4 stars

Ilona Andrews – Magic Binds (Kate Daniels #9)

Mercenary Kate Daniels knows all too well that magic in post-Shift Atlanta is a dangerous business. But nothing she’s faced could have prepared her for this… Kate and the former Beast Lord Curran Lennart are finally making their relationship official. But there are some steep obstacles standing in the way of their walk to the altar… Kate’s father, Roland, has kidnapped the demigod Saiman and is slowly bleeding him dry in his never-ending bid for power. A Witch Oracle has predicted that if Kate marries the man she loves, Atlanta will burn and she will lose him forever. And the only person Kate can ask for help is long dead. The odds are impossible. The future is grim. But Kate Daniels has never been one to play by the rules…
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RATING

Here comes the 9th installment of the Kate Daniels series. The author duo proved once more why their books are on my auto-buy list. They didn’t come up with anything I didn’t like, yet.

So as it was expected based on the 8th book’ ending and the blurb, Kate and Curran are preparing to get married. Unfortunately for them, this doesn’t mean that their problems go away for the duration of this time. So they have a pretty packed schedule.
The whole plot is built up by little puzzle pieces and as they come together we see the whole picture. The way it constructed reminded me a bit to the earlier Kate Daniels books, especially since the events revolve mostly around Kate and max one or two of her companions. Whereas lately if there was something to do or fight they did it as a whole big group and not just Kate. In this story everybody has his/her individual task so Kate embarks on ‘single missions’.
Oh, I know! The whole plot is like a quest, you know like in games where you have to gather this or solve that so you can reach the next level. That what it felt like to me.

Around the end of the second third of the book it became pretty clear where is the story headed. There is a huge build up in it surrounded with a lot of tension and all of this focused on a battle. However when I was around 50 pages from the end of the book and the aforementioned battle still didn’t happen I thought they gonna delay it and show the fight in the next book. Well, they didn’t and it was a bit disappointing conclusion especially after the huge build up they created. The story is still really exciting, action packed and well rounded so I’m not complaining.

Kate present situation is a new experience for her. She is still her strong and badass self but her power gain presents quite a few new problems for her. Even so since she is not only fighting herself and struggling to gain control and understanding of her power but her friends and family constantly doubts her. I hated how even her long time friends started to treat her as a threat, mainly the shifters. She never did anything to earn that reaction. As they started to compare her to her father she started to lose even more control and confidence. Don’t even start me on their double standards regarding how she should handle the situation with her father.
The problem is not only her lack of control but she knows things about the future others doesn’t and no matter how hard she tries to change these things she is not really successful with it. So in the first half of the book beside her inner struggle she radiates a quite depressing, hopeless aura. It’s not really a usual thing from her.

As I mentioned earlier the other characters aren’t present as much. They all have little ‘screen’ time but not too much. Julie is really reckless and over her head. She doesn’t understand the weight of the situation and her actions. She is smart but at the same time thinks too big of herself. She ‘plays’ with things out of her league.
Curran is his usual supporting and loving self. He is Kate rock more than any other time in this book. He has a couple of really adorable scenes.
I loved Roman character. He kind of brings a little humor into the plot at the heaviest times.

I enjoyed the story a lot. The writing is still seamless and easy to read. The characters and the plot is really strong. The unusually depressing weight of their situation took away a little bit for me, but it’s a fantastic book and I can’t wait for the next one.

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