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Sapphire Flames: A Hidden Legacy Novel Kindle Edition
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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.
About the Author
Ilona Andrews is the pseudonym for a husband-and-wife writing team. They won RT Book Reviews' 2016 Career Achievement Award for Best Urban Fantasy. Ilona is a native-born Russian, and Andrew is a former communications sergeant in the United States Army. They are the coauthors of the bestselling Kate Daniels urban fantasy series, the Edge series, and the paranormal romance Hidden Legacy series, among others.--This text refers to the audioCD edition.
“Imaginative and high-octane…Another creative, thrilling paranormal romance from the masterful Andrews.” -- Kirkus Reviews (starred review) --This text refers to the hardcover edition.
- ASIN : B07G141J8W
- Publisher : Avon (August 27, 2019)
- Publication date : August 27, 2019
- Language : English
- File size : 4817 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Sticky notes : On Kindle Scribe
- Print length : 347 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: #61,978 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- #918 in Paranormal Vampire Romance
- #1,208 in Vampire Romances
- #1,717 in Paranormal Werewolves & Shifters Romance
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Reviewed in the United States on November 16, 2019
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Top reviews from the United States
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As for Catalina, I did like her. She's got plenty of growing to do, a backbone to build, and confidence to find. She came across as a teenager for a lot of this book, so I hope she is developed better in the next book. And I hope it doesn't take loving a man to bring any of that out in her. I liked Alessandro, but he did seem to dismiss Catalina a lot. I'd like to see his reaction to her not needing him. And I'd like for them to be more equals. And for the love part? It was super rushed. Like, other than being hot, what was it that Catalina liked? She's worried that she'll accidentally use her ability to trick him into loving her, but she doesn't seem to realize it's her puppy-love/teenage crush that has her attached to him. She never shrugged off those feelings, which should tell her that she can't be in love with him. She knows almost nothing about him. It's all a fantasy in her head that she dreamed up as a young girl. And even then, she loved the superficial, fake version he portrayed. There was barely a blink to adjust to the new hitman version, and it didn't change her "love" for him at all.
The action itself was great, the plot interesting, and the stakes here were high. I did enjoy this book and will definitely be reading the next. Given the delays in the final book, I'm going to try to hold off. I did see online that it was said to be coming out early 2022 so I thought it was a good time to start now. But I have now seen it's looking to be the end of 2022, so I have definitely jumped the gun now. Oh well. I would recommend going into this book without the high expectations of Nevada's trilogy, and with the intention of just having some fun and not thinking too deeply.
Not to worry. Yes Catalina is a bit of an awkward worry wart and self centered prat among other things. But the book is saved from kiddie land by Bug, Linus, and Alessandro and Grandma T.
I am not going to second guess the writing duo except to ask: (SPOILER) "Do the missing bottles of Osirus serum mean we are looking at a Quint and not a trilogy for Catalina?"
I tend to try to go where the author is intent on taking me in fiction..unless it is so implausible I get disgusted.
Let's see..Catalina is head of the house and this book starts off just after the 3 year grace period for House Baylor has ended.
Catalina has been mentored by Rogan's mom and as we shall see, quite a few heavy hitters are going to mentor her in the future..
Initially, her powers seemed sort of who cares but later as more is revealed we will come to appreciate the nuance of her gifts. She seems to be channeling a bit of Kate Daniel's with her proclivity for blades.
Catalina takes a client she should not which puts her entire family in peril. She has to work with Alessandro who initially comes off as a chauvinistic pig but endears himself as the story continues.
Our Cat is now proficient in some weaponry but still in some ways seems a plain jane..until....
Cat gains a friend, finds more backbone sort of..her family especially her mom seems to not be very good at firing or hiring the right people.. the group/family grows larger and Cat lives in the end though she may be a bit different.
Now for what peeved me in this book:
This story is told from the POV of Catalina who seems almost bigoted.
Yes I said it. Catalina is what we minorities often refer to as 'colorstruck' * and it is both insulting and intriguing to see this.
Speaking as a person of color, might I suggest that characters are described maybe based on skin hue or hair style/texture or other attributes than race?
Every time I turn around as characters enter the story among their description , their race is mentioned.
Bigots think like that..normal people usually don't.
Ask you kid about their favorite playmate and they may describe everything BUT their color or race.
Often it is the parent who injects stuff like "does he look like you or is your friend a different color?
As if that is relevant.
This society is so racially poisoned because we are continually fed a diet of polls/cimparisons/laments/scapegoating and gaslighting based on race.
What minorities want most is to be judged on the contents of their character , NOT on which race they belong to or their skin color.
A racist sees race/ethnicity first and everything is filtered through their ideas/stereotypes of each race.
It would never be "a girl won the race" but it would always be a white/black/hispanic/Muslim won the race as if those designations were necessary to the winning of a race.
Catalina introduces each character by first saying what race they belong to.
That is a turn off BUT at the same time since Nevada did not do this as much , it really gives Catalina her own voice. Granted said voice is airheaded and ignorant but it is unique to her.
