When Ilona Andrews releases a book I eagerly anticipate the drop into my kindle so I can read it right away. Fated Blades is the third novel in an older series called the Kinsmen. I’ve read the first two books a couple of times each but I’ll admit it’s been awhile. Not letting that stop me from reading this one right away I jumped right in. It is novella length so it didn’t take me more than 3-4 hours to read it in its entirety.
Fated Blades takes place on Rada where a few families all with Seca powers reside. This power enables them to become bladed, and as such their history is filled with violence, but currently people have forgotten who dangerous they can be. The Adlers and Baenas are two of the families with these powers and despite living relatively close, they consider each other enemies. When Ramona Adler shows up in Matias Baena’s place of business and tells him that her husband and his wife have run away together, and they both stole their research. The two of them join forces to investigate who is behind this plot and are determined to bring them down. What they haven’t taken into consideration is their immediate attraction and connection, something that the two of them may not be able to live without.
As I do with all Illona Andrews books, I read a book first, and then follow it up with listening to the audiobook pretty quickly after. I think with this one, I’ll need to go back and start at the beginning of the series. Not because this book wasn’t good, it certainly was, but because I feel like there are some details I’m missing that may make my journey with this story even better.
As with the Hidden Legacy series these novels fall into the romantic fantasy genre. My favorite genre and this author duo excels at bringing life to the page and their characters. Fated Blades was no different, and in fact I’d like to see a longer length novel for these characters or at least in this world. If you’re a fan of this author I’m sure you’ll feel no different. If you haven’t read the previous two books, you don’t really need to, but like I said above, a refresher might have been necessary and might enhance your pleasure in this well written novel.
Set in the Kate Daniels world Blood Heir is the story of Julie Lennart, Kate’s adopted daughter, 8 years after she followed her Grandmother Erra out of Atlanta. A lot has changed in those 8 years, her magic, her face, and her name. Using the moniker Aurelia Ryder, she finally returns to Atlanta when a legendary evil threatens her adopted mothers life and the only family Julie has known. In fighting this evil she faces not only her own fears, but also people she was close to in the past.
This was a controversial novel for Ilona Andrews to write. Apparently Julie was not a popular character because she always seemed to resent Kate but also because she left Atlanta with out speaking to anyone and there wasn’t any closure. I guess now we know the reason why. I didn’t have these same feelings about her as other Kate Daniels enthusiasts. I eagerly awaited her story hoping that it would answer some questions as well as let me see some of the characters in this world I loved for so long. I got a little bit more of the latter than I did the former. In fact, I have more unanswered questions than I do any unresolved ones. However, I know that Ilona Andrews will eventually check off every one of my questions. Including what happens when she and Derek find each other again.
What I love the most about these novels is how fast paced they are. Although if you need to stop to cook dinner, work, or do some chores, that’s not necessarily a good thing. Right from the first chapter I am intrigued by this character who is so different than the Julie I remember from the past. Of course, she now calls herself Aurelia Ryder, and with the name change comes a who new set of magical skills. Oh, and did I mention the new face? That story needs to be read as it’s really a part of Aurelia’s evolution story and shouldn’t be spoiled by a blogger, but don’t take too long to read it, it’s worth finding out!
As with a lot of first novels in a series, this one sets up a lot of plot lines. Julie is now Aurelia, looks different, and has some uber magical skills that match the new name and face. Some of our other favorites are also different. Ascanio, who was her “friend” or at least cohort in her youth is set up as an adversary of sorts, which is different than I expected. Then, of course, there’s Derek, who like Aurelia, has gone through his own transformation. So, what I expected to find, didn’t end up happening and I found myself just a touch disappointed until I just let go of my issues and let myself get immersed in the story. Will it all make a little more sense in the second novel? This one ends on a cliff hanger so you can only hope the answer to that question is yes.
Six months have gone by since Alessandro left her and Catalina’s broken heart has mended (so she says). As a Prime and head of her family Catalina tries to cope and finally resolves to lose herself in her family’s investigative firm’s caseload. While rescuing an emotional-support pet monkey she and her team are attacked by some amphibious beasts who seem to be controlled by a plant/mechanical device. When she gets called to duty as the deputy to the Warden of Texas, Catalina dives into that investigation finding that the two are connected. When called in for a client meeting she comes face to face with, you guessed it, Alessandro Sagredo, their representative. Unsurprisingly he muscles in on her investigation and they are forced to work side by side. Catalina’s plan? To be professional and distant, but unfortunately she’s facing a new Alessandro. One who is determined to protect her and to win her heart.
