Magic Graves (Anthology)

Antho-Magic GravesI don’t know about anyone else, but when I’m giving the chance to read a new story by either Jeaniene Frost or Ilona Andrews, I will drop everything just to start them.  Now, Magic Graves doesn’t really contain new stories if you’ve read either the Dark and Stormy Knights or Death’s Excellent Vacation anthologies; however if you haven’t, then they are fabulously new.  *grin*

New York Times bestselling authors Jeaniene Frost and Ilona Andrews bring you two short stories of paranormal.

Jeaniene Frost’s story, One for the Money, features vampires Cat and Bones trying to protect a spoiled heiress with a price on her head and an undead hitman on her trail. Previously published in Death’s Excellent Vacation. Also includes the first three chapters from Jeaniene’s story in The Bite Before Christmas anthology, as well as a sneak peek at Once Burned, the first novel in the new Night Prince series.

Ilona Andrews’ story, A Questionable Client, is a prequel to her award-winning Kate Daniels series. In a world beset by magic waves, Kate Daniels works as a mercenary. She is tired, hungry, and there is foul-smelling blood on her boots. All she wants to do is to go home, but when Mercenary Guild offers her a job she can’t refuse, she finds herself protecting a man against Russian wizards. Previously published in Dark and Stormy Knights. Also includes first two chapters of Fate’s Edge, book 3 in the Edge series, and first two chapters of Magic Grieves, a Kate Daniels novella.

The first half of this collection is by Jeaniene Frost and includes her story One For the Money, which originally appeared in the Death’s Excellent Vacation anthology, and takes place after Destined for an Early Grave. This is the first chance that Cat has seen her mother and for those who have read this far in the series yet, I won’t say why this is significant (it’s a pretty big spoiler).  Due to the big spoiler, One for the Money would be very spoilerish for anyone who hasn’t read up as far as Destined for an Early Grave.  If you have, then you not only get to see how Justina is adapting, but how Cat is flourishing with her new abilities.  The story itself doesn’t enhance the current story arc, but is merely a side job that Bones and Cat does for Don.  You get to see an old rival of Bones and there’s a return trip to the club Bite, but what really makes One for the Money interesting is totally Justina.  Usually, there’s a number of different sidekicks around for Bones and Cat, but this time there is only Fabian and Justina and they actually hold their own.

If you need another reason to pick up Magic Graves, then you totally need to pick it up for the excerpts from Once Burned and Home for the Holidays, which will appear in the The Bite Before Christmas anthology on October 25th.  Jeaniene has added the first three chapters from Once Burned and we not only get introduced to Leila, Vlad’s heroine, but we get to see how the two meet.  This may actually be a point against getting Magic Graves….you’ll only want Once Burned even sooner.  *grin*

As for the excerpt from Home for the Holidays, all I will say is it is a Christmas story featuring Bones and Cat with a bunch of their friends.  However, an unexpected visitor shows up and who he is will blow your mind.  Seriously…who is Wraith and where did he come from?

The second half of this is collection is by Ilona Andrews and includes her story A Questionable Client, which originally appeared in the Dark and Stormy Knights anthology.  This is one of those few stories that you don’t need to know what is going on in the Kate Daniels world to enjoy.  If you’ve never read a single Kate novel (first you’re insane and must rectify that), then it will definitely give you a taste of what to expect from the series.  In A Questionable Client, we finally get to see how Kate met Saiman and the beginnings of their strange relationship.  This is actually perfect Saiman and shouldn’t disappoint anyone who has ever wondered how these two first started out.  Seriously, you think he’s done some weird stuff before, that’s nothing compared to what he has done this time.

Not to be outdone, Ilona Andrews also includes two brand new excerpts at the end of her section of Magic Graves.  The first is the first three chapters to the third Edge novel, Fate’s Edge and not only introduces us to Kaldar’s woman, Audrey, but sets up the adventure the two are going to embark upon. Knowing Kaldar’s past, Audrey is going to be the perfect woman for him.  I am definitely curious to see how these two evolve.

The final excerpt is for Magic Grieves, which is a cleaner and expanded version from what we saw earlier this year.  We now get to see what happens prior to Curran showing up to take Kate to dinner and what happens once Ghastek shows up at the restaurant.  It’s not expanded a lot, but there is going to be a couple of different things going on in Magic Grieves and hints are given to both.  I’m not sure if Magic Grieves will be a part of the Angels of Darkness anthology coming out in October or if this will be another e-novella that Andrews will be offering soon.  In either case, I definitely can’t wait to get my hands on it.

So that’s Magic Graves – a collection of fabulous stories told by two fantastic authors.  Okay, so I’m a little bias when it comes to Jeaniene Frost and Ilona Andrews, but I feel justified in being so. *grin*  Regardless, all of the novellas and excerpts included in Magic Graves definitely give a taste of what one can expect from the two series.  However, I do want to repeat, if you’re not completely familiar with the Night Huntress series and haven’t read up to Destined for an Early Grave, then you may want to skip One for the Money until you are.  However, everything else is clean.  Now go forth and pick up Magic Graves…you won’t regret it.

Read Order:
Night Huntress by Jeaniene Frost
Halfway to the Grave
One Foot in the Grave
At Grave’s End
Destined for an Early Grave
This Side of the Grave
One Grave at a Time

Kate Daniels by Ilona Andrews
Magic Bites
Magic Burns
Magic Strikes
Magic Bleeds
Magic Slays

About Jackie 3273 Articles
I am a 30-something SAHM with two adorable boys and a supportive husband who is very tolerant of my reading addiction. I love to read and easily go through about a dozen books a month – well I did before I had kids. Now, not so much. After my first son was born, I began to take my hobby of reviewing a little more serious and started Literary Escapism to help with my sanity. I love to discuss the fabulous novels I’ve read and meeting all the wonderful people in the book blogging community has been amazing.

3 Comments

  1. Oh I’m so jealous that you got to read that! And Vlad is getting his own story, WHAT, when did this happen?! But yaay anyways and I seriously need to get up to date with my Jeaniene Frost news! Thanks for the review.

    • Magic Graves is available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, so you can read it as well Amy! Vlad’s story comes out next spring and he’s not only get his own book, but his own series. I believe Frost said she was contracted for 2 books for sure, but there may be a third that I’m forgetting about.

  2. Thanks for posting a review of this anthology. I love the books by both of these authors and now here is a bonus between releases. Within a few seconds of reading your blog, I had already downloaded it to my ereader!!!

    I usually find great reads by coming to this website. Keep up the great work!

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