Sunday 22 January 2023

CBR15 Book 4: "Magic Tides" by Ilona Andrews

Page count: 163 pages
Rating: 4.5 stars

While this book is the start of a new chapter in the lives of Kate Daniels and her family, I suspect this book will work a lot better if you've read at least some of the previous thirteen books and various novellas. As always, I would recommend strongly skipping the first book (as do the authors themselves). Start with book 2, Magic Burns

Set seven years after Magic Triumphs (and about two years before the events of Blood Heir), Kate, her former Beast-Lord husband, and their extremely powerful shapeshifter son have moved to Wilmington to start a new life, determined to keep a low profile. This doesn't exactly last very long. When it turns out the nephew of their contractor has been abducted by human traffickers, Kate straps on her sword and goes to kick some ass. The boy's father accompanies her, very doubtful about this woman's promises, but after Kate beats several goons unconscious, beheads the gang leader, rescues a handful of children, and torches the compound to the ground, he's shell-shocked but a lot more optimistic.

Kate's rescue mission takes her first to the Order of Merciful Aid, and then she has to pay a visit to the vampire training ground of the People (her megalomanic magical overlord father's former minions), praying that no one there recognises her for who she really is (their now deposed and exiled god-king's even more powerful daughter) and either challenges her or decides to swear their undying allegiance to her. While Kate is off on her rescue mission, Curran and Conlan are left making sure their contractor's whole family is safe behind the walls of their fortified estate, waiting for the rest of the enraged human traffickers to show up and demand payment in blood. 

This was a very unexpected surprise from my favourite author team, announced in mid-December, only a few weeks before the actual release date. After a five-year break from the main Kate Daniels series and about two years since the first book in the sequel series about Julie, Kate's adopted daughter (all grown up and a magical powerhouse of her own), it was a delightful treat to discover that there would be a series of novellas about Kate and her family in their new home. I have said before, and will no doubt say it again, I will pre-order and probably buy in multiple formats anything that Ilona Andrews publishes. In my eyes, they can do no wrong.

As with all their books, this has an excellent mix of quips, action, strange mythological enemies, and a great family dynamic and it was just so nice to revisit already familiar characters. My reason for withholding half a star is just that I'm petty, and I wanted more than a 163-page novella. Like the rest of the Book-Devouring Horde, I'm insatiable. 

Judging a book by its cover: This fits into the other books about Kate in that it features a skinny, dark-haired chick with a sword and there's a ghostly lion on the cover as well. I did like the treasure chest of gold in the lower right corner, but generally, this slots into the many many bad covers these authors have had over the years. I get that it's even harder to get good covers when you self-publish, but this seems pretty generic. 

Crossposted on Cannonball Read.

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