I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Magic Triumphs by Ilona Andrews
Genres: Apocalyptic, Urban Fantasy
Published by Ace on August 28, 2018
Source: the library
Buy on Amazon
Also by this author: Burn For Me, Magic Shifts, Burn for Me, Magic Binds, White Hot, Wildfire, Iron and Magic
Tenth (and I think last) in the Kate Daniels apocalyptic urban fantasy series set in a future Atlanta, Georgia, and revolving around Kate, a fierce yet compassionate mother, wife, warrior, and “goddess”.
The story begins thirteen months after Kate has given birth, and using first person protagonist point-of-view, we’re privy to the whole thing.
I anticipate a future spin-off, if that epilogue is anything to go by. It’s that fifth to the last paragraph that also has me wondering…and hoping that Andrews get a move on…!
I hate when an author wraps up those random loose ends, even if it is nice to tidy up, as it usually means their world is coming to an end. Fortunately, Andrews also sets up possibilities, at least I hope I’m interpreting it the right way! Although, what was with Sunshine Realty??
How Andrews “tidied up” Roland was most impressive. And such a good example for Conlan *she says primly*, especially, lol, after all the violence Conlan does “get” to see. Seriously, Andrews scared the pants off me with Kate’s determination to end Roland one way or another, and who knew the bad guy could be such a handy plot device?
Meanwhile, Aunt B’s plan worked. Ascanio has become responsible. Who knew?
“‘How is Baby B doing?’
He grinned. ‘A wolf boy tried to steal her toy at the picnic last week. She chased him down, took the toy away, and beat him bloody with it.’
‘You must be so proud.’
‘Oh, I am.”
Hmmmm, shades of Women of the Otherworld
Kate and Curran as parents are hysterical. Obviously, they do have a few “extras” that most parents don’t have or encounter, but…oh, man… I do love that bit where Kate is relieved that Conlan stops crying when he “gave up singing the sad song of his people and fell asleep”. Of course, in spite of all the worries, Conlan does turn out to be quite the precocious little guy *more laughter*
Per usual, Kate encounters those who don’t see her as any big thang, and she shows them why they should step carefully, lololol. The Order. Yeah, they think they’re all that, and Kate tells ’em that they’re not her problem unless they make themselves her problem. They just don’t get it, but they willll…
Andrews’ god theory is fascinating and a useful part of the authors’ magic world. That the faith of those who believe in you means your thoughts and actions are no longer your own. And with more faith, the closer you get to godhood. Unfortunately for gods, they can’t exist when the magic is down, so Kate is right to be angry…and frightened.
Plenty of back histories show up including Derek remembering his father before he went loup, Erra’s fear of the yeddimur and how she and Roland were betrayed those thousands of years ago, Christopher’s point about the differences between himself and Hugh…man, Christopher explains what Roland did to Hugh, a plan that started when Hugh was a child. It explains so much and is almost enough to make me feel sorry for Hugh. It’s that speech about forgiveness that Christopher gives that really makes me sit up.
Poor Roman. He’s so mad at Kate, as he tells her to find another way. That he’s always bargaining with his god to reduce the number of deaths, and she had better do the same.
The truth about those hunting trips Curran’s been going on. Hoo. Boy. And yet Curran does make a good point to Kate about it having gone on for the past two years, so she can’t really complain that he’s only now changing…even if he is growing taller, his hair longer…
That change in Hugh makes the new situation even more difficult for Kate. All her memories of the things he’s done. How can she forgive that?
“It was like having the sun ripped away,’ he said. ‘I’d reach for the connection out of habit, and there would be a raw wound there, filled with all [that] I did.'”
There’s more than enough action for anyone, and Andrews spices the drama up with a whole lotta humor. I’m gonna miss these guys.
Kate’s whole life is “one long chain of emergencies”, and now Roland is pulling in his armies and entire villages are disappearing in the most hideous way.
Luckily, Kate has come a long way from her origins as a loner taking care of paranormal problems in post-Shift Atlanta. She’s made friends. And enemies. She’s found love and started a family with Curran Lennart, the former Beast Lord.
Luckily, because the Witch Oracle has begun seeing visions of blood, fire, and human bones. The Order is out to remove Nick Feldman. There’s a question of civil war within the Pack.
