Series: Hidden Legacy #6
Published by Avon on August 23, 2022
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#1 New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews is back with the newest book in the exciting Hidden Legacy series—the thrilling conclusion to her trilogy featuring fierce and beautiful Prime magic user Catalina Baylor.
An escaped spider, the unexpected arrival of an Imperial Russian Prince, the senseless assassination of a powerful figure, a shocking attack on the supposedly invincible Warden of Texas, Catalina’s boss... And it’s only Monday.
Within hours, the fate of Houston—not to mention the House of Baylor—now rests on Catalina, who will have to harness her powers as never before. But even with her fellow Prime and fiancé Alessandro Sagredo by her side, she may not be able to expose who’s responsible before all hell really breaks loose.
This is the end of Catalina’s story arc and I admit I didn’t enjoy it as much as Nevada’s story.
Someone has murdered the Speaker of the Texas State Assembly. Someone has gotten to the Texas Warden. Who and why is someone trying to kill the most powerful Primes in Texas?
Not that Catalina doesn’t care about the death of Luciana Cabera, but she is more concerned about the attack on her boss and mentor, Linus Duncan. Who could have gotten through Linus’s wards? His house is on lockdown and as a Prime weapons mage, his house is a fortress. An army shouldn’t have been able to get past his front gate, let alone walk in and out again after leaving Linus unconscious and his bodyguard dead.
The Russian Grand Duke has sent his representative to “help.” But what interest does House Berezin have in attacks in Texas? Konstantin is a powerful illusion mage but can you trust an unknown “helper” when you can’t even trust the face that he shows you.
Catalina and Alessandro believe that the man who killed Alessandro’s father is behind all of it. Arkan had stolen samples of the original Osiris serum which is what originally gave magic to the Houses. Giving another shot of the serum usually kills the host but Arkan has managed to create a serum that will work. Houses live and die by their most powerful Primes so being a dud in a powerful House is a cause of great shame to the dud and to the House. It might be illegal but many Houses would pay a fortune to bring another powerful Prime to their House makeup but they are also risking a lot by giving an unknown power to an untrained mind. It’s like handing a small child an M-80 instead of sparkler. These individuals are wielding powers they can’t control after a lifetime of being treated as worthless. They are a danger to themselves, their House and the city around them.
With Linus out of the way, Catalina has been appointed the Acting Warden, which means no one will be be helping House Baylor deal with this matter. So it is up to Catalina and Alessandro to stop Arkan but first they have to figure out how to flush him out of hiding. Catalina knows that stopping Arkan has to been her priority, but what she fears most of all is that Alessandro won’t be able to stop himself from getting revenge for his father’s death, even if it means his own. Will she be able to stop the man she loves from what could be a suicide mission of revenge?
I felt let down by this final story in Catalina’s arc. First of all, Catalina has finally learned to control her siren powers but almost every time she had to face off against the bad guys, they are wearing protective ear protection so she is left fighting hand to hand vs using those abilities. Next, a fight with another faction is keeping Connor and Nevada busy so we don’t have much help on that front which keeps the use of those powerful Primes out of the storyline. Although there was a better use of investigative skills, I just didn’t feel like we got much use with everyone’s special abilities. What is the point of a story with magic if we aren’t using magic to fight?
We tied up some lose ends but some of those were so obvious in the set up over the prior five stories, they weren’t really a surprise. Catalina learns more about the Prime who sired her father and why his House will stop at nothing to keep a female siren out of their lineage. This is the last book in Catalina’s arc and with the exception of warning Catalina not to accept any help from that House as they won’t have her best interest at heart, we really didn’t get more into that warning. We tied up some loose ends with Alessandro’s family as well but again, it was more last story of the arc, let’s clean that up.
One thing that bothered me is a spoiler…View Spoiler »Nevada’s arc was all about the conspiracy of some Houses to overthrow the governmental body. This conspiracy was lead by Cesar. Personally, I believed that Linus was going to be our Cesar. He was perfectly set up for being both the good guy and the bad guy of the story. I don’t know if it was always the intent of the authors or if feelings shifted and everyone loved Linus too much to make him the bad guy, but this shifts to Linus being approached to lead the rebellion and accepting the role of Cesar to go in undercover in the conspiracy since he was secretly the Warden. So his conversation with Victoria about Cesar still leading the rebellion was done to be overheard by the right people to continue his ruse. Of course, that was the perfect explanation to keep Linus in everyone’s good graces but it felt like a cheat. Cesar was the big bad guy for five books but turns out it was just Linus playing a part so he can know all the players in the conspiracy. Yet he left Connor and Nevada stumble around being attacked by the unknown (to them) participants and he never let Catalina know about the conspiracy and his (undercover) part in all of it to take the the conspiracy from the inside even after she becomes Deputy Warden? Meh. Seems like BS to me. « Hide Spoiler
I love everything that Ilona Andrews writes and maybe I was just expecting too much. I admit that when I grabbed Emerald Blaze, I was conflicted. I wanted more Nevada and Connor but yet I couldn’t wait to see how grown up Catalina dealt with Alessandro. The Catalina and Alessandro arc wasn’t as exciting as the Nevada and Connor’s stories. There are a few open issues that still to be addressed, such as House Baylor still owes a favor to the Record Keeper for not killing Victoria. The authors have indicated that they don’t have any plans as yet for a series featuring Arabella but there were some things that could still be followed up and a hint of a possible and very interesting love interest, if they decide to go that way. I just don’t know how many times we can use Arabella’s less subtle ability to change into a giant monster in the course of her story arc.
I think the most interesting character is baby Arthur. I want baby Arthur shorts.
Maybe I just need to read it Catalina’s arc again.
“There is another aspect to all of this.” Nevada reached over behind the tablet and held an object in front of the screen. Part of it was a wooden contraption that looked familiar.
“Is that a yarn swift?”
“Yes, the core of it is.”
The yarn swift was a modified wooden umbrella that held the skeins of yarn so they could be wound into balls. But this one had coils of thread, and some weird wire bent into hooks, and more weird rainbow thread stretched in loops over the hooks.
“Arthur made it,” Nevada said.
“We were busy discussing something, and he was in his swing right next to us. He stole his grandmother’s yarn swift and her craft box while we were talking, and then Connor noticed him building this thing in midair.”
Well it was certainly colorful.
“He’s built things before. Small things that made no sense.”
She didn’t sound right.
“And this thing makes sense?”
“It functions,” my sister said.
“In what way?”
Nevada raised the mutilated yarn swift straight up and squeezed a part of it. The band of blue thread snapped into the air. The yarn swift turned, firing the thread loops at an alarming speed.
It wasn’t thread. Oh. Oh!
“Are you telling me Arthur built a rubber band machine gun out of the yarn swift and some thread?”
“And some pushpins.”
Linus had to physically assemble the weapons. Yes, his magic made components snap together but only in a very narrow range. If he was truly a hephaestus mage, Arthur would be able to levitate parts to him…Oh my God.
“Are you okay?” She didn’t look okay.
Nevada pondered the rubber band gun. “No. It’s the pushpins that did it. They are sharp. He isn’t supposed to have them. He bent them into the little hooks, see?”
“At least he didn’t use them as ammo.” I probably should have said that.