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Publisher's Summary

Ilona Andrews, number one New York Times best-selling author, continues her spellbinding series set in the Hidden Legacy world where magic controls everything - except the hearts of those who wield it...

As Prime magic users, Catalina Baylor and her sisters have extraordinary powers - powers their ruthless grandmother would love to control. Catalina can earn her family some protection working as deputy to the Warden of Texas, overseeing breaches of magic law in the state, but that has risks as well. When House Baylor is under attack and monsters haunt her every step, Catalina is forced to rely on handsome, dangerous Alessandro Sagredo, the Prime who crushed her heart. 

The nightmare that Alessandro has fought since childhood has come roaring back to life, but now Catalina is under threat. Not even his lifelong quest for revenge will stop him from keeping her safe, even if every battle could be his last. Because Catalina won't rest until she stops the use of the illicit, power-granting serum that's tearing their world apart.

©2020 Ilona Andrews (P)2020 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about Emerald Blaze

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Disappointed in the narration.

Story is excellent but the narration is annoying. Too sibilant and she hits the last syllable of most of the sentences Too hard. It is cringeworthy and distracting.

12 people found this helpful

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Have faith, those who disliked Sapphire Flames!

I'm going to keep this spoiler-free!

Yesterday I wrote a review for Sapphire Flames after re-listening to it a year after my first DNF listen. I mentioned having faith in these authors -- that faith is renewed with this book.

I love how all the problems I had with Sapphire Flames were not only solved but done so in a way that made sense -- the fact that I'd had such an emotional reaction to them (hurt, sad, even grieving) showed me how much I cared about this world and these characters. The authors do, too. I am so, SO glad I gave that book a second chance... with the caveat that I had this one to listen to immediately after.

The story is crafted with care and I loved the blend of mystery (I mean, investigative agency) and deep horror, interspersed with the healing of family and of the deep wounds secrets inflict upon us. Catalina is truly come into her own, her character definitely NOT Nevada... and that's very much okay, because there's room in their family (and my heart) for both.

There's a lot of character growth over these two Catalina books, and not just of Catalina. Alessandro finally comes into his own in this book, not just as a magic-of-convenience love-interest cardboard cutout, but a far more open and vulnerable man. I was emotionally invested in these two (I mean, much more so than from their first book) and it made this book a deeply satisfying read for both the Romamce reader in me as well as the Urban Fantasy reader.

Worldbuilding continues to be complex and evolving in a beautiful way, power continues to corrupt, magic continues to be explored in greater depth, and some wonderful nods back to Nevada's books made me grin (like what happened to Bug's old hideout). Characters I love are here and are important to the story, not just refrigerated and thawed out for the convenience of plot purposes.

I love Nevada and Rogan even more after this book and I didn't think that was possible.

The change of narrators from Renee Raudman to Emily Rankin was absolutely necessary; I'm a huge fan of Raudman's, but I am also very familiar with Rankin from other books and her performance was excellent. The characters have their voices through her, kept consistent from previous books but also are now strongly conveyed through Rankin to such a point that I didn't need any cues as to who was speaking (the Catalina/Runa issue still exists, but I can chalk that up to them being of similar age and background as well as heritage -- I know people have picked out my accent down to my city, which has been surprising). I honour just how hard it must be, for characters to have their own voices independent of who is performing them! It speaks a great deal both to the strength of House Andrews as writers and to the performers of their works.

The mystery is great. The story is compelling. The action and tension are excellent -- there is a lot less "random encounter" killing and it once again feels weighty indeed every time a life is taken (as it should be).

Both new and old characters were an absolute delight -- House Pierce's contribution was excellent, Bunny's conspicuous absence from the previous book is rectified (Zeus, however awesome, is a little lacking in subtlety), the new security heads are both competent and compelling (and more than a little mysterious!), Doctor Arias continues to take no shit from ridiculous Primes going and getting themselves hurt (her bit in the previous trilogy still cracks me up -- Why would you let someone hit you with a car? Was it a nice car?), and Cornelius gets to be his quietly funny self.