And Curran has a new hobby. He’s hunting. With Erra.
And Neig the Undying has an odd way of proposing to the woman he wants as his future queen.
Kate Daniels Lennart, the In-Shinar, the Blood Blade of Atlanta, the Sharratum na Shar, the queen who does not rule and claimed Atlanta over two years ago, gives birth to Conlan Dilmun Lennart, the Prince of Shinar. Sarrat is her sword, formed from her grandmother’s bones. Grendel is Kate’s giant poodle. Julie is Kate’s “adopted” daughter. Yu Fong, a Suanni dragonshifter, had gone to school with Julie. Dali informs us that Yu Fong is sacred.
Cutting Edge is Kate’s investigative business and employs Derek Gaunt, a wolfshifter, and Ascanio, a bouda. Located in the same neighborhood are Bill Horn‘s tinker shop, Nicole‘s car repair place, and Mr Tucker who walks with his “the world is ending” placard.
Curran Lennart, the former Beast Master, is her husband, and he shapeshifts into a MASSIVE lion.
Eahrratim “Erra“, the City Eater and the Rose of Tigris, a princess of Shinar, is Kate’s now-dead aunt. Voron, Roland’s previous warlord, had been the closest person Kate knew as a father.
The 500-Acre Wood is…
…Kate and Curran’s neighborhood, which has expanded to hold various former Packmates, including the married George (Mahon’s one-armed daughter is pregnant) and Eduardo Ortego, Derek (his older sister had been Maggie), and Barabas Gilliam and Christopher Steed who had been Roland’s Legatus until Roland turned him into a theophage.
The Mercenaries Guild was…
…taken over by Curran who now serves as the Guild Master and takes on any job for money. Barabas, a weremongoose and former Pack lawyer, is the head admin and a partner. Kate is the Steward. Adora is a former sahanu whom Kate broke free. Curran’s elite team includes Ella, Douglas, Rodrigo, and Ramirez? Corinna, a werejackal, likes to burn scented candles in the locker room. Carlos is a short mercenary.
The Pack is…
…some 1,800 shapeshifters strong these days and ruled by Jim Shrapshire, a jaguar shifter, who’s mated to Dali, a.k.a., White Tiger, a vegetarian white Siberian sacred tiger whose magic is divine-based. Robert Lonesco is Jim’s chief of security and one of the Alphas of Clan Rat along with his husband, Thomas. Mahon (the Kodiak of Atlanta and the Pack Executioner…and grandpa) and Martha (grandma) are the alphas of Clan Heavy (they both turn into bears) and consider themselves Curran’s family. Desandra is the alpha of Clan Wolf. Dr Doolittle, a were-honey badger, is the Pack medmage and assists Kate and the baby. The alphas of Clan Bouda are Andrea, Kate’s best friend, and the gorgeous Raphael Medrano. Their daughter, Beatrice Kate Medrano, a.k.a., Baby B, is thriving. Ascanio became Kate’s intern some years back in hopes of taming his, um, exuberance. Miranda. Lora.
Teddy Jo is Thanatos, the Greek angel of death. Saiman, a.k.a., the pervert, is the best arcane expert in Atlanta. David Miller had been the magical equivalent of an idiot savant who had handled many objects which all acquired some kind of power. Nimuel was a man of peace.
The Witch Oracle consists of…
…three women: the Crone (Maria who hates Kate), the Mother (Evdokia is Kate’s aunt and Roman and Vasiliy’s mother), and the Maiden (Sienna). The White Warlock can act as a prism for magic and will be essential on the day of battle.
Roman is a black volhv, a priest of Chernobog, the god of All Evil and Darkness. Aspid is Chernobog’s black serpent-dragon who loves Roman. Grigorii is his father, the head black volhv. Vasiliy, his brother, worships Belobog, the white god.
…composed of a representative from every magical faction in Atlanta: Ryan Kelly, the Red Guard, the Mage College, and the others already mentioned. This time they’ll meet at Rebecka Rivers‘ place, Rivers Steakhouse.
Serenbe used to be…
…a wealthy “urban village” in Fulton County where Watkins is sheriff. Now it’s a farming community. Alex Katsaros and his fiancée, Lisa Winley, never showed, and their bodies cannot be returned. Karen Iverson is a first-generation jackal, and her parents lived here. Shock Collins had been a mercenary.
