Sapphire Flames was a nice way to return to the Ilona Andrews fold. I was unhappy with the final Kate Daniels book and stopped reading Ilona Andrews for many months. I did buy the novella, Diamond Fire, but I was still too mad about Magic Triumphs to really get into it. When Sapphire Flames was released, I reread the novella and then dove into the novel. And then I went back and reread White Hot and Wildfire. I would not suggest trying to read these books without reading the previous Hidden Legacy books. There will be some spoilers for the first three books, but none for Diamond Fire and Sapphire Flames.
One of the things I like about the Hidden Legacy series is that in shifting the focus from Nevada to Catalina, we get to see Catalina grow up, and Nevada gets to have her happy marriage and build a family without unnecessary obstacles.
The novella, Diamond Fire, centers on Catalina’s investigation of the theft of a family heirloom for Rogan’s mother in the days before Nevada and Rogan’s wedding. Mrs. Rogan asks Catalina to keep her sister out of the loop, because she is certain that the thief is a relative and she doesn’t want the marriage to start off with bad feelings between Nevada and her husband’s family. Catalina is still a shy teenager, trying to decide what to do about life after high school and helping arrange the wedding. Catalina steps out of her comfort zone and saves the day several times.
It was nice to see Catalina, Arabela, Bernard, and Leon work together in both books. In moving from the novella to the novel, Andrews shows how they’ve matured and have come to trust each other as a team. Even with a family of supporting characters and new and returning characters, Catalina is very much the star of this book. The enigmatic Allesandro is too enigmatic to steal focus from Catalina. In fact, the only character who does grab attention is the also enigmatic Linus. I have feelings and thoughts about Linus and I’m pretty sure he will move from supporting character to a pivotal character (not in a romantic way).
And now we settle in for the long wait for the next book.