Hidden Legacy #5
COVID has really ruined my enjoyment and relaxation over the last year-plus. I was really looking forward to this book since I finished Sapphire Flames. And then, somehow, I completely forgot about it, never read it, and honestly didn’t even realize I had it on my Kindle (pre-orders are sometimes really nice, sometimes not so much).
So when Sarah mentioned that she wanted to do a series re-read, and I realized my error, I jumped in. Starting Emerald Blaze directly on the heels of Sapphire Flames was a great idea. Even though it doesn’t pick up directly after, all the little things that we learned in SF were fresh in my mind.
I loved this book. So many little things that made a great whole. Catalina is growing ever more into herself. She’s becoming more capable and stronger. I loved seeing this growth, seeing her develop into the person best suited to protect their House. Her relationship with Alessandro is another breath of fresh air. The fact that Alessandro has changed and interacts with a different intensity is great – even if the reason why is a bit heart-wrenching. A handful of new characters made appearnaces and I’d love to see more of the in the future. The dynamics of the Baylor family and the ones they love were fantastic, as always. Those little moments between them, showing their relationships, were my favorite moments in the book.
One of these was finding out the why of how Catalina became head of their House. It always felt a little weird to me. I felt like I knew Nevada incredibly well and it just felt like we weren’t getting the whole story. I’m glad we get it here, even if it makes me want to strangle someone. My trust in Ilona Andrews paid off well here. I believe in them to make things make sense, even if they don’t when I first encounter them.
It’s this belief that is helping me deal, or maybe be patient is a better descriptor, with some of the things that I have issues with in this series, Catalina’s trilogy in specific. I struggle because I have a strong suspicion who Caesar is and trying to reconcile that with other information is hard. I keep waiting for that shoe to drop. Also, honestly, I hate Victoria; but I also I don’t think I’m smart enough to understand the game she’s actually playing. Catalina is though, I think.
Finally, I’m pretty uncomfortable with the whole Warden thing. The level of authority they have, with little oversight, and how the authorizing body ultimately deals with some of the issues Wardens investigate, all makes me very uncomfortable. I do think it’s clear that Catalina is uncomfortable with many of these things as well. Catalina is stuck and not really in a position to effect change, yet. HOWEVER, she also doesn’t want to quit. I’d really love to see some positive change here.
I understand this isn’t our world, where I have to worry about how police are being militarized and attacking citizens. The powers in the HL series definitely need some sort of check and balance. But with the way Victoria is doing pretty much everything she wants to do…it doesn’t really feel like there are legitimate checks-and-balances, but yet another “in crowd” being exempted from the rules and expectations everyone else is held to. Especially if the person helping her is who I believe it to be.
I’m definitely looking forward to Ruby Fever helping to clarify some of these for me.
Things are just getting more and more intense and there are plenty of breadcrumbs that point to a lot of interesting things to come. This continues to be one of my favorite series, with Emerald Blaze a fantastic addition.