Anthology: The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance
Story: 11 of 24
Romance Featured: Mages
Opening Line: “Never look them in the eye,” Uncle Gerald murmured.
Grace of Small Magics is a very dark tale. Grace has always known she was different and that her family has minor magical ability. Only now she finds herself flying to meet the head of Clan Dreoch to fulfil her families’ obligation as servants, a request that cannot be refused else deadly consequences. Resentful, angry and terrified, Grace is thrust into the middle of a mage clan war, with only her mundane human experience as back up.
She must use her limited defensive magic to assist Nassar the clan leader, in a brutal team on team battle, to decide the winner of the dispute. Ilona Andrews rich, trademark magical world-building is solidly at work here. In preparation for the combat, Grace works with Nassar to prepare their strategy, and in so doing creates an unexpected bond that surprises both of them. Through force of personality Grace influences Nassar and restores her own families’ clan status. She goes into the final confrontation willingly and as a full partner.
With well executed action and deft character development, I liked this story as an urban fantasy and yes there is a romantic element too, but it didn’t quite click for me as paranormal romance. Loved the story just as it is, although it seems like an odd duck in this collection.
Mini Profile of Ilona Andrews
New York Times bestselling urban-fantasy author of the Kate Daniels series.
More about the anthology and ‘reviewettes’ here.