Magic Triumphs by Ilona Andrews

Rating 9.8/10
So now concludes one of the best, if not THE best, urban fantasy series of all time.

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So now concludes one of the best, if not THE best, urban fantasy series of all time. Kate Daniels got her ending. And worry not, fellow fans, her creators have done her proud.

Firstly, if you haven’t read the other 9, don’t bother finishing this review, just go get Magic Bites and enter the world so many of us have loved for over 10 years. That original book isn’t their best- I struggled to get into it initially and nearly put it aside. When I think about that, it gives me a little tremor inside and it’s what keeps me reading books I might not initially get just in case they turn out to be a treasured companion in the end. As Ilona and Gordon note in their Prologue, ‘it’s not our favourite, and we would probably rewrite it if we could, but we all have to start somewhere, and it’s better to begin at the beginning’. Please do begin, you won’t regret it.

Secondly, if you thought you could miss out Iron and Magic, the answer is no. If you’re not a Hugh kinda person, you still need to know what’s going on there, it feeds into this story in a big way and, I imagine, what comes after for a lot of the characters. Learn to love him, if you don’t already, he’s such a goddamn cute murderous psychopath. You know you want to.

Ok, remember that scene in the Midnight Games…actually the whole part of the book set in the stadium, from Kate and her team’s arrival to the bloody conclusion? If you’re anything like me, the first time you picked up the book you had to read it several times over and have gone back to it many times since. Honestly, sometimes I don’t even do the whole book, just that section. I think all that of us will have at least one of those memories from the series, the bits we could read 100 times but still do so with hands clenched, breath held, heart pounding… Recognise the feeling? If so, I know you’ll be sure to have to have it again in this offering. More than once. Maybe because the action was so fast or maybe because the implications were so great or maybe because it was just so damn awesome that an immediate reread was necessary. I’m not exaggerating when I say that there were moments I went over at least three times before moving on to the next bit (and you can imagine how eager I was to see what was coming next) because I just didn’t want to let those special scenes go too fast. 

Time and time again, my expectations were crushed into smithereens and I couldn’t be more thrilled about it. Right from the outset, when the timeline didn’t start where I thought it would, both the technical and the creative choices made by the authors were designed to bring out the very best in the overarching narrative as well as the characters’ connected stories. There’s so much here for those who love this series: references, storylines, and jokes that hark right back to the beginning. A whole range of characters are brought back so they could have their moment, their own tales explained, expanded, or … ended. Some people don’t make it, while some get their happy ever after. Either way, it will be a very changed world that follows the final battle. Yet it’s so very funny as well as sad, especially when baby makes three. This, coming from someone who thought the motherhood thing would be Kate’s dullest hour. How wrong could I be? In these hardest of times, she is tested beyond all imagination. After a life full of danger and adversity, will she finally get the happy home she longs for? Not unless she fights for it, and boy does she ever. With every piece of martial skill and magical power at her disposal. It’s spectacular and heart wrenching to see her lay everything on the line for her family, friends, and city.

I already want to read it all again.

Even with the bittersweet goodbye to Kate’s story, I know that I will be back to this place and these people. Not only in my rereads but through the eyes of different characters, notably Hugh and Elara in the Iron Covenant series, but I suspect others may have something to add too… So I won’t yet say a final farewell, just au revoir.

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