Magic breaks, p.1

Magic Breaks, page 1

 part  #7 of  Kate Daniels Series

 

Magic Breaks



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Magic Breaks


  ACE BOOKS BY ILONA ANDREWS

  The Kate Daniels Novels

  MAGIC BITES

  MAGIC BURNS

  MAGIC STRIKES

  MAGIC BLEEDS

  MAGIC SLAYS

  MAGIC RISES

  MAGIC BREAKS

  The World of Kate Daniels

  GUNMETAL MAGIC

  The Edge Novels

  ON THE EDGE

  BAYOU MOON

  FATE’S EDGE

  STEEL’S EDGE

  Specials

  MAGIC MOURNS

  MAGIC DREAMS

  THE BERKLEY PUBLISHING GROUP

  Published by the Penguin Group

  Penguin Group (USA) LLC

  375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014

  USA • Canada • UK • Ireland • Australia • New Zealand • India • South Africa • China

  penguin.com

  A Penguin Random House Company

  This book is an original publication of The Berkley Publishing Group.

  Copyright © 2014 by Andrew Gordon and Ilona Gordon.

  “Magic Tests” by Ilona Andrews copyright © 2012 by Andrew Gordon and Ilona Gordon.

  Penguin supports copyright. Copyright fuels creativity, encourages diverse voices, promotes free speech, and creates a vibrant culture. Thank you for buying an authorized edition of this book and for complying with copyright laws by not reproducing, scanning, or distributing any part of it in any form without permission. You are supporting writers and allowing Penguin to continue to publish books for every reader.

  Ace Books are published by The Berkley Publishing Group.

  ACE and the “A” design are trademarks of Penguin Group (USA) LLC.

  eBook ISBN: 978-0-698-14640-2

  Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

  Andrews, Ilona.

  Magic breaks / Ilona Andrews.

  pages cm. — (A Kate Daniels novel ; 7)

  ISBN 978-0-425-25622-0 (hardback)

  1. Daniels, Kate (Fictitious character)—Fiction. 2. Shapeshifting—Fiction. 3. Magic—Fiction. 4. Atlanta (Ga.)—Fiction. 5. Fantasy fiction. I. Title.

  PS3601.N5526625M34 2014

  813'.6—dc23

  2014009023

  FIRST EDITION: August 2014

  Cover art by Juliana Kolesova.

  Cover design by Jason Gill.

  Interior text design by Tiffany Estreicher.

  Map by Julie Krick.

  “Magic Tests” was previously published in the anthology An Apple for the Creature.

  This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

  Version_1

  Contents

  Books by Ilona Andrews

  Title Page

  Copyright

  Dedication

  Authors’ Note

  Character List

  Map

  From the Journal of Barabas Gilliam

  Chapter 1

  Chapter 2

  Chapter 3

  Chapter 4

  Chapter 5

  Chapter 6

  Chapter 7

  Chapter 8

  Chapter 9

  Chapter 10

  Chapter 11

  Chapter 12

  Chapter 13

  Chapter 14

  Chapter 15

  Chapter 16

  Chapter 17

  Chapter 18

  Epilogue

  Magic Tests

  To Anastasia and Helen

  Dear Readers,

  Thank you so much for reading Kate’s adventures for these seven years. We appreciate your support. Your enthusiasm for the series keeps us going.

  Some really big things happen in this book. It reads like the final book in the series, but it’s not. As we write this, we are under contract for three additional books. Magic Breaks might finish the story arc, but it doesn’t finish the story. For those of you who are just coming to the series, we’ve included a list of characters and “From the Journal of Barabas Gilliam,” a series summary written from the point of view of one of the series’ most popular side characters. If you are a long-standing fan of the series, the information in those two sections will probably sound redundant, and if you choose to skip them, you won’t lose anything.

  Some stories are big in scope, where the future of the world seems to hang in the balance, and some stories are small but no less important. Because Magic Breaks is one of those large-scope stories, we thought you would enjoy a smaller story as well, so we offer you “Magic Tests,” a short story about Julie’s adventures in a new school. The fate of the world might not be in jeopardy, but the life of a child is, and we hope you will like the contrast between the two stories.

