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REVIEW: Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews

Magic Bleeds by Ilona AndrewsDear Ms. Andrews:

Sometimes as a reader your expectations are shaken, but in a very positive way. My expectations in non romance genre books have been set by popular series like those of Laurell K Hamilton, Charlaine Harris, and Janet Evanovich wherein love matches are hinted at but never resolved or take years and several books to come to fruition. Thus, I would not have guessed that we would have been treated to an overtly romantic tale so early in the series (Book 4). As a romance reader, I rejoiced although I wonder how all those hardcore Urban Fantasy readers will respond.

The story opens with Kate, our intrepid Guild Hunter, preparing a dinner for Curran, Beast Lord of Atlanta, payment for a lost bet. Kate is well aware that dinner is not the only thing on the menu. This will be the consummation of their relationship, something that has been hinted at and flirted with, but never fully explored. Kate has held herself aloof for so long that even mentally coming to grips with caring for Curran is a big step for her, let alone acting out the physical incarnation of those thoughts. But Curran never shows up and when Kate calls the Keep, she is given a very real brush off.

The problem is that Kate and Curran are no ordinary people but rather two very powerful magical beings. When two powerful, magical beings break up, there are dangerous ramifications. Particularly for politically minded people who want to use the situation for their benefit. Or for someone like Saiman, a former god who likes to play with Kate simply because she presents a challenge to him.

Book four reveals many details including more about Kate’s past and her destiny. Woven throughout are myths and this is what was really engaging about the story. The myths in this book are not anglo saxon based. Instead, it’s an amalgamation of Eastern mythologies, far east, middle east, and west.   I loved getting that tiny peek into other cultures’ myths and religions.   We need more diversity and this provides it in a wholly refreshing way.

In each book, Kate is presented with a problem with a magical source and each problem requires her to reveal more of herself. For Kate to protect those she has begun to care about, she places herself in greater danger as more of her power is needed to defeat each problem. In this story, the problem is an unknown being who goes into a power filled place, picks out the most dangerous people and kills them, swallowing their power, and leaving their corpses full of contagious disease. It is sweeping across Atlanta and starting to affect the shifters. Even though Curran and Kate are angry with each other, they have to start working together to solve the problem.

Having been a long time romance reader, the romantic conflict is a familiar one to me.   Heroine and hero misread each others intentions leading to a long drawn out and unnecessary separation.   It’s entertaining seeing this in an urban fantasy between a bad ass hunter and an equally bad ass Beastlord.   To some romance readers, the romantic trope of the big misunderstanding might seem dated but both Curran and Kate are hardheaded and full of pride. Showing vulnerability to each other is dangerous, particularly when the two are engaged in a battle of wills even when they are together, let alone when each are off separately licking their wounds.

Overall, I thought that this was a great and very romantic, sexy urban fantasy and I can’t wait for the next addition to the series. B+

Best regards,


Book Link | Kindle assume the Kindle version will show up soon | Amazon | nook | BN | Borders
| Sony | Kobo |

This is a mass paperback published by Ace which is one of the Agency 5. Penguin ebooks are priced at $1.00 less than the paper copy book.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Dear Author Recommends for June | Dear Author
    May 28, 2010 @ 12:01:31

    […] Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews (Kindle ). Recommended by Jane. […]

  2. Lyssa
    May 28, 2010 @ 13:15:07

    Thank you for a wonderful review of the romantic element within this book. For myself I found the romantic trope of two hard-headed individuals who battle verbally (and in this case physically) very well done. I am a romance reader who has slowly moved into UF/mysteries as my primary entertainment, so I think the romantic ‘sub-plots’ used by Ilona and Gordon wonderful story telling and character building. Like you I was also very happy to see this plot advanced, but the HEA of the story similar to that of the Eve Dallas series by J.D. Robb, or the Guild Hunter series by Nalini Singh. In fact the HEA turns into life, the day after the ball, wedding, in fact the everyday existence of being a couple when the world does not run according to plan. And that for me is real romance, cause most romantic moments are not the flowers (or pie) at the start, but the shoulder to lean on at the end of a rough day.

    Thank you again for a review that captures this element of the series.

  3. LauraB
    May 28, 2010 @ 13:26:54

    This book was a very satisfying read for me. I thought both Kate and Curran grew through their attempts to negotiate a middle ground for their relationship. The history and mythology made for some great worldbuilding.

  4. readerdiane
    May 28, 2010 @ 13:38:13

    I would have rated this a bit higher. After I finished this book, I found that several of the other books I was looking forward to reading fell short. I could not get into them. I found myself thinking back to Kate & Curran and how much I liked the conflict & characters.
    It is a A- for me.

