It started the way so many great love stories do, with a chance meeting in a secluded bookshop. A glance at the cover, a pause, that first tentative look at the synopsis…
Or possibly it showed up in my recommended books list on Amazon.
Who can say for sure?
Either way, Ilona Andrews dropped into my top 5 and has managed to stay there for longer than most of my adult relationships to date.
If you haven’t read or heard of Ilona Andrews before, ‘she’ is a husband and wife writing team who have so far written the Kate Daniels series, The Edge series, The Innkeeper Chronicles, and the Hidden Legacy series, along with a variety of novellas and short stories. The Hidden Legacy series is a recent read for me, despite my undying love for the authors, because for a long while I genuinely believed it couldn’t get any better than the Kate Daniels series.
I tried The Edge novels, and they were good, but not as good as Kate. Same for The Innkeeper Chronicles.
Now, don’t get me wrong, that isn’t to say that those two series aren’t amazing. It’s just that I started with the Kate Daniels series, and it set the bar high.
So, like any dedicated fanatic, I’ve spent the last however many years re-reading the tales of Kate and Curran and loving every moment of it. But, like many other book lovers (I hope. I’ve never asked in case I don’t like the answer!) after a while my brain just gets hungry for something new, and I’ve never quite developed the willpower to resist that urge.
The urge for something fresh and exciting.
Sometimes that comes from a known and loved author, but sometimes it’s something completely new and outside my usual comfort zone.
In this case, I decided it was time to test out the final mystery series from one of my absolute favourites. And life will never quite be the same.
The Hidden Legacy Series…
Did you ever read a book, or a series, that was so spectacularly brilliant, that was so exactly what you want from your perfect fantasy world, that by the end you feel like your world has changed forever?
And then you wander around, seeing everything through your new, altered vision, and trying to understand how everyone else manages to live without it?
Hidden Legacy was one of those series.
I really, truly didn’t think it could be better than the Kate Daniels series, but… well… you know where I’m going with this.
To say I loved it and wish I could live in the world they created in this series would be a gross understatement.
This series feels like the literary representation of a piece of my soul.
I was working full-time and still managed to read all three books in two days.
Granted, I had to sacrifice some sleep to accomplish it, but damn it, I regret nothing!
So, what is this magical series, and why did I love it so much? Well, I won’t go through the synopsis in its entirety, you can see for yourself. But as a quick summary, the trilogy follows our hero, Nevada Baylor, private investigator and truthseeker extraordinaire.
In Nevada’s world, the Osiris serum, discovered in 1863, has given certain individuals a range of magical powers. These supernatural individuals are divided according to the amount of magic they have.
The very top tier of mages are called primes. Primes are the heads of their houses and spend much of their time trying to acquire more power and more money, via big business and carefully selected marriages.
The houses are a law unto themselves, existing in a world of luxury and backstabbing. They have tremendous power and influence, and in the first book, Burn For Me, one such house has given Nevada a job she can’t turn down.
Not if she wants to keep her home and her business.
She must track down a pyrokinetic prime and bring him back to his family, without getting burnt to a crisp.
10 Reasons To Love Hidden Legacy…
The rest of the story, I’ll leave you to find out for yourself, and if you have any interest at all in urban fantasy, supernatural action adventure with a romantic subplot, spectacular worldbuilding, or just bloody good writing, I wholeheartedly encourage you to give these books a go.
However, in case you still need some convincing, I’ve listed a few of my favourite details of the books below.
- The main character’s preferred work outfit is jeans and a t-shirt. This might seem an odd one to start with, but if there is one thing guaranteed to make me instantly relate to a character, it’s the fact that they don’t spent their whole lives swanning about in perfectly coordinated outfits or improbably tight leather trousers. I mean, how the hell is anyone executing a perfect high kick in brand new leather trousers? No chance.
- There are strong female characters aplenty. There always are in Ilona Andrews’ books, and Hidden Legacy is no exception. Nevada is a private investigator with her own business, her mum is a former army sniper, and Grandma Frida is a master of all manner of weaponised vehicles, including my personal favourite, a tank called Romeo. All the women in Nevada’s family are badasses, and I, for one, love it!
- It’s not all about the romance. I like a good romance as much as the next person, especially if everyone has magical powers, but I want it to be part of the story, not the whole thing. The romance develops over the course of the trilogy, nothing is rushed, or forced, and I genuinely wanted it to work out for those crazy kids.
- There is a pacifist grizzly bear with magically enhanced intellect called Sergeant Teddy. ‘Nuff said.
- The powers are original. Okay, you’ve got your trusty magic energy ball throwers, storm creators and telekinetics. But you’ve also got pattern mages, swarmers and psionics. There’s actual thought and logic been put into how it would all work, rather than just ‘oh so and so can do that because it’s magic’, whether it makes any sense or not. (I know, I know, applying logic to a fantasy world seems a bit redundant. But damn it, I want it to make some kind of sense!)
- There is a weapon called the grinder. Don’t worry, no spoilers!
- There’s a blue tiger-hound called Zeus who was summoned from another dimension and has a frill of tentacles around his neck. He’s a house pet.
- Nevada’s family manages to be perfect, and at the same time exactly like most families. There are annoying teenagers, meddlesome older relatives, and parents who struggle to let their kids grow up and make their own decisions. Sound familiar, anyone?
- Connor Rogan, Nevada’s adversary-turned-love-interest, is super hot. Yes, I know he’s a fictional character, but still.
- And finally, there is a strong chance that there will be more of these books. They’re listed as a trilogy at the moment, but the story is nowhere near over, so I, for one, will be keeping everything crossed that the publishers love them as much as I do and that we get more from Nevada’s world.
So, if you loved the Kate Daniels series too, if you have a mild interest in finding out what the deal is with the bear, or if you’re just bored and need something to do. For the love of fudge, try the Hidden Legacy series! There are currently three books in the series: Burn For Me, followed by White Hot, and Wildfire.
If you get even a fraction of the enjoyment out of it that I did, I swear you won’t regret it!
Kate is a physiotherapist based in North Wales, because in order to buy books you first need to have money. Her list of favourite authors includes several dozen names and she’s always on the lookout for new additions. Aside from books she’s also a huge fan of supernatural films, preferably featuring hordes of the undead, people with superpowers, or both! And in her non-reading time she’s trying to perfect her baking and confectionery skills.