Review: “Magic Binds,” Ilona Andrews

Pros: Fantastic arc-plot progression; vivid characters; wonderful action scenes
Cons:
Rating: 5 out of 5

Ilona Andrews’s Magic Binds is book 9 in her “Kate Daniels” urban fantasy series. Make sure you read the rest of the series first–this world is way too complicated for you to jump in at this point. In this installment, Kate and Curran are getting married. There are just a few problems with this. One, they haven’t done any of the planning yet. And two, the witches have foreseen that Kate’s father Roland will either kill Curran shortly after the wedding, or kill Kate and Curran’s son after he’s born. Kate takes care of point number one by turning over wedding planning to Roman, the priest of an evil god that she and Curran have chosen to perform the ceremony. Luckily he’s thrilled to do it–no one ever asks a priest of his order to do weddings–and he jumps in with both feet. Keeping Kate’s father in line, however, will be a lot more difficult. He’s parked outside of Kate’s border and is needling at her, never quite breaking his word while continually pushing her to retaliate so that he’ll have an excuse to go to war. He’s even kidnapped one of her associates, and is trying to co-opt her adopted daughter Julie.

I hadn’t crossed the line. I’d ridden an elephant up to it and run back and forth along its edge while a mariachi band played in the background, but I hadn’t crossed it.

There’s a ton of wonderful character interaction going on. Jim, the current Beast Lord, is no longer quite so friendly with our main characters, and things get worse when they unintentionally bring trouble to the Pack’s doorstep. Kate’s ultra-powerful father is maneuvering to destroy her control over Atlanta faster than she can figure out how to use it. The characters are larger than life, and I absolutely love reading about their ups and downs. Kate takes in yet another ‘stray,’ this time an assassin brainwashed to kill her. There’s also plenty of snark and verbal jousting to enjoy. Kate must deal with the rather not-so-nice urges that are rising up in her as she explores her vast new powers, and Curran isn’t happy about where it’s all going.

The action scenes are crazy-good. Kate’s still hell on wheels, and she’s learning to add her magic into what she does. Between vampires, the Pack, and Kate’s eclectic friends there’s a wide variety of tactics and fighting styles on display.

I absolutely love this series, and can’t wait to read the next installment!

“You’re like a crazy cat lady, but you collect killers instead of fluffy cats.”

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