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Sapphire Flames

by Ilona Andrews

Series: Hidden Legacy (4)

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2512879,638 (4.29)11
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.  … (more)

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» See also 11 mentions

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Listened to audio narrated by Emily Rankin.

This story is mostly about Catalina Baylor and her family and friends as she navigates being the head of her House and helping a friend uncover what happened to her mother and sister. While Catalina investigates it's clear someone else wants to shut her down. There's a lot of death and destruction as these mages don't play around and Catalina find's she's stumbled into House warfare.

Catalina has crushed on Alessandro for years and when he keeps interfering in her investigation she alternates between wanting to kiss him or kill him. While I expected a romance to bloom between these two, Alessandro comes off as very aloof and plastic to me. Halfway through the book I'm really not seeing any redeeming qualities in him except he helps to keep her alive, as the bad guys send more and more mages after her. hopefully we'll get to a different side of Alessandro in the next book because I just did not feel anything from Alessandro, except that he's a man of mystery and that he has mad, bad ass skills.

There are lots of great characters in this world that we met from the previous books, like Bug, Grandma Frida, Arabella, Leon, her mother and so on and I enjoyed seeing them again. But as dangerous as their world is when their security officer was obviously endangering them I didn't get the delay in handling that problem.

This book is clearly setting up a new dynamic including new and previous characters from the series it also isn't the same as the previous three books which may be an adjustment for readers expectations.

I'm guessing they plan to let Catalina and Alessandro's story develop over time, as this first segment was almost entirely from Catalina's point of view. Catalina spent most of the book fighting her attraction to him, believing it stemmed from a childhood crush and not wanting her Siren powers to escape forcing him to love her. Catalina has a lot on her plate, coming into her own, to lead her house and to make hard decisions how far she'll go to protect those she cares for. While I liked this book, it wasn't my favorite, but I am looking forward to the next book in the series to see where the IA team will take these characters.

More of my reviews can be found at https://wyldheartreads.wordpress.com/




( )
  wyldheartreads | Dec 14, 2020 |
Hidden Legacy 1-3 is by far my favorite Ilona Andrews series. It's the best romance, the characters are slightly more dimensional, and the story is fun and original.

My main thought about this installment is that it's disappointing. I really enjoyed the novella. But this book fails expectations in setting up character motivations, and the world-building is getting frankly, messy none of this is separate from my feelings of this silly "Head of Household" thing that apparently the magic world can't progress out of mini-dynasties that all-out battle and war with each other. SO MANY WEAPONS AND SO MANY TYPES OF MAGIC. And I'm just tired of the action sequences here.

Alessandro is a really intriguing character, but his feelings for Catalina make very little sense. Her feelings for him make very little sense. They are clearly full-fledged in love without the least idea of each other at the point this novel concludes. Alessandro's power seems to be the power (view spoiler)

Catalina's fine, but she just seems so young. Kind of how I felt about Jared Leto or something. It's all very confusing to me, and I think unless you are a hardcore IA fan, of which I do not count myself, I don't know if I'd recommend this book.

I also want to note how heavily this author couple relies on the same-old same-old romance pillars. The reluctant and combustible couple, mostly on the part of the resistant woman, can't they ever...date...or fumble about sweetly for a bit? (Honestly, Derek-Julie type foundation)

Maybe I've hit the wall with these books. Given I basically couldn't review the first 3 books in the series I loved them so much, it's a bummer. I'm going to go read Emerald Blaze b/c library & we'll see about the fate of the rest of their work. (less) [edit]
11 ( )
  samnreader | Dec 6, 2020 |
Sign me up to read anything that Ilona Andrews writes, because wow. Just wow. The worlds that Ilona Andrews creates are just marvelous. They are rich and real. You can feel how everything works and like you could just walk right into the world. I love how the magic isn't just all MAGIC, it has actual rules that it follows and that they are sensical rules, not just you know, it works because magic.

I really enjoyed getting to meet Catalina in Nevada's books, and all the sides we saw of her in there, but we get to see a much more mature and rounded and capable Catalina. Not saying that she wasn't mature or capable before, but as the head of House Baylor, she's taken a lot of lessons in being the Queen B, and she's taken those lessons to heart. She turns into something that her house needs, and she does everything she can to guide it well. Then there's Alessandro.

Alessandro was there for Catalina's test and now that he's following her around, she figures that he's attached to her because of that, but he has a method to his madness. Probably.

I love the way that Alessandro and Cataline interact, and the chemistry that they seem to have as well as the chases that they are giving each other really kept me in the story, and made me want to keep reading to find out what was going to happen next, with not just them, but the rest of the story.

I can't wait for the next part of the story to see what happens. ( )
  tetisheri | Aug 15, 2020 |
Ah, friends. It’s been so long since I’ve written my last review so please forgive me while I pretty much just gush over this book. If you’ve been here for any length of time, you’ll know that Ilona Andrews is one of my favorite authors. I’ve devoured their books one by one, cried a lot, laughed a ton, and basically just been impatient waiting for whatever comes next. When I found out that Sapphire Flames would be from Catalina’s point of view, I was ecstatic! While I loved Nevada so much, I wanted to see how the life that they built for themselves affected the other members of her family. To say that I was excited for this is probably an understatement.

Now, I will admit that it took a minute for me to get used to our new narrator. Andrews’ fans know that Renee Raudman brings quite a life to most of the characters in these stories. Emily Raskin was absolutely fantastic though and, after a chapter or two, I was right into the story. She brings Catalina’s character to life perfectly. A young woman who is in charge without really wanting to be. A sister who wants to protect her family. A person adrift in a sea of powerful people who want to see her fail. Catalina stole my heart, and I’m not even upset about it.

True to form, the plot of this story flew straight from setting things up into full on panic mode. The Baylor family isn’t known for getting any down time, and that’s very true in this story as well. I won’t lie, their family dynamic has always been one of my favorite parts of this series. There is so much love mixed in with all the insanity, occasional terror, and humor. My favorite addition this time around? Oh, it was Alessandro thrown into the mix. No spoilers, I promise. Just know that his banter with this family is wonderful, and I want more of it as soon as possible.

Oh, friends. I laughed, I teared up, I literally shouted “NO” at this audio book more than once. If you’ve been following along with the Hidden Legacy novels, you’ll absolutely want to pick this one up. The ending made me a little bit pouty, but it’s also quite perfect to continue this series. So, once again, I’ll be waiting impatiently for the next book to make it into my hands. ( )
  roses7184 | Aug 13, 2020 |
I really enjoy this series, and I am really enjoying reading about the sisters. I can't wait for the next one! ( )
  jpeterman | Jul 10, 2020 |
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To Anastasia and Helen
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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.  

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