dealt her emotional pain, and it was unexpected.

Overall, I think this book has been the best yet. I was absorbed by every word and was not even close to ready for it to end. :: sigh :: Magic Breaks can’t get published soon enough.

@Amanda: Aunt B’s death killed me. I was sobbing so hard, and my husband could not figure out what was wrong with me, couldn’t console me. I was a mess! Thanks for participating in the read-along with us!

@angel_grace: I am so sad and excited for Magic Breaks. I’m not ready to part ways with Kate yet!

Talk about an emotional roller coaster. This book was phenomenal.

The Curran smash scene was great because it brought some humor into the story right when it was needed. It also confirmed to everyone, including Kate, than his time spent with Lorelei was a ruse.

Doolittle’s reaction to Kate’s healing is what surprised me most. I never would’ve thought he would act that way towards Kate. He always seems like one of her strongest supporters.

I was really sad about Aunt B, but not surprised. That panacea was more important to hear than anything else in the world. She wanted nothing more than for the pack to have it.

I can’t wait to see where the authors go with Christopher’s story. He is a wild card.

I wanted to slap the hell out of Curran for most of the book. I knew he had some kind of plan in place but still. If I was Kate I would have beat the beast lord a few times. LOL

Doolittle’s injury broke my heart.

Aunt B KILLED ME! WHY WHY WHY?! I loved her character. It’s not going to be the same without her.

The keep has how many shapeshifters? I think 1500 was the last count in the book? I think out of that many people, there are some that are extremely unhappy that Kate is Curran’s mate, even if they don’t have the balls to challenge her. I find it very believable that there could be a mole in the pack. Who it might be? Ehhh.. Wolves, rats, I dunno. There’s a little itty bitty part of me that wants to think it could be Jennifer. I’m sure she hasn’t forgiven Kate for killing her sister.. and with the introduction of Desandra .. well there’s a challenger for the alpha position. So, we shall see 🙂

So much fun to speculate! 😀

I had my suspicions about Curran’s behavior towards Kate (not that I thought he’d throw her over for – in my blog mate’s words the” Pretty Young Thing” ) but I was frustrated that he saw fit to manipulate Kate… I totally understood Kate’s reactions even as I wanted to shake her 🙂

My paperback copy has creases in it already from how often I’ve read several scenes. 😀 I love the pirate weredolphins. That had me giggling the whole time I was reading it. AND the fight scene with Hugh. No scene in any single book thus far could eclipse the giddiness/anticipation I felt while reading it. Just fanfreakin’tastic 😀

With Aunt B, I could sort of see the writing on the wall as Magic Rises progresses. It didn’t come as a huge surprise to me.. though I sniffled at that scene. I at first thought it was going to be Doolittle – when he was attacked.. and I recalling yelling NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO and startling my cats.

@angel_grace: Completely agree with your take on Curran’s behavior. It’s in character, but the “hurting her for her own good” thing really rubbed me the wrong way. I thought they resolved it pretty well, though.

Based on how much they built up the dangers, I knew someone was going to have to die, and once it happened, Aunt B made sense, since they’d been positioning Andrea as her successor, but it was still heartbreaking. Especially the “no, at least fight her…” aspect of it. Also, given that there had to be at least one casualty, I respected the fact that they didn’t just off a redshirt (eg, Kiera or George).

I always love when they expand the world’s mythology and whatnot, so it was interesting to see how different the European shapeshifters are.

Aside from scenes already mentioned, I loved the scene where Hugh is talking to Kate about killing Voron, because of all the different emotions that are in the mix there. The fact that he manages to be halfway sympathetic, even as he’s talking about destroying her childhood, and she knows that he’s probably just playing a role anyways…the whole thing is deliciously complex.

I’m really looking forward to Magic Breaks, and while I’d love for there to be more books I really do like it when an author doesn’t milk a series indefinitely. That being said, I kind of feel like there’s room here for another book or two before the big showdown. Eh, we’ll see what I think about it when it’s all said and done.

I enjoyed the book very very much. I was worried that I wouldn’t because of all the hints on what was going to happen in it. It takes a long time to get a book here in Australia 🙂
It didn’t make me cry. To be honest only one book has done that and that is Lois McMaster Bujold’s death of Aral at the end of Cryoburn. You don’t see him die, you just know in the last paragraph that he is dead and I can’t read that without tearing up.
I was sorry that Aunt B dies, I thought she was a tremendous character. I could understand Doolittle’s reaction even it it hurt Kate. Because he knew how powerful she was and what it could have meant.
Barabas I loved and the scene with Eduardo when he asks him if he didn’t think it would have been a good idea if he had learnt to swim just had me giggling 🙂 🙂
I believe they deserved their place on the New York Times list – but how do they improve on that with the next book?

