Blood Heir (Aurelia Ryder #1) by Ilona Andrews : Blog Tour #BloodHeirKD

Today I’m very excited to be kicking off the blog tour (more details below) for the latest, hotly anticipated series by Ilona Andrews. Blood Heir is the first book in the Aurelia Ryder series and having almost inhaled this in one sitting, I can easily imagine this capturing the attention of new fans along with those already familiar with the world in which this is set.  Be excited people.

Now, before I start this review, I would point out two things.  Firstly, I have read the first of the Kate Daniels books but unfortunately, and much to my own regret (*hangs head with shame*) I was so far behind that I simply stopped reading.  I know, it sounds crazy and I’m loathe to mention it – in fact the simple reason I point this out is that I recognise that like me, a lot of my fellow bloggers will often become overwhelmed when they’re so far behind with a series – so take heart and also take note that this is a completely fresh start. It’s set in the Kate Daniels world but things have moved on considerably and the character populating these pages has changed almost beyond recognition.  Plus, the author does a fantastic job of providing enough back story that new readers will feel comfortably onboard immediately and with ease.  So, do yourself a favour and jump on board with this new series as early as possible *you’re welcome*. The second thing I would broach, is that if you’re intending to pick up the Kate Daniels series then you might want to avoid this review in case spoilers are lurking (although I try very hard to avoid spoilers).  You have been warned.

*beware all ye who enter here*

BH Tour art

bloodheir coverEight years ago Julie Lennart-Olsen left Atlanta.  She was 18 years old and needed time and space to find herself.  She was away much longer than anticipated and when she finally returned it was not in quite the way she wanted or expected.  New face, new body, new magic, new name and returning under something of a dark cloud.  As much as Aurelia Ryder (aka Julie) would love to be reunited with her family that particular reunion would lead to certain death for those she loves and so Aurelia returns to the place of her youth in the early hours of the morning hoping to keep a low profile and, well, failing miserably.

In brief, Aurelia has returned to Atlanta to prevent a prophecy from being fulfilled in which her adopted mother dies.  Kate Daniels is the lynchpin that holds all the different factions of Atlanta together and in peace.  If she dies, well, things could go to hell in a handcart in fairly swift order and it seems that a reborn deity known as Moloch the Child Eater (sounds simply delightful doesn’t he) is intent on her death.  The prophecy has begun, a pastor called Nathan Haywood has been murdered and Moloch’s minions are infiltrating the City.  Aurelia needs to solve the murder and stay one step ahead, whilst remaining incognito.  What could possibly go wrong?  Well, the return of an old flame could upset the plan, particularly as it appears that Aurelia isn’t quite as blaise about their split as she thinks, and neither is he and they both have an invested interest in this murder mystery.

The setting.  This is a world set a little in the future where magic and technology war with each other.  Basically, an apocalyptic event known as the Shift occurred.  Magic flooded the world creating havoc, aeroplanes fell out of the sky, technology crashed, electricity was sapped and monsters raged into existence.  At the same time, necessity being the mother of creation, protectors such as The Order of Merciful Aid grew, fashioned upon the knight orders of old they are a deadly mission that provide aid to those with magical problems. On top of this, let’s call it urban side to things, there was also an old Kingdom, now resurrected and  known as New Shinar.  I don’t really want to give away too much about this other than Aurelia seems to have left Atlanta with Erra, an ancient princess and aunt to Kate – all will be revealed during the course of the story.  Also, by way of a little more background there are also ‘the People’, necromancers, now known as the Eastern Institute of Necromancy (EIN) who can control (or pilot if you wish to be polite about it ) vampires through mind control and to top it off shapeshifters and witches (and much much more).  For the sake of brevity I won’t go into any more detail.

