by Ilona Andrews
Series: Hidden Legacy #4
Published by Avon
Release Date: August 27th 2019
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Magic, NA, Paranormal, Romance, Urban Fantasy
Format Read: ARC, eBook
Buy on Amazon
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrew comes an enthralling new trilogy set in the Hidden Legacy world, where magic means power, and family bloodlines are the new currency of society…
In a world where magic is the key to power and wealth, Catalina Baylor is a Prime, the highest rank of magic user, and the Head of her House. Catalina has always been afraid to use her unique powers, but when her friend’s mother and sister are murdered, Catalina risks her reputation and safety to unravel the mystery.
But behind the scenes powerful forces are at work, and one of them is Alessandro Sagredo, the Italian Prime who was once Catalina’s teenage crush. Dangerous and unpredictable, Alessandro’s true motives are unclear, but he’s drawn to Catalina like a moth to a flame.
To help her friend, Catalina must test the limits of her extraordinary powers, but doing so may cost her both her House–and her heart.
I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Well, well…what have we here?
A new Ilona Andrews book? Set in the Hidden Legacy world I know, love, and miss?
Sign me up ASAP!
This book was EVERYTHING that I love about the Urban Fantasy genre, and the husband and wife duo of Ilona Andrews hit the ground running in this fourth installment of the Hidden Legacy Series. Set in Houston, Texas, in a magically-altered world where the world’s most powerful and wealthy are also possessed of incredible magic, Sapphire Flames picks up with new protagonist, Catalina Baylor, as the Prime/Head of her House/Family.
A bit of a brief precursor: while you can definitely read this as a standalone, I would highly recommend picking up the first three books in the series following Catalina’s older sister, Nevada. You get a lay of the land, so to speak, are introduced to characters that appear in this book, and in my opinion, it only heightens the reading experience.
“I couldn’t even. My ability to even was severely compromised.” – Catalina Baylor
I can’t go too much into the actual story, only because it would spoil a lot of what happened in the previous books (the curse of reviewing a novel in the middle of the series) but here are some quick takeaways.
A fascinating and complex main character – Catalina is very different from Nevada, and yet equally as compelling. I’m so curious about all of the magic within the Baylor family, and Catalina’s is especially interesting, both its nature and scope/limitations. Catalina is definitely a bit of an introvert, but it’s developed as a sort of defense mechanism due to the complicated and powerful magical ability that she possesses. It’s very difficult, some would even say impossible, for her to form attachments and relationships outside of her family, which has set her up for what’s looking to be a hard-earned path as the new Head of the family. A path I have no doubt she will maneuver with grace.
Fast-paced, well-written action – this is probably why I love the Urban Fantasy genre so much. Books in this genre, and in this series especially, just hit the ground running and don’t pause for even a quick breath. What at first appears to be a simple case of arson soon unravels into a convoluted underground scheme involving assassins, experimentation, and conspiracies. Getting to watch Catalina, and the rest of her family, go toe-to-toe with these antagonists was terrifying and exhilarating at the same time.
The stakes – there’s never a point when you, as the reader, feel as if everything is going to work out. The stakes are high, the consequences of actions severe, and the danger visceral. You know the odds that they’re up against, and you know that they’re not good. In addition, the personal stakes are just as high – I just want my Lina baby to be happy! Just let her be happy!
The romance – there wasn’t a ton, and it was TORTURE. Ilona Andrews likes to build on relationships over time, which on the one hand, I appreciate as I hold a strong dislike for anything termed ‘insta-love’, but on the other hand, am melting from the tension. I have been looking forward to more of Alessandro ever since the first interaction he had with Catalina in the previous novels, and now that time has passed, I am more than curious about this Italian playboy..
Who is definitely more than he appears. Alessandro, what are you hiding? What are you doing? TELL ME YOUR SECRETS!
But seriously – I thought I loved the match-up between Nevada and Connor ‘Mad’ Rogan, but I can already tell that Catalina and Count Alessandro Sagredo are going to kill me. The banter, the tension, the humor, the general fascination that they have for each other – seriously, I love them together.
“Prime Sagredo, my House is none of your business. My sisters, my cousins, and my grandmother are none of your business. You have now repeatedly violated the sovereign domain of my family. Get to the point and get out.”
“That’s new,” Alessandro observed. “I like.”
Which is fine, really. Everything is fine. I’m cool, we’re cool.
For me, a great Urban Fantasy novel is a story that sinks its claws into you, thrashes you about a bit, and then leaves you a bit dazed and confused…and usually wanting more. This installment definitely checked all of those boxes.
I guess all I can do now is wait for the next.
A brief snapshot into everything you need to know about me: I’m a 25 year old Ravenclaw living in the Deserts of Arizona (but, hey, it’s a dry heat, right?). I’m 90% water and 10% caffeine, and I proudly declare myself both a Sassenach and Queen in the North. In addition to reading practically anything and everything I can get my hands on, I graduated with a degree in European History and a full-out obsession with Hamilton and Disney. I’m fluent in English, Sarcasm, and Movie Quotes (there’s French in there as well) and am that friend of a friend who will run off on tangents about the most random topics. I hope you enjoy my reviews and I can’t wait to discuss with you all!