The fourth book in the Kate Daniels series, published May 2010.
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…
Yesterday I read the review of book 5 in the series at Smexy Books, which is coming soon! And I realized I was way behind, I still had book 4 to read. Well, that review really got me in the mood for this series, and I immediately picked it up. And I kept reading till it was finished, well past my bedtime.
Welcome to a world where magic and technology change places all the time. One moment your magic works, the next moment you have to rely on technology. Which makes driving a car useless, back to horses and such. This is the fourth book in the series, and a really great series it is. But you really have to read them in order, to understand what is happening, and why, and who everyone is. So, if you haven’t tried it yet, and you do like some Urban Fantasy, this sure is a series you should not miss!
The book starts with some major relationships problems for Kate Daniels, as her want-to-be mate stands her up. Luckily, there is not much time to think and mourn, as an unknown person is spreading magical diseases around. A man in a cloak just entered a busy bar, where apprentice People and Were animals used to hang. He picked on the most powerful shapeshifter, offered him godhood, and killed him. The other patrons just ran away, or started fighting among themselves, for no apparent reason. When Kate is called to the scene, the bar is in shambles, and the patrons, the bartender and the bouncers are waiting outside, in the cold, for her. The victim is speared to a telephone pole, and is decomposing swiftly, growing some kind of pink fur. Kate sees at once it is a magical disease, and very contagious. If she lets those people leave, an epidemic will ruin the city! She explains this to the owner, who gets all his clients and personal back inside. He needs to call Biohazard for help, but in the meantime Kate goes to work to confine the disease. Salt and fire don’t seem to stop it, so she is writing runes all around the parking lot. Just when she is finished, the Biohazard team shop up, and start checking everyone magically, to see if they are contaminated with this typhoid thing. Luckily, no one is infected. But the strange part is, why did the shapeshifters run off, instead of sticking around defending their place? Only the waitress seems unaffected by everything that happened, and she can give Kate the most information. It seems their guest not only spread disease, but also fear and violence in its wake. Things only a God can do, and those things only happen during a flare, once every seven years or so.
When arriving home, Kate dives into her books, to find out what exactly there are fighting. And that is not good! The next attacks are the People’s casino, and the mercenary guild, where Kate used to work. The leader is murdered right in front of his staff, who did nothing to help him. Of course, they were not paid to risk their lives for his.
And Kate comes eye to eye with Curran again. They both accuse the other for standing up/running away, and the truth will be somewhere in the middle. But do they still love each other enough to go for a second chance? Will Kate risk her heart again, when she has been thought to stay alone, unattached, as her family will kill everyone she knows and loves when they find out about her existence?
Unfortunately, Erra, the plaguebringer, and Kate’s aunt, finds out who Kate is by tasting her blood, and then she comes after her. Kate barely manages to survive those fights, but she is determined to bring her down. Erra will not destroy the Pack and all her friends in it!
An action filled story again, very fast paced, and I really could not stop reading. But also the personal issues between Kate and Curran are heartfelt. I really felt sorry for Kate in the beginning and could not really believe what happened. But in the end it all worked out, although not easy. Kate has to fight for her new position when Curran is unavailable to defend her, and she keeps getting shaped up again by dr. Doolittle. I am very sorry for the rift with her best friend Andrea, as Kate makes that final decision, and Andrea just can’t. Kate also learns a lot about the rules in the shapeshifter world, and makes some new friends and enemies.
All in all, a very very good story, compelling and making me really want to read the next book fast! I have to now what happens next. How will her father react when he finds out? What happens next with the Knights, and with the Mercenaries, or with the People? So many things happened in this book, magically and tragically. And yes, a lovescene with Kate and Curran ;)