Series: Hidden Legacy #4
Published by Avon on August 27, 2019
Source: Publisher, Netgalley
Genres: Romance, Urban Fantasy, Action & Adventure
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From #1 New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews 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.
Note: This is the fourth book in a series that was previously a trilogy, focusing on a side character from the first three books. This review may contain slight spoilers! You can check out my review for the first three books here:
Burn For Me
I first discovered the Hidden Legacy series a couple years ago, when the first two books were out. I waited patiently for book 3, which I thought would be the end. But of course, there was still so much to be explored regarding the explosive Baylor family, and well-constructed world, and even the authors couldn’t let this story go. So here we are, with book 4 (after a novella as well), following the sister of the main character from the first three books: Catalina Baylor. And let me tell you – her story is as exhilarating, as action-packed, and as emotional as her sister’s. Let’s get to it!
Here I am with all this power and I let everyone take care of me for most of my life, because it was too hard and scary and because I didn’t want the guilt of hurting people. It wasn’t fair. So, when Nevada decided to take a step back, I decided it was my turn to take care of everyone and do the ugly things nobody wants to do.
The book first starts with the introduction of Catalina as the head of the Baylor House. So… what exactly happened to Nevada? It turns out, she’s helping Mad Rogan (her now-husband, then-love interest in previous books) with his own House matters and enjoying her own life, after being a leader of the family for years. Okay let’s step back with some info… in this world, powerful magic-users inherit traits from their family, and they keep this magic preserved by grouping into “Houses” – mostly based on family – that pretty much control the inter-workings of the world. If you’re born in a large, powerful house, you’re set to go in life. If you marry into a House, you marry into their drama and politics. People are put in arranged marriages to create more powerful lineages. It goes on and on. In the Hidden Legacy series, the Baylor family was recently established as a House, and the 21-year old Catalina is the Head of it, as well as a powerful Prime (which you can probably guess what that means). And that’s when the book starts: she’s thrust into this role, while trying to navigate all the complex House politics and take care of her family. Things aren’t helping when she finds herself involved in a murder mystery, and her old crush from high school coming back into her life…
And THAT is where the story starts. Nothing screams “CLASSIC URBAN FANTASY” more than a murder case to solve, right? Catalina’s friend’s family members are murdered, and it’s up to her to get to the bottom of it. Not only because she can align that friend as her ally, but also because… it’s the right thing to do. If there’s anything about the Baylor family we know, it’s that they fight for justice and make sure they can look themselves in the eye in the mirror at the end of the day. Secrets are revealed. City infrastructures become demolished. Assassins are uncovered. And the enemy they’re looking for might have been next to them the whole time…
And yet, amonst all the action, the authors still manage to create a careful exploration of Catalina’s experience and characterization. As the younger sister of Nevada, we saw her as a bit on the introverted side, and willing to blend into the background. But in Sapphire Flames, she really takes control of her fate and sets the tone down with other competing Primes. She grows into her skin as the Head of the House, and finds confidence in herself to do the right thing. And THAT is what character growth looks like. Along the way, she also finds herself reunited with a teenage crush, Mr. Alessandro Sagredo aka Italian Prime of his own House aka who called to her window in the middle night like ROMEO for a night drive three+ years ago aka who literally disappeared from her life ever since, aka who picked up and dropped two fiances as well, these past few years. So as you can see, that is a fun subplot in and of itself, and their banter was super fun. ALSO those secrets of Alessandro… yum. Can’t wait to learn more about them in the upcoming books.
All in all, Sapphire Flames was an excellent addition to the Hidden Legacy series (as are all of Ilona Andrews’s books tbh…), and I highly recommend this Urban Fantasy series to readers looking for a flamin’ hot adventure with scorching romance, and lovable characters! The Andrews team has a great way of exploring characters (after reading 10+ of their books… I would know HAHA), and this one was no exception. It just left me panting for the next book!
Content/Trigger Warnings: violence, physical abuse/assault
Rating: 4 out of 5
Thank you Avon and Netgalley for the review copy!
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