Kate Daniels #6
Publication date: 30th July 2013
Reviewed by Lesley
What a book! Book number six in the Kate Daniels series is 327 pages of full on adrenaline I needed serious recovery time after finishing it. Magic Rises is now undoubtedly my favourite book of my all time favourite Urban Fantasy series.
Made and controlled by the European packs Panacea is the only known cure for loupism and is therefore rarer than gold dust in the shifter world. Currently when teenage shifters in the pack go loup the only option available is execution so when friends of Kate's young ward Julie go loup Kate decides that she will do anything to ensure that Julie's friends and other shifter children don't have to face execution. When Curran is offered the dangerous job of protecting Desandra a pregnant shifter overseas in exchange for enough panacea to save a generation of teenage shifters he agrees to the job despite knowing that it's very likely to be some sort of trap.
Magic Rises should see Kate Daniels earn the status of everyone's favourite urban fantasy heroine. Up until now I've probably never really thought of Kate being less powerful as a human in a shifter world because she has shown time and time again that she can more than hold her own. Kate is a warrior, what she lacks in fur and claws she more than makes up with in skill, brains and training not to mention she has a few words of power up her sleeve and some seriously nifty magic to boot. However in Magic Rises I saw a much more vulnerable Kate.
Not only has Kate to protect Desandra the pregnant shifter who's life has been threatened, she also has to investigate the source of some scary new shifter species that are determined to ensure Desandra's babies are never born and not piss any of the European shifters off whilst doing it. On top of all this, Kate's position as Consort to the Beast Lord Curran seems also to be under threat. Pretty little shifter Lorelei is all over Curran like a rash and he doesn't exactly put her in her place which obviously all of other shifters notice. The European shifters relish in telling Kate repeatedly that her days as Consort are numbered and that Lorelei would be a much better shifter partner for Curran. I really would never have thought that Kate could seem so hurt and vulnerable as she is forced to question her relationship with Curran (who was acting like a complete arse, honestly I wanted to strangle the Beast Lord myself), even wondering why he hasn't asked her to marry him as well as questioning her own status as the only non-shifter. Seeing this different side to Kate was absolutely heart breaking, so much so that I ended up bawling my eyes out when a member of the Atlanta pack had to remind Kate that she had more than earned her place as one of the pack despite not being a shifter. Like Kate I think I needed that reassurance too!
As a fan of the series I've always known that someday Kate will have to face her father Roland, their battle has always loomed on the horizon. Although Kate has always been careful to protect her identity she knows that Hugh D'Ambray her father's warlord (who like Kate was trained by Voron) is now aware of her existence and as a result the battle with Hugh is much more imminent. The events of Magic Rises make that particular contest even more interesting. Without being too spoilerish the whole trip was engineered by a figure from Kate's past to get her to the Black Sea and their eventual encounter was not at all what I expected. The twists and turns of Magic Rises were so cleverly engineered I just never really knew what would happen next.
I know it is a well known cliche to say that a series gets better and better but in Magic Rises case it really is true. With secret plans, epic battles, a mysteriously scary new breed of killer shifters, a tiny mountain man and a shepherd, Magic Rises kept me on my toes from start to finish. Best book I've read this year. 5 out of 5 and then some.