This is a novella from the Kate Daniels universe that was a free gift for fans over the Christmas holidays. It was a limited time only download, so I don’t think it’s up anymore, but word is that it will be published with the upcoming Gunmetal Magic if you missed it. In the timeline of the series, this fits right after the last Kate Daniels book (Magic Slays, which is book 5).
The order so far:
Book 1: Magic Bites –
Book 2: Magic Burns –
Book 3: Magic Strikes –
Novella – Magic Mourns in Must Love Hellhounds anthology –
Book 4: Magic Bleeds –
Book 5: Magic Slays –
Novella – Magic Gifts
**** Magic Gifts probably has major spoilers of the relationship variety and minor spoilers of the plot variety for anyone who hasn’t read the first five books. ****
The Premise: Kate and Curran are out for a nice dinner at a local restaurant when a gift of a necklace at a nearby table ends in death and mayhem. Tracing the origin of the necklace before its latest victim, a seven-year old boy, can die, while also dealing with owning a business, being the Beast Lord’s consort, her grumpy best friend, and the politics of the Mercenary Guild, and you have your typical week in the life of Kate Daniels.
My Thoughts: At 97 pages (how long the pdf was on my nook with small text), this felt like a nice long novella, and fit much of the style of the previous books. As usual, Kate has her hands full in all aspects of her life. First, there is her struggling business at Cutting Edge Investigations. Her best friend Andrea is handing a big case and is off the page much of the time, but there is clearly something going on there that will be expanded in Gunmetal Magic. Then, there is the Mercenary Guild. They want Kate to settle a dispute about Guild leadership, and Kate isn’t eager to be the deciding vote.
While those distractions are going on (the Guild business takes up a lot of Kate’s time), the meat of the story is about the necklace. This is a series that does not stick to one set of mythologies — we’ve seen Celtic deities, Indian demons, and Russian witches. This time, the mythology is of a Nordic flavor, which made me think I was seeing nods to Tolkien, but now I think it’s the Norse mythology he used in his books. Kate has to consult the Neo-Vikings for their expertise, and we get to see another new monster as part of the investigation. As creepy-crawlies in the Kate Daniels universe goes, I found this one quite nightmarish, thank you, but other than that, the impediments to solving the case were relatively minor, and this felt like a condensed but still substantial, version of the full-length books.
Overall: Quite satisfying and met my expectations of what a Kate Daniels story should be. If you are already a fan, you won’t be disappointed by this one. If you are not, I suggest you begin with the first book and work your way through the series before you get to this novella.