Villains are important. Without a villain your hero has nothing to triumph over, no conflict, and–when it comes to you–no reason to read further. In the Magic series by Ilona Andrews, the main villain changes by the book. However, there is one villain introduced in Magic Strikes that doesn’t go away and–because he plays an important roll in the books to come–is worthy of his own personal blog post.
Hugh d’Ambry. Preceptor of the Order of Iron Dogs and Roland’s warlord. He’s also at the top of Kate’s MUST AVOID list. Roland isn’t just the leader of the People–he’s Kate’s biological father. The only problem is that he keeps murdering his children over the centuries because–well–they keep trying to kill him. Kate’s mother fled with Voron–Roland’s previous warlord–when Roland decided to go back on his promise to her of a child for the above reason. Her mother stayed behind, allowing Voron and Kate to escape. She fought Roland and died. As Roland’s new warlord he knows that Kate exists–but not who or where she is–and is obligated to either kill Kate or bring her to her father if he finds her.
Hugh d’Ambry is arrogant as hell–as you see in later novels, but he’s also smart and incredibly well trained. He also has the benefit of Roland’s magic which does two primary things–makes him slightly faster than normal humans and keeps him from aging. This makes him a very dangerous person to fight, but Kate’s problem isn’t that she has to fight him. It’s that he may recognize her. The Rakashas aren’t trying to destroy the Pack under their own initiative. Wanting to expand his territory and eliminate the Pack before they become a threat, Roland has promised them an alliance if they can destroy the shape shifters of Atlanta. And Hugh d’Ambry is at the Midnight Games to ensure that it happens.
As Kate and her allies work their way through the tournament under the inscrutable gaze of Roland’s warlord, our heroin is faced with a question. Can she save her friends without exposing herself?
Disclaimer: I do not own the imagery used in this blog post and have no artistic claim to it.