Review: Emerald Blaze by Ilona Andrews

Posted April 5, 2021 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 16 Comments

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Review: Emerald Blaze by Ilona Andrews
Emerald Blaze

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three-flames


Series: Hidden Legacy #5
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Published by Avon
Released on August 25, 2020
Pages: 399
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
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The Delight:

He broke her heart and now they have to work together once again.  A gruesome murder, an assassin after Catalina and her family, and creatures rising out of the Pit give an edge to this page-turner in a Don’t-Miss series.

 

Review:
Emerald Blaze is the fifth of the Hidden Legacy series and the second of the Catalina books.  The series is amazing when read in order.

It has been several months since Catalina picked her heart of the ground where it lay crushed after Alessandro walked away and went on with his assassin work.  The first love thing didn’t crush her and she feels she is a wiser woman as a result.  Not that it could have gone anywhere since her cold, calculating Grandmother Victoria gave her an ultimatum about remaining head of House Baylor and not leaving for love like Nevada.  Catalina has thrown herself into her work as Deputy Warden seeing cases that left her with nightmares even as she keeps up with the family detective business and leading her House as best she can.

Then a Prime is murdered in the Pit.  Both the father of the victim and her Warden boss want her to investigate.  She finds herself paired once again when Alessandro is back stating that someone has put one of the best killers in the business on her and her family to block the investigation and that someone might very well be a Prime magic user from one of the dead man’s four partners working to drain the Pit, a primordial slimy dumping ground for magic, in the low marsh area of Houston.  And, if the suspects and the assassin weren’t enough, there is a creature intelligence deep in the Pit prepared to do what it takes to stay alive.

One would think that any thoughts of attraction and love wouldn’t be an issue under the circumstances, but if Catalina thought she was well and over the handsome enigmatic Alessandro, she was wrong.  He says and does the unexpected always and continues to keep her off balance even while he well-partners her on the job.  But, he can’t be for her, she knows.

Emerald Blaze picks up after a short gap in time from the events of Sapphire Flame.  The dust has settled in some ways and the reader has to get up to speed on the Baylor family, Catalina’s activities, and Alessandro’s.  The catching up occurs as the intense fast-paced action scenes happen showcasing just how good Catalina and her family crew really are.

I love seeing how far Catalina has come.  She has stepped up amazingly as she makes some pretty tough decisions when presented with complicated choices.  She has learned to match Victoria’s cunning, go head to head with other Prime magics, get up after getting knocked down, and still keep her giving heart that wants to protect and help those she can.

After Nevada’s absence in the earlier book, she is present in this one and there are some wonderful sister moments as well as the fun of Nevada as an expectant mother.  But, this is very much Catalina’s book.

As the romance, I was appreciative of how the authors wrote that part.  Catalina was hurt by Alessandro’s choice to take off and he knew he had hurt her.  There is a natural progression from hurt and mistrust to understanding and more.  I liked that he felt the effect of his choice and even had a not so easy time of it, but she was mature about it and understood that the situation had been more complicated once he opened up about it.  I loved this pair together proving they were good for each other even before they got things ironed out.

The action side of the plot really drove this story at a clipping pace and kept the threat level high.  The villains and the monsters were formidable and I loved seeing how Catalina and her team were going to prevail especially when things got pretty dire there during the big climax scene.

The missing Osiris serum is wrecking havoc wherever it crops up and the trouble is escalating in the background especially with Victoria trying to control things from prison.  That last tantalizing scene with the old couple and the baby at the end has me oh-so curious and ripe for the next book.

All in all, I thought it was fabulous how Emerald Blaze not only met the level of the book before it, but took things up a notch or two.  Some incredible action, suspense, relationships, worldbuilding and romance all in one fire-cracker of a series that I can highly recommend.

 

Challenges Met:

COYER Seasons #20

Mt. TBR #44

Can You Read a Series in a Month #2

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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Debbie Haupt
Debbie Haupt
5 months ago

Oh every time I see this author duo reviewed it just shows me what I’m missing. And every review I read is fab. Thanks Sophia Rose isn’t it great when a series not only meets but beats your expectations?

Sophia Rose
5 months ago
Reply to  Debbie Haupt

Yes, these are amazing and I just know you’ll love them when you get the chance, Debbie. 🙂 Oh yeah, can’t wait for the next release this year.

Jen
Jen
5 months ago

Great review, Sophia. This book was AMAZING and I look forward to see how Catalina’s arc will conclude. I read this one when it first came out, but I also have the audiobook, so I’ll listen to that later this year.

Sophia Rose
5 months ago
Reply to  Jen

Yeah, I wanted to get caught up before that release, but I did it too soon. LOL I’ve heard these are great on audiobook. Thanks, Jen!

Anne - Books of My Heart

This is a favorite author and favorite series. It gets all the love and hearts from me!

Sophia Rose
5 months ago

And, I know why. Brilliant stuff!

Melliane
5 months ago

I really love this series!

Sophia Rose
5 months ago
Reply to  Melliane

Woohoo! We need the next book. 🙂

Rachel
5 months ago

I love this series and this was such a great installment. Catalina has really grown into a power. I think Grandma Victoria is only going to be more of a problem in the future!

Sophia Rose
5 months ago
Reply to  Rachel

Oh yes, I agree that Grandma Victoria is definitely going to grow a larger and larger issue. Loved seeing Catalina come into her own.

vvb
vvb
5 months ago

This cover always catches my eye. Has the sparkle. Glad to hear its just as good on the inside.

Sophia Rose
5 months ago
Reply to  vvb

Yes, I think they did fabulous with the covers for this series. All the jewel tones and magic sparkle to really match the tone of the books.

Carole Rae
5 months ago

Woah! This sounds like a goodie!

Sophia Rose
5 months ago
Reply to  Carole Rae

It sure was. I need the next book, stat!

Lover of Romance
1 month ago

Lovely review Sophia. I adored this book and so happy to see you enjoyed it as well. I have found that I really felt this upped the level in comparison to the other books and enjoyed the romantic dynamics this author writing team implemented.

Sophia Rose
1 month ago

I agree. It definitely took it up a few notches.