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Literature / Kate Daniels

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Chicks in leather with guns and swords and monsters who love them.
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Kate Daniels is an Urban Fantasy series written by husband and wife team Ilona Andrews. The series has repeatedly made the New York Times bestselling list. The main series has ten books in total with multiple spin-off novels, novellas, and short stories.

When the magic is up, rogue mages cast their spells and monsters appear, while guns refuse to fire and cars fail to start. But then technology returns, and the magic recedes as unpredictably as it arose, leaving all kinds of paranormal problems in its wake.

Kate Daniels is a down-on-her-luck mercenary who makes her living cleaning up these magical problems. But when Kate's guardian is murdered, her quest for justice draws her into a power struggle between two strong factions within Atlanta's magic circles.

The Masters of the Dead, necromancers who can control vampires, and the Pack, a paramilitary clan of shapechangers, blame each other for a series of bizarre killings—and the death of Kate's guardian may be part of the same mystery. Pressured by both sides to find the killer, Kate realizes she's way out of her league—but she wouldn't have it any other way...

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This is a long-running series with all ten main books published, so beware of spoilers for earlier books!

Books in the main series:

  1. Magic Bites
  2. Magic Burns
  3. Magic Strikes
  4. Magic Bleeds
  5. Magic Slays
  6. Magic Rises
  7. Magic Breaks
  8. Magic Shifts
  9. Magic Binds
  10. Magic Triumphs

Books and short stories in the Wilmington Years series, set after the main series:

11. Magic Tides
12. Magic Claims

Assorted other material:

  • "Magic Mourns" in Must Love Hellhounds—starring Andrea Nash
  • "Magic Dreams" in Hexed—starring Dali Harimau
  • "Retribution Clause" in Hex Appeal—starring Adam Talford
  • Gunmetal Magic—starring Andrea Nash
  • "Magic Tests" in An Apple for the Creature—starring Julie Olsen
  • "A Questionable Client" in Dark and Stormy Knights—Kate's first meeting with Saiman
  • "An Ill-Advised Rescue" as a bonus in Magic Rises—featuring Kate, Derek and Saiman
  • "Magic Steals"—a novella featuring Jim and Dali, set during Magic Rises
  • "Magic Gifts"—as a bonus in Gunmental Magic
  • Spin-off series Iron Covenant following Hugh d'Ambray after the events of Magic Binds
  • the first "Aurelia Ryder" novel, Blood Heir features Julie Lennart-Olsen and her return to Atlanta eight years after she left.