I said she was colorstruck because she is very skin color conscious. This is a type of insecurity and borders on bigotry.
Cuz it says skin or race is the first thing she is aware of..every other attribute of each character comes after she has racially pegged them.
What a drag. The secret is minorities CRINGE when in the quest to assimilate whites bring up and comment on the obvious differences.
This is actually a true hang up of some people and it is a hang up minorities grit their teeth about and discuss in private.
I like chocolate chip cookies with pecans. Must I be a Hispanic or Asian or Jewish girl first before it can be written that I like certain cookies?
Can we discuss my cookie liking without preaching my ethnicity?
I promise it can be stuck in the commentary later.
I am wondering does knowing a character is black or Arabic or Asian really have ANYTHING to do with their skillset or magic in these stories?
Can we have a story told where we are made aware by description at some point (not necessarily right away) but not by calling out each race as if that is paramount?
It is tacky. Is Illona going for a diversity award? Now..what is so wrong about Cat's commentary?
" oh Gawd, Karen must you people make every single little thing about race??? get over it already! "
My point exactly. Catalina loses 8/10 cool points for focusing on skin color and race as if in the middle of her narrative she thinks we have the same skin hang ups she does.
The first thing we learn about diversity is that it is a beautiful medley.
More colors make it interesting BUT liken it to descriptions about food: instead of eating just bread and a hunk of meat we add veggies too..but just imagine describing your meal as "I ate some pink ham and some brown steak and some white mash potatoes with green broccoli and some orange carrots" or maybe mention the cultivars.
About the second time anyone described a meal like that most of us would tune them out or walk away.
So lighten up with calling out each race as characters are introduced, 'Kay Cat?
Now the other thing is Catalina is supposed to be disciplined and methodical with a very ordered mind BUT she lacks the discipline to keep her mouth shut?
Is it because we are entering the stereotype that girls cannot keep a secret? She tells, and then who she tells, tells?
Best scene in the book is at the opera. Catalina talks too much and has a very young mind. This story was a bit Y.A too but like I said it was saved by the guys and grandma.
I was hoping the dog has super powers and I was hoping that despite Catalina being very young the story arc would be a bit more layered and nuanced. This was simplistic. I do not dislike Catalina so much as I have yet to respect her by page 391.
* colorstruck is the psychological malady present in every race where whites have infiltrated, engaged in miscegenation and colonized.
The offshoot of often hundred years of dominance is that each country tries to emulate whites and adopt a Caucasian world view including a view of white superiority.
This often results in self hatred within minorities and a stratified society where the closer each person's skin is to white the higher each person in the society is valued and treated.
This tendency to judge within each race from China to Mexico To India, the Middle East and Africa is called being colorstruck
. It means being so self conscious of skin color that a person subconsciously may make life choices based on color and notices it in all people. (Like choosing to only date or marry lighter skinned people to gain a social advantage)
For instance, many who engage in interracial relationships are color struck..this often means the same people feel justified in berating or looking down on anyone darker than they are. ALL of this is a byproduct of colonialism.
Yes, I went there over a fluff book.
This was an OK read. Above and beyond the continual race comments the story was sophomoric but readable, entertaining if you accept that Catalina is very young and her own person and rather naive as well as timid and will make deals with devils because she is too inexperienced to recognize her options.
3.5 stars rounded up to 4.
Top reviews from other countries
In this world the dominant power are assemblies at state, national and international level made up of members of Houses, magical families built around particular talents who cross bred feud and ally with each other while have a loose relationship with the law while talents vary wildly loosely classified between Arcane,Elemental and Mental the heart of every house is the Primes the highest level of magic user followed by Significant then Average. The hidden legacy series is set in Houston and follows the Baylor family as they make alliances and become a power.
While technology and computers exist and can and do mesh with magic this isn’t steam punk more known for there Kate Daniels which was urban fantasy with strong element of romance this is closer to being a PNR, a paranormal romance, basically you could tweak the Kate Daniels series and take out the romance and it would survive that’s a harder task with the hidden legacy series.
And love or hate it this book moves the series closer to straight up PNR.
Without spoiling this isn’t the jumping off point to start this series unlike the first three books that follow neveda this follows Catalina her younger sister but it’s very much a continuation of storylines started in previous books
What I liked: the characters are always a highlight The Baylor family are like able and loyal to each other the secondary cast is diverse the talents are many varied and interesting I love continuity the romance may be a stronger element but there is still a coherent storyline, the authors imagination is top notch and gives you highlights such as sergeant teddy the pacifist bear and Matalide the animal mage in training.Catalina is a solid protagonist though I felt that she wasn’t allowed to be her own kind of character? She has always been a very smart character with a active powerful magic my favorite moments were her vulnerable ones she didn’t need to be a physical bad ass as well and it would have given some of the supporting cast such as Leon a chance to shine the Baylor is a family and a team andI wish that had been played up more as it was it became close to Mary Sue territory master of combat, magic, business ext not as bad as Alessandro it also grated because we saw her before she became such a all rounder do I accept Catalina could be a highly competent character of course, do I want her not to need anyone anyone else? No neveda utilized everyone more in her first three books because she was making her way to becoming a power, Catalina just suddenly kind of becomes it robs a lot of the fun.
