magic burns by ilona andrews

Posted on July 19, 2009

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If we squeeze the stuff that makes heroes out of cowards, then feed them to giants that walk the earth,  what legends do we create?

magic burnsIn a world in which reality and myth blur into one another, the occupational hazards are endless!

For merc fighter Kate Daniels, dealing with the problems—such as dousing the fires of a pyromaniac salamander and listening to the petition of a lovesick weremink—resulting from the ebb and flow of paranormal energy across Atlanta is all in a day’s work.

Not unless there is a flare, which occurs every seven years or so, in which case all things magical become extra powerful and troublesome—giving gods and demons enough juice to manifest on earth.

No one looks forward to that. In Kate’s world, you can hardly tell the difference between them. But gods and demons are nothing if but opportunists.  In the second volume of this gritty urban fantasy series, two gods are on an epic-scale tug-of-war for a magic cauldron that opens a gate from their world into Earth. Caught in the crossfire is a spunky street urchin who seems to inspire Kate’s protective instincts.

Atlanta’s pack of shapeshifters led by the werelion Curran are again at the center of the latest power struggle.  Curran complicates Kate’s job, and life, further by saving her life and making her coffee. Ghastek, a necromancer in the employ of the Masters of the Dead, an organization that controls the city’s zombie-vampire population, insists on being kept in the loop, following Kate around. While Bran, a legendary warrior with a penchant for stealing kisses, teleporting like crazy, and annoying the hell out of the shapeshifters, becomes Kate’s reluctant ally.

For such a thin book (250+ pages), Magic Burns is jam-packed with action and crisp but brief banters.  Wasting little time on pleasantries, it flashes through event after event, and woe to you if you can’t keep up. I love it, the slash and dice of words just like Kate’s magic sword, Slayer, as it cuts a bloody path through a field of monsters. From the carnage, more of Kate’s past is revealed, who her father is, and why she has to kill him.

That element of the series, I think, will take much longer than two or three books to come to fruition. I don’t mind, for I get plenty enough of breathtaking stuff in this installment: The battle scene, where humans, witches, vampires, and shapeshifters face off against a demonic horde from another world, was truly stupendous.

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Posted in: fantastic