Oh goodness, I love this series so much! Emerald Blaze does for Catalina what the three earlier books in the series did for her older sister Nevada. It makes you look past the superficial to see an honorable, tough young woman who’s easy to adore, in part because she doesn’t cave in to everyone’s demands. Finding her own path through grit and determination. The Hidden Legacy series, set in a Houston where magic is power shows how this smaller house (Baylor), and Catalina as its Prime, navigate the house politics while staying independent and increasing their own worth. That’s all fascinating to read, but then when you throw in a hero who is a dichotomy to his outward screen idol facade, and who is determined to protect that heroine? You are guaranteed fiery dialog and sizzling chemistry, and a fun plot that makes those pages flip by too quickly.
Ok, ok, what can I say about this plot. Well, this plot is too intricate to attempt to describe so I’ll just say that as their investigation moves forward the romance takes a back burner and the mystery becomes what I’m truly interested in seeing. Yes, their chemistry is great, but it’s this magical world that Ilona Andrews has created that holds my attention. It’s the supporting characters that give our main characters depth and emotion. Emerald Blaze is not a surface piece of fluff, despite what the cover looks like, there’s actually a lot of meat in the story, and the plot definitely holds my attention.
If you are a fan of this series and are wondering if Nevada and Conner have any part in this novel, the answer is yes. Nevada is actually around for a good portion and as with any favorite characters, it was so good to see her, but Catalina and Alessandro were the stars in Emerald Blaze and really I wouldn’t have had it any other way. Looking towards the future a third book is on the horizon. An underlying story arc was not completed in this book and I’m eager to see how they finish it out! Let’s hope they write quickly! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
I received a copy of this ARC from the publisher through NetGalley for my honest review and it was honest!
I know, it’s so cliché to say this but wow, is it approaching August already? I feel like I just did this post for July. I haven’t even read all of those books yet. Oh well, let’s add to the TBR. LOL. Let’s get to it!
#5 MOST ANTICIPATED
Well, I always so there just aren’t enough gladiator novels out there to read, don’t I? I don’t? Well, I should! This book by the always fabulous Sara Raasch sounds fabulous! Why didn’t I know this one was coming out?
Ash is descended from a long line of gladiators, and she knows the brutal nature of war firsthand. But after her mother dies in an arena, she vows to avenge her by overthrowing her fire god, whose temper has stripped her country of its resources.
Madoc grew up fighting on the streets to pay his family’s taxes. But he hides a dangerous secret: he doesn’t have the earth god’s powers like his opponents. His elemental gift is something else—something that hasn’t been seen in centuries.
When an attempted revenge plot goes dangerously wrong, Ash inadvertently throws the fire and earth gods into a conflict that can only be settled by deadly, lavish gladiator games, throwing Madoc in Ash’s path. She realizes that his powers are the weapon her rebellion needs—but Madoc won’t jeopardize his family, regardless of how intrigued he is by the beautiful warrior.
But when the gods force Madoc’s hand, he and Ash uncover an ancient war that will threaten more than one immortal—it will unravel the world.
I read the first book in this series, Mirage, and found it to be a really interesting mix of fantasy and fairy tale. I can’t wait to see where Somaiya Daud takes this second novel.
On a planet on the brink of revolution, Amani has been forced into isolation. She’s been torn from the boy she loves and has given up contact with her fellow rebels to protect her family. In taking risks for the rebel cause, Amani may have lost Maram’s trust forever. But the princess is more complex than she seems, and now Amani is once more at her capricious nature. One wrong move could see her executed for high treason.
On the eve of Maram’s marriage to Idris comes an unexpected proposal: in exchange for taking her place in the festivities, Maram will keep Amani’s rebel associations a secret. Alone and desperate, Amani is thrust into the center of the court, navigating the dangerous factions on the princess’s behalf. But the court is not what she expects. As a risky plan grows in her mind, and with the rebels poised to make their stand, Amani begins to believe her world might have a future. But every choice she makes comes with a cost. Can Amani risk the ones she loves the most for a war she’s not sure she can win?
I admit, I’m a sucker for YA contemporary novels. This synopsis sounds like the perfect mix of romance and old hollywood glamour. I mean, what are we going to find out about her famous grandmother?
Following in the footsteps of her überfamous grandma, eighteen-year-old Evie Jones is poised to be Hollywood’s next big star. That is until a close friend’s betrayal leads to her being blacklisted . . .