  5. Connie
    May 28, 2010 @ 16:12:26

    Anyone who has ever read my comments on this site (which is really few in number) knows I loved On the Edge. I did know about the Kate series but I personally prefer stand-alones better (as in each book has different hero/heroine) or at least the relationship have already been consummated so I actually haven’t read this series yet. But Ilona Andrews had a book signing in Portland Oregon (where my boyfriend lives) on May 25, and I had planned to go. But unfortunately he had to go to Michigan for a funeral (tear…for my book signing – just kd it was his grandpa and it was a very sad event).

    Anyways that was all ramble…I’m still in mourning over the signing…But my real question is (since I’m lazy/busy) whether or not I can read this one since it seems their relationship has progressed to a point of acceptable for me or would I be too confused? I’ve read her story in the Must Love Hellhounds anthlogy so I know a bit about who she is and sort of about Curran and their world.

  6. Aoife
    May 28, 2010 @ 17:09:21


    Personally, I think you would be completely confused, and would have missed out on the character development (not just the main characters) that makes this series interesting. The romance is not really the point of this series, although it is a very, very nice extra. Trying to avoid spoilers here: and the, um, climax of Kate and Curran’s courtship dance, while perfectly in keeping with the tone of the books and the characters, is very far away from being purple/flowery/particularly descriptive. In other words the payoff is there for readers who have developed an affection for Kate, et. al., but someone who jumps in to the series in Magic Bleeds is more likely to say, “That was it?”

    Overall I thought this was a very strong entry in the series. There were interesting developments for each of the characters, and you can begin to see how the next few books are likely to play out. I have a real fondness for characters who don’t stay static, and I thought one of the most intriguing bits of the book was (again trying to avoid spoilers) when Kate looked at one of the characters and realized that this character was exactly who Voron had tried to shape her into. Lots of fascinating possibilities there.

  7. Carolyn
    May 28, 2010 @ 17:57:01

    I found this book completely satisfying.

    I appreciated that once Kate gave in to her softer feelings and the misunderstanding was cleared up, there were no artificial, self induced obstacles thrown up to drag things out. When Kate surrendered herself, she gave all of herself.

    Raphael surprised me. I hope there’ll be more more of him and Andrea in forthcoming books.

  8. bettie
    May 28, 2010 @ 21:05:29

    I think it’s time I admit to myself that I’m an Ilona Andrews fan girl. My first thought on seeing this review–before even reading it–was that I had to rush out and buy the book. I’ve enjoyed everything Ms Andrews has written, and judging from this review, it looks like Magic Bleeds will be no exception.

  9. Estara
    May 29, 2010 @ 16:07:17

    Thank you so much for the Kobo link. It was really getting frustrating finding a shop who would sell me the ebook in Germany. For some reason when I clicked the original link to Kobo it said it wouldn’t sell to me but when I signed in and entered the name in the searchbar I was able to buy it with my German Mastercard. I’m mystified but happy that it worked.

  10. Magic Bleeds by I. Andrews | Literary Escapism
    May 30, 2010 @ 10:39:53

    […] reviewed by: Angieville Malin’s Blog of Books Acquiring Magic Dear Author The Discriminating Fangirl var addthis_language = […]

  11. Ilona Andrews
    May 30, 2010 @ 16:19:42

    I’m glad the book worked. Thank you for taking the time to read it and write a review.

  12. Review: MAGIC BLEEDS « Cherry De C
    Jun 10, 2010 @ 08:25:29

    […] Dear Author […]

  13. Nicole
    Aug 12, 2010 @ 13:49:10

    @Connie: in my opinion you don’t have to read every single Kate book. They do ok as stand alone reads, but you will miss out on how all the relationships between the main characters (Kate, Curran, Jim, Andrea, Julie, Derek etc) began and continue to grow. The Kate books each have a separate plot line that is completed in that book, the only continuation throughout the books are the characters and their relationships with the others. In fact I never read the complete first book. My mom told me about the “here kitty kitty part” in it, and that is where I picked up the series and continued. Ilona has made each book better, because her writing improves with them.

  14. Review of Magic Bleeds | Fantasy Cafe
    Oct 19, 2010 @ 19:28:15

    […] Dear Author […]

  15. Chenebe
    Nov 20, 2010 @ 02:15:44

    I may be alone on this but I found this book disappointing. My disappointment was all the greater because I loved the first three – they were utterly mind-blowing and amazing to me. But the romance trope really grated on me in this book and mystified me somewhat – why did such original author(s) bother to force their story into the strict romance formula? I can’t stand the “stupid misunderstanding” due to stubborness and hardheadedness that so many books in the romance genre rely on. And here we have it over some miscom over a missed date.

    The other thing that disappointed me somewhat was the consumation – I hated that it came out of jealousy. I would have liked it more if it had happened when the two very strong protagonists finally let themselves be truly vulnerable and honest. To do it before then to me is a waste of all the beautifully set up development through the first three books. That would have been a stronger basis for their relationship, which still has to stand the test of time of another three books in the series.

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