Sapphire Flames (Hidden Legacy, #4)by Published 27 Aug 2019
|Sapphire Flames (Hidden Legacy, #4).pdf|
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.
Sapphire Flames (Hidden Legacy, #4) Reviews
PURE, UNADULTERATED, UTTER, ABSOLUTE, UNMITIGATED, UNALLOYED, TOTAL AWESOMENESS BOOKIFIED!
So, first of all a BIG THANK YOU to Ilona & Gordon for writing another breath-taking installment to the Hidden Legacy Series + to Edelweiss/Avon for letting me read it before publication.
And let's not forget my GR Friend Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ for recommending me the series despite the covers!
I CAN'T EVEN....
Sapphire Flames was the ULTIMATE READING EXPERIENCE for a book-lover like me.
I wanted to read it in one go, but kept on putting it aside, because I dreaded the moment it would all end.
Well, eventually it ended, but with WHAT A BANG! A MILLION EXPLODING PERFECT STARS!
I loved it from the first page to the last.
In my review of Book 3, Wildfire, I adopted the Baylors as my literary family and I also mentioned how much further potential there is in the Hidden Legacy Universe.
Ilona and Gordon kept expanding that universe in Books 1-3, adding more layers, depth and intrigue, BUT with Sapphire Flames they upped their game even further.
Influential families (called Houses) with powerful magic rule this alternate world and also control territories in Houston, where our story takes place. There are several kinds of magical abilities (telepaths, telekinetics, empaths, pyro/aquakinetics, truthseekers, etc) and several levels: minor, average, notable, significant & prime. Primes are usually the leaders of their families/houses and also "breed" to have offsprings with even more magic as it means social and economical power: the more you have the more influential you are.
Newly established or "emerging" houses have a 3-year-long grace period when they are protected from the intrigue/attacks of already existing ones. But once the period is over, the gloves are off and the beasts gather for blood.
This period is just coming to an end for the Baylors with 21-year-old Catalina (younger sister to Nevada) at the head.
We see the world of the magical Elite through her eyes: it's seductive, it's glamorous, it's glittering and it's cruel and dangerous as hell. Catalina's (not-so-secret) crush, Alessandro Sagredo, is the perfect embodiment of this world and they get involved in untangling a conspiracy that is beyond their wildest fears.
So, Ilona & Gordon just went and did it again. They pulled me under to this world and I don't want to re-emerge, ever.
There were moments when I went cold (all the atrocities some people are committing) and then hot (OMG, Alessandro & his characterisation is perfect. I love what a dark horse and how morally ambiguous he is!), when I laughed out loud (the always adorable Baylor Family and their antics) and when I was sitting on the edge of my chair with excitement and anticipation.
The Baylor Family dynamics is heart-warming and perfectly imperfect and the sexual chemistry between Catalina and Alessandro is delicious & sizzling. I loved their every scene.
And until the next book comes out ... well.. I'll just start re-reading the whole series again.
ARC provided by the Publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
Soooooo, because of my most abhorrent rating for this book, I find my little nefarious self writing this thing from the deepest depths of IA Hell. My life has been naught but excruciating pain courtesy at the vicious hands of the Super Extra Yummy barbarously ruthless Butcher of Merida for the past few weeks, and I would love nothing more than to be relentlessly chastised by him forever and ever and ever and stuff escape from this abyss of agony post haste. It does look excellent not look good for me, yay and stuff unfortunately, so I thought I might as well keep digging my own grave by exposing my shamefully reprehensible thoughts about this story. Here goes and stuff.
So. YES Sapphire Flames is entertaining and fast-paced and full of IA Scrumptiousness, BUT:
① It feels like Nevada and Rogan Lite.
There, I said it. As much as it pains me to admit it, there are way too many situations/scenes/pieces of dialogues/whatever in Sapphire Flames that read like carbon copies of situations/scenes/pieces of dialogues/whatever from the first three books in the series. I might not have minded this, had the leads been as charismatic as Nevada and Rogan my beloved husband, but they aren’t, so I did. Catalina comes across as a pale imitation of her sister, and Alessandro’s overbearing arrogance is exasperating. Drinking up Dealing with the Scourge of Mexico’s deliciously smug, 30-something ass is one thing, but having to put with a shallow, barely-out-of-his-teens lad’s self-complacency is something else entirely. Which might perhaps maybe explain why I felt the urge to slap some humility into the dude whenever he made an appearance and stuff.
Yeah, that works, too.
② The leads are revoltingly young.
Because yes, I am one of those despicable human crustacean beings who can’t stand don’t like silly new adults very mucho. Granted, Catalina and Alessandro are not that bad compared to other disgustingly juvenile MCs I’ve come across well maybe One Dimensional Alessandro (ODA™) is, but don’t tell anyone I said so and stuff , but they’re still too annoyingly youthful for my taste and stuff.
Also, the whole coming of age business was never my thing (comes with being a despicable crustacean and stuff). Yes, Catalina might maybe perhaps become a seasoned, self-confident badass twenty ten years from now, but right now she’s just a way-too-sweet-and-tender for me, insecure kid who’s learning the ropes, and that’s not something I’m interested in reading about, to be disgustingly honest. (Please feel free to sue me and stuff.)