On Ilona Andrews’s website they state that they are under contract for at least four more Kate Daniels books (KD 7, 8, 9, & 10). I read their blog a lot and my impression is that Ilona & Gordon have lots more in store for us with the Kate Daniels series. Do you all know something that I don’t, when you mention being sad about Magic Breaks?

Regarding injury/death in Magic Rises, I was so upset when Aunt B died. The rational side of me wasn’t surprised that one of Kate & Curran’s team died, but I’m really really sad that it was Aunt B. I adore her. It would have hurt a lot less if it had been one of the characters on the team that we don’t know as well, but that would’ve lessened the impact and death of the scene. I definitely cried and stomped about.

I’m glad to see that other people were upset by Doolittle’s reaction to Kate’s healing and his fear of her magic. I think angel_grace summed up my reaction when she comments above. I did not see it coming, and it really hurt Kate.

Even though I spent many chapters wanting to smack Curran for his behavior, I figured the whole time that whatever he was up to, he did it because he saw it as the only way to protect Kate. And it is true that Kate’s an awful liar. *sigh* I think that Curran and Kate acted completely according to character in the ways that they reacted to danger/hurt. I think Kate would have liked to hold on to her mad for longer than she did, but the impending action/danger made their reconciliation timeline (as it were) make sense.

But Aunt B! I will miss Aunt B So Much!!

Regarding Doolittle’s reaction, on the authors’ website they said that he was too badly injured to mask his reaction, and the idea of being under someone else’s control is terrifying, even if it’s someone you like. Especially if you’re a black man who grew up in the south. Just an in the moment reaction, not him being deliberately hurtful.

I don’t know about the other books, but they did say Roland is in the next one, right?

@Melanie Simmons: I’m super excited to see what happens with Christopher.

@Jennifer @ The Book Nympho: I wanted to beat on Curran too. My heart hurt so much for Kate. Even though she KNEW he had some stupid plan, her pain was so real. 🙁

@Readsalot81: I don’t think it’s Jennifer. I think she’s too wrapped up in her own crap to worry about turning on Kate. But it’ll be interesting to see how things progress with her and Desandra!!

@SarahZ: Yeah, the scene where Hugh admits to killing Voron was a huge one for me too. I almost chose that, but it was so darn long! LOL 🙂

@Bea: Barbara and Eduardo both crack me up. I hope we get to see more of them, especially with Eduardo and Jim’s sister! 🙂 They make the most hilarious pair!!

@Kate Y: Well, I thought book 7 was supposed to be Roland, but they might have changed that around since they’ve added more books. Did Ilona confirm that the new contracted books are going to be about Kate specifically, or the world itself? I’m going to have to go do some research there! 🙂

@SarahZ: Yeah, I saw that too, and I can absolutely see where Doolittle was coming from with his reaction.

I was so moved by “Magic Rises”. In my opinion is their best book to date.

So many times I found myself shocked and thinking “Boy, I never saw that coming…”. Questions were answered and new questions took their place:)

1. It is definitely possible that there is a mole in the pack who could have provided all kinds of information to Hugh, such as Kate’s speech and her favorite book. After all, the Pack are people too and therefore subject to the same weaknesses of morals and ethics as everyone else. They are a gossipy bunch according to Kate and her speech made the rounds, if the number of challenges Kate had are anything to go by. They obviously would go to great lengths to obtain Panacea so it is highly conceivable that Hugh or Saimon could have traded Panacea to a desperate Pack member for information. Perhaps Saimon was working directly or indirectly with Hugh. Saimon did say that he tried to reverse engineer Panacea. It certainly wasn’t out of any altruistic tendencies. Plus he has a shipping company which would make it convenient to obtain it. He could also transport Hugh’s spies in exchange for safe passage for his ships to & from that area. It is also possible that Hugh’s shape-shifter Iron Dogs infiltrated the Pack. Remember Leslie the Render from Magic Slays? She was a member of the Lighthouse Keepers. Why not an Iron Dog?

2. I never believed that Curran was interested in Lorelei because he proved himself in previous books to be truly in love with Kate (and unreasonably overprotective of her). In MS, Curran had several reputable Pack members present for a business meeting with a woman who he’d had a past relationship with. He also held up the meeting until Kate arrived. This was bk 6 of an extremely well written series told from Kate’s POV. It was impossible not to sink into Kate’s character and empathize especially after “knowing” her for so long. Kate had no relationship experience prior to Curran and she lacks self-esteem. Plus the truth from Evdokia about Voron did some damage. It was understandable that she would have trust issues.