  • Action Girl: Kate Daniels with her Cool Sword and throwing knives, Andrea Nash with her guns. Not surprising in a post-apocalyptic society. Also the many of the female members of the Pack, especially the Clan alphas.
  • Actually Not a Vampire: In the first book, a guy she meets and dates briefly is set up to be the Monster of the Week. He isn't. It's really, really awkward.
  • After the End: Most of the human population was destroyed during the first magic flare, when monsters flooded back into the world and magic reduced skyscrapers to rubble.
  • All a Part of the Job: Kate Daniels works two jobs, one at the Mercenary's Guild killing magical nasties and one at the Order of Merciful Aid, keeping the peace and tracking down serial killers. She mourns that she can't even have a pet because she's never home often enough to keep it alive, she's perpetually in dismal financial circumstances. She's constantly being injured, brushing up against death three times in three books. Later it's revealed that she was offered a job with the elite Red Guard for very good money, but turned it down because it's too boring to sit around and wait for someone else to attack you. She'd prefer to be out there hunting down the bad guy. However, later in the series she has become a private detective financed by the Pack, and has a much more settled home life with Curran.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Kate and her father Roland. Justified in that Roland, being over five thousand years old, predates all modern concepts of ethnicity or race.
  • Angst Coma: In the fourth book, Curran for 11 days before he recovers. See below.
    • Doolittle briefly in Magic Rises.
  • Anti-Magical Faction: The Lighthouse Keepers.
  • Artistic License – History: In-Universe. Offically, Norse Heritage exists to "preserve Scandinavian cultural traditions." In reality, it's mainly about getting drunk and rowdy while wearing horned helmets.
  • Atlanta: The post-apocalyptic kind.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Invoked in Magic Strikes when Saiman takes Kate to the Midnight Games, and asks if her hair sticks are disguised knives. Kate explains that dramatically unsheathing her hair weapons might sound cool, but in reality there's too much of a chance that a) someone will hit her on the head in just the wrong way, stabbing her with her own knives, or b) she'll accidentally give herself an embarrassing haircut when she draws them.
  • Ax-Crazy: Shapeshifters who lose the internal battle for sanity become loups, mindless bloodlusting creatures who like their cannibalism with a side order of rape.
  • Babies Ever After: Kate and Curran, Andrea and Raphael, George and Eduardo, Jim and Dali, and Hugh and Elara all have children towards the end or soon after the end of the main series.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Kate and Hugh d'Ambray in Magic Rises while fighting the ochokochi. Made all the more badass because they are enemies who were raised and trained by the same man.
  • Badass Boast:
    • Curran gets an epic one in the fifth book:
      "You’re free to leave. Go home, kiss your wives, hug your children, and put your affairs in order, because tomorrow I will burn your neighborhood to the ground. We will kill you, your families, your neighbors, your pets, and anyone who will stand in our path. An attack on my family will not go unpunished."
    • Kate makes a nonverbal one to a hardened elite ex-military hired guard:
      I would kill you in an instant with no hesitation.
      A slow recognition rolled over Henderson’s face.
    • Kate, again, at the end of the fourth book:
      "...know this: if you come to remove me, come in force, because if you to separate me from him, I will kill every single one of you. My hand won't shake. My aim won't falter. My face will be the last thing you'll see before you die."
    • Andrea in Gunmetal Magic:
      "Listen well, because I won't be repeating myself, you racist prick. If you make any trouble for me or my people, I'll hunt you down like the pig you are and carve a second mouth across your gut. They'll find you hanging by your own intestines. The next time you hear something laugh and howl in the night, hug your family, because you won't see the sunrise."
  • Badass Normal: Sheriff Beau Clayton. He keeps the casings off all the bullets fired at him in a can on his desk, and he single-handedly stops a war from starting through sheer force of personality by riding onto the battlefield and arresting someone .
  • Battle Couple: Curran and Kate. Later Andrea and Raphael. Also, the clan Alphas.
  • Beast Man: The stronger shapeshifters can develop a warrior form, halfway between their human and beast forms.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Kate and Curran. Andrea and Raphael.
  • Beta Couple: Andrea and Raphael. Dali and Jim. Barabas and Christopher towards the end of the main series.
    • Arguably also George and Eduardo
  • Big Eater: The shapeshifters eat a lot to fuel their transformations.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: Roland, Erra, Kate, Julie, Conlan, and Hugh. Arguably also Semiramis.
  • Bishounen: Raphael, Ascanio and Derek. The latter only until Magic Strikes.
  • Blood Magic:
    • Blood wards are magic circles drawn in the caster's blood, and they draw their strength from the blood itself.