Characters. I’m not going to talk about everyone here.  Just the real standout characters.  Obviously Aurelia is a fascinating character and one that I feel that we’ve only just scratched the surface of.  She is intelligent, capable but at the same time decent and more than that I like her point of view, the way she thinks and the way she narrates and this is so fundamental to staying on board for a series.  Aurelia is a lot more than at first meets the eye, no trembling damsel in distress, she has a LOT of tricks up her sleeve and can look after herself thank you very much.  We also have a young street kid, a girl called Marten, who Aurelia takes under her wing and who is also very interesting at this stage. We then have Ascanio Ferara, handsome (and doesn’t he know it) beta of the Bouda clan – I actually found his interactions with Aurelia, or more to the point the way she keeps him at arms length very amusing, And, yes, finally, Derek. Derek was Julie’s love interest (pre Aurelia). The two went their separate ways – too proud to make amends.  Now they come face to face again, and although they barely recognise each other they eventually come to an uneasy alliance.  MMm, there is some sizzling going on around here.  The chemistry is real people and I want a little more of that please.  What can I say, I’m totally shameless and I love some on page chemistry.  But, for the avoidance of doubt, this is not a book with romance, more the potential for a lovely long simmer (at least I’m hoping for that).

Finally, the conclusion.  It was brilliant.  I can’t possibly tell you why of course, you’ll have to read this yourself to find out.  But, can I just say – metal wolf anyone? I loved that.

Also, I do feel like I should give a special shout out to Tulip – because that is a horse with a difference.  And Knight Ryder – really?  I love it.

There’s a lot going on here.  Lots taking place in the world.  Not just between the packs and different factions of Atlanta but in the wider world with the rising of a new civilisation that seems to have arisen in answer to the Shift and the problems that arose as a result.  This is a world that is well known to many readers already and yet it feels like there is much change on the horizon to keep new and olders readers equally enthralled.  On top of that the MC is a complex character that I look forward to learning more about.  Clearly this is a world that the author(s) love and that’s something that really stood out when I was reading this.  There are plenty of characters thrown into the mix, the potential for some romance and the birth of some new threads that promise much in future instalments.

My rating 4.5 of 5 stars

I received a copy through Netgalley, courtesy of the publisher, for which my thanks.  The above is my own opinion.

Now, for the rest of the blog tour:

Look out for, and make sure to go and check out, forthcoming posts from the following excellent blogs which will be posting their thoughts during the next few days:

Fantasy Book Review  (review here)

Carole’s Random Life – (review here)

Way Too Fantasy – (review here)

Fantasy Literature – review here)

Novel Notions

Fantasy Book Critic

Further Info:

Publication : January 12th 2021

Absolutely stunning artwork by Luisa Preissler.   Check out the link (you won’t regret it) and also just feast your eyes on this beauty:

BH

Author Info:

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Friday Face Off : The bodice ripper

FFO

Here we are again with the Friday Face Off meme created by Books by Proxy .  This is a great opportunity to feature some of your favourite book covers.  The rules are fairly simple each week, following a predetermined theme (list below) choose a book (this doesn’t have to be a book that you’ve read), compare a couple of the different covers available for that particular book and choose your favourite.   Future week’s themes are listed below – if you have a cover in mind that you’re really wanting to share then feel free to leave a comment about a future suggested theme.  I’ve also listed events that take place during the year, that I’m aware of, so you can link up your covers – if you’re aware of any events that you think I should include then give me a shout.  This week’s theme:

The bodice ripper – exactly as it seems

This week was very easy.  I had lots of covers in mind for this particular theme but I’ve gone for : Burn for Me (Hidden Legacy #1) by Ilona Andrews.  I have to admit that I enjoyed this book although I haven’t read the rest in the series.  Here are the covers:

I actually really like the bottom two covers but on balance my favourite:

Burn2

Not really a bodice ripper but I like it.

So, which is your favourite?

I’ll be updating the list in order to include forthcoming events that I’m aware of so that you can perhaps link your themes up where possible (if you know of an event you’d like to share then let me know in the comments).  As always, if you wish to submit an idea then leave me a comment – or if you’d like to host a week then simply let me know.

Next week – Time – time waits for no one

Future themes: (if you’re struggling with any of these themes then use a ‘freebie’ or one of your favourite covers) (I’ve added some new themes – some of these are slightly different, in order to avoid too much repetition I’m trying to make the themes more of a suggestion that everyone can interpret how they like.  

