Discussion Post | Magic Rises by Ilona Andrews

Mind. Blown. There have been a lot of things that have happened thus far that I forgot between my first read of this series and now, but one thing I didn’t forget was that Magic Rises was my least favorite Kate Daniels book. In fact, I’d go so far to say I was dreading this particular installment and had prepared myself to push through just to get to the next book. Upon this reread, I am singing a completely different tune, and I am absolutely floored. I know I say this every installment, but out of all the books so far, this one was the biggest game changer in who Kate was to me as the reader and who she was/should be to the pack. Without further ado, let’s dive right in! Birdie Bookworm and I had a lot to say about this installment! As always, our discussion posts are split between both blogs. The discussion starts here, on my blog, and the conclusion can be found here on Birdie’s blog.

Please keep in mind that as this is a discussion post, it will include spoilers for the series.

*Our discussion dates for this series have changed. Please scroll to the end of this post for new dates.


Book Blurb:

Mercenary Kate Daniels and her mate, Curran, the Beast Lord, are struggling to solve a heartbreaking crisis. Unable to control their beasts, many of the Pack’s shapeshifting children fail to survive to adulthood. While there is a medicine that can help, the secret to its making is closely guarded by the European packs, and there’s little available in Atlanta.

Kate can’t bear to watch innocents suffer, but the solution she and Curran have found threatens to be even more painful. The European shapeshifters who once outmaneuvered the Beast Lord have asked him to arbitrate a dispute—and they’ll pay him in medicine. With the young people’s survival and the Pack’s future at stake, Kate and Curran know they must accept the offer—but they have little doubt that they’re heading straight into a trap…

| Spoilers Galore Book Discussion |

Magic Rises brings the gang away from Georgia. What did you think of the change of setting in this one?

Birdie Bookworm: I actually liked the change of pace. I think the traveling and new setting made the story feel fresh again, which may be why I seem to enjoy this book more than the last couple.

Angie Elle: I liked the change of pace, too, but I did miss Atlanta. It made me realize how the city has almost become its own character. Whenever the Honeycomb or Unicorn Lane is mentioned, I have an instant image in my head. But I did like this, too. These authors are so good at describing the scenery.

Birdie Bookworm: I definitely like the setting, and I wouldn’t have wanted it to stay there. It felt more like a television show where they’re on vacation. Like, Saved by the Bell in Hawaii.  🙂

How did you feel about the change in Raphael and Andrea’s relationship from the previous book to this one?

Angie Elle: I’m not a fan of things that happen ‘off page.’ I think you should be able to read the main books in a series and get the story. This is, obviously a personal preference, but I think novellas and side stories should add something to the main books, and I feel like this one took away from it.

Birdie Bookworm: I actually agree with you completely. When I first read this series I read Gunmetal Magic before this, so everything felt seamless for me. Rereading this time made me realize how much of a gaping hole was left between the previous KD book and this one. I thought it was frustrating, and I know what happened. I can’t imagine how much more frustrating it would feel to someone who hasn’t read it. A reader should never feel giant plot holes when reading the main books in a series.

Angie Elle: I went right to my library’s website and put Gunmetal Magic on hold, though. Because having said all of that, Andrea is one of my favorite characters from the series. I’m sure I will love her and Raphael’s book.

Birdie Bookworm: It was really good, honestly. And now I feel like it’s even more important for readers to read it. It’s not like Jim and Dali, which had no bearing on the main series. I think knowing how Andrea became Beta is important.

What did you think about Curran and the way his plan played out?

Angie Elle: You mentioned in an earlier discussion how you felt you rated a book high because, essentially, you were riding the Kate and Curran high, and how your feelings changed once you were reading it with less Kate/Curran heart eyes. That’s how I felt here – I just took a bit longer to get here. This was the first time, since they officially became a couple, that I felt Curran treated Kate as less than equal. And it really saddened me. I know it was explained, but it was so over-explained, IMO, that it felt like ‘me doth protest too much.’ Kate thinks many times about how she would have done the same thing, and it felt like the authors were trying to head the reader off at the pass to avoid it being an issue. But it was an issue for me. I didn’t like it, but I’m over it.