  As always, we would like to thank the people who helped us bring this story to you. Our wonderful editor, Anne Sowards, and our agent, Nancy Yost, who both strive to keep us in line. The senior production editor, Michelle Kasper, and the assistant production editor, Julia Quinlan. Judith Lagerman, the art director; Juliana Kolesova, the artist responsible for the image on the cover; and Jason Gill, the cover designer.

  We would like to thank Jonathon Frisby, attorney-at-law, and his wife; Veronique Cantrell-Avloes, attorney-at-law; Noel Goudreau, attorney-at-law, and her husband; Sarah Javaheri, attorney-at-law; Carol Najera, attorney-at-law; Tiffany Murphy, attorney-at-law; Nina Javan, attorney-at-law; and others for their incredible generosity and knowledge and willingness to entertain hypothetical criminal scenarios involving a weremongoose lawyer. We are deeply grateful. Any errors of fact or law are our own.

  We would also like to thank our beta readers, who kindly donate their time and skills to help us make the book the best it could be. They are, in no particular order: Ying Dallimore, Carrie Wassenaar, Omar Jimenez, William Stonier, Stella Won, Julie Heckert, Laura Hobbs, Antoinette Hodges, Nichole Walford, Michelle Kubecka, Melody LeBaron, Wendy Baceski, Shannon Daigle, Cathy Thilmany, Jeanine Rachau, Michelle Kraut, and others.

  Finally, thank you once again to you, our wonderful readers.

  CHARACTER LIST

  The Pack

  KATE DANIELS: Main character. Female, approximately twenty-seven at the time of the book. Former mercenary, former member of the Order, currently Consort to Curran, Beast Lord of the Free People, and female alpha of the shapeshifter Pack. Carries a sword named Slayer. Daughter of Roland, from whom she has been hiding all of her life, and raised by his renegade warlord Voron. Kate owns Cutting Edge, a small investigative agency bankrolled by the Pack.

  CURRAN LENNART: Beast Lord. Alpha and leader of Atlanta’s shapeshifters. Male, about thirty-three. Has been Beast Lord since he was fifteen. Turns into a North American gray lion. Blond, gray-eyed, approximately 5'10" with the build of a longtime weight lifter. In human form, prefers hand-to-hand combat with a concentration on grappling, which utilizes his training in judo, wrestling, and jujitsu.

  JIM SHRAPSHIRE: Werejaguar and alpha of Clan Cat. Male, age thirty-five; 6'2" and built like a middleweight boxer. Dark skin, brown eyes. Jim moves with an easy athletic gait that belies the pent-up energy and violence waiting just under the surface. Jim is the Pack’s head of security. He is a paranoid micromanager who sees threats to the Pack around every corner and in every shadow. Has a history with Kate Daniels (nonromantic) going back to their service together in the Mercenary Guild.

  BARABAS GILLIAM: Weremongoose but member of the bouda (werehyena) clan; 5'9" and slender. Appearing to be in his late twenties, Barabas is very pale-skinned with a shock of bright red hair, usually gelled and spiked atop his head. He has the lean build of a
fencer or dancer. Barabas is the Pack’s lead legal counsel and one of Kate’s “babysitters” appointed by Aunt B prior to her death in Magic Rises. Barabas is a skilled knife fighter with an encyclopedic knowledge of laws both human and Pack.

  ANDREA NASH: Female, 5'2", blond. Andrea is Kate’s best friend. Former knight of the Order and expert marksman. Andrea is beastkin, meaning she is the extremely rare offspring of a female bouda and a hyenawere, a hyena who could shapeshift into a human. In many shapeshifter packs, beastkin are at best tolerated but mistreated, at worst seen as abominations and killed at birth. Andrea and her mother suffered unspeakable abuse and cruelty at the hands of her birth pack. As a teen, Andrea escaped and, disguising herself as human, joined and graduated with honors from the Order’s Academy for knights. After the events of Magic Bleeds, Andrea was exposed as a shapeshifter and forcefully retired from the Order; she subsequently joined Kate in the detective agency Cutting Edge. Andrea is engaged to Raphael, alpha male of Clan Bouda, and together they now run the clan after Aunt B’s death.

