Ok, I did specifically ask everyone to not fixate on the scores, they mean nothing, it’s just for fun. And I did give tricky warning!
- *Categories* of shifters, not *species*. You can be the same species and in different categories, like regular weretigers and Dali, for example. Not all shifters are predators (see werebisons) and of course, not everyone is a First. The answer is there can be natural and mystical shifters, as well as born shifters and made shifters (a human getting infected with Lyc V after birth). Here is Ilona with more on the topic.
- The upir can be recognised by his host of servant half-animal children. He is not an undead creature because, as Saiman explains, the undead do not have a mating urge (page 70 on the Kindle edition of Magic Bites). He would not be afraid of just any old bone, he can only be defeated with bone of his prey. And it can’t be just “anyone” or “people” in general. The upir can only be specifically male, any female offspring dies at birth. Your pool of suspects has instantly reduced by half!
- Saiman is a Polymorph, but he has a true form and that form is Frost Giant, like his grandfather Loki (also a polymorph and a trickster). Saiman’s neutral “bald man” is just what he picked as a generic professional persona. He can also look like the golden Aesir, but it’s who he wishes he truly was, rather than his true self.
- Technically six dragons. Neig from Magic Triumphs; Yu Fong, the Chinese dragon from Magic Dreams, Magic Tests and Magic Triumphs; Lynn, the Master of the Dead who eats the apple of immortality in Magic Mourns and turns into a 3-headed dragon; Agulshap, the water dragon in Magic Rises, who no longer lives in Colchis after Kate is done with him; Aspid, Chernobog’s dragon, who loves Roman like a puppy; and finally the bone dragon in the final battle of Magic Bites, which is a dead dragon, but I did say “technically” so…
- “The glowing star, falling from the heavens at sunset on the last night of spring, whilst a nightingale sings”. That’s the letavitsa from Magic Stars. Men cannot resist her call, unless they have given their hearts and are completely devoted to someone else. RIP Jimothy.
- Vampires can age themselves, and feel older and more powerful to necromancers and sensitives by eating other vampires. That’s why Kate fights against Olathe’s vampires in Magic Bites and says they are centuries old and that’s why the vamps in Mishmar, where vampire cannibalism is rife, are so strong. The older they become, the farther they go from their remnant human characteristics, like bipedal locomotion, humanlike jaws and bone formations.
- It’s Sirin, Veles’ daughter, and she is an omen of large-scale death and destruction, unfortunately not something you can ignore. “A large bird sat on a thick tree branch above me and to the left. Her long feathers draped down into a silky plumage that shifted between indigo, blue, and black. Her head was human with a shockingly beautiful face framed by a mane of blue hair. A gold crown sat on her head. Her chest was human too, with perfectly formed breasts. Of all the mythological birds in the Slavic legends, Sirin was the most dangerous. Like Veles, the god who was her father, she was born from magic and the very essence of nature and life, the arterial blood of existence, unbridled, uncontrollable, and as unpredictable as the weather. Sirin, burevestnik, the storm bringer. And seeing her always meant one thing: many people would die.” Andrews, Ilona. Magic Binds, Kate Daniels Book 9. Ace, 2016. kindle edition, page 155. Sandra the harpy, by comparison, is human shaped from the mid-thigh up, and she is covered in feahers, including on her head.
- Primordial spirits of the land, like the ones Curran kills and eats in order to obtain divine abilities; god avatars like Moloch and Anapa; and theophages like Christopher Steed – are all viable outside a flare.
- “Russian fairy tales talked about a Nightingale Bandit, able to bend trees with his whistling. I seemed to have run into the real-life version.” Andrews, Ilona. Magic Slays, Kate Daniels 5. Ace, 2013. Kindle edition, page 111. Vachislava by name, he is afraid of Evdokia, especially after he tried to hunt her bunnyduck.
- This question doesn’t influence the score, you can freely opine whether the griffin lays eggs or is related to the lamassu, and obviously a mammal.
And finally, the metal feathers are most likely those of the Stymphalian birds who fly above the Honeycomb. That’s not a diet to mess with…literally!