Review: Emerald Blaze by Ilona Andrews

Emerald BlazeAuthor: Ilona Andrews
Series: Hidden Legacy #5, Catalina Baylor Trilogy #2
Publisher: Avon
Released: August 25th, 2020
Received: Own
Rating: 5 Stars

Emerald Blaze is the second novel in Catalina Baylor‘s story, and the fifth in the Hidden Legacy Series. That means that once again, fans are about to dive into a world full of magic and intrigue. If I’m being honest, it’s one of my favorite worlds/series.

Catalina Baylor is secretly the deputy to the Warden of Texas. What does that mean, exactly? It means that she keeps the balance, keeping those with and without magic safe, by ensuring that a line is never crossed. It also means that she has one of the biggest secrets possible to keep from her family.

Now a new threat is on the horizon, and Catalina has to shut it down quickly. She won’t be doing it alone though, as Alessandro has found his way back into her life. Realistically, she’s going to need every bit of help she can get, even if she doesn’t want it.

“They attacked me and Linus simultaneously. The thought burned a trail through my mind like a comet.”

Spoiler Warning

Can I go back in time? Just one day. Just enough to I can sit down and read Emerald Blaze all over again for the first time. Is that too much to ask? Seriously though, I’m completely in love with this book. It was worth every minute I had to wait for, and then some.

It’s amazing how quickly Catalina and her story have grown on me, leaving me eagerly seeking the next novel in her series. Actually, I take that back. I adore the entire house Baylor, and will take any story that springs from their world.

The whole family is full of charismatic and interesting characters. Plus the Baylor family as a unit is seriously amazing, and maybe just a little bit envy-inducing. I mean, who wouldn’t want a grandmother that retrofits tanks?

I’m always amazed at how the authors are able to up the ante for each novel. The stakes always feel real and desperate, without ever getting out of control (we’ve all seen series that get too meta to enjoy). It’s impressive, and more than enough reason to have continued investment in the world.

Honestly, I could go on and on about all of the things I loved about this book. The world-building, the characters, the action, the romance, it’s all there, and in the right balance. I also adored the smaller details and moments strewn into the series. Like background characters getting moments, and things like that. It brings it all full circle, all while further fleshing out the world.

I do feel like a lot of my questions, both from Catalina’s story, and from Nevada’s series, were answered in this novel. If I’m being honest, it makes me all the more excited to see what House Andrews will do with Arabella’s series (please let that be something that happens!).

One of my favorite parts about the entire novel is Catalina’s character. She’s gone from being a younger sister that was hard to take seriously, to a confident woman fully capable of taking care of herself – and her family. It was wonderfully done, and I loved being able to watch her grow into that character.

In case it wasn’t obvious, I highly recommend Emerald Blaze, as well as the entire Hidden Legacy series. It is so much more than it looks at first glance, and really is a series that will steal your heart. It stole mine.

The Cool Aunt

Bonus Review! I pre-ordered Emerald Blaze through Bank Square Books, and thus got access to the Arabella short story. I’m pretty sure the short is going to be released to everyone later, so no worries!

The Cool Aunt is a quick short story from Arabella’s perspective. Really, it’s the first time we’re getting a chance to see through her eyes, and that alone is excitement enough. I don’t want to describe it too much, because of spoilers. But I will say that it fits in nicely at the end of Emerald Blaze, and fleshes out a scene or two that Catalina missed out on. It’s a perfect little snippet, and I love it.

About Liz (AKA Cat)

I am an avid animal lover, photographer, graphic designer, and much more. I love to create art, and am willing to try any artistic technique at least once. I am particularly fond of artworks involving a lot of emotion and color. The purpose of my blog is for me to be open and honest with myself and the world about my attempts to grow as an artist. My other major passion is reading. My TBR pile is larger than I'll ever be able to read, and yet I can't resist adding to it on a nearly daily basis. I love to read science fiction & fantasy, graphic novels, and pretty much anything I can get my hands on. I have a couple of blogs, as you can see. One is primarily my photography, while the other are my book reviews. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out!
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