Thursday, April 19, 2012

Swords and Magic: Magic Slays

The Kate Daniels series of urban fantasy by Ilona Andrews features a ferociously competent woman with her special werewolf boyfriend, but it's a fun and deft version of that rather overworked genre. OK, he's a were-lion, and he's king of all the Beasts. She's extra-special in her own way, and she spends most books defending the weak and trouncing the wicked, sometimes solving a mystery along the way.

Magic Slays, the fifth book, delivers the usual action with some bonus character growth. Kate has always relaxed into her back story, and this time the authors shine more light into that and stir things up. It's a book about the secrets and truths that bind family together. Behind the story it's about strengthening an existing marriage, as Kate and Curran figure out what it means that they are together.  She faces the truth instead of her myths about her mother and foster father's relationship, confronts fears about her ability to protect and parent her ward, and lets a little subplot about an attempted rebellion inside the were-camp lead her to truths about her agency in her past with Curran. All with lots of sword play and nifty magic and a big bomb and an over-confident youth, so fun and games with a tasty thematic filling.  I give it a perfect Spring Break score, especially as I read it on my NOOK.

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