Sapphire Flames Sapphire Flames on August 27, 2019
Pages: 400
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five-stars

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.

When an author writes a spin-off series, there’s always this fine balance of keeping the original tone and voice, while at the same time, bringing something new and fresh to the table. Ilona Andrews does an excellent job with walking that line.

In the novella that sort of bridged the gap and connected the first Hidden Legacy trilogy to this new one, I wasn’t sure how Catalina would be as a narrator. Would she be too young? Well, never fear! It’s been 3 years since that novella, and Catalina is 21 years old, and now the head Prime of House Baylor.

Augustine has arrived in the middle of the night and is asking a favor. Catalina knows she can’t say no to this, and realizes almost instantly that she’s in over her head.

While she’s handling what should be a simple interview, things go sideways and fast. Rushing after someone, her teenage crush Alessandro Sagredo shows up out of the blue and sends her spinning. If you have read the previous books, you’ll know all about Alessandro. If you’re new, you just need to know that he’s famous for being a handsome, rich, powerful Prime. His Instagram says he’s in Hawaii, so Catalina is shocked he’s here, telling her to keep her nose out of everything.

Maybe there’s more to Alessandro than his Instagram posts show? (spoiler: there is)

In order to keep this book from being Nevada 2.0, some things had to find a new direction, right? Well, there’s a specific scene, a certain twist, that will send this series somewhere new. I can’t wait to see how this is handled, and where it takes us.

There is more to this case she’s signed them up for, and there’s a lot going on behind the scenes too. No detail is missed, even down to how their own private security team is handling everything. This book is dynamite! I don’t know how they were able to include so many seemingly small details, or events, and still make them all work so fluidly.

The voice and style have stayed the same, but what they did was nail the feelings of a 21 one year old narrator, they have the same vibe, but it never once feels like Nevada with a new name slapped onto it, or like Kate Daniels but in a different world. This writing team is amazing!

With a freshness and new direction, this book takes the reader somewhere different than the first trilogy, and I can’t wait to see where the authors take us next.

***ARC courtesy of the publisher Avon Books via Edelweiss

five-stars