Desert Isle Keeper
If you’re a fan of Ilona Andrews’ Hidden Legacy series, you’re definitely going to want to get your hands on the novella Diamond Fire. If you’re not a fan of the series, A) you should be, and B) you should read all prior books before you even read this review. The series is wonderfully written and the novels build off each other to slowly reveal the pieces of the Baylor family’s hidden legacy. This book (and review) will contain some spoilers, so be warned.
The first three books of the Hidden Legacy series focus on Nevada Baylor, detailing her adventures and developing her romance with Connor ‘Mad’ Rogan. While the events of this novella concern Nevada’s wedding to Connor, the focus has been shifted to Nevada’s younger sister Catalina. In the previous trilogy, Catalina was slowly revealed to have the powers of a Prime, and as she’s turned eighteen and is becoming an adult, the next books in the series will focus on her adventures. This novella acts like a bridge between the two story arcs.
While Connor’s family was largely out of the picture in the previous three books, they take center stage in Diamond Fire. Catalina and her younger sister Arabella have signed on as the wedding planners for the event, after Nevada couldn’t work with previous ones she hired, and as such they’re in charge of managing both the wedding and all the guests. It’s mainly Mrs. Rogan’s bevy of siblings and their descendants who are causing problems, having arrived some time before the big day – which turns out to give them plenty of time to make mischief. Problems start when Catalina learns the family heirloom wedding tiara is missing and they escalate with the news that someone tried to poison the wedding cake. In the process of solving these mysteries, Catalina unearths a number of family secrets, which unravel into a bunch of drama before the wedding.
My only complaint about Diamond Fire is that it was too short. That is, it was so well written that I couldn’t bear for it to be over so quickly. The book is pretty packed with intrigues and events, but the pace is right in keeping with the rest of the series. We do get cameos from the whole cast of characters, but they all feel like pieces of a developing story rather than cutesy snapshots of people walking into the sunset. In other words, this was very much the precursor to a new series, rather than one extended epilogue.
The real star of the show, here, is Catalina. She’s eighteen-years-old, and the perfect mix of competence, confidence, and uncertainty. She has an aura of capability that belies her youth as she runs around managing the event and the difficult people attending it. Yet, when she’s forced to use her powers in ways she’s never tried before, she’s able to show the vulnerability that comes with growing into adulthood. And after she’s successfully stretched her limits and proven herself to be capable of new feats, she has a moment of grief for what this means, to mature and no longer engage with the world in a simple manner.
I am awaiting the arrival of the next book in the Hidden Legacy series with bated breath. Diamond Fire is a wonderful glimpse of what is to come, and I’m eager to see how this world and Catalina will develop.