Blood Heir by Ilona Andrews
Series: Aurelia Ryder #1
Publication Date: January 12, 2021
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Genres: Urban Fantasy
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From 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.
Cover Art: Luisa Preissler
Aurelia Ryder is the beginning of Julie Lennart’s journey. Having Kate as a mother has taught Julie to be tough-as-nails. When an oracle has a vision of Kate, Curran, and Conlan dying, Aurelia immediately plans to change the future. With the help of her grandmother, her mother, and her grandfather, Aurelia has turned into a fierce warrior; just as fierce as Kate. Nothing can stop her from saving her family.
Casee: This is a tough one for me. I thought I would absolutely love this book, but I just really liked it. I felt sort of disconnected for the first half of the book. It was good, but I wasn’t pulled in like I was with the Kate Daniels series. I think it might be because I listened to the whole KD series on audio.
What did you two think?
Holly: I’m so glad to be back in this world. I’ve been dying for Julie/Derek since Magic Stars. I didn’t love the first half of this novel, either. I liked it a lot, but I didn’t love it. Mostly because I was on the edge of my seat waiting for “Darren” to show up, I think.
Casee: I feel the same way. Then he finally showed up. I was on the edge of my seat wondering if he recognized her.
Rowena: Oh yay! I’ve been waiting to discuss this one. Like Holly, I’ve been dying for more Julie and Derek since Magic Stars too. I really liked this one. I didn’t struggle with enjoying this book. I also worried that Derek didn’t recognize Julie because you know they’re endgame so he was supposed to know her with whatever face she had.
Holly:. I was never worried that Derek didn’t recognize her, though I admit I felt Julie’s punch in the gut when she thought he didn’t.
Rowena: I would love more books from Derek’s POV because I didn’t think any of that where Derek’s concerned. I thought exactly what Julie thought. My heart did hurt for her when they meet up again after all this time and he doesn’t recognize her.
Casee: My heart also hurt for Julie when she thought Derek didn’t recognize her. The devastation she felt just came right off the page. Then when he told her he recognized her as soon as he saw her riding Tulip? Holy crap, I was like squeeeeee! I don’t know why I ever doubted that Derek would recognize her. I didn’t read Magic Stars, but now I really want to.
Holly: Oh, I forgot to mention the Kate/Curran thing. JULIE, JUST CALL YOUR PARENTS ALREADY! I understand why she didn’t/couldn’t, but how I wanted her to.
Rowena: I struggled with being okay with her not going to Kate and Curran with the truth and figuring out how to keep everyone she loved safe together. That’s probably the thing that I struggled with the most even though I understood why Julie didn’t call her Mom. My heart hurt for the very real fear she feels for her Mom.
Casee: I also wanted her to go directly to Kate and Curran. When she saw Curran at the Mercenary Guild? Oh, my heart. She wanted to go to him so badly.
Holly: What did you think of the new Julie?
Casee: I loved the new Julie. Aurelia was a combination of herself & Julie. Seeing her fighting to protect her family made me feel we had come full circle.
Holly: I really like Aurelia, too. She’s Julie, but different.
Rowena: I really like the new Julie. She’s not the same girl she was before she left. You can see the changes (both physically and mentally) in her and she’s just as great a character as her Mom is.
Holly: I loved the illustrations that were included in the book. It’s so wonderful to see her like that.
Rowena: Seriously!!! Aurelia Ryder on the cover of this book is GORGEOUS!! She’s exactly how I pictured her while reading this one. I love seeing her kick-ass too. I can’t wait to see her ass-kicking gang as the series continues. You just know that she’s going to get one. She’s already making connections and dude, how cute was the little girl that she picked up off the streets? Ugh, I’m so soft for this kind of shit. Julie is SO her Mom!
Casee: For real, this cover is amazing. I had no problem picturing Julie just as she was on the cover.
Rowena: I didn’t know that Julie and Sienna were good friends but I love it. I love that these side characters that we’ve all known all this time are now coming forward so that we can get to know them better.
Holly: I’m glad Julie and Sienna are friends. It makes me happy that she was able to maintain her relationships even when she didn’t see anyone from Atlanta and her old life.
Casee: And when Nick was going to kill her? Oh and Nick is with Desandra? That threw me for a loop, but I still loved it.
Holly: Oh, Nick! I love that he’s with Desandra. I also love that he hasn’t changed much. Uncle Stupid head. Heh
Rowena: For all this Aurelia Ryder this and Darren whatever his last name is there, to me, they were just Julie and Derek. I loved the way that they worked together in the Kate Daniels series so I was looking forward to more of that in this series. They’re both older, they spent time away from each other, and hopefully, Derek will get his head out of his ass and stop seeing Julie as the little girl she isn’t anymore.
HollyI don’t think Derek sees Julie as a child. I don’t think he has in a long time. I think he was waiting for her to grow up and realize she just had a childish crush on him, which is why he never pursued her. He thought she got over him. I guess we’ll find out if I’m right.
Casee: I loved Derek in this book. I don’t feel like we got enough Julie/Derek action, but Derek still made me laugh like nobody’s business.
“What’s your name?”
“Don’t tell her, Cephus,” the girl whispered and clamped her hand over her mouth.
Cephus just looked at her for a second.
“I want to know about Jasper,” I said.
“We don’t know Jasper,” Cephus said.
Derek loomed above him. “Answer her or I’ll put your head in my mouth.”
Casee: I also thought it said a lot about what the murdered pastor did for and meant to Derek that he would risk war with the Pack to go into their territory without showing himself to them. I can’t wait to learn more.
Rowena: I’m so here for more books of her and Derek front and center.
Holly: You know who I didn’t like in this book? Ascanio. I expected better from him. I really did.
Casee: I can’t believe I forgot about Ascanio. I was disappointed in him. He acted like such a spoiled brat, which isn’t something I was expecting.
Holly: I mean, he was always a spoiled brat, but I expected a certain amount of maturity. I thought the way he went about everything was really ham-fisted and not at all in keeping with the way he was growing and maturing in previous books (Especially Iron and Magic).
Casee: I agree that he always has been a spoiled brat. He’s just never been malicious. To me it seemed like he always had a big heart, he was just had a lot of growing up to do. This felt like a huge step backward.
Rowena: I agree that Ascanio was always a bit of a brat but it used to be part of his charm but now? I don’t know what his deal is and I’m not a fan of it either. I hope we get more from him in the next book so that I can understand and I hope he’s not really an asshole.
Casee: I can’t wait to see what happens with the Pack these next few books. I also can’t wait until Julie finally calls Kate & Curran. Oh and Conlan? I adored him. His relationship with Julie was so darn sweet.
Holly: I really liked Julie’s relationship with Conlan. I can’t wait to find out more about him.
Holly: 4.25 out of 5
Rowena: 4.5 out of 5