There are fewer other investigations going on involving the particular Baylor brand of chaos, although discounting the Prologue, this book definitely has one of the best opening lines out there.

This book does not suffer from "middle of a trilogy" syndrome -- it's more a closure to Sapphire Flames while the Hidden Legacy over-arching plot continues to quietly press at the edges, threatening to spill forth once more. I'm delighted with this book, this series, and I can now see Catalina's story is going to be one I re-listen to almost as often as Nevada's.

Besides, it's the Baylor family's story -- and like the Mafia, once you're in, you're in for life.

9 people found this helpful

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Best. Authors. Ever.

An Ilona Andrews book is about the only thing that could make 2020 enjoyable right now, so I'm extremely happy to have a new one to devour. Strong characters, wonderful world building, great action, hilarious dialog, and romance that isn't stupid. Seriously, if you haven't read this series, or their other books, you're truly missing out. Now I just have to patiently wait for the next release... after reading this a few more times anyway. 😀

9 people found this helpful

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Great series

I have really enjoyed this series so far. The books are action packed and the characters are well developed and draw you in. There is a mix of humor and dramatic events that the characters must overcome.

The narration is good with distinct character voices.

4 people found this helpful

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Another great story

I have read every book this couple has written and enjoyed every one of them. Great story and wonderful characters. They always pick great narrators for their audible books so they are great in any format

4 people found this helpful

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A solid sequel

The plot was fine but not as tight as the Andrews’ other work. Maybe because it is setting up for the next book? I did love that the usual romance tropes were flipped.

The narration is slow and flat. I recommend listening at 1.2x speed. I wish the producers had selected a narrator with a Texas or southern accent.

3 people found this helpful

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Catalina is growing into her storyline

I liked that in this book you got to see more growth in Catalina. She’s getting older, she’s dealing with more stuff. Like her older sister, she’s focused on caring for her family but she’s doing it her way. There is still the humor that was present in previous books which I fully appreciate. I didn’t expect the storyline and how it tied into previous characters and I think the book was all the better for it.

3 people found this helpful

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Simply the best Ilona Andrew's novel ever!

I've read every Kate Daniels book and almost all of their other stories. They've become the best storytellers since Robert Heinlein. Congratulations.

There are no words to adequately describe the twists and turns in this book. THIS IS A MUST READ/LISTEN!

3 people found this helpful

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Hope this series never ends

I reallly like the world and magic Ilona Andrews has built for this series. This character depth and detail is outstanding. this book is full of action and true connection between characters. it just makes you want more and more. please don't stop writing this series.

3 people found this helpful

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Catalina Baylor vs.Borg Magical Construct

Each book spends some time reintroducing the world, the Baylor Family, and the extended cast of characters... but this is a huge cast with a lot of backstories. Plus, the Baylor Family & Co. are so fun, interesting, and mad-hatter that this book is most appreciated having first listened to the previous books in this series. Or at least start at book 3.5. Books 1-3 introduce a world populated by man-created magical humans and track Nevada Baylor as she ascends to the status of Prime magic user and leader of Baylor House. From book 3.5, we switch to second eldest sister Catalina Baylor as she grows from quiet teen afraid of her power to a Prime in her own right.

Whereas Nevada started already strong and confident, Catalina has been playing catch-up... until now. This book picks up months after the last one. Catalina has used that time to learn, train, and evolve into a deputy warden and generally kick-ass secret agent against world threatening magic crimes. I like her better with a spine. And lots of swords. I also better enjoyed her interactions with Alessandro, which finally moves past kisses (the author duo sure does love to drag romantic HEA side out thru several books).