    • Magic itself seems deeply interwoven with a person's blood, which is why Kate can't afford to lose hers.
    • Kate, her aunt and her father are all capable of creating blood armor. As is Hugh d'Ambray.
  • Broken Pedestal: Voron to Kate. Later Roland to Hugh.
  • Boomerang Bigot: Leslie Wren, a werelynx who goes rogue in the fifth book.
  • Character Development: Kate begins the series as a mouthy, immature loner. As time passes, she learns to bite her tongue and apologize for her words, she stops putting her ego first, and she acquires some friendships that are very important to her.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The essay on Upiri that Bono gave Kate before the start of Magic Bites.
  • Cool Horse: Kate generally rides Cuddles the donkey, but at one point she befriends and rides a pegasus she names Sugar.
    • Hugh d'Ambray's stallion Bucky also qualifies.
  • Cool Sword: Slayer. Minor character Rene has a poisonous rapier that's a lot like Slayer.
    • In Magic Breaks, Sarrat. Both Slayer and Sarrat are made from the bones of Kate's grandmother.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Kate, Curran, Derek, and Andrea all have horrifically abusive childhood trauma and carry the baggage with them. As does Hugh d'Ambray.
  • Deadpan Snarker: A lot of characters, but we mostly hear Kate snark because we're in her head. About the only one who doesn't fit this trope is Grendel, and he's a shaved poodle.
  • The Determinator: Kate and Curran both. In particular, when Curran charges into a flying palace full of thousands of armed Rakshasas in the middle of a magic jungle.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Kate faces off against divinity several times. To wit, a Babylonian plague god, and a Celtic demon-crow...thing. Also, the Morrigan shows herself to be wary of Kate, withdrawing with a promise that they won't meet again after Kate threatens her.
  • Did We Just Have Tea with Cthulhu?: And before she punches out the Babylonian plague god, Kate and said god have tea and a nice chat about strategy. And their family.
  • Divorce Requires Death: Wolves mate for life, and so Clan Wolf doesn't believe in divorces. Ever. This results in a lot of unhappy marriages among the wolves, something that Curran does not enjoy dealing with.
  • Dramatic Irony: In the last book, Kate wonders aloud what happened to Hugh, and Julie suggests that he settled down in a castle somewhere with a nice girl, which Kate scoffs at. Anyone who's read Hugh's own spinoff series knows that's exactly what he did, and later in the book it's revealed Julie wasn't joking, she was totally serious because she's been visiting him.
  • Drives Like Crazy: One of the defining characteristics of Dali Harimau. As she has a shapeshifter's Healing Factor, she considers crashing to be merely inconvenient. Her passengers and nearby pedestrians disagree.
    Jim: You're legally blind, you can't pass the exam to get a license, and you drive like shit. You're a menace.
  • Drunk on the Dark Side: Roland's children have a very high—as in, only Kate has not done it yet—rate of doing this. Magic Binds explains why in more detail: inherent in Roland's bloodline is a magical urge to take and rule land. It'svery easy to get in over one's head with it, at which point the child in question becomes worse than Roland because they don't have the benefit of age and experience. Kate only avoids this because of her support system and her drive to be a good person, and even then, she's hanging on by her fingernails until Erra steps in to educate her on technique.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: It takes a lot of pain and bloodshed and sacrifice, some very careful planning, and a literal minor miracle, but yes, Kate and Curran do get their happily-ever-after, as do Christopher and Barrabas, Erra, and even Hugh.
  • Easily Forgiven: Averted with Christopher and Hugh. Kate is shocked that Christopher seems to have no problem with the character in question, given what happened, but Christopher points out that he himself did terrible things out of a desire for power, and if this character can't be forgiven, then how can he? He needs to extend redemption so he can believe in his own redemption.
  • Eating the Eye Candy: Kate totally doesn't wax poetic about Curran. More literally, her preferred response to the Male Gaze is to do the exact same back at whoever's doing it.
    • Andrea does this quite a lot as well. She actually checks out Raphael's package when he's naked and unconscious. Really, if a woman is the POV character, expect a lot of this in the internal monologue.
  • Empathic Weapon: You know Kate's really angry when Slayer starts smoking.
  • Enemy Mine: Several times the competing factions of the Atlanta magical community have had to come together to overcome a threat—the Lighthouse Keepers in the fifth book is perhaps the best example as virtually every single powerful faction was there.
    • As of Iron and Magic, Hugh, of all people, has this relationship with the Pack, and has expressed a willingness to ally with Kate as well. They're not exactly best buddies, but they know the bigger threat is their common enemy.
  • Evil Parents Want Good Kids: Surprisingly, Roland. Unfortunately, he's never managed to pull it off no matter how hard he tries, just because of who he is as a person, and because power corrupts.
