Magic Triumphs by Ilona Andrews
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Kate Daniels is one of the longest running urban fantasy series around, and Magic Triumphs is the final book in Kate Daniels' and Curran Lennart's story. Needless to say, the authors throw in everything but the kitchen sink in this book, and then turn around and add that too in the explosive climax. This book is not especially fat, but feels overstuffed because so much is going on. Not only is Kate dealing with being a mother and having a child who is a shapeshifter and also a magic wielder (her son Conlan is adorable, but he is way too powerful; I hope the temptation is not succumbed to to give him a book of his own, because said story would have no suspense), but she is heading towards the final showdown with her father Roland, also known as Nimrod of Babylonian myth. On top of all this, a new monster--a god--is thrown into the mix, who wants to exterminate most of humanity and enslave the rest. To counter this new threat, Kate will have to ally with her hated and loved father, with the expectation that Roland will betray her in the end, and she will likely have to kill herself to stop him.
None of this will make any sense if you haven't read the previous books. I've read six of the previous nine, enough to kinda-sorta follow what's going on, but just be aware that the author provides no backstory or explanations, and precious little even in the way of descriptions--too much is happening, and the breakneck pace hardly allows the reader to take a deep breath. I wish this book had been longer, to allow for a few pauses and introspective moments. As it is, most of the characterizations feel rushed, as there are too many characters for much individual development. I'm sure since this is the final book, the authors didn't think this was necessary, and after all Kate has changed a great deal from the first book to this. Still, a little breathing room could have given some focus on the secondary characters, in particular Julie and Erra (although those two do get this book's epilogue, which is a simultaneous closure and springboard to other possible stories).
Nevertheless, this is a fine ending to the series. Kate and Curran get their happily-ever-after, and nearly all of the myriad other characters are accounted for. Since urban fantasy has bottomed out from what it once was, we probably won't get a series like this again. Whatever my minor reservations, this is a very good way to go out.
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