Get notified of Words&Dirt updates

Tag: urban fantasy

Review: Ilona Andrews’s “Blood Heir”

Ilona Andrews’s Blood Heir is a continuation/spin-off of the marvelous Kate Daniels series. These novels take place in a fantastical version of mid-21st-century Atlanta where a metaphysical “Shift” has brought magic back into the world after centuries of dormancy. This book picks up eight years after Kate’s tale comes to a close, with a new protagonist: Julie [...]

Review: Ilona Andrews’s “Magic Triumphs”

If you’re unfamiliar with the Kate Daniels series, please stop reading this immediately and heed the words of Ilona Andrews: “If you’ve never read us before, and this is your first Kate book, thank you for buying it, but please put it down and find a copy of Magic Bites” (Acknowledgements). This directive isn’t just a [...]

Review: Ilona Andrews’s “Iron and Magic”

After falling in love with the Kate Daniels series back in 2016, I was excited to learn that Ilona Andrews had released the first installment of a spin-off trilogy set in the same world. And while Iron and Magic is a fun visit to one of my favorite fantasy destinations, it doesn’t pack the same punch as [...]

Review: Ilona Andrews’s “Magic Binds”

Ilona Andrews’s Magic Binds is the perfect predecessor to the book Kate Daniels fans have been waiting for since the beginning. It’s also a terrific ride in its own right. Just like all the others, Magic Binds retains the core cast of characters and conflicts Kate Daniels fans love, while also breaking new ground. In this book, Kate’s [...]

Review: Ilona Andrews’s “Magic Shifts”

It’s understandable that the eighth book in a fantasy series might come off a bit stale. Ilona Andrews’s Kate Daniels series is one of the best I’ve come across, but Magic Shifts is far from its best installment. Fortunately, what constitutes a slump for this story could be the peak of many lesser narratives, so there [...]

Review: Ilona Andrews’s “Magic Breaks”

One can only gush so much about a series before things get ugly, so I’ll try to keep this brief. Magic Breaks is proof that a creative and heartfelt narrative populated with memorable characters can keep evolving in fresh and meaningful ways, long past the point where lesser stories founder. This particular installment of Kate Daniels’s story [...]

Review: Ilona Andrews’s “Magic Rises”

The sixth Kate Daniels book injects much-needed fresh energy into this terrific fantasy series. Instead of sticking around Atlanta as usual, Kate and her “collection of uncanny misfits” voyage across the Atlantic Ocean in search of a rare substance that can help stabilize the development of the Pack’s adolescents (281). In exchange for this substance, [...]

Review: Ilona Andrews’s “Magic Slays”

Two-thirds of the way through, I was all set to give Magic Slays a lukewarm review. I felt like I was reading the inevitable slump in Kate Daniels’s story––the one where her clever mouth, kick-ass fighting moves, and romantic difficulties all start to feel more enervating than exciting. And while there is an element of routine in [...]

Review: Ilona Andrews’s “Magic Bleeds”

Better and better. I continue to be impressed with the deliberate and patient fashion in which Ilona Andrews lays out the story of Kate Daniels, an eminently-lovable lady who I’m quickly coming to see as my generation’s Harry Potter for adults. Magic Bleeds is my favorite book of the series so far, and contains several notable [...]

Review: Ilona Andrews’s “Magic Strikes”

Ilona Andrews’s Kate Daniels series is a gift that keeps on giving. After thoroughly enjoying the first two books, my delight continued right up to the final page of the third installment, Magic Strikes. The seductive nature of this world and its characters springs from Andrews’s near-perfect balance between novelty and familiarity. The story continues [...]