  • Exact Words: The terms of Roland's treaty with Kate state he won't build a tower outside Atlanta. He may have a "residence". A full-size siege-equipped castle is, technically, a residence and not a tower.
  • Extreme Omnisexual: Becomes an issue for Andrea with regards to Raphael. She can't see that he truly is in love with her because she feels that, as beast-kin, she's just TWTIHFY, "That Weird Thing I Haven't Fucked Yet" to him.
  • Fantastic Racism: Tons.
    • Rakshasas hate shapeshifters. They despise both animals and humans and thus consider shapeshifters to be twice as bad.
    • Ted, Kate's boss, claims Kate betrayed humanity by helping the shapeshifters in the Midnight Games and eventually causes her to quit. Kate states that the Order is completely and unrepentantly racist.
    • The Pack themselves have some who believe beastkin—children of animal-weres—should be slaughtered at birth. Some of the Pack believe that people who aren't shapeshifters will never be qualified to become an Alpha.
    • The Lighthouse Keepers against all magical beings.
    • Hugh D'Ambray thinks shapeshifters are so sub-human they don't even feel real love. Although later books reveal he was only saying that as a means to an end and because Roland doesn't like shapeshifters. He gets along fine with the shifters in the Iron Dogs. His scout leader Felix is a shapeshifter, in fact.
    • Mahon, the werekodiak alpha of Clan Heavy, sees himself and other shapeshifters as completely distinct from humanity, and each clan as distinct from any other. To the degree that he considers Kate to be a temporary mistake on Curran's part, and threatens to disinherit his daughter when she dates a werebuffalo instead of a werebear.
  • Face Palm: Kate's been known to gently beat her head against a wall, especially after talking to the Beast Lord.
  • Feminine Women Can Cook: Kate is the antithesis of feminine, but is also an excellent cook.
  • Fur Against Fang: The People (the vampires) and the Pack (the shapeshifters) are in a constant state of tension. Given the way the story is being built up regarding Roland's intentions in Atlanta, this is where it seems to be headed.
  • Gag Echo: In Magic Rises, when George is trying to use whiskey to disinfect Kate's wounds, Kate adamantly refuses and we get this from Desandra: "Do you need me to hold her down, because I can totally do that." A few minutes later, Kate says the same to Desandra when Desandra refuses to change out of her blood-stained and dirty clothes while helping clean up the aftermath of the fight in Doolittle's room.
  • Generational Trauma:
    • The fact that all of Roland's kids before Kate went bad, as well as the powers he passed down to her and the fact that he killed her mother influences their relationship and the way he treats her.
    • Arguably also the case for Hugh, since he's actually Erra's biological son and therefore Roland's nephew.
  • Gladiator Games: The Midnight Games. They're a major part of the plot of the third book.
  • A Glass in the Hand: In Magic Bleeds, Kate is on the phone with Saiman after he tried to seduce her away from Curran. Curran listens to their conversation with a blank face while slowly rolling his plate into a tube. His metal plate. Kate has to explain the screeching noise as "construction". When Curran finally sets it down, it's been compacted into a ball an inch across.
  • Glory Seeker: In the first book, Curran accuses Kate of being this because she doesn't accept how neatly the case wraps up. He thinks she's just trying to come up with another bad guy because she likes playing in the big leagues with everyone listening to her.
  • Going Native: Normally averted with shapeshifters, who either go Code or go loup. Rarely, however, they surrender to their animal side (in a non-crazy way) and have to be put down, because even though they're no more violent than other animals, they can infect other animals and humans with Lyc-V.
  • Happily Married: By the end of the series, Kate and Curran, Christopher and Barabas, and Andrew and Raphael are all happily married, as are Hugh and Elara, even if their relationship started off as a Marriage of Convenience.
    • After the events of the main series, this is true for Jim and Dali as well.
  • The Hedonist: Saiman. To his credit, he doesn't even try denying it. Although he prefers the term "sexual deviant" over "pervert."
  • Heal It with Booze: George tries to do this to Kate's wounds after being attacked in Doolittle's room. Kate will have none of it as that's actually a bad thing to do, as a doctor will tell you.
  • Healing Factor: Lyc-V does this for all shapeshifters. Various other people and creatures have this as well.
  • Heroic BSoD: Kate suffers one in the fifth book when she learns that her mother used magic to brainwash her adoptive father into helping her, and that said adoptive father did not care for her as much as his revenge against her biological father.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Several times by various characters. Kate tries twice, but is rescued both times by Curran. Corwin dies protecting Derek. Bran dies rescuing Julie for Kate. Aunt B dies to cover the others' excape.
  • Horny Scientist: Saiman always wants to bed Kate in return for him helping her out.
  • How Do I Shot Web?: Kate struggles to gain control over several powers during the course of the series, most importantly the Words of Power and her innate blood magic.