Fortunately, Evie knows just the thing to save her floundering career: a public appearance with America’s most beloved actress—her grandma Gigi, aka the Evelyn Conaway. The only problem? Gigi is a recluse who’s been out of the limelight for almost twenty years. Days before Evie plans to present her grandma with an honorary award in front of Hollywood’s elite, Gigi does the unthinkable: she disappears.
With time running out and her comeback on the line, Evie reluctantly enlists the help of the last person to see Gigi before she vanished: Milo Williams, a cute musician Evie isn’t sure she can trust. As Evie and Milo conduct a wild manhunt across New York City, romance and adventure abound while Evie makes some surprising discoveries about her grandma—and herself.
Ummm, Hunger Games meets Caravale? Sounds kind of cool! I was lucky to get an ARC for this one.
In a city covered in ice and ruin, a group of magicians face off in a daring game of magical feats to find the next headliner of the Conquering Circus, only to find themselves under the threat of an unseen danger striking behind the scenes.
As each act becomes more and more risky and the number of missing magicians piles up, three are forced to reckon with their secrets before the darkness comes for them next.
The Star: Kallia, a powerful showgirl out to prove she’s the best no matter the cost
The Master: Jack, the enigmatic keeper of the club, and more than one lie told
The Magician: Demarco, the brooding judge with a dark past he can no longer hide
Where Dreams Descend is the startling and romantic first book in Janella Angeles’ debut Kingdom of Cards fantasy duology where magic is both celebrated and feared, and no heart is left unscathed.
Another Hidden Legacy novel continuing Catalina’s story. Ilona Andrews is always a must buy for me, and I’ve done that with this novel, the audiobook, and even got an ARC this last week! I’m feeling extreme amounts of joy about this one. Really!
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 know we all have different tastes in books and seriously there are a TON of great books coming out in August if you haven’t take a look at the list. Here’s the link where I usually find mine.
During Treaty Stay, Innkeeper’s are not allowed to turn away any guests. Although Dina has been an Innkeeper for a few years, her new boyfriend Sean is just beginning to wear in his Innkeeper’s robes and although in love, they are still feeling out their duties as co-Inkeeper’s. When a Drifan asks to stay during Treaty Stay, Dina must accept and hope that this super magical being is not looking for trouble during their stay. With the addition of a group of Koo-ko, who need a suite to continue their very heated debate, and a Medamoth, a tracker, this Treaty Stay may be a doozy!
Even though Sweep With Me is a novella, I got a real feeling of where Dina is at since the last novel featuring she, Sean, and Gertrude Hunt. Still struggling with the loss of the seedling Inn, Dina is trying to regain her strength and learn to co-partner with Sean in their new relationship. Ilona Andrews does a great job of giving us a full length story in a short form novella and I felt totally satisfied when I ended this novel.
I love it when new species drop in to Gertrude Hunt and this world expands and grows. Hopefully Ilona Andrews has many more stories to tell in this series because I’m not done watching these characters grow and evolve in their relationships. ❤️❤️❤️❤️
Opinions from around the Blogosphere
“It was over way too quickly, and seemed very much just holding material, a way to pass time to get to something better. Don’t get me wrong, it was fun holding material, but the last book was so very good, I guess I really wanted more with a return to Dina’s story.” The North Wind and the Sea
“I know it’s going to be quite some time before we see another Innkeeper novel. Since we know what Ilona Andrews will be working on in the meantime, I’m totally okay with that. But I will admit that I love this series, and will miss it in the meantime. I think I’m going to have to go back and reread the entire series again, to help cope with that bit of loss. But it’ll be worth it!” Quirky Cat’s Fat Stacks
Sweep of the Blade is the first novel in this series to not feature Innkeeper Dina Demille. Instead, we learn her sister Maud’s fascinating story of love, heartbreak and honor. Seeing through Maud’s eyes her love for her first husband and consequent betrayal by him I understood more the barrier she built to save herself, and her daughter Helen from caring for anyone that much again. When she helps her sister defend her Inn and meets Arland her will starts to bend until she agree’s to go with him to House Krahr to determine how well she and Helen would fit in.
Maud is such an interesting character! She is a warrior, scholar, mother and woman who just kicks A&&! If you looked up fierce in the Ilona Andrews dictionary, you’d see a picture of Matilda “Maud” Demille. A human married into a vampire House, Maud had to show her worth by knowing every single fact about that vampire world. Those facts combined with her knowledge from an education growing up an Innkeeper’s child made her a silent threat. As she navigates House Krahr those skills become invaluable as she uses them to infiltrate behind possible enemy lines.
