August 9, 2009
Jacket Copy:

Jake Macgregor has his hands full. As San Francisco’s leader of the Paranormal Special Forces unit, he and his team are facing a powerful enemy that threatens to bring down the city. With the weight of the world already resting on his broad, chiseled shoulders, the last thing Jake has time for is romance. So why—after a long, hard day’s fight against evil—are his nights filled with dreams of Cassia?

Cassia is a D’Anu witch whose birthright ensures power and honor beyond her imagination. It also forbids the one thing Cassia wants the most: the love of mortal Jake Macgregor. When she intervenes in a skirmish to save his life, the consequences are inescapable—even though the magic they make together is too luscious, and potent, to resist…

With DARK MAGIC I have come to the end of a series I started reading almost 2 years ago. Fairly new to the world of paranormal romance I picked the first book (FORBIDDEN MAGIC) purely on intuition while voraciously browsing the Internet in search of fodder for my reading addiction in 2007. Blurb, excerpts and premise of the MAGIC Series caught my attention and Cheyenne McCray has not disappointed me in the course of reading these books.

The ingredients for DARK MAGIC: a Princess of the Elves coming into her great powers and a hunky ex-Marine and leader of the human Paranormal Special Forces form the star-crossed couple in the middle of an epic battle. A magical and physical battle between good and evil. The search for a traitor amongst the Alliance formed by humans, Fae and Elves. Evil getting what is coming to them.

Cassia is the daughter of the Great Guardian, the Queen of the Elves. She started out in this series as a clumsy apprentice to the D’Anu Coven of witches but soon in the series hints as to her being more than meets the eye are given. And now the last book in the series, of which she is the heroine, she reveals her true identity and purpose. Cassia is powerful beyond imagination and her poise and calm are some of her strong points

Jake McGregor has also been a secondary character since the first installment. I fell for him the moment he appeared in book 1. I have this thing for Marines/Special Forces guys and he fits the bill perfectly. But it wasn’t until his own book that the full effect of his personality and character came out. Jake is tough, fearless and unapologetic. I loved how he stood up against Cassia’s mother and showed his feelings for Cassia without holding back.

Even in this last installment of the series Cheyenne McCray manages to catch me off guard with surprising twist and revelations and unknown, newly introduced magical beings. She mixes new elements with the overall plot arc that has been going on 4 books and 1 novella long and she continues the overall story arc without becoming repetitive. My only very, very minor point of criticism is that the first few chapters are slowed down a bit by the extensive setup of Jake and Cassia’s background stories. However, this did not annoy me because it is something that helped me connect even better with the characters and despite the slow pace, the beginning of DARK MAGIC was filled with plenty of action, picking up where we left of in SHADOW MAGIC.

The love story between Jake and Cassia is an added bonus and a great counterpart to the fast-paced action. Both Jake and Cassia are characters that are deepened out excellently. Because of the aforementioned detailed backgrounds Cheyenne McCray provided them, their development for me was the best of all couples featured in this series. I saw dilemmas, internal and external struggles with situations and emotions and it all added to their characters and made me root for them in every way.

Romance is not the main focus of this installment. The focus is on the battle with Darkwolf and discovering whom the traitor is within the Alliance. I was unsure at first as to how the Alliance was going to deal with the practically invincible Darkwolf. The odds were very much against the Alliance throughout the series after all, but Cheyenne McCray hit it right on the mark. Without taking shortcuts or rushing it, she brought the plot to a satisfying end.

The romance arc and the overall story arc are linked together in the way that the outcome of certain romantic elements influence the progression in the story arc but romance is not what drives this book. It’s the action and the character-development. The secondary characters are mostly the ones from previous books with a few additions to them to give this book it’s own unique vibe. I especially liked the character of David Bourne, Jake’s old Marine buddy. Too bad he won’t have his own story, but who knows, maybe he’ll turn up in the Urban Fantasy series (Night Tracker series) Cheyenne McCray has started with a half Drow heroine (Nyx) since that series is set in the same kind of world after all.

DARK MAGIC represents the ending of a wonderful series. Closure to a series that is firmly planted on my keepers’ shelf. I loved every installment but have to say that with this book Cheyenne McCray gave the MAGIC series a truly worthy ending, one that came with an utterly satisfying wrap-up of a plot that had been ongoing since book 1.

A crack split the air like a shot and a wooden table collapsed.
Oh. Crap.
All thoughts of shape-shifting eggplants left his head and he wondered if she was going to toast his nuts like Rhiannon had done to Keir when she'd met the D'Danann warrior. Only maybe Cassia would fry Jake's right off. He almost crossed his legs at the thought.

Hold on Macgregor. Jake ground his teeth. Virgin. Guardian ascending. Transition. Instant death. No sex. Not yet.
His c#ck wouldn't listen to a thing that shot through his mind. Cassia turned, and he sucked in his breath when her gaze met his. She stood maybe five feet away, but a couple of steps in her direction and he'd have her in his arms.
His little head spoke and his big head took a vacation.

Cassia fell under Jake's spell as he kissed her. His was a different kind of magic. A magic of seduction and desire that made her heart pound and her body vibrate with a need she had never experienced before.


Donna (Fantasy Dreamer) said...

Oo, I need to check out this series! I've heard of Cheyenne McCray but I haven't read any of her books.

I'm like you I just started reading paranormal romance about a year or so ago. So I'm kinda behind in all the good series out there for this genre.

Pearl said...

I love this series! Have to warn you that it is rather explicit in the love scenes, especially the first two books but if that doesn't bother you I really recommend them. There are 5 full length books and a short story in the following order:
BREATH OF MAGIC in the anthology No Rest for the Witches
I recommend reading them in order because of the ongoing plot arc that starts in book 1 and ends in book 6.

Hope you enjoy them as much as I did!


Donna (Fantasy Dreamer) said...

Thanks for the additional information. I plan on checking these out!

Sex doesn't bother me in books as long as the book has a good plot and is more than just about the sex. You know, books that have a sex scene every couple of pages. Very Boring.

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