“Magic Strikes – Kate Daniels #3” by Ilona Andrews – Kate gets gladiatorial and brings back childhood memories

Magic Strikes Kate Daniels“Magic Strikes”, the third Kate Daniels book, continues to deliver first-rate Urban Fantasy fiction.

After the epic battles of “Magic Burns”, “Magic Strikes” changes focus and gets up close and personal with revenge-driven gladiatorial bouts in illegal death games. As always, the action scenes are intense, well choreographed and bloody. This book seemed more violent than its predecessors and the violence felt worse because of the wicked intent behind it. Still, the furious blood-lust that the evil attacks produce is one of the main drivers of the story

We learn a lot more about Kate’s background: how she was raised, why she wants to kill her father and the kind of powers that she has.

The sexual tension between Kate and Curran was beginning to annoy me – for G0d’s sake, do it already – but it was rescued by the use of humour and by some explanations of the weird and wonderfully create mating rituals of the Weres.

The storyline is relatively straightforward, but none the worse for that: the new bad boys on the block were an innovative and really rather hateful creation;  all the old characters were there but all of them are at risk; we were joined by a cute, technically blind but with a wickedly deft with spells, werecat; and we got fight after gory fight in the sands of the Pit.

The book is made stronger by its lighter moments: an old Banshee up a pole, a truly wonderful scene at the boarding school of Kate’s adopted daughter and the banter and self-deprecation that occurs in many of the scenes.

The Epilogue seemed too long to be an epilogue and too rushed to be a real chapter but it did it’s job and made me curious about the next book.

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