3. Favorite scenes:

*Kate telling Julie about Roland.

*I was moved to tears over Maddy’s mother facing the likely need to euthanize her daughters.

*I loved the deleted scene (“An Ill-advised Rescue”). Especially when Kate asks Saimon’s kidnappers who else wants to be excused.

*Meeting Jim’s sister – what a trip! And finding out that he was pulling Kate’s leg about frogs & fish was funny.

*I loved Saimon’s shining moment on his ship when leads the crew in a singing chant to start the magic engines.

*I was happy to read about sea serpents and other new beasties. So interesting.

*Desandra and the plum story that embarrassed the boudas – I died!

*The mountain scene – fascinating!! And yay, another power word:)

*All the love scenes between Kate & Curran (I live for them:) )

*The talk between Kate & Hugh when everyone else was hunting. I am desperate to know why Voron stabbed himself to death after Hugh healed him. Was it the pride of the ultimate swordsman or was he protecting Kate? Did Voron know (from the Oracle witches or Anna) how he’d die?

I was Happy that Aunt B won the Panacea for Rafael & Andrea. It was really special to have a Bouda do and give something so important to Andrea.

*It was fun to hate Lorelei. I wished that I had a punching bag available. I had to make due with spewing curses. I made sure to recommend one in my Amazon review 🙂

*Dr Doolittle’s injury & healing. I don’t think I took a breath while reading that scene. And them his reaction to the thought of Kate’s magic…it was very painful to read. The authors were brilliant and right to describe his reaction that way. But it was hard to not feel pain on behalf of Kate. Ilona Andrews stated on her blog “Doolittle is both a healer and a black man living in the South. Free will is extremely important to him. He was terrified that he’d become Kate’s slave.” I understood but the reader is experiencing that world through Kate and Kate hates herself enough. Doolittle’s reaction, no matter how honest and understandable still hurt. Maybe if the authors resolve that in the next book I can let go too:)

*The sword fight with Hugh. Woo-hoo! I also loved that Kate chose to rescue Christopher as her prize. Hugh never saw it coming.

*I loved that Mahon finally accepted Kate.

*I loved Curran’s rock destruction scene and Kate & Curran make-up talk with Astamur and Atsany’s comments:-)

*I thought the final fight was spectacular. Kate’s never before seen (& brilliant) use of blood armor and her making the vampires brains explode was thrilling. Hugh’s disappearing act was over-the-top!

*Just when I thought I could start breathing again & they’re finally back on the ship, the authors get us one last time. The destroyed Panacea and possibility that they went through all that for nothing brings Kate to the depths of despair and then Christopher saves the day…

4. I think Christopher’s true reason for being with Hugh was partly to make Panacea but also to teach Hugh about Magic.

5. For me, Aunt B’s death hurt the most because she sacrificed herself for her family. It was a shocking blow. We got to see the extent of her love for Raphael & her fear for her future grandchildren. It made me respect & understand her more.
I did not expect to feel so devastated over Aunt B’s death. There is a definite hole in my heart.

I was also heartsick for Claudia. Her act was so brave and noble. It was a terrible shame that she couldn’t be healed. It will be tough for her to go back to Pack. I don’t know how she’ll cope in that environment.

I would have felt worse for Doolittle but I felt worse for Kate. Plus, Doolittle’s position in the Pack seems to be less violent. I think he will adjust better than Claudia.

* * * * *

I want to thank The Book Pushers for having the Kate Daniels series read-along. It was wonderful to share thoughts about my favorite series with other like-minded people. I will definitely come to this Blog to discover future favorite reads:)

