Review: “Magic Breaks,” Ilona Andrews

Pros: Stunning climax to several of the plot threads in the Kate Daniels series
Cons: Hard to wait for more!
Rating: 5 out of 5

 

Magic Breaks is book seven of the fantastic Kate Daniels series by husband-and-wife writing team Ilona Andrews. I read book six first, then went back to read the entire series. (I actually read book six twice, and it’s rare for me to re-read books.)

In Magic Breaks, Curran is called away to deal with a problem elsewhere and Kate has to go to Conclave in his place–frankly she’d rather stab herself with a rusty fork, but that’s the price of being Consort to the Beast Lord. Hugh, her father’s warlord, has set plans in motion to start a war between the Pack and the People, leaving Kate scrambling to head that plan off at the pass. Of course all that gets complicated when Hugh’s own impatience to capture Kate for her father sends him after her–and her friends, who are nothing more than leverage to him. Somehow Kate has to keep her friends alive, stop a war, and oh yeah, survive. And if she manages all of that, she’ll still have her ultra-powerful father to deal with when she’s done.

 

The inevitable confrontation between Kate and her father is coming fast, but there’s a lot that can happen between now and then. Hugh’s psychotic rampage through Atlanta is just the start, and will leave quite a few casualties in its wake. The action, tension, and danger ramp up fast and hard in this installment, and I was glued to the pages from start to finish. There are plenty of surprises, and I was thrilled to finally see Kate’s father put in an appearance. The authors manage to deliver on six books’ worth of promise without falling short, and it’s tough to live up to that kind of buildup.

The characters are, as always, fantastic. I still love the sarcastic, push-and-pull relationship between Curran and Kate. They love each other madly, but that doesn’t change the fact that they both have prickly, proud personalities, and the dynamic there is wonderful. The chemistry is unusual and out of this world. Kate is pushed even further into her reluctant role as protector of those she cares for.

The worldbuilding is just divine. Many urban fantasy/paranormal series try to keep new books interesting by introducing more unusual things at every turn. One book will deal with vampires, the next shapeshifters, while the next introduces witches, and the one after that faeries… you get the idea. It’s a case of kitchen-sink-itis that after a while makes many worlds feel all too similar to each other. The authors of the Kate Daniels series instead provide us with new and wonderful characters and plot developments, maintaining a strong, vibrant, unique feel to their world throughout.

I can’t rave nearly as much as I’d like to, because I don’t want to risk giving away the unusual and wonderful developments from Magic Breaks. There are plenty of unexpected events, there’s action to spare, and the revelations fly fast and fierce. All I can really say is that it lives up to those six books of setup and yet leaves me absolutely wanting more!

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