What I didn’t like: the secondary cast Leon, Augustine, Ragnar, runa Linus ext are the real delight but much like in the authors edge series they don’t get much time to stand out and develop that’s always , in my opinion, been a problem in the authors more romance heavy series look at George and jack in the edge series. I wanted more Leon , Alessandro a typicalAndrews hero handsome, deadly powerful charming he didn’t land for me too perfect maybe and his Powers were the plot equivalent of a Swiss Army knife normally the authors are the masters of walking the line with characters that are compelling but not completely over the top Alessandro pretty much pole vaults that top when paired with Catalina it means they don’t need anyone else which kind of robs the whole point of having a fantastic secondary cast. though maybe my reaction is I have read every book the authors put out and intend to read everyone one they put out in the future and while I don’t hate the romance aspect to there stories i do like it by and large it’s simply not the main draw for me as storytellers I think they stand with Briggs and butcher I do think that there romances are the one part of there stories that run the risk of becoming formulaic I would like to see it mixed up a lgbt couple front and center maybe, Arabella and Runa anyone? Doesn’t have to be that of course I am not looking for diversity for diversity sake just something a little different.
And last but not least the covers the authors between there many series are cursed with some of the worst covers there Kate Daniels series for many years and editions would feature a generic white character despite Kate being a person of color in the books and the legacy series makes it look like some mills and boons bodice ripper churned out by the hundreds in the nineties rather then the smart and imaginative urban fantasy it is.
Look I realize this sounds I am being negative it’s not there strongest book by a country mile it’s still a decent read I finished in a single sitting and I will still preach loud and wide about the feel good joys and amazing imagination of these authors.
The story does feel a bit formulaic too with so many scenes, dialogue and characters mimicing other Andrews creations or staples. The Baylor's in dire financial need: check. The Baylor's following their conscience despite being the underdog in the face of House warfare: check. Mysterious and deadly male who isn't what we expect: Check. A social function requiring getting dressed up and the obligatory sexy looks: check. An attack on the Baylor home: check. Bug helping out: check. Alessandro has some similarities to Raphael and Curran. I will be pleasantly surprised if Alessandro doesn't make a similar familial sacrifice to Curran later in the series. Also how the final showdown gets set up and how Catalina deals with it had echoes of Nevada's story with Rogan. The ultimatum that Catalina faces from her grandmother is a bit predictable.
Despite this I still love this book, these elements are ones I love and they make for a brilliant easy read, although I would have like something a little more original. It is still an enjoyable and entertaining read. I will look forward to the next book and will continue to recommend the Andrews books.
Loved it, loved it, loved it.
Catalina is now head of House Baylor, she gets brought in to bring a suicidal Prime down using her siren powers and gets drawn into investigating the death of his mother and sister. From the get go things don't seem to be on the up-and-up, then Catalina's teen crush Alessandro Sagredo turns up being less Eurotrash billionaire heartthrob and more deadly assassin (albeit a very sexy Italian one).
Soon House Baylor is embroiled in yet another mystery, all of our favourite family members have a part to play but the star of the show is Alessandro, I just love the way he keeps appearing on Catalina's bed, lolling like one of Shelly Laurenston's vain lion shifters, especially when he finds the heart-shaped glitter picture frame that Catalina's sisters filled with a picture of him from his instagram feed LOL.
I know I'm biased because I think I've read everything Ilona Andrews has published but I thought this was just great, I loved the plot and the romance and the mystery and I can't wait to see where the series goes next. (view spoiler)
Overall, it was worth the wait, I read it in less than a day and I love Ilona Andrews just as much as ever.
This is the first in a second set of books about her younger sister and her coming to power in this magical world. It has the same wit and almost non stop action as the family go to war to save a friend. The side characters are the same ones and just as much fun. In the first trilogy the younger members of the family were all teenagers which meant there was a great deal of teenage behaviour. Time has moved on by 3 years so they are all a little older, this makes them a bit easier to handle as an adult reader. As usual the heroine and hero are in conflict throughout and our hero has secrets that carry on to the next book in the series. That is something to note. The story arc carries forward to the next in the series so while this episode is concluded the romance most definitely isn't. Be prepared to buy what I assume will be another trilogy.
Unlike many series the lead character has shifted so giving readers an opportunity to start from here. There is enough back story to allow anyone to pick up the story and, although the characters are mostly from the first trilogy, the plot is a new one and doesn't depend too much on knowing all the details from the earlier one. Having said that I would recommend trying those books as they are reasonably priced and really enjoyable.
If I had reviewed this book the first time I read it I would have said that the lead characters weren't as appealing as the originals and the story a bit weaker. That would have been unfair to a good action packed story as on the second reading I have actually enjoyed it just as much. I am looking forward to the next book.
Anyone who enjoyed the Kate Daniels series should give this a try.