“Magic Bleeds” was a lot of fun, which is not an easy thing to achieve when you’re writing a book about fighting an ancients source of evil that brings death and destruction to everything it touches.
The Kate Daniels books offer me a well-thought-through urban fantasy world that is unique in terms of it’s on-again off-again magic/tech switching, has developed its own legends and lore and has developed a strong ensemble cast. I can step into these books and know that I’m in for a rollercoaster ride of intense combat scenes, supernatural politics, truly scary and brutal enemies, witty banter and another twist in the love/hurt relationship between Kate and Curran.
I thought this mix worked really well in the third book, “Magic Strikes”, but “Magic Bleeds” takes everything up a level.
I liked the strong focus on Kate as a person as well as a kick-ass, sword-wielding, perhaps-not-quite human, killing machine. The courtship between her and the “his furriness” the Beastlord, Curran finally takes off. The blend of humour, angst, anger, lust and (FINALLY) some actual sex would have made this a good book all by itself. Add in Kate coming up against an enemy that shares her blood and is determined to rip her apart, an “attack poodle” that adopts Kate, some violent but believable Pack politics, and the need for Kate to risk sacrificing everything she has and you have a powerful novel.
I won’t go in to the detail of the plot other than to say that it delivers on the promise of the previous three books and sets the stage for some new themes in the rest of the series.
Pulling together the violence, the humour, the romance and the sex is the idea that you can’t choose the family you’re born in to but you can choose the family you create for yourself. Creating this family and trying to keep it alive without being so protective that you smother it, is what this book is all about.
A great book in a great series. Now I want more.