Arland, Marshal of House Krahr, is as funny and unique as in previous books, but in this one we see a more serious side. He is back home where he has a job to do and outside influences take up a lot of his time. This doesn’t take away from his determination to win Maud as his wife and be a father to Helen. He does this by allowing Maud to shine on her own. I LOVED that!
Helen as in the last book, steals the show. She is sassy, brilliant, and fierce like her mom. A veritable mini-Maud, albeit she is a human-vampire hybrid. I hope somewhere in our future Helen has her own series!
The Innkeeper series is one of my favorites. I’ve listened and read each book numerous times and always find a new tidbit to keep me coming back. Sweep of the Blade only added to the allure, and the ending? Oh boy! I can’t wait to read what happens in the next novel!
Opinions from around the Blogosphere
” got my copy of this around 4:00 this morning, and devoured it in one setting. So much love. I don’t usually like books where one of the main characters already has a kid, but this one is a big exception. Helen is an absolute favorite of mine – I would go so far as to say my favorite kid in a series, period. So, so much fun.” Wicked Scribes
Happy Monday everyone! I ran across this post on Book Date and liked the idea of sharing what I’m currently reading, so here goes!
Sapphire Flames: A Hidden Legacy novel by Ilona Andrews
First Sentence Read: “I was swimming through the warm water of the Gulf when someone knocked on the sky.”
No More Secrets: A Small Town Love Story (Blue Moon #1) by Lucy Score
First Sentence Read: “Summer Lentz hefted her suitcase and laptop bag into the trunk of her snappy little rental car.”
Sapphire Flames was everything I could’ve imagined and it’s been so hard to choose my next book! Truthfully I started a different book, the second in a series where I loved the first book and it just didn’t feel right, so I put it down. I haven’t started No More Secrets yet, but LOVED the last novel of Lucy Score’s I read so I have high hopes I’ll be able to get into this one!
It’s the start of a new week, What are YOU reading?
This short novella is a fix for all of us Ilona Andrews junkies. We get just a taste of Nevada and Baylor, as the story revolves around the planning of their wedding, but it centers around her sister Catalina. Nevada goes through a few wedding planners so her sisters Catalina and Arabella decide to step in and take over. No worries about Nevada turning into Bridezilla, she doesn’t, but some of her tastes are a little questionable and there are a few wedding guests who’d rather not see her walk down the aisle. When a Rogan family heirloom goes missing, Catalina is hired to track it down before Nevada’s big day.
I have always wanted to see a little bit more of Catalina. As a Prime Siren, she has the power to enthrall and make anyone love her to the point of obsession. As Catalina investigates she has to go outside her comfort zone and use her skills as a Siren to get people to answer her questions. It was fascinating to see another side to Catalina as she explores her powers. She is obviously afraid but her love for her family makes her step up and solve this mystery. You could tell the author(s) had a lot of fun with this short story!
I LOVED the big reveal at the end of the story. As Catalina runs down the list of who did what, Nevada is described as leaning back in her chair and giving her sister a big thumbs up and a grin. You could just feel the pride and love. Yes, the Hidden Legacy series revolves around Rogan and Nevada, but the underlining theme is family, and the Baylor’s are the definition of that word. Of course, as this was a short story, you are left wanting more, more, more! I believe the next novel, also centering around Catalina, will be out sometime in 2019. As with all of the others, it will be well worth the wait! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️
Opinions from around the Blogosphere
“You can always count on Ilona Andrews for a story that will not only thrill and excite, but also wrap you up in the complex personal relationships of their characters. Diamond Fire was a terrific addition to the series and sets the stage nicely for Catalina to lead the way in upcoming books.”Harlequin Junkie
“I feel like this book accomplished what it set out to do – make me anticipate Catalina’s story. But it also suffered from its short length and didn’t have the usual brilliant plotting and storytelling that we know the author can bring to the table.” Rayas Reads
I am thrilled to have gotten an ARC of Magic Triumphs by Ilona Andrews. I am a huge fan of this series and have read, listened to, and dreamed about every novel. I’ll be honest though, if I hadn’t gotten this ARC I may have sat on this novel for a little while. It’s so hard to say goodbye to characters you love so much! As this book comes out on 8/28 I knew I’d have to buckle down and get over my emotional pain and read the novel. Without giving away the plot too much, here are my brief thoughts.
