“A Questionable Client” by Ilona Andrews
This story is the first in the Dark and Stormy Knights anthology and takes place before the first in Andrew’s Kate Daniels series, but I think it does a great job describing the world she lives in, an Atlanta that endures waves of magic, where technology sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t.
Kate Daniels, a mercenary with the Knights of Merciful Aid, is hired as a bodyguard for a mysterious client whose current bodyguards are ditching out of the assignment. When Kate gets to the address, she meets the shape-shifter Saiman. For those who have read the series, this first meeting is especially interesting, but for those who haven’t Saiman is still a fascinating character, in kind of a creepy way. Kate spends the night protecting Saiman from all kinds of nasty things intent on killing him, all because he has something, actually swallowed something, very powerful.
Even for those not familiar with Kate Daniels, this is a good story. Kate has a wealth of knowledge and I loved how Russian mythology was worked into the story. Of course, Kate’s great with a sword and Saiman is just flat-out weird, and the combination makes it enjoyable. I’m often annoyed when short stories are part of series, whether I read the series or not, but in this case I think this one can stand on its own.
John hosts Short Story Monday at The Book Mine Set. Head over there to see what he and others have been reading.
I borrowed my copy from the library and the above is my honest opinion. I am an Amazon associate.