Monday, August 26, 2019

Early Review: Sapphire Flames by Ilona Andrews

41088576Sapphire Flames
(Hidden Legacy #4)
Ilona Andrews
Release: August 27, 2018
Goodreads Amazon
ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley
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.

The tl;dr is we both loved Sapphire Flames. But we also had a great time talking about it. So here are some of our thoughts. (The ones that aren't too spoilery.) We hope that you'll add your thoughts to the discussion too.

Gretl: I'm writing this after my second read of Sapphire Flames and this time I re-read Diamond Fire first. That novella transitions Catalina from the teen she is in Nevada's books to the adult Head of House she's become by the beginning of this book. It also shows her accepting the fact that she'll have to use her magic and discovering some powers she didn't realize she had.

Now we see a much more confident Catalina with more magic knowledge. I felt like she was more prepared than Nevada was at the beginning of her first book, despite being only 21. She's also less of a one woman show than Nevada was, which gives me hope that we'll see more of the other Baylors. I love cousins Bern and Leon and wished they'd had more to do here.

Rose Red: I had the benefit of reading Diamond Fire for the first time before starting this one and it helped to see how far Catalina had come in the space of time between that novella and this book. It was interesting to learn why Catalina ended up the Head of House and not Nevada. I also loved how much knowledge Catalina had. She knew so much about so many different things. I loved how much of the whole Baylor clan we got in this one. I’m here for more Grandma Frida!

G: This is one of those times when it's hard to write an actual review and not just a list of things I want to squee about. So here are a couple of those things: I loved the enigmatic Alessandro! And Linus! And Augustine! And their magics! (Squee!) The previous book, Wildfire, set a high bar for car chase shenanigans, but this one is a worthy successor. And that's just one of the incredible action scenes. (Squee!)

RR: Also, how the mystery was set up was awesome! I loved the introduction to the Wardens and I can’t wait to learn more of how that affects Catalina! And learning more about the House Government system was intriguing. And OMG! Alessandro! I loved him so much! It is so hard to review this book without being spoilery. It's just so good!

G: I nearly started the series over right after I finished my first read of Sapphire Flames. I love the Hidden Legacy world and didn't want to leave it. Only Ilona Andrews has ever made me do that - it used to happen every year with Kate Daniels. And it's possible this series is even better.

RR: I totally started rereading Sapphire Flames as soon as I finished it the first time but I'm also itching to start a reread of the whole series. The writing team of Ilona Andrews are definitely masters of their craft. Their books are always so amazing and unputdownable!


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