December 15, 2023

Review: Magic Claims

Magic Claims Magic Claims by Ilona Andrews
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The long-running Kate Daniels urban fantasy series has shifted from traditional to indie publishing, as the author has enough fans to make it viable (me among them, as I bought this book from their website). I prefer my smaller mass-market paperbacks (a dying breed nowadays), but this book is attractive and well-designed, with an excellent cover. The story within is a bit shorter than some of the previous entries in the series, but it does what it was supposed to do: advance the stories of Kate, Curran and Conlan.

Kate undergoes some nice character work in this story. She realizes she cannot keep turning away from the power in her blood, even though she is afraid she will turn out like her father Roland, the magical tyrant Nimrod of history. But though both she and Curran have fled Atlanta and the shapeshifter Pack, Kate knows they will never be left alone. They are too powerful and cannot live as normal people (or at least as "normal" as can be in this magic-infested, post-magical-apocalypse world) to raise their son. So, for Curran's and Conlan's sake, Kate accepts the inevitable: she must exercise her power and claim a territory. To do that she needs allies, which she begins gathering in this book.

This character epiphany dovetails neatly with the plot: the denizens of a neighboring town, Penderton, seek out Kate and Curran for help. Some evil in the nearby magical woods has been demanding human sacrifices from the town as a tribute. Kate and Curran are offered several thousand acres near the town they can develop as their own personal fortress if they take care of this problem, and they agree to do so. This involves a hella climactic fight with Kate going all-in on her powers. They are going up against a group of prehistoric shapeshifters and fae, which is an interesting new element to the worldbuilding.

At the end of this story, Kate and Curran are in a new place and circumstances that should prove fertile ground for future stories, if the author(s) decide to continue. I hope they do.

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