③ The romance.
[Please insert pre-emptive shudders here]
Yes, there was romance in Nevada and Rogan’s books, but it was packed with tension, hilarious dialogues, and enough chemistry to blow my Mariana Trench abode (and the murderous troops it is home to) to tiny little nefarious pieces. In Sapphire Flames, the romance-heavy storyline felt just too YA for me. Not to mention it felt off. I just don’t understand what the attraction is. It seems to be nothing more than a teenage crush, complete with Love at First Sight of Doom and Oblivion (LaFSoDaO ™). Yes, I know that most of you People of Despicable Book Taste (PoDBT ™) 💕 lurve 💕 that kind of repulsive stuff
, but I don’t, so I don’t.
④ No Grandma Frida/Augustine hook-up.
This is totally unacceptable. Absolutely outrageous. Completely barbaric. Properly scandalous. And a total rip off, if you ask me. I demand an explanation post haste and stuff.
Okay, now time to add a BUT to my initial BUT (which kinda negates the BUT, if you think about it and stuff). So. No, I am not a fan of this story (as you might maybe perhaps have grasped from the previous paragraphs), BUT:
① It was written by IA, which makes it instantly very much slightly better than 99% of the crap stuff out there. (That’s immutable law of the universe #1, just so you know.) Also: this is one of the bestest, mostest coolest and originalest magic systems that ever was and ever will be and stuff. So QED and stuff.
② It features one of the mostest gloriousest cast of secondary characters in the history of mostest gloriousest cast of secondary characters: Grandma Frida, Leon, Bug, Augustine, Arabella, Runa, Matilda, Zeus, Cornelius and his Super Extra Yummy Menagerie (ZEYM™), Bern…They all deserve their own spin-off, if you ask me. Especially Zeus.
③ Random yet Delicious IA stuff (RyDIAS™): leaping desiccated corpses who try to rip one’s hair out (yay!), carnifexes, flying scorpion tricks, people being dismembered (woo hoo and stuff), lovely beasts and yummy creatures, vomit muffins, Celia (aka the cutest, friendliest chick ever), and last but not least, chainsaws and shotguns and gladii, oh my!
➽ Nefarious Last Words (NLW™): the most ungrateful, unworthy, undeserving IA fanshrimpgirl I am, and atone for my most repugnant reading taste I shall. For all of eternity and beyond and stuff. Maybe.
P.S. I want to be Prime Venenata when I grow up. You’re welcome.
ARC provided by the Most Awesome Authorlords™ and Avon via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
· Book 1: Burn for Me ★★★★★
· Book 2: White Hot ★★★★★
· Book 3: Wildfire ★★★★★
· Book 3.5: Diamond Fire ★★★★
· Book 5: Untitled Catalina Novel - to be released 2020?
· Book 6: Untitled Catalina Novel - to be released 2021?
Pretty sure I’m going straight to IA Hell for giving this book such an abysmally low rating.
But hey, at least I'll have central heating for all of eternity, so I guess I can't complain.
➽ Full Yeah Yeah Yeah I Know I Read It Very Wrong Indeed But There You Have It and Stuff (YYYIKIRIVWIBTYHIAS™) review to come.
[May 1, 2019]
Chapter 2 is here!!!!
[April 18, 2019]
The complete entire whole first chapter is can be read here in its entire entirety and stuff!!!!
[March 20, 2019]
It's deleted scene time!!
[February 13, 2019]
A cover, new snippet , new webpage, oh my!!
[January 31, 2019]
My my what big shifty lying eyes these are tiny snippet this is!
[January 9, 2019]
Pithivier, anyone? Happy New Year Snippet and stuff!
[December 19, 2018]
And a very snipetty morning to you!!!
“When I got my hands on him, I would pry his mind open like a tin can. And then I would make him do a little dance, record it, and play it for him on a loop after I drained my magic off. Irresistible. I’ll show you irresistible. Just you wait.”
[December 3, 2018]
Time for a new Snippety Snippet!!!!!
[November 19, 2018]
It's Holy Shrimping Snippet (HSS™) time!!!!!!!!!!!! And my future girlfriend (when she grows up a little and gets to be as ancient as I am) Runa the Delicious Magus Venenata is in it!!!! I am not excited at all!!!!!!
[November 7, 2018]
We have a title!!!!!!!!!!!!
[October 23, 2018]
A deleted scene from the book can be read here. I am absolutely not excited about it whatsoever. Of course not. I ain't no slightly immature 13-year-old fangirl on crack, thank you very much. Oh no, not me.
[April 24, 2018]
Coming to a bookstore near you it is. You'll just have to wait a WHOLE BLOODY STINKING YEAR for it, that is all. But hey, we had to wait THREE WHOLE BLOODY STINKING YEARS between Burn for Me and White Hot, so we can totally do this. No biggie and stuff.
❤ ❤ ❤ I LOVED THIS!!! ❤ ❤ ❤
Nevada and Rogan have their new beginning and this book is all Catalina.