Birdie Bookworm: I actually remember you were upset about what happened between Kate and Curran in this book the first time too. I totally hear where you’re coming from, and I understand it. However, I actually came at it from a different perspective. I totally do think Kate would have done the same thing, and I liked reading her fighting the acceptance of it. I found the reading of their strife (freaking Loralai!) painful, but I thought it brought Kate and Curran’s relationship to a new level when she was forced to accept how she couldn’t draw a line in the sand that she’d cross in a heartbeat if the situation were reversed. She would cut ties with Curran in the most brutal fashion, if it meant that Roland wouldn’t go after him. As Curran said, better you’re alive to hate me.

Angie Elle: Kate isn’t careless, which I feel is the insinuation here. The most frustrating part of the whole thing for me was that once Curran admitted he needed her to feel like that (and went about orchestrating his plan to ensure it would happen,) he went on to belittle her for it. It was too classic abuser for me, and it felt so so out of character for Curran.

Birdie Bookworm: I don’t think the insinuation was that she’s careless. It was that she isn’t able to be deceitful. Her expressions give everything away. I also didn’t read Curran as being belittling either. I read it more as he was trying to reassure her that despite what she may see, Loralai was nothing to him. I read it more that everyone, Curran included, was saying it wasn’t who Curran was and that something must be going on and that she could trust him. Now, I’m not saying in Kate’s position I would have been able to follow through on trust, but just that I didn’t think he was belittling her. He felt he couldn’t tell her his plan, because her face would give it away, so he was subtly saying ‘I know what I’m doing and you have nothing to worry about’.

Angie Elle: For me, I feel like it was so plain it just can’t be justified.  And they could have come up with a plan where Kate wasn’t around when Curran was with Lorelai, but still be in the know. I think there were just so many ways around this. It’s too bad (for me,) that they went this route.

Birdie Bookworm: You were just as passionate the first time, haha. I think it’s just a matter of reading the intent differently, like we do sometimes. For me it still boiled down to the extreme measures that both of them would go to in order to keep the other safe, and Kate realizing that she couldn’t expect Curran to be better than she would be if the situation were reversed.

There were a lot of action sequences in this book. Was there one that stood out among the rest for you?

Angie Elle: Yes – Kate and Hugh fighting. I know there were a lot of things fueling Kate’s fire here, including Curran’s aforementioned deception, but this was really, for me, when Kate stopped being half of Kate and Curran and just became Kate. She shone in this scene, and I love being in this woman’s head. She is, for the most part, so level-headed, and I love that we get so much of her thought process.

Birdie Bookworm: Kate and Hugh’s fight scene was a really good one. Especially because she was afraid she couldn’t beat him through most of the book, and yet even he wound up being impressed by her. I also liked that moment for what it meant between Kate and Curran. I loved when she walked away from him. However, I also loved the end fight between Curran and Hugh. I loved how Hugh baited him over and over, and even took out Curran’s legs, and still Curran was too much for Hugh. I think both scenes were epic for our heroine and hero.

Angie Elle: I loved when she walked away from him, too, and that he let her go and didn’t push.

Eeeek – things ended mid-conversation. If you want more, don’t forget to go here on Birdie’s blog.

I just realized that we were remiss in not mentioning Saiman. As always, Saiman, while not having a large part in this book was a huge part of the story. I love his character. He has such a presence whenever he is on the page, and the fact that he and Curran joined forces in this installment thrilled me. And I can’t help but wonder where things will go from here. Saiman is a powerful ally to have – even if, or especially if, you are the beast lord of Atlanta!

| Kate Daniels Series |

| Coming Soon! |
*discussion date tba

| Discussion Schedule |

Quick note – for those of you aren’t aware, the release date for Magic Triumphs was recently pushed out to August 28th. I don’t know about you, but I breathed a sigh of relief at this announcement. Birdie Bookworm and I made the decision to re-read this series very last minute, so we committed to reading a Kate Daniels book every two weeks on top of our regular review schedules. This has allowed us to spread our discussion posts out to every three weeks, giving us a bit of time before the final books is released. This is good news for those of you who want to jump on the Kate Daniels bandwagon and be all caught up for Magic Triumphs. If you’re thinking about giving this series a go, I highly recommend it. The world building and pacing of the Kate Daniels series can’t be beat!

6 thoughts on “Discussion Post | Magic Rises by Ilona Andrews

Add yours

    1. It was very frustrating for me. I knew he had a plan, but I didn’t like that he kept Kate in the dark. It really drew a line for me in the sand as a reader, and I know from here on out, I’ll probably always be Team Kate. LOL


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