Kate- The reason why I love this heroine so much is because even though she has this incredible power and could do and be pretty much anything she wants, she remains true throughout this series. She wants to have friends, love, and have a home with Curran. A home, not a castle, not as ruler, just as a woman wanting to be with her man. Magic Triumphs stretches Kate further than she’s ever been. As we have seen in the Oracles visions in past novels, Kate knows she will battle her father, Roland, which may cause her son or her husband Curran’s death. She will do absolutely ANYTHING to keep their deaths from happening.
We found out at the end of Magic Binds that Kate is pregnant, so I’m not spoiling anything by saying that this novel starts off with the birth of their son and the majority of the novel takes place while her son is around 1 years old. He is such a fun presence in this novel and added something new and fresh to Kate’s character. MOM. I also loved seeing how proud Curran is of his son, and I think my favorite line in this book is Curran’s “He’s a prodigy.” Conlan, their little boy, is a little more than Kate had expected and his antics provide some much needed humor to what could have been a really darkly emotional novel.
The whole Kate Daniels series has been leading up to her battle with her father, Roland. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone when I say that yes, they battle. However, before that happens they have a couple of heart twanging moments that make you wish things had been different for Kate. It’s a shame she didn’t get the father she needed, but then we wouldn’t have had all of these wonderful stories to read! I feel like Roland paused for a moment reflecting on that same wish. That he’d have had the chance to just love his daughter. However, he is who he is and can’t change his megalomaniac ways…
Curran. I just love him. In Magic Triumphs he proves his worth as mate to Kate. They are now parents and we see them go through another evolution in their relationship, but Curran takes things even beyond where I saw his character going in order to keep his family safe. When I stop to think about it, it’s pretty jaw dropping, but my lips are sealed!
Magic Triumphs ends on a positive note. When I say that, I mean that we are given hope that more novels in this world will be written. We already know that Hugh and Elara have their own series, and they are actually an integral part of this book as well. We get a hint at the end that two more characters may have their own stories written. I can only hope!
I am going to end this review by copying what Ilona Andrews wrote on their blog. Paraphrasing, of course. ‘If this is the first time you have picked up a book in the Kate Daniels series. Put it down. Pick up Magic Bites. It’s our least favorite in the series, but the first and it needs to be read in order. It gets better, we promise.’ Boy does it!
I was given an ARC of this book through NetGalley for my honest review and it was honest!
A couple years ago Ilona Andrews published a blog post saying that they were writing a novel about Hugh D’Ambray, the ultimate evil character in their Kate Daniels series. They received a ton of comments from readers who were so excited to see how they would turn the Preceptor of the Iron Dogs, Roland’s right hand into a character sympathetic enough to capture readers hearts.
April Fools! they said. Well, that April Fools joke has turned into a reality.
Iron and Magic is the first in a new series set in the same world as their Kate Daniels series. Hugh D’Ambray has been thrown aside by Roland and is floating adrift in an alcoholic stupor when his Iron Dogs, men on his warrior crew, sober him up by saying Roland is killing them all one by one. They need Hugh to stand with them and be their leader. Hugh may not be a very nice guy, (in fact we have seen him torture and kill some of our favorite characters!) but he is very loyal to this group of men and would do most anything to help them survive. Including marry.
Elara Harper is the leader of her own crew, The Departed. She is known as the White Lady and in some eyes she is an abomination. That is all we know about her when Hugh arrives at her castle. His men need a place to defend and food to eat, and her castle needs defending. Not really a match made in heaven but they do both get something out of it. Elara’s people are fiercely loyal to her and as the story unravels we see why. She is strong, loyal, and will sacrifice her own needs for the survival of her people. Hmm, sounds a little similar to someone else we know, right?
Hugh has always been a rough bastard, and he does not change in this novel. He’s still a bad ass. However, Ilona Andrews has made him human and that humanity gives him a new emotion, regret. Once you start to regret things your heart and mind are open to other new emotions. Now, don’t get me wrong, Hugh is still one bad hombre, but he’s now a bad hombre with a conscience. A conscience that makes him hesitate slightly before he makes the decision to maim or kill. He and Elara do not get along, but their bickering provides humor and also adds to Hugh’s humanity. He has always had wit, but has never had a female sparring partner who would see the charm beneath the one liners. Elara is fierce, and like Kate that is very attractive to Hugh. He doesn’t want to like her but can’t seem to help himself. Their relationship is as fascinating to watch unfold as is the story of their fight against a common enemy which is an amazing read.
This novel was everything I never knew I wanted and I can’t wait to read it again. If you have not read the Kate Daniels series, I think this would stand well on its own. BUY IT!