Monday, August 15, 2011

Mihir's Thoughts: Curran Volumes - Companion scenes to the Magic series

Hey everyone, I’m Mihir and I’ll be joining Bastard on this blog. Bastard is a person who according to his profile grew up hating reading and later on changed his mind. I on the other hand never knew anything else besides reading, first there were comics and mythological stories and since then it’s been a gradual progression to the current SFF genre. I’m hoping to complement Bastard’s thoughts, reviews and reactions with some of my own which will be in line with this blog’s theme and name “Bastard books and other crap”.

One of my favorite author pairs are Ilona Andrews, the husband-wife team of Ilona & Andrew Gordon who have shot up within the crowded ranks of the urban fantasy sub-genre. They did it by putting out one the best series currently being written, the Kate Daniels “Magic” series. There have been five books along with three short stories out so far. I have reviewed them previously and they can be found over at Fantasy Book Critic here, here, here, and here.

What I like about this series is it has a terrific main protagonist, great characterization which includes the large character tale cast, an awesome magical-post apocalyptic world & over all a mystery at the root of the saga. This series is now in my top three urban fantasy series and one which I will follow all the way to the end.

Now there have been several reviews all over the blogosphere about the books and the short stories but I’ll be focusing on a hitherto unspoken part of the series, the Curran Volumes. There are currently two of these volumes out currently and they have been written by Gordon Andrews exclusively. These pieces feature a fascinating look in to the mind of the one of the most ferocious and scary characters in the books, the Beast Lord Curran Lennart.

In Curran Volume I, the readers are given access to four pivotal scenes spread across the first four books. The first snippet is the one wherein Kate meets Curran for the first time; the second third and fourth ones are from the remaining three books at a certain pivotal time in each of the book. Now three of these scenes have already been read by the readers of the books albeit from Kate’s viewpoint but it is refreshing to re-read them from Curran’s viewpoint. Since we are privy to his thoughts certain plot points come to the fore much more quickly than in the case of the books wherein it occurs at a slower rate, lastly the fourth scene which is not featured in the books is a scene which happens off stage during the third book and helps Curran solve some of his doubts and gives clarity to the climax of that book.

In Curran Volume II: Fathers and Sons, a short story is featured which focuses on the climax of Magic Bleeds. It basically starts in tandem with the last few paragraphs of the book and then expands beyond the book to feature a very powerful scene which showcases why Curran is the beast lord and how powerful he truly is. This event is not shown in any of the books and is not referenced so far in the saga, however it is important for fans of the series to read it as the events which occur will have powerful implications in the pack setup and for the remainder of the saga.

Both these volumes aren't that long, the first volume is of 18 pages in PDF form while the second volume is 20 pages long but even though they are on the shorter side, for fans these stories are gold as they are completely devoted to Curran, his thoughts and his way of life. The first volume has very little action but focuses more on character interactions in each of the stories.

The second volume more than compensates for the action as it has an awesome action sequence and on an emotional level it was very fulfilling to read as well. The second volume in my opinion is the better of the two but that’s just me and I would heartily recommend that fans of the series get their hands on these two volumes as soon as possible.

Both the volumes are available on the author’s website over here and here. They are available in various formats for the reader’s preference and should you be so interested there’s also a 99 cent version available for people who want to reward the authors for their efforts on the same page. Lastly I would like to add the fact that these volumes are meant to be read after reading the books as otherwise new readers will be not be able follow much of what is happening.


  1. I agree that these volumes are fantastic, and add a depth to the series that is lovely.
    When I am rereading one of the books, I generally stop at the part where I can insert the Curran perspective, read that, then resume the novel. It rocks.

  2. I never re-read novels, but that's a good idea. My only disappointment in Curran Volume II is that it focuses only in one book. I liked the other one more solely because we got a variety of scenes from different novels.

    Still it was great to see the Mahon fight. I hadn't read Curran Volume II until last night, already having Mihir hear is paying dividends else I might have forgotten about it.

    I wonder if with the spinoffs coming up we'll get these type of POV scenes from other characters too at some point.

  3. Hi Mihir! Nice to meet ya. I have to say I'm with Bastard as I grew up hating reading as well. But found later I loved it, once I found books that fit me. :)

    Great reviews here. Thank you.

  4. It's only fair that Mihir comes here and steals my thunder. Most popular visited page on this blog yet.

  5. @ Tracy

    That's a great way to enjoy the Curran volumes, maybe in the future if these books get released in Hardcover, the authors can think of combining them in the original books.

    @ Melissa

    Hey, nice to meet you too :) you are correct, the only wait time is in finding the right book after that it's a smooth ride into many fascinating worlds.

    Right back at you as you run an awesome blog yourself :)

    @ B.

    Hah, "Steal your thunder"! more like come up with the "other crap" part for the blog ;)



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...