  • Interspecies Romance: Kate and Curran. Technically Raphael and Andrea.
  • I Want Grand Kids: Aunt B joins the Panacea-retrieval team in the hopes that her grandchildren will have it and survive. Roland also leaves very strong hints to this effect as well.
  • Knight Templar: Ted. Probably true of a lot of the Order.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: Desandra has spent nearly all of her life as an Extreme Doormat to her father... until he threatens her unborn children and she rips his heart out.
  • Ladykiller in Love: Curran to Kate and Raphael to Andrea.
  • Language of Magic: The ancient tongue the Words of Power are taken from.
  • Magical Incantation: Words of Power, acquired in a do-or-die contest of willpower.
  • Magitek: some technologies are supplemented with magic, such as feylanterns and electric lights or cars modified to run on magic-infused water.
  • Mama Bear: Desandra when her unborn children are threatened.
  • Mid-Battle Tea Break: The Big Bad in the fourth book visits Kate's apartment and actually has tea with her before they continue fighting.Since said Big Bad is both her aunt and a psychopath, she wanted to spend time with her niece before she had to kill her.
  • Mind Rape: The Big Bad of book four has a puppet who inflicts this. She hits Curran with it to screw with Kate and causes him to go wild before falling into an Angst Coma for a bit.
  • Muscles Are Meaningful: The point is made several times that Kate is very muscular (her wedding dress is specifically cut to accommodate how much bigger her arms are when she flexes).
  • Mundangerous: In the first book, Kate and her allies are gearing up for a potential battle. The Beast Lord explains that the werewolf Alpha is absent because he broke a bone due to "LEGOS". At first Kate is confused, trying to remember a Greek monster or spell that might have disabled a werewolf, before the Beast Lord clarifies that the wolf tripped over his kid's toys and fell down the stairs.
  • Multitasked Conversation: In Magic Rises, Derek and Kate have one of these in Desandra's room so that Kate can let Derek know that a vampire is listening in on their conversation.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: Lorelei Wilson, in Magic Rises, wants to do this. At first she tries subterfuge to win Curran, then outright challenges Kate. She is told to shut up and sit down before she gets herself killed.
  • Mysterious Protector: Naeemah is a strange variant—she was hired by Hugh d'Ambray to protect Kate until he could be certain she was Roland's daughter, but she doesn't like Hugh.
  • Named Weapons: Slayer has many names, including Wolfripper.
    • The Blood Weapons created by Roland.
  • Nonhuman Humanoid Hybrid: Andrea has much angst about being one of these.
  • Not Blood Siblings: An inversion, where an abortive flirtation between people who are by rights adoptive siblings (they share two father figures), but don't initially consider each other as such, actually makes them realize they are siblings. Hugh's attempt to hit on Kate fails badly, and he eventually realizes that a) it would never have worked because she subconsciously sees him as an older brother, b) he wasn't even actually attracted to her, he just wanted the undeniable connection to Roland being her boyfriend would represent. Kate later also says outright that he's her brother, in a screwed-up kind of way. Subverted when it turns out they're biologically related after all.
  • Occult Detective: Kate isn't formally trained as one, but she's in a politically convenient enough place that she ends up getting the job. Later, she becomes a P.I. instead.
  • Offing the Offspring:
    • The near-immortal necromancer currently known as Roland will not tolerate a living child who would inherit his Blood Magic, as they generally use this magic to try to kill him, each other, and anyone else they have issues with.
    • A large problem for shapeshifters. Children aren't born knowing the Code, and so have lots of chances to go loup. As many as one in four go loup by puberty. It's worse for wolves: one in 10 goes loup at birth.
  • Once an Episode: Kate and Curran trying to beat the stuffing out of each other. Kate doesn't always lose because the fights rarely make it to an actual conclusion, but Curran tends to end in a much better position than she does, because he's a head taller than her, twice her weight, and has Super-Strength and a Healing Factor. In these fights, Kate is little more than well-trained and irritable and she doesn't unleash her Blood Magic against him.
  • Our Werebeasts Are Different: Shapeshifters are humans or animals infected with the Lycos virus, engaged in a constant struggle to stay sane. They can be fully human or fully animal, and those with a high degree of control can take on a monstrous in-between state known as the warrior form, combining the two for maximum lethality. The leader of the Pack is a werecat. He can change into a lion, but not just any lion; he turns into a North American cave lion, an extinct species which is half again as big as a modern lion. Additional werebeasts include werebears, werebuffalos, wererats, werehyenas, werebadgers, weredolphins, pretty much all kinds of mammals. On top of that, the virus goes both ways, giving animals the ability to turn human, though they usually have to be killed. Very rarely, a werebeast and a beastwere can produce offspring, resulting in a beastkin, which can't turn all the way into an animal but has an in-between form that is a seamless blend of human and animal, in contrast to a werebeast's warrior form.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Vampires are mindless with hunger and no longer have any semblance of ego or personality. They can be piloted by necromancers, but left to their own devices, they would kill until there was nothing left to kill but themselves. Vampirism is caused by the Immortus pathogen.
