Release-Day Review: Emerald Blaze by Ilona Andrews (Hidden Legacy #5)

Emerald Blaze by Ilona Andrews // VBC Review

Emerald Blaze (Hidden Legacy #5)
Ilona Andrews

Published: Aug. 25, 2020 (Avon)
Purchase: Amazon or Bookshop
Review source: copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review

Reviewed by: Margaret

Rating (out of 5): 4.5 stars

Note: while review will be spoiler free, it does make reference to previous books in the series. If you haven’t started yet, check out VBC’s review of Burn for Me.

Six months have passed since the end of Sapphire Flames, but Catalina Baylor is still grieving the loss of her relationship with Alessandro Sagredo. She’s also trying to balance her duties as the Deputy Warden with running her family’s detective agency, all while keeping her second job a secret. Then she’s attacked by a giant reptile. All the balls she’s been juggling threaten to come crashing down when that attack leads the Warden’s office to take over a case that forces her to work with Alessandro again.

This Alessandro is not the same one who left Catalina, though he’s just as devoted to protecting her. He’s suffered a setback in his personal mission and lost some of the cocky attitude. He’s also finally willing to share the details of that mission, which tie in to Catalina’s case and explain a lot of his previous behavior. Despite the pain between them, Catalina and Alessandro make a great team. Not only have they grown up a bit since we saw them last, but they also get to show new aspects of their magic.

One of the things that struck me is how different Catalina is from her sister Nevada, the main character of the first three books in the series. It’s obvious in the interactions between them that they approach their roles as big sister and Head of House in different ways, Nevada looking for immediate results and Catalina playing the long game. Emerald Blaze references events between Nevada and Catalina’s arcs, only some of which we saw in earlier books, which emphasize those differences and also bring Nevada and Rogan into the latest story in an interesting way.

One of the reasons the Hidden Legacy series stands out is because of its incredible action scenes. Emerald Blaze had a slightly different, though no less incredible, feel for me since most of the battles involve monsters and machines rather than people. It’s only at the end that the magic user behind them is revealed. Normally it’s those action scenes that I think of first when reflecting on the series. With Emerald Blaze however, it’s the emotional moments that have stayed with me. Catalina and Alessandro nearly had me in tears on several occasions.

I’m fighting the urge to start rereading Sapphire Flames followed by Emerald Blaze again to make sure I’ve caught all the twists and the feels. For me, this is a perfectly normal reaction to finishing an Ilona Andrews book. I’m sure it will happen sometime before the next Hidden Legacy book comes out. I’ve read them all multiple times and I always manage to discover something new.

Sexual content: graphic sex

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