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Friday, July 19, 2013

Magic Rises by Ilona Andrews

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Terrance McArthur

Details on how to win a copy of this book at the end of this post.

In the Ilona Andrews penned world of Magic Rises, the world of Kate Daniels and Curran (her Beast Lord husband), magic washes in waves across the world, silencing the machines and awakening the power of magic until a techno-current stifles the paranormal powers and the land becomes mundane…and semi-automatic machine guns work again.

Many adolescent shape-hangers go loup—cannot control their changes—and must be killed. Supplies of the drug that can help the children are controlled by the European packs. When Curran and Kate are offered a year’s supply of the “panacea” for guarding a pregnant shifter, they go across the Atlantic and into the Black Sea, knowing it’s a trap, but they don’t realize who the trap is supposed to ensnare.

Although Kate is the only human in a pack of Shifters, she is not defenseless. Trained by a master in armed and unarmed combat, she has paranormal abilities that she tries to conceal to keep her "I-want-to-rule-the-world-again" father from finding her. Her differentness is frequently brought up and thrown at her, as if it makes her less than the shape-changers. The fact that she is the Consort of a great gray lion, rather than his wife, proves to them that she doesn’t really belong. Another shifter is trying to win Curran’s affections, and Kate feels betrayed.

Image source: Penguin

The pregnant shifter, a woman-wolf, is the pawn in a battle for power with the Carpathians, and feels no self-worth, merely a bargaining chip in her father’s political plans. Kate tries to get her to stand up for herself.

Ilona Andrews is the husband-wife team of Andrew Gordon and Ilona Andrews. Their world building is complex and thorough. Magic Rises has wolf-shifters, jackal-shifters, hyenas, blue creatures, badgers, someone who takes care of books, sea monsters, porpoise-men, magical powers, a were-mongoose, healers, echoes of Babylonian myths, robbers, millennia-old mages, innocent shepherds, and little men. The action is wild and crazy, with white-knuckle battle sequences and some super-friendly sex.

A feature of several Andrews' books is like a print version of the Special Features section of a DVD. They include stories that didn’t make the final draft, but they explain story points from the finished book so they are included as extra novellas after the novel is finished. In this case, “An Ill-Advised Rescue” explains why the bluish Saiman owes a debt to Kate. It’s fun to read as a short subject before the feature presentation of Magic Rises.

To enter to win a copy of Magic Rises, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Magic”, or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen July 27, 2013. U.S. residents only.

Terrance V. Mc Arthur is a California-born, Valley-raised librarian/entertainer/writer. He lives in Sanger, four blocks from the library, with his wife, his daughter, and a spinster cat.

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