Coy Parker is a local daredevil.
Ruby used to be…
…a small settlement in Milton County where Beau Clayton, a friend of Kate’s, is sheriff. His deputies include Kenny who rides Meredith. It’s where Kate duels with the champion.
Kings Row used to be…
…part of Decatur, now it’s a settlement, or it was until Rowena ended up in a column of fire.
…also known as the Center for Magical Containment and Disease Prevention. Luther is too funny in how he treats Kate. Fortunately, he also packs a lot of magic power, thinks for himself, and isn’t afraid to take risks. Allen is a co-worker who would never leave Kate alone if he knew.
Special Agent Garcia is with GBI. Grand Magus Phillip will have to work with Luther and Ghastek. Lieutenant General Myers showed up and simply asked what Kate needed.
The Order of Merciful Aid is…
…firmly outside the law these days. Nikolas “Nick” Feldman is the current Knight-protector and head of the Atlanta division, and he hates Kate because of her father and that her mother broke up his parents’ marriage (the older Greg Feldman, a knight-diviner, had been Kate’s guardian and Nick’s father). That said, the knights are very loyal to him. Maxine is the Order’s psychic secretary. Norwood is a Knight-abettor, Knight-diviner Younger, and Knight-striker Cabrera are from Wolf Trap, Virginia, where the Order’s national headquarters are located.
The People are…
…Masters of the Dead who manipulate the mindless vampires who populate their stables under the Casino. Ghastek is a Master of the Dead, their leader in Atlanta (he rebelled from Roland), and Kate’s Legatus. Noah is a new guy. Rowena is Ghastek’s second-in-command and came from the same village as Kate’s mother. Javier is a journeyman who knows more than Noah, lol. Eve is a burst med-mage, a fast healer. Wickert is a journeyman assigned to find the patterns. Kim and Sean are more journeymen.
Grand Druid Drest, Jennifer “Jenn” Ruidera, Brendan has to wear his hearing aid, and Alpin who loves to sacrifice the chickens are all higher-ups amongst the Druids.
Hugh d’Ambray had been…
…Roland’s warlord until he disappointed him. Now he’s living in a castle in the middle of Kentucky, and Elara is Hugh’s wife, a witch. He still fields his Iron Dogs.
The Sharrum is…
…Kate’s father, Roland, a.k.a., Im or Nimrod, a millennia-old father and immortal wizard with a megalomaniacal complex who doesn’t understand no. He’s also the man who created the first vampires. Shalmaneser is Kate’s grandfather. Landon Nez is Roland’s right-hand necromancer and head of his Golden Legion; Avag Barsamian is Nez’s second-in-command. Morgan had been the Legatus before Christopher.
Members of the Order of Sahanu are Roland’s assassins whose highest goal is to kill one of Roland’s blood. Razer is fey, Carolina, Arsenic, Gust, and more.
Sunshine Realty is…
…a pain in the tush. One of their agents is constantly calling the Lennarts to sell their house. Their agents include Amy and Elizabeth.
Neimheadh, a.k.a., Nemed…
…just call him Neig, the Undying, and he is legend…and a dragonshifter. The origin of his yeddimur will make you gag. His brother tried to take Roland and Erra, and they ended him. But Neig claims to be yet more. Moccus is the Celtic Boar, guardian of hunters and warriors, that manifests as the Caledonian Monster. When magic left the world the last time, Neig created a lair in a pocket reality to wait until there was enough magic in this world again.
The elder powers include gods, djinn, dragons, etc. They can only manifest on earth when the magic is up. The Shar is the need to hold and protect the land, a need bred into Kate’s family to make them better rulers. Hmmm, I think this “need” needs more work…
The Cover and Title
The background behind our determined (and bloodied) Kate, her black wavy hair caught in the breeze, wearing a black leather jacket and pants with a close-fitting black tank top, holding Sarrat in a rear guard stance, is of a faded-out Curran in his lion form. Below, the background changes to the Atlanta skyline, a golden glow to the left of Kate. The author’s name is in an embossed white across her stomach while the title is in an embossed red below it. Between the two and below the title are info blurbs in white. The series information is to the left of “Magic” in dark brown.
The title is a little confusing, since so many of the characters have magic. We know which one’s Magic Triumphs in the end, but…?