Thursday, October 31, 2019

A Promising Spin Off: Sapphire Flames by Ilona Andrews

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A Promising Spin Off: Sapphire Flames by Ilona Andrews
Sapphire Flames
Ilona Andrews
Series: Hidden Legacy #4
Genre: Adult, Urban Fantasy
Publication date: August 27th, 2019
by Avon

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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.
-A copy was provided by Avon for review-

While I was incredibly taken in by the world that Ilona Andrews had built with the Hidden Legacy series, I was still somewhat skeptical about how I’d take to having a new main character at the helm and especially a younger main character (Catalina is only 21!) As soon as I started reading though, all those doubts I had faded away and I instantly fell in love with these characters and the world again. 

I thought I would spend most of the book missing Nevada and Rogan, and while I certainly missed them, Catalina brought something new to the table and I really enjoyed watching her journey unfold. 

Three years have passed since Wildfire and Catalina is now head of house. The three protected years that Baylor house had are coming to an end and the vultures are about to descend on them. Catalina is now head of the house and is shouldering a burden similar to Nevada’s from earlier books. When a case involving a family friend finds Catalina, she finds it hard to say no even when warned about the dangers of taking it on.

It was so easy to fall into this mystery and watching plot points unfold and I was so happy to be reunited with the Baylor gang. I love how supportive this family is of one another and I genuinely want every single one of them to get their own spinoffs.

Catalina is a formidable new main character and I loved that while both her and Nevada had a lot of similar struggles, Nevada’s laid the foundation for hers and Catalina often had to make choices Nevada would never consider making. Both sisters had a strong head on their shoulders and would do anything for their family but sometimes the way they’d go about doing that differed. Basically, while Nevada and Catalina had a lot of similar characteristics, they didn’t read like carbon copies of each other and I appreciated the effort Ilona Andrews put into distinguishing the two from each other. 

I think one of my biggest qualms with this book was that I didn’t quite buy the romance. Alessandro and Catalina had a 15 minute interaction 3 years ago and that is somehow forms the basis of their entire relationship? Idk, it just… didn’t quite fit for me. I think that as individuals, I appreciated both of them a lot and think they work very well together, I just… wasn’t sold on their infatuation based on a 15 min interaction. I do love them both though and hope to see their romance develop more in the sequels.

That said, I am absolutely sold on this spin off series and cannot wait to see where the sequels will lead us. I also wonder if we will see more of certain grandmother and where that could go.

4 Stars
4 Hot Espressos

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Rashika has been tired since 2013. There are very few things that spark joy for her besides a nice cup of tea, warm, baked goods, good books and good TV shows. She is here to pile onto your giant TBRs and to-watch lists. Offer her a cookie and she might be nice to you.

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