Magic Mourns by Ilona Andrews. No mourning here.

Read February 2023
Recommended for fans of Kate Daniels
★    ★   ★   ★   

The recent release of the novella Magic Tides has me revisiting some of the books in the Kate Daniels world. Not all of them, mind you; though it is one of my favorite urban fantasy series, and definitely my favorite with a female lead, there are elements that make a whole series binge undesirable for me. Novellas sometimes do down easier, as Magic Tides demonstrated, so I thought I’d retry this one devoted to Andrea, Kate’s best friend and Knight of the Order.

Andrea is also a closeted Beastkin, and that secret self is one of the biggest challenges of her life. In many ways, Andrews wrote a beautifully apt metaphor for issues around gender and sexuality, or people who have inside selves that are not validated by the larger world. The story has a more profound emotional resonance now, during this time of emerging trans voices, particularly because accepting her Beastkin is also about accepting active sexuality.

Beyond that, it’s also good Andrews fun with equal parts investigating, fighting, witty repartee and romance. Through family connections, we get to explore new mythology. This also happens to be the story where Teddy is introduced a little more fully, so it’s fun to recall these side characters. There’s also a really odd moment where we get Andrea’s side of an exact scene from a Kate Daniels book, which is actually kind of cool. Quite clever, actually.

While I’m not totally drawn to the hedonistic meta of a bouda-clan, I’m raising my review re-rating in light of the underlying messaging. What could be more empowering?

“Being a professional meant you nurtured your fear. You struggled with your terror until you tamed it and made it serve you.”


About thebookgator

avid reader and Goodreads reviewer looking for a home.
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