Author: Ilona Andrews
Released: August 28th 2018
Warnings: Fertility concerns
It’s almost hard to believe it…but the final book in the Kate Daniels series is here. I’ll confess that when my copy arrived, I found myself very conflicted. I didn’t even read it the first night – I was too afraid to finish it and have the series be officially over.
But of course, I caved and ended up reading the entire thing the following day, and I couldn’t be happier. Magic Triumphs is everything I could have hoped for in the conclusion of the series, and then some. I’m still sad that the series is over…but I’m feeling more at peace with it than I had been before I started reading.
Admittedly it helps knowing that this isn’t actually the end to the world that’s been established in the Kate Daniels series. We know that Hugh will be getting more books (at least two more, if I understand correctly). Plus I’d like to think that they’d continue the Grey Wolf series, even if so far it only has a novella. There’s a couple other series that I’d say are sure to be picked up, but since they’re hinted at later in the novel, I can’t really theorize about them here. Just know that there’s more to come.
And then there are all the other characters that could be picked up for their own series. The potential is limitless. And theoretically in some of those stories we’ll see Kate, Curran, Conlan, and all the other characters we fell in love with. So it isn’t really a goodbye, is it?
Still, even with the happy reminder that the world will continue in other series…the fact does remain that this one is ending. I loved this series so much. I still love this series. It was the one that really got me into Urban Fantasy (well, admittedly I had been into it before then, but I didn’t know the genre name at the time). It was my fall back when I needed something to cheer me up, or distract me, or even just for entertainment. I loved the characters, the world building, and the lore that was put into it. It’s been ten years, and this world still enchants me. I’m sure in ten more, that will still hold true.
More than that though – I love the community it created. If you’ve ever looked up the fandom for something you love, you know you’re taking a risk. Either they’re the most amazing and welcoming community ever, or they’re all full of venom. Or at least that’s what it feels like. The fandom revolving around Kate Daniels, and really all the worlds that Ilona and Andrew Gordon have created, is full of truly awesome people. Sure, there are a few bad eggs in there (like the ones constantly harassing the author lords for free work, forgetting simple facts like they are human), but on the whole they’re fantastic. Finding a fandom like that to join can really amplify an author’s works, so I’m always really happy to see that happen.
So now, before I begin my review, I just want to say thank you. Thank you to Ilona and Andrew Gordon, for bringing us this brilliant world. Thanks to the fans who bought the books and helped support them on this journey. And thanks to the fandom, for being awesome.
Warnings first: A couple of the characters (not Kate) are having issues conceiving, and express understandable frustration and devastation about this fact. One of them is a well-known and liked character, and you can feel her pain radiating off the pages. I know that this sort of depiction can be very upsetting for other women experiencing the same thing, so I wanted to give everyone a heads up.
There aren’t enough words to express how I feel about the conclusion of the Kate Daniels series. I truly loved it, and am sad to see it go. That being said, I’m oddly thrilled that the authors made the choice to end it when the time was right. There is nothing worse than seeing a series drag on beyond it’s time (we can all think of a series or ten where that happened). So I respect the decision made, and in my own way I appreciate it.
Magic Triumphs didn’t waste any time getting into the thick of the plot. Before I knew what was happening, we were back into the world of Kate dealing with horrible situations in order to help save her city. I’ll admit that I’m constantly impressed with Ilona and Andrew Gordon’s ability to up the ante. Every book I’m convinced I’ve seen the worst bad guy yet. And then there’s Roland. I never thought I’d see somebody I loathed more than him…and yet, that’s no longer the case.
Speaking of Roland, I love the way they’re constantly flipping the narrative with his character. It shows how masterful he is with manipulation, and more than that, how complex the situation involving him really is. Roland was never going to be just another enemy that Kate had to defeat. He was always something bigger, and a huge part of that has to do with the fact that he’s her father. There’s just no hiding from that fact, and Kate certainly never tried to deny that the situation was complicated, as were her feelings about him. It was all very well done.
There was one thing that happened in particular that I really want to give a shout out for. At one point more than halfway through the book – Endometriosis was mentioned. One of the characters has it (well, a version of it – her shifter abilities sort of altered it). Having Endometriosis myself, I have to say that it meant so much to have it mentioned in a series like this. It’s really hard to get people talking about diseases like this, so anything to normalize it and start a conversation is huge and gratefully accepted. And yes, this does tie back to the warning I mentioned earlier.
Being that this was the end of the series, there was quite a lot going on, understandably. Still, I feel like a lot of effort was put in to make sure as many characters as possible had their moment, or at least were involved in some way. My favorite example would have to be Roman and the role he played, more accurately the lectures he kept giving Kate. Those moments really touched me. Then there’s Christopher, Barbaras, the whole clan heavy (who got varying degrees of mentions), Andrea, Julie, Saiman, etc. And if a character didn’t actually appear in the novel itself, they were likely mentioned. It really helped to make the series feel more wrapped up.
I was concerned at a few different points, and not for the reason you’d think. I loved the idea of introducing a new antagonist right at the end, I really did. I was a little worried that said antagonist would kill off Roland, and thus take away the resolution that’s been looming for so long. I don’t know why I worried though, the authors have never failed me before, and they didn’t this time either. I’m really happy with how the battle was resolved, and in particular how Roland was handled. I won’t give it away here, but I feel like what happened was more perfect than I could have ever hoped for.
I know many will disagree with me, but I’m also okay with the number of characters that died. We needed to have some loss in order to increase the impact of the battle and the conclusion of the series, but at the same time it wasn’t ‘rocks fall, everyone dies.’
So on the whole, am I happy that the series is over? Not exactly, but I agree with the decision the authors made, and I’m happy with how they chose to resolve everything. I’m confident that we’ll be seeing Kate, Curran, and Conlan in the many planned spin offs, and even if that doesn’t happen…well I think I’ll still be okay with it.
Okay, now that I’ve finished talking about Magic Triumphs, let’s take a minute to talk about all the new series in the Kate Daniels world. Like I mentioned above, we already know that Hugh will be getting two more books (yay!). Additionally the amazing author lords have indicated their willingness to write a free Christopher and Barbaras novella. It hadn’t occurred to me that this was a possibility, so I am now over the moon about this.
As if that wasn’t enough to look forward to (because seriously, all that is already so amazing) there may be an extended epilogue to cover everything that didn’t fit into the book. Considering how massive Magic Triumphs was, I’m not surprised that they have more to say on the matter. It’ll be nice to have a firmer resolution, but at the same time I’m content. So I can wait.
The last confirmed spin off (at least, I believe it’s confirmed – if it isn’t and I got somebody’s hopes up, sorry!) is Julie’s trilogy. I don’t know if this will include Derek, or not. He could continue in the Grey Wolf series, or not at all. It’ll probably depend on what creative juices are left over after this crazy long run. Still, a Julie trilogy! That would be amazing. I love the idea of giving Julie some time on her own to grow up a bit, to come into her own person without the influence of all the other characters we’ve grown so used to seeing.
I know people are speculating about another Jim and Dali series or novella, but I think that one could possibly be wrapped up either in the extended epilogue and/or in Hugh’s novels. It’s hard to be certain though.
In the meantime, I’m just going to try and not think about all those potential series too much. It’s probably best that way – so it doesn’t drive me bonkers. I’ll just be pleasantly surprised if and when anything new and shiny drops.