  • Panacea: Used to save shapeshifters from going full loup, it's incredibly hard to get a hold of. Curran had offered $300,000 to anyone who could teach the Pack how to make it. Hugh D'Ambray arranges for Kate and Co. to go into a pretty obvious trap just for the chance to get enough panacea to protect the Pack's young for a single year. As of the end of Magic Rises, the Pack is now in possession of Christopher, whom Kate rescued at random from Hugh, who makes batches of panacea of incredible potency and who is passing that knowledge onto Kate and to the rest of the Pack.
  • Physical God: Erra. Roland by implication. Kate will be, too, when she gains control of all her powers.
  • Poisoned Weapons: Rene of the Red Guard carries a rapier coated in sickly green material. Kate suspects it's magic and that, in order for it to be effective against the overwhelming strength and speed of the things she comes into contact with, Rene must possess preternatural speed and reflexes.
  • Police Are Useless: Generally played straight, especially when the Lighthouse Keepers seem intent on committing mass murder with impunity.
  • Roaring Rampage of Rescue: When Kate is captured by rakshasas, Curran and the rest of the shifters embark on one to rescue her.
  • Running Gag:
    • Curran sneaking up on Kate.
    • "X one/two/many, Kate zero."
  • Samus Is a Girl: Erra is a girl, though the ancient poem that describes her says she's a he.
  • Scarily Competent Tracker: "God help you if you offend the Pack, because they didn't need a K-9 unit to find you."
  • Science Destroys Magic: Seems to work both ways: Technology destroys magic and magic causes technology to fail.
  • Shapeshifting Excludes Clothing: Shapeshifters often end up nude after they change their forms. As a result they aren't very modest, thus Dali drops her Modesty Towel after drying off without seeming to notice that she's in a crowded room before starting to get dressed.
  • Silver Has Mystic Powers: Silver prevents lycanthropes from healing and is incredibly painful. Its mystical properties and mundane antimicrobial properties prevent the virus from working.
  • Supernatural Gold Eyes: Shapeshifters' eyes change from human to animal when they're upset or losing control. Kate often refers to Curran's eyes as molten gold or fiery yellow when he's angry.
  • Taking You with Me: Kate's last-ditch plan to defeat Roland, after her discovery in Magic Binds that he was so in love with Kalina that the words of power he wrote on Kate in the womb include a spell that binds their lives together, meaning if he's weak enough her death will kill him.
  • Tempting Apple: Thanatos brings Kate some apples of immortality because he can't find anyone else able to eat them without causing some nasty side effects and eating them is the only reliable way to dispose of them, if consumed by someone whose magic is older than theirs. Kate makes Curran an apple pie with them because he can eat them too.
  • Through His Stomach: Shapeshifters use food to show affection and announce protection.
  • Training from Hell: The reason Kate is such an expert swordswoman.
  • Tyke Bomb: Kate was trained to kill basically from the age she could hold a sword, in order to protect herself from her father. Actually, to be a guided missile to either kill him or hurt him, in order to get revenge for Voron.
    • Roland's sahanu cult is also this: children with exceptional magic adopted/purchased/otherwise brought to a compound and raised in a cult that venerates Roland's blood, believing they can only get into heaven by dying in the service of Roland and his family, or by killing one of them. He created them as a backstop against Erra.
  • Uncanny Valley: In-universe, the Reapers, human-like enough to fool m-scanners, not enough to fool Kate. Among other things, their skin is too perfect. This is because they're shapeshifted rakshasas, who went a little heavy on the "improvements" to the inferior race they're imitating. Also, faeries, who look right but move wrong.
  • The Virus: Two: one makes shapeshifters, and a pathogen makes vampires.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: The shapeshifters can switch at will between their human forms, their halfway warrior forms, and their animal forms.
  • Will They or Won't They?: Andrea/Raphael & Kate/Curran. The former is seemingly resolved by the third book. The latter is resolved later in the fourth book. Meanwhile, Raphael is hurt by the fact Andrea chose to stay with the Order while Kate went off to help the Pack. They make up and get back together in Gunmetal Magic.
  • Words Can Break My Bones: Kate levels up early in the first book when she learns her first few Words of Power. Quite literally with "kneel!", if enough power is invested.