  RAPHAEL MEDRANO: Scion and alpha of Clan Bouda, late twenties and around 6'3". Only surviving son of Aunt B and her late husband. Raphael is a right sexy bastard, tall, dark, and extremely handsome with a devilish smile that hints at exciting sex. Like the majority of Clan Bouda, Raphael is romantically experienced with a long list of partners but fell in love with Andrea Nash at first sight and pursued her relentlessly until, despite her better judgment, she accepted his advances. Curran has a grudging respect for Raphael but until recently viewed him as spoiled and vain, despite his status as arguably the best knife fighter in the Pack.

  DEREK GAUNT: Werewolf and protégé of both Jim and Curran. Introduced in Magic Bites as a teen, Derek is now a young adult, about nineteen and an experienced fighter. Once almost pretty, Derek was irreparably disfigured during the events of Magic Strikes. His vocal cords were also damaged in the attack, leaving him with a permanently low and menacing voice. Kate often refers to Derek as “boy wonder” and his devotion to her is almost fanatical, second only to his admiration and loyalty to Curran. Derek, like Curran, has a profound hatred and disdain for loups, shapeshifters gone feral.

  ASCANIO FERARA: Teenage bouda, age sixteen. Basically a younger version of Raphael, but even more incorrigible. Introduced in Magic Slays, Ascanio is a young bouda raised until recently in a religious compound and sheltered from the outside world. He’s determined to make up for lost time and sometimes his behavior is extreme, even by bouda standards. His antics often bring unwanted attention to Clan Bouda and the Pack. He is seen by Derek in somewhat the same light that Curran views Raphael, wild and undisciplined. At the time of the book, Ascanio is an unpaid intern at Cutting Edge where Kate and Andrea can keep an eye on him.

  DESANDRA: Female, late twenties, werewolf. Introduced in Magic Rises, Desandra is an enigma. Her father was one of the most ruthless and sadistic alphas among the Mediterranean shapeshifter packs. The only one of his children to live to adulthood, Desandra survived by pretending to be vain and stupid. Brought back to Atlanta with her twin infant sons, she has quickly risen through the ranks of Clan Wolf to become beta, second only to Jennifer. Beneath her outwardly crude and shockingly blunt exterior, she is her father’s daughter, cunning, smart, and capable of sudden shocking violence.

  DR. DOOLITTLE: The Pack’s premier medmage, Doolittle is an African American male appearing to be in his midfifties, with short graying hair, wire-rimmed glasses, and a stocky, powerful build. An extremely talented physician and medical mage, Doolittle tends to devote his time to science and the treatment of the Pack, but much like his honey badger alter ego, he is fearless and willing to stand up to anyone, up to and including Curran and Kate. Doolittle was severely injured in Magic Rises, which resulted in him using a wheelchair.

  JULIE: Teenage female referred to by Curran as “Kate’s cub.” Blond, petite, and pretty, Julie is being raised by Kate after losing her mother in Magic Burns. Like Kate, she is a human with magic living among and under the protection of the Pack. Julie has the unique ability to see magic; she is a human m-scanner and her powers are still developing. She has a crush on Derek, who sees her as a little sister, and an adversarial relationship with Ascanio, who views her as a rival and potential romantic conquest. During Magic Slays, Julie had been infected with Lyc-V, the shapeshifter virus, and was going loup. Kate used one of her father’s rituals to save Julie’s life by washing her blood with her own, which bound Julie to her. Julie is unable to refuse Kate’s direct order, a fact that Kate and Curran hide from her.

  JENNIFER: Female alpha of Clan Wolf and widow of Daniel, who died in Magic Slays. Jennifer still holds a grudge against Kate for killing her sister and hates her even more now for bringing Desandra back to Atlanta. Jennifer knows she is weak and it is only a matter of time before her new beta makes her move. She fears for herself and her child.

  ROBERT AND THOMAS LONESCO: Married alphas of Clan Rat. Second only to the wolves in numbers, the rats are excellent scouts and spies. The Lonescos feel undervalued and distrusted by Jim, the Pack’s head of security.

  CHRISTOPHER: Once a favorite in Roland’s court, Christopher was given to Hugh d’Ambray, who punished him for some unknown transgression by slowly starving him to near death. By the time Kate rescues him in Magic Rises, months of being kept captive in a cage by Hugh d’Ambray have left Christopher a shattered shell of his former self. Christopher seems to have a tenuous grasp on reality and sometimes believes he can fly but has simply forgotten how to do so. He is utterly devoted to Kate for freeing him and believes Barabas, his de facto handler, to be an angel.

