Received via NetGalley
From the BLURB:
Mercenary Kate Daniels knows all too well that magic in post-Shift Atlanta is a dangerous business. But nothing she’s faced could have prepared her for this...
Kate and the former Beast Lord Curran Lennart are finally making their relationship official. But there are some steep obstacles standing in the way of their walk to the altar...
Kate’s father, Roland, has kidnapped the demigod Saiman and is slowly bleeding him dry in his never-ending bid for power. A Witch Oracle has predicted that if Kate marries the man she loves, Atlanta will burn and she will lose him forever. And the only person Kate can ask for help is long dead.
The odds are impossible. The future is grim. But Kate Daniels has never been one to play by the rules...
‘Magic Binds’ is the ninth book in Ilona Andrews’ epic urban fantasy ‘Kate Daniels’ series.
Next year we’ll be getting the final installment in this series that started way back in 2007 – giving us a very well-rounded ten books in ten years. As such, you can expect that a lot of ‘Magic Binds’ is build-up for what’s to come, tightening that suspense coil and preparing readers for a big finale finish.
There is a lot happening in this book – which of course follows on from the events of ‘Magic Shifts’ with Kate having “taken” the city of Atlanta to keep it out of her father’s clutches. When we meet up with her again, she’s also planning her wedding to Curran, while anticipating a deadly magic battle against her ancient, megalomaniac father who is currently squatting on the outskirts of her land…
There are a lot of important tangents in ‘Magic Binds’ – quite a few quests and pieces of the plot puzzle fit together making a suspenseful whole. But it does feel like we’re getting maybe three or four mini-novellas squeezed into this ninth book … always leading back to the over-arching “Big Bad” of Kate’s father Roland, and a countdown clock to tragedy. If I can relate this installment to anything, I’d point to Ron, Harry and Hermione searching for horcruxes in ‘Deathly Hallows’ before the battle at Hogwarts.
I really, thoroughly enjoyed this ninth book – not least because all the secondary characters I love are coming out to play and gear up for the battle. Raphael and Andrea, Ascanio, Derek, and Julie (who I always, always, always want more of – and desperately wanted a scene with them as a trio!), Jim and Dali, Roman, Christoher and Barabas. And of course, as always in a ‘Kate Daniels’ book – Curran, Curran, Curran. He and Kate are one of the rare examples of a “will they or won’t they?” who existed for so many books with delicious tension and snarky commentary, surviving and thriving after getting together. There are new facets to their relationship that keep deepening and surprising me as a reader, and they just keep pleasing me no end.
But what I really loved in this book was the relationship Kate has to the villain, Roland – her father. I can only really think of Leigh Bardugo from recent times, who likewise gave me a villain to actually – oddly? – root for. Someone who you hope has a sliver of decency, but also whose villainy is so much fun to read that you almost want them to keep carrying on …
“She isn’t alive, Blossom. She is a wild force, a tempest without ego. One can only speculate what damage she would cause if unleashed.”
Aha. Of course, you buried her away from everything she loves because she is too dangerous.
We resumed our strolling along the walls, slowly circling the tower.
“How go the preparations for the wedding?”
“Very well. How goes the world domination?”
“It has its moments.”
In this book, Roland does some pretty vile things – we (and Kate) see the true extent of his evil … and yet it sits alongside snappy scenes of dialogue between the two, and weird daddy-daughter bonding. Roland as a villain is up there with Glory for me, from ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ season five. Just that great, almost camaraderie (?) between villain and hero that raises all the stakes and makes for pure delight to read.
I adored ‘Magic Binds’ – and while I’m going to be sad when this series is over (…while also forever hopeful of a Julie/Derek spin-off! PLEASE - FOR. THE. LOVE. OF. GOD!) I am also ridiculously excited to read the end now – so close, I can practically taste it.