-On one hand I’m hoping there is a spy just to see Jim’s reaction. His head will explode. On the other hand, though, it seems hard to believe considering the people in the room when the statement was made. Maybe Hugh has a way of magically spying, or possibly he gleaned the information from Doolittle’s head when he healed him (since he was present giving an update on Curran’s status when Kate made the statement). Hugh’s aim seems to be to sow the seeds of discontent between Kate and the Pack any way he can. What better way than to make her think that one of the Council is betraying her and the Beast Lord to Roland’s lackey?
– Curran is stupid in love with Kate and there is nothing more important to him than keeping her safe. That being said, this plan is exactly what I would expect Curran to do. He is an alpha used to manipulating people and situations to an advantageous end. He is also used to acting autonomously. He and Kate have been together only a year so he hasn’t really adapted to the whole “team” thing. That and the fact that he felt that her knowing the plan would fundamentally damage its effectiveness meant that there was no other possible way to go in his mind. If he was honest with himself (and maybe had Jim there) he might have realized that he could have read Kate in and sold a “Kate is in denial” story if her reactions to the little tramp were less than soapopera-worthy. After all, these people don’t know Kate and don’t really know what a “normal” reaction would be for her so with a little help from her friends (i.e. Barabas) the others could have been convinced that Kate was on her way out as Consort.
-So many favorite scenes. I think the best was the rescue on the mountainside. Funny and touching and enlightening. Very IA. It really does amaze me, though. They’ve been together a year and Kate hasn’t realized that Curran doesn’t “hunt”? Do you wonder if they ever talk about things like other new couples? Do you think she knows his favorite flavor of ice cream? Bet she doesn’t. But I bet he does.
-It sounds like Christopher was some sort of librarian for Hugh but what his REAL purpose was I can’t imagine. I think he is going to be one of those catalyst characters that opens up all sorts of new facets to the story (like Evdokia).
-I think Aunt B’s death will prove to be the most pivotal since it will raise Andrea to alpha. Brings up the beastkin issue (wonder if Mahon will have a cow), Andrea being Kate’s best friend and business partner (and thus favoritism issues), etc.

I have to say I was very surprised by Mahon’s change of attitude. Up until Curran’s reveal about Kral and Lorelei’s deal, I was pretty sure that Mahon was the one who told Lorelei that Curran would be going to Europe so that she could show up and undermine Kate. He was the one lobbying for Kate not to go and he seemed to still have a problem with Kate being human. Blew that theory fight out of the water!

In my original comment, I forgot to add to my list of favorite scenes: Curran’s marriage proposal to Kate and how IA added the part about “Psych” – a tie-in to the end of Magic Burns. I cheered!

@ Amanda: Good thought about possible mind reading and possible magical spying:)

@Lisa / L.I.,NY: OHHHH! And undercover Iron Dog in the pack! I love that theory! O_O Thank you for coming out each week and participating with us!

@Sue S: I always liked Mahon, and was so glad to see him and Kate finally get on the same page. I hope that he is not a douche to Andrea over the whole beastkin thing…

@Lisa / L.I.,NY: That proposal! *melt*

Magic Rises knocked me out! It was a thrilling read, I had to remind myself to breath…..constantly!
I was not surprised that Hugh orchestrated the trap for Kate. I’ve felt all along that he wanted her for himself. The sparring scene scared me to death, Hugh is so clever, he needed to know how strong Kate is and by god now he knows!
A few things bothered me:
Aunt Bea…made no sense to me…..as with Doolittle’s injury it felt like a plot device along with the Lorelei mess just to punish/hurt Kate. It was agonizing.
I never thought for one minute that Curran was into that chick. It was obvious it had something to do with the pirate’s info…..why else would Saimon disappear so casually?
I have felt all along that there is more to the story than Voron’s version or Edvokia’s for that matter. Meeting Astany and Astamur confirmed to me that there is more to Roland than we’ve been told.
My favorite part was from when Kate fell “down the rabbit hole” through to when Curran shows up on the mountain. Really good writing. Just the best. Astany and Astamur are old magic…..I knew allies would soon start showing up. Kate is basically on “a heroes journey” and it never fails….angels show up in the strangest places.

Desandra is odd….don’t trust her as far as Kate could toss her.

Christopher is an enigma. Ilona said Roland cooked his brain. I wonder if he may be one of Roland’s children? I bet he does fly and has somehow lost that part of his mind. It feels like he was a gift for Kate, but from who?

I think the jackels have something to do with spying on Kate. And I think Hugh found out things about Kate after he killed Voron. He did say he spent time waiting after Voron died. He must of snooped around the house. Seems likely to me that is how he knew about the book.

@ Mel Burns “Astany and Astamur are old magic…..I knew allies would soon start showing up. Kate is basically on “a heroes journey” and it never fails….angels show up in the strangest places.” Hope so for Kate’s sake:)

Why do you suspect the jackels of spying?

@mel burns: The Aunt Bea thing killed me too. I’m glad to see Andrea come into Alpha status, but so sad at how we got there! 🙁

@mel burns: Aren’t the jackel’s the Alphas that Kate put into place when she killed the previous Alpha’s, or am I confusing my animals? If so, I HIGHLY doubt they would turn on her.

Hugh’s guard were jackels. Jackels were also involved in Gunmetal Magic. The alpha jackels were betas until Kate took out the asshat alphas. I really have no concrete evidence, but they will keep coming up in the books.
Whose else could it be? I still don’t trust Mahon, but would he be that low just to get rid of Kate?

@mel burns You’re right. Mahon’s an asshat, but I don’t think he’s evil and that’s what it would take to betray them to Hugh.

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