  The Order

  TED MOYNOHAN: Caucasian male, late fifties. Heavily built like an aging boxer or football player, Ted is 5'10" and weighs well over two hundred pounds. As knight-protector, Ted oversees Atlanta’s chapter of the Order of Merciful Aid, and as such, he’s also Kate and Andrea’s old boss. Ted is a fanatic who distrusts and despises the shapeshifters and the People equally. He was once seen as a major player within the Order, but his star was tarnished when the Order’s offices were attacked and burned by one of Kate’s late aunt Erra’s henchmen; Ted’s plan to stop Erra backfired and resulted in dozens of civilian casualties (see Magic Bleeds). His subsequent handling of the Andrea Nash situation further damaged his reputation. He is now seen as more of an aging embarrassment, but because of his long service the Order is unable to force him into retirement unless he makes a colossal mistake. Ted is determined to go out with a bang, not a whimper.

  MAXINE: Powerful telepath and longtime secretary and gatekeeper of the Order. A noncombatant, Maxine refers to everyone as “Dear.” She is fond of Kate in spite of Ted’s animosity toward her.

  MAURO: Hulking Samoan knight of the Order, Mauro is the last of Ted’s old guard, the rest having transferred after or perished during the attack on the Order in Magic Bleeds. Mauro is a gentle giant, intelligent and slow to anger with a massive 6'8" three-hundred-plus-pound frame and is covered in tattoos that glow when he is using his power to redirect fire.

  The People (Pilots of the Undead)

  GHASTEK: Thin and dark, age undetermined, could be late thirties or early forties. A powerful Master of the Dead, Ghastek is locked in a power struggle with Mulradin Grant to fill the power vacuum left by the recent and unexplained disappearance of Nataraja, Atlanta’s former head necromancer. Ghastek senses that there is more to Kate than meets the eye and wants to know who she really is. He is very intelligent and gifted, and he knows it, which occasionally causes him to make mistakes out of arrogance.

  MULRADIN GRANT: Ghastek’s main rival for power in Atlanta’s chapter of the People. The Pack knows little of Mulradin beyond his reputation as a solid family man.

  The Bad Guys

  HUGH D’AMBRAY: Roland’s warlord; he hunted down and killed Voron nearly a decade ago. He discovered Kate’s identity and is determined to present her to her father. Kate presents an irresistible prize for him: she’s the daughter o
f Roland and she had been trained by Voron, just like Hugh himself. His hatred for Curran is matched only by his determination to overcome Kate’s resistance. He’s determined to make her submit to his will even if he has to burn Atlanta to the ground or drown it in shapeshifter blood. He doesn’t really care if she comes to him of her own free will or is dragged to him in chains. Hugh is a superb strategist and an exceptional medmage. He is also the preceptor of the Order of Iron Dogs, the elite unit of the military arm of Roland’s forces.

  HIBLA: Female, origin unknown. Hibla is one of Hugh’s Iron Dogs. A shapeshifter and expert with a blade, Hibla is directly responsible for the death of Aunt B, and Kate has been looking for some payback since the end of Magic Rises.

  ROLAND: Kate’s father is a mythical figure whose origins lie somewhere between fact and fable. He is the Builder of Towers. He slept for centuries but now the reemergence of magic has ended his long absence from the world of man. Roland possesses a nearly godlike power.

  FROM THE JOURNAL OF BARABAS GILLIAM

  MY NAME IS Barabas. I was named that because my mother was ambitious. It could be worse. One of my cousins is named Lucifer. I once asked my aunt why and she said, “Because I wanted him to be beautiful and to think for himself.” Boudas, or werehyenas as most people know us, have an interesting perspective on the world. Technically, I’m not a bouda. I’m a weremongoose, but my mother is a bouda and I grew up among them.

  At the time of writing this, I’m twenty-nine years old. I have a law degree from the University of Virginia and I currently reside in Atlanta. I’m employed as a Pack lawyer, which is to say I’m a member of the largest shapeshifter organization in the South and second largest on the continent of North America. I also work for the Consort of the Pack as a special advisor. The Consort refers to me as her nanny occasionally, and I find that term uniquely accurate. I would put one of those hideous child leashes on her if I could, except I’m reasonably sure she would cut my arm off.

 
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