Release Day Review: Blood Heir by Ilona Andrews

Blood Heir by Ilona Andrews
Urban fantasy published by NYLA on January 12, 2021

Blood Heir by Ilona Andrews book coverFrom award-winning author, Ilona Andrews, an all-new novel set in the New York Times #1 bestselling Kate Daniels World and featuring Julie Lennart-Olsen, Kate and Curran’s ward.

Atlanta was always a dangerous city. Now, as waves of magic and technology compete for supremacy, it’s a place caught in a slow apocalypse, where monsters spawn among the crumbling skyscrapers and supernatural factions struggle for power and survival.

Eight years ago, Julie Lennart left Atlanta to find out who she was. Now she’s back with a new face, a new magic, and a new name—Aurelia Ryder—drawn by the urgent need to protect the family she left behind. An ancient power is stalking her adopted mother, Kate Daniels, an enemy unlike any other, and a string of horrifying murders is its opening gambit.

If Aurelia’s true identity is discovered, those closest to her will die. So her plan is simple: get in, solve the murders, prevent the prophecy from being fulfilled, and get out without being recognized. She expected danger, but she never anticipated that the only man she’d ever loved could threaten everything.

One small misstep could lead to disaster. But for Aurelia, facing disaster is easy; it’s relationships that are hard.

I was super excited to read this book and it was awesome! I found myself sitting up on the edge of my seat on the couch several times as I was reading this and it was hard to stop to do normal, boring adult stuff like stand when my Apple Watch buzzed me every hour. I was sucked into the story immediately. I got to the last 15% or so and held off reading the big battle until the next morning so I could savor it. So good; a great first read of the new year!

I have to make a couple of confessions—one: I haven’t finished the Kate Daniels series (I’m on book 7) and two: I didn’t read this as they were publishing this online. I’m so glad I waited to read the whole thing and while I am normally strict when it comes to reading series in order, I have no regrets reading this without finishing the Kate Daniels series or reading Iron and Magic. This is part of the Kate Daniels world and takes place well after Magic Triumphs so you will be spoiled by events in those books when you read Blood Heir so proceed accordingly.

Aurelia Ryder is the new identity of Julie, Kate’s adoptive daughter. She’s back in Atlanta on a mission after years away and is trying to avoid her family and the Pack for “reasons”. The years away have transformed Julie aka Aurelia into a warrior who has embraced her magic and then some and will do whatever it takes to protect her family. I do feel like Aurelia/Julie has a better “family” (be it found, adopted, or by birth family) support system than Kate did at the beginning of her series which I appreciate.

Aurelia aka Julie isn’t the only person who’s changed, taken on a new role and identity, and become more powerful over the years as Derek (aka Darren) is also back in Atlanta and seems to be investigating the same crime as Aurelia. I’m left with a lot of questions about Derek aka Darren and can’t wait to learn more.

This book starts what I believe will be an amazing new arc in the Kate Daniels world. Gods or pseudo gods, prophesies, mythic creatures, cool magic, political machinations, characters from the Kate Daniels books as well as new characters all come together to create this fabulous, engrossing story. There’s lots of fighting in this book so we get to read about Aurelia and Darren kicking butt too! One thread of the new threat is wrapped up but the bigger monster looms.

There’s some pining but no kissing or sexy times in Blood Heir so don’t go in expecting that. But it definitely fits where I think Julie and Derek are in their lives and any relationship. I think we’re in for a slow burn there, folks! I am excited to be in this world and with these complex characters for hopefully many books to come! Overall a very enjoyable read for me. I loved my return to the Kate Daniels world.

*Content warning: violence, children in peril

Grade: A-

You can read an excerpt here, and buy a copy here.

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