Review: Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews


May 31, 2012 by Heidi

book cover of Magic Bleeds by Ilona AndrewsTitle: Magic Bleeds [Amazon|GoodReads]
Author: Ilona Andrews [Website|Twitter|Facebook]
Standing: Book 4 in the Kate Daniels series.
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Published: May 25th, 2012 by Ace
Format: Paperback; 349 pages
Source: Borrowed from my local library.
Spoilers!:  This review contains spoilers for Magic Bites, Magic Burns, and Magic Strikes, so go read those first!

Atlanta would be a nice place to live, if it weren’t for the magic. When the magic is up, rogue mages cast their spells and monsters appear, while guns refuse to fire and cars fail to start. But then technology returns, and the magic recedes as unpredictably as it rose.

Kate Daniels works for the Order of the Knights of Merciful Aid, officially as a liaison with the mercenary guild. Unofficially, she cleans up the paranormal problems no one else wants to handle—especially if they involve Atlanta’s shapeshifting community.

When she’s called in to investigate a fight at the Steel Horse, a bar midway between the territories of the shapeshifters and the necromancers, Kate quickly discovers there’s a new player in town. One who’s been around for thousands of years—and rode to war at the side of Kate’s father.

This foe may be too much even for Kate and Curran, the Lord of the Beasts, to handle. Because this time, Kate will be taking on family…

If I had to describe the fourth installment of the Kate Daniels series in a two word phrase, I would have to go with this: Girl Power.  Not only do we have Kate, Andrea, Aunt B, and a number of other female shapechangers with claws and an attitude, our villain’s a chick as well!  I realize that the villain in Magic Bites was a woman, but she didn’t feel nearly as present as we see in Magic Bleeds.  I feel like this series has really been building up on its action, and we’ve graduated from henchmen to sidekicks in the bad guy brigade; I’m starting to get pretty amped for the inevitable final showdown between Kate and Daddy Dearest.

As we see Kate gain more power, we also see more of her vulnerabilities.  This becomes more and more apparent through Magic Bleeds as Kate struggles with her now acknowledged feelings for Curran, and the reality that being with him puts him and his people in incredible danger.  Kate’s been raised to not form ties, and we’ve seen her systematically making them more plentiful and tighter as the series goes on.  First Jim, then Derek, Julie, Andrea, Curran, and now a vicious attack poodle.

Phantom Poodle

Image via

I appreciate that Magic Bleeds isn’t just all sunshine and rainbows in the ‘people you love will make you stronger’ category.  Kate has very legitimate fears about what personal connections will cost her, and things don’t always turn out all peachy keen in the end.  I will say this though, when Kate sets her mind to something, woe be it to anyone who decides to stand in her way (this also equates to much fist pumping on my part).

Magic Bleeds wasn’t quite as much fun for me as Magic Strikes, but I still loved it.  I mean come on, where do you go from gladiators?  I think Ilona Andrews did a pretty darn good job.  I did feel that there was a little unnecessary rehashing of her personal story.  She explains it in the beginning, which is a-okay, but then goes over it again with Andrea, which we didn’t really need to read a second time.  That’s really just me being nit-picky though.  Like I said, I’m glad that the bad guys are getting badder, the romance hotter, and the social life messier.

I started off Magic Bleeds incredibly pissed at Curran, moved to being pretty pissed at Kate, and ended up pretty happy with both of them.  There was a lot of Curran in this one, for which I was happy.  It’s about time!  I love that the things that make them work as a couple are also the things that drive them apart.  They’re both incredibly strong willed, pig-headed, and want their own way.  If those crazy kids can make it work, let it be a lesson of communication in relationships to us all.  Also, can I just say that Kate and Curran’s attachment to The Princess Bride literally brings tears to my eyes?!

P.S. I really hate Ted.  Don’t you guys really hate Ted?  Racist bigot with the power of law behind him.  If he’s not addressed more in Magic Slays, I’m really hoping the whole situation with him, the Order, and Andrea comes to a head in Gunmetal Magic.  And that maybe he loses his.  Head that is.  Is it wrong to actively root for the gruesome death of fictional characters?

Likelihood that I’ll be back for more:  Indeed, though I’m starting to have that hesitation one gets when close to being all caught up with a series.  Don’t really want it to end!

Recommended for: Eh, if you’ve made it to book 4, you know who you are.

Real life repercussions of reading this book:
Whenever I think of Kate and Curran, this is the song playing in the background:


Get a second opinion:
Chachic’s Book Nook
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  1. You moved! Awesome.
    Magic Bleeds is probably my favorite book in the series, but Magic Slays is where it really takes a different turn. I can’t wait to read your opinion.
    I preordered Andrea’s book months ago. I’m very curious about her voice and how different it will be from Kate’s. In my experience, husban/wife writing teams usually work great: these two are awesome, Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris (Ministry of Peculiar Occurences) are fantastic, so I’m extatic that Ann Aguirre will be writing with her husband also.
    Great review, Heidi!

    • Heidi says:

      Thanks Maja! I’m happy with the move, even if it’s still a bit black and white at the moment.

      I remember you saying this was your favorite, and I’m really interested now to see how things take a turn in Magic Slays.

      I read Andrea’s short, Magic Mourns, and really liked it. I was impressed with how there was a noticeable difference in voice, even though her and Kate have a lot of similarities.

      I’m with you on husband and wife writing teams! This is probably my favorite, but I also always liked Mercedes Lackey and Larry Dixon’s work together. I’m going to have to check out Ministry of Peculiar Occurences! Steampunk starring a LIBRARIAN?! I am in. Also Grimspace series already on my TBR. =)

  2. […] The Assassin and the Pirate Lord by Sarah J. Maas You’re more than just a book to me, John Green Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews With Bated Breath: June New […]

  3. […] Spoilers!:  This review contains spoilers for Magic Bites, Magic Burns, Magic Strikes, and Magic Bleeds, so go read those first! Plagued by a war between magic and technology, Atlanta has never been so […]

  4. […] Magic Burns (Kate Daniels 2) Magic Strikes (Kate Daniels 3) Magic Mourns (Kate Daniels 3.5) Magic Bleeds (Kate Daniels 4) Magic Dreams (Kate Daniels 4.5) Magic Slays (Kate Daniels 5) Gunmetal Magic (Kate Daniels […]

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