2019

19th June – Time – time waits for no one

26th June – Windows – windows to the soul?

3rd July – Tentacles – ‘The sea brought you.  The sea shall have you back’

10th July – Tunnel – ‘At the end of every light, is a tunnel of darkness.’

17th July – holding an object – just as it seems

24th July – Framed – more meaning than one.  A cover with a frame, a picture within a cover or a murder mystery set up??

31st July – White – a cover that is predominantly white

7th August – Action – a cover that depicts action of some sort

14th August – Glasses or spectacles – “One could mention many lovable traits in Smee. For instance, after killing, it was his spectacles he wiped instead of his weapon.”

21st August – Potions –  hubble bubble

28th August – Dark road – ‘the road goes ever on and on’

4th September – Cold and crisp – any cover that gives you winter vibes

11th September – A cover with a pattern

18th September – Minimalistic and lacking clutter

25th September – A very busy cover full to bursting with detail

2nd October – A standout font

9th October – Mist/fog – “A thin grey fog hung over the city, and the streets were very cold; for summer was in England.”

16th October – Spider web – “Farewell, Aragog, king of the arachnids, whose long and faithful friendship those who knew you would never forget!

23th October – Ripped/torn – interpret it as you wish

30th October – Forest/jungle – ‘None of the Jungle People like being disturbed.’

6th November – Planets – “You’re on Earth. There’s no cure for that.”

13th November – Bright – ‘The future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades’.

20th November – Words only – “Words are pale shadows of forgotten names. As names have power, words have power. Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest hearts.”

27th November – Modern sci fi

4th December –  Fae – or fairy??

11th December – Lake – the mysterious lake

18th December – Highly Stylised

25th December- Freebie – or day off.

Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews

Burn for Me is the first book in a new Hidden Legacy series by Ilona Andrews.  This came highly recommended (thanks to Danya at Fine Print!) and I’m certainly glad of the recommendation as I think the cover would probably have put me off reading this one as it looks more like a paranormal romance which is not really something I read a lot of.  Don’t be distracted by the cover though as this is more Urban Fantasy with the hint of a potential romance.

The setting is an alternate world where during the 1800s a serum was developed that basically unlocked previously unknown of magical capabilities in regular, everyday people.  Eventually use of the serum stopped but the damage had already been done and the magical capabilities unleashed passed down amongst families.  Powerful magical families arose and marriages between those with strong capabilities sought in order to increase magical capability.

Nevada is a private detective and whilst some members of her family have magical capabilities they are not powerful and do not have a high social standing and Nevada is believed to be without any magical talent at all.  This is of course incorrect as she is capable of detecting lies which is an incredibly useful ability given her line of work.  She keeps this capability secret in order not to become sought after by those who would use her as an interrogator and take over her life.

At the start of the story Nevada is strong armed into taking a case that she has little hopes of achieving success with.  To bring in a highly powerful magical man who is wanted for murder.  Nevada isn’t the only person searching however.  It seems that this young man’s family are anxious to find him before the police do so and have asked for help from one of the most powerful, unstable and notorious magic users – Mad Rogan.   Of course it’s sort of inevitable that the two will become embroiled together in the search and as they spend more time together it appears that Mad Rogan begins to develop a new interest in Nevada, an interest that although she tries to ignore she can’t deny her own underlying attraction to this man who is so totally out of her league and social standing not to mention incredibly dangerous and ruthless.  There is undeniable chemistry between the two and although, as I said above, this isn’t a paranormal romance, I can’t deny that the sexual tension between the two makes for compelling reading.

I won’t elaborate further on the plot.  What I will say is this was a very entertaining and quick read.  I really liked the character Nevada and will enjoy reading more of her exploits.  The world building is not overpowering and the plot keeps you focused.  I will definitely read the next in series and in fact enjoyed this so much that I’m more than tempted to go and back read some of this author’s previous works.  And, here is the cover!