As with previous books, there is a self-contained magical mystery procedural where our characters figure out who dunnit while clashing with magical people and magical beasties. This one introduces a magical swamp monster with mad-regeneration skills and a baddie with a Frankenstein fetish for combining animal, metal, and magic. I enjoyed the ride, although with the exception of Catalina, Alessandro and Leon, all the rest of the colorful series regulars get fairly short shrift.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-30-20

Enchanting

loved it cant wait for next installment well written entertaining, likeable characters excellently read charming stories

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  • Book addict
  • 08-30-20

3.5 stars

This book wasn’t as good as earlier ones in the series, and it read more like a young adult book at times with overly cheesy dragged out relationship moments (rather than ones with depth) and very convenient luck in fight scenes. Ilona Andrews usually takes her books a step above that. However, she does set the bar high with her other books, and this still has many good points.

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  • HelenS
  • 08-29-20

Finally Catalina comes into her own

I love Ilona Andrews’ books. The first trilogy centred around Nevada, the oldest sister, was my favourite of all of their books. (Ilona Andrews is a husband and wife writing team). When the series continued with Catalina as the main character I really wanted to love it, but I didn’t. In books 3.5 and 4 Catalina just didn’t make as satisfying a ‘heroine’ as Nevada.
Not that Catalina wasn’t likeable. She was and I’d love her as a friend, but I don’t want my kick-ass heroines to be wracked with anxiety, shyness and self-doubt. I have enough of my own!
I think I understood where the writers we’re going with her. She had to be a unique character, different from her sister, and we’d see her grow and develop over time. But I just couldn’t help feeling disappointed at the end of book 4. It was a great book overall with fantastic writing but still, I couldn’t help comparing it to Nevada’s first book, and it fell short.
The other thing that really bothered me about book 4 was the way that Nevada is written out of the story to leave Catalina as head of the house. I felt it was totally out of character for the Nevada that we saw in the first three books. In book 1 she’s willing to give her life to stop her family from losing everything. In book 4 we find out she’s stormed off in a huff because the family is trying to prevent her from working herself in the ground. She dumps the business and the ‘house’ that she persuaded them to form, and buggers off with her billionaire husband. And she leaves them struggling financially, at a crucial and dangerous time, with poor security staff. I thought “What a b**ch!” and it left me feeling angry at a character that I really love. But I was pi **ed at the authors for making me angry with Nevada 😆. In most good stories the characters have to be in a difficult place at the start but PLEASE - you could have done it without smearing Nevada’s good name! So I came away from book 4 not knowing that I really wanted to carry on with the series.
However, as with all good stories, it’s all coming together in book 5. Catalina is becoming a formidable head of the house and we see that she probably makes a better one than Nevada would have. Alessandro is back and he’s a changed man. Obviously it takes Catalina a while to forgive him but we finally see them getting together. The main plot is fast-paced, unique and very engaging. And we find out the reason that Nevada abandoned them, so I understand and forgive her! I was left feeling happy and satisfied at the end of this book.
I can see what the authors were trying to do in book 4, but despite being a great fan of theirs, they nearly lost me by the end. Catalina just didn’t seem to match up to her sister and it left me disappointed and edgy. Perhaps we could have come into Catalina’s character arc a bit later when she was perhaps 23 or 24 rather than 21. And please don’t make me hate Nevada again, even if it is only for one book ☹️. Overall an excellent read that I’d recommend to anyone but you really need to start at the beginning of the series.

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  • hayho
  • 08-26-20

OMG what a book!

I love everything written by Ilona Andrews and this latest offering is no different. The audiobook narration is superb and the story is brilliant. My only regret is I read it too quickly.

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  • Penni
  • 01-26-21

Loved it

Have listened to the entire series so far and now can’t wait for the next one.

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  • Kelly
  • 09-25-20

addictive audio

The audiobooks for this series are really good, both the narrator for the first 3 (Nevada and Rogan), and then the narrator for Catalina, Emily Rankin. I love when narrators can perform each character with such distinct voices that I always know who is who, and I enjoyed her performance of the male characters as well.

Catalina's character has developed so much across this series, and I really enjoyed finally getting all the background information on Alessandro. Loved the storyline, and as usual can't get enough of the rest of the Baylor family as well.

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  • Mrs Penelope Brundu
  • 09-05-20

Another winner

The mix between romance, action, humour and great characters continues. Now I have to wait for another !!!!