Monday, September 28, 2020

Emerald Blaze (Hidden Legacy, #5) by Ilona Andrews

Synopsis (via Goodreads): As Prime magic users, Catalina Baylor and her sisters have extraordinary powers—powers their ruthless grandmother would love to control. Catalina can earn her family some protection working as deputy to the Warden of Texas, overseeing breaches of magic law in the state, but that has risks as well. When House Baylor is under attack and monsters haunt her every step, Catalina is forced to rely on handsome, dangerous Alessandro Sagredo, the Prime who crushed her heart.

The nightmare that Alessandro has fought since childhood has come roaring back to life, but now Catalina is under threat. Not even his lifelong quest for revenge will stop him from keeping her safe, even if every battle could be his last. Because Catalina won't rest until she stops the use of the illicit, power-granting serum that's tearing their world apart.


I am obsessed with this series! I wanted to start Emerald Blaze as soon as it arrived (preordered this as soon as I could), but knew I 'd need an entire day to read it. Once I start something by Ilona Andrews, I'm incapable of putting it down! Thankfully there was a day when my husband was home and I could disappear for a few hours. I'm not saying there weren't interruptions - - because there were - - but I still managed to get through this entire book within 24 hours. It may have been 2 AM, but it still counts! ;)

This author duo is phenomenal, and I will forever read whatever they write! The characters, world-building, and storytelling are always amazing. I can pick up the next book in a series (after waiting roughly a year for a new one) and immediately fall back into the story like I'd never left. There's a larger, looming goal that the characters are steadily moving towards, but each book can stand alone and comes with its own set of problems to solve. I really love how they're able to tie everything together, yet still make each book something that's unique and captivating. 

Initially, I was worried I wouldn't like Catalina as much as Nevada (for those of you new to this series, the first three books were from Nevada's perspective, the next three will be from Catalina's, and the following three from Arabella's (they're sisters)), but Catalina is just as compelling of a character. She doesn't handle situations the same way her sister would, and is instead forging her own path on her own terms. It that means keeping her enemies close and leaning their secrets, she'll do it despite how it makes her feel (and even if it puts her at odds with her family). Catalina had to develop an icy exterior when dealing with the other Houses and their Primes, or they wouldn't take her seriously. It's amazing seeing how much she's transformed over the course of this series! 

The family dynamics are on point! I love everyone in they Baylor family (and their respective paramours), and how well they work together. They're not afraid to laugh or call each other out, and they've got each other's backs no matter what. They'll fight monsters together, but then argue over who ate all of the leftovers from the fridge. #FamilyGoals 

Even the characters that aren't related to the Baylor's are wonderfully written and fleshed out! The authors drop small hints to remind you of things that have happened in the past, and the nudges really helped wake my brain up after some time away. It's characters like this you wish were real so you could all be BFFs. There are a ton of laugh-out-loud moments despite the seriousness of the story, and you can't help but want to be a part of it all.

I also love Catalina's magical ability and really like that she's discovered new aspects about how it works. It's interesting to see the various ways she can use it to her benefit while dealing with the craziness of their world and individual circumstances. She's not someone to be trifled with, despite how young and innocent she looks. Catalina is deadly in her own right, and I loved that Alessandro never questioned or doubted her abilities. Speaking of Alessandro, I was iffy about his return after the last book. His motives were unclear, but thankfully the author cleared a lot of things up in this one. His reasons were valid, and he wasn't trying to mislead or lie to Catalina in any way. I am SO GLAD things are out in the open now, and I cannot wait to see how their relationship progresses moving forward. #RooftopScene *fans self*

Emerald Blaze was full of action and adventure, humor and family, magic and what people are willing do to obtain more of it. I love the complexities of this series, and how I never feel overwhelmed by the various issues being addressed in a single book (that also span throughout several in the series). There is so much going on, but it never feels like it's too much. The pacing is perfectly balanced with the information being shared, and it's like riding on a roller coaster with enough thrill to make you want to do it again and again. If you haven't read anything by this author duo, you don't know what you're missing! 


  1. I just saw this review! It is great. I love family dynamics too much. Grandma Frida cracks me every time as intended! :))

    1. I just posted it today! I've been backdating a lot of reviews this week (my schedule is bananas right now). ;) Grandma Frida needs to find her a man! Haha!

  2. I've heard all the good things about Ilona Andrews! It took me a while before I realized they were a husband/ wife writing team. But yeah I've heard a lot about their other series. Glad these are awesome!

    1. You should definitely give one of their books a try, Greg! My suggestion would be Kate Daniels (it seems more your speed) but they're all fantastic! :)

  3. I keep hearing great things about this author duo! I love that this series has great family dynamics, and the magic sounds interesting!

    1. All of the above! ;) The author duo is phenomenal (I really love reading about how they write books together), the family dynamics are amazing, and the magic is definitely interesting. I also love that the magic makes total sense even though it's fictional. :)


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