I think you need to know that going in. Sure, you get cameo situations from the Dragon and his new wife but they are so far removed from the main focus of this book you shouldn’t read it for that or you will be disappointed.
What you do get:
• 21-year-old Catalina who has grown into her siren powers since we first met her.
• The rest of the Baylor family including crazy grandma Frida, semi-scary Arabella and super funny Leon along with sniper mom and Bern
• BUG! He is hilarious and a bored Bug is a nosey bug.
• Alessandro, he is not who you think he is.
• Linus Duncan and all his power, um WOW.
• Augustine *swoony sigh*
• Crazy crew of deadly assassins
• And much, much more
With all of that there should be something for you and hopefully you won’t miss the Dragon and his new wife that much.
The end of the three-year grace period is coming to an end and House Baylor has had some time to make some contacts and get a little established, but it is a trying time as their immunity is about to expire. On top of that there is a case that falls into Catalina’s lap that everyone tells her not to take, so of course that is the case she is going to take.
This is a wild ride full of surprises. Catalina has been under the tutelage of none other than Mrs. Rogan and she has learned a lot. She might still be the shy girl at heart but she is coming out of her shell and this new case is going to push her to her limits.
The biggest surprise for me is Alessandro. I expected the charming pretty boy and not much more, but the boy has secrets, talents and a vendetta. Add all that in with some very cool powers and I loved what happened when he and Catalina teamed up to take down the bad guys in this.
Linus Duncan, man of mystery has a soft spot for the Baylors. If you’ve read the rest of the series you’ve probably guessed why. I was really surprised to see him play a role in this book and even more surprised by what that role was. Alessandro isn’t afraid to go up against some powerful men in his not courtship of Catalina, even when they act like a grandfather to her.
This is classic Ilona Andrews with humor and danger and that slow burn romance happening. I devoured this book and can’t wait to listen to the audio when it comes out. While I was sad not to see more of Rogan and Nevada I think Catalina and crew carried this book well and I loved the set up for some future books in the series with Catalina at the helm.
Initial ARC Review
I'm not going to say what I had to do to get a copy of this early. It might have involved the sacrifice of a Barbie involving four toenail clippings, herbs, a secret, a promise and copious amounts of bourbon...don't ask.
But, I got it and the Author Lords who shall be named IA have done it again and written something absolutely wonderful that I will read again and again and again.
The wait is OVER - it's LIVE
As expected, the author wrote one fantastic first book about Catalina and Alessandro.
The feelings, the action, the humor - Sapphire Flames had it all.
And although Catalina's magic is more defense than offense, the action wasn't missing in the slightest. Catalina grew so much over the last three years, that's how much time went by since Nevada's wedding, and wow there were some pretty interesting changes happening during those years. Catalina really impressed me. I had an inkling that she would turn into a fascinating character, but I had no idea how kick-ass that girl would become. Strong, business savvy, with a spine of steel and not hesitant to make hard choices when needed - Catalina has become a woman not to be messed with. And consequently my kind of heroine.
Alessandro on the other hand was as swoony as I remembered him. Not all was as it seemed. He had some interesting facts hidden behind his too gorgeous for his own good facade - and there is so much more I want to find out about him. He knew how to steamroll Catalina when needed. Supported her without question. Stood by her side without care for his own safety - all in all he was the perfect guy for her. And easily as awesome as Connor “Mad” Rogan, just a tad more realistic - lol. One word - yummilicious!!!
I loved that the world was so familiar to me. The supporting characters were beloved. And their banter and personalities so dear to me. The intricate plots were as fascinating as ever. And a recurring character had me questioning everything I thought I knew.
I can't wait to see how it all will end. I have so many questions.
Overall, I didn't want Sapphire Flame to end. I wanted to read book 2 & 3 immediately. That's how awesome and addicting this story was. And I can guarantee that the next two books will be even more awesome. Because that's just how it goes with an Ilona Andrews series. They pull you in and never let you go.
✵ ✦ ✷ ✫ ✷ ✦ ✧ ✵ ✧ ✵ ✦ ✷ ✫ ✷ ✦ ✧ ✵ ✧ ✵ ✦ ✷ ✫ ✷ ✦ ✧ ✵ ✧ ✵
If you haven't read this series yet, but you love a little magic, fantasy and PNR with your romance - you need to pick up the first trilogy. It's about the older sister - kick ass Nevada and her love interest Connor “Mad” Rogan.
✵ ✦ ✷ ✫ ✷ ✦ ✧ ✵ ✧ ✵ ✦ ✷ ✫ ✷ ✦ ✧ ✵ ✧ ✵ ✦ ✷ ✫ ✷ ✦ ✧ ✵ ✧ ✵
ARC generously provided in exchange for an honest review.
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What the HELL!!!!?!!!!!!
WHAT THE [email protected]$%&*€£
*flips the fuck out*
YAAASSSSSSSSYASSS GIVE THEM ALL THEIR OWN BOOKS OH PLEASEEE!!!
ILONA ANDREWS I WORSHIP THEEEE 💖💖