Wildfire by Ilona Andrews urban fantasy book reviewsWildfire by Ilona Andrews fantasy book reviewsWildfire by Ilona Andrews

Note: some spoilers for the previous books in this series, Burn for Me and White Hot.

The smoking hot adventures of Nevada Baylor and Connor “Mad” Rogan continue in Ilona AndrewsWildfire (2017), the third book of the HIDDEN LEGACY series, set in an alternate version of our world in which a serum has unleashed magical powers in a minority of people. The magical families are organized into Houses, and typically marry to preserve and intensify the right combination of genetics so that their children will have the strongest possible magic and their Houses will stay powerful. Nevada is the head of her family private investigator business and a powerful truthseeker (a human lie detector who can also force others to speak the truth to her); Rogan, the head of House Rogan and the most powerful Prime telekinetic in Houston, Texas.

Nevada and Rogan are still fighting the ongoing secret conspiracy of certain magical Houses to destabilize Houston so a magical dictator called Caesar can take over, but at least they have their new romantic relationship to give them support. Nevada and Rogan are a couple now, trying to figure out where their relationship will go from here. But two new major problems have cropped up.

First, Nevada’s ruthless grandmother, Victoria Tremaine, has come to town, trying to take control of Nevada and the Baylor clan by whatever means necessary. Victoria, one of the most powerful truthseekers in the country, is the only member of her House Tremaine, and it will die with her unless she’s able to convince Nevada and her sisters to join her, by fair means or foul. Nevada’s family agrees that joining House Tremaine is a repugnant prospect, and fighting Victoria will be gravely dangerous given her vast resources. The third option, which they elect to pursue: try to become an independent magical House, the new House Baylor. If two of them pass the official tests for a Prime-level magic practitioner, they’ll have three years’ immunity against attack from Victoria and any other Houses.

Hidden Legacy by Ilona AndrewsSecond, to make their lives even more difficult (and thicken the plot nicely), Rogan’s ex-fiancée Rynda, a lovely and clingy redhead, turns up, begging Nevada for help finding her missing husband Brian, a plant mage. But it certainly looks to Nevada like she’s trying to get Rogan as a backup plan, in case her husband can’t be found. And Rogan soon gets sucked into Rynda’s orbit, because he’s a protective kind of guy and wants to help an old friend who’s begging for his time and assistance. As Nevada begins to investigate, the clues begin to link Brian’s likely kidnapping to both the Caesar conspiracy and Victoria Tremaine.

Like the prior books in the HIDDEN LEGACY series, Wildfire has an imaginative, fast-paced plot with a large side of steamy romance. For those who enjoy this type of urban fantasy, Wildfire is an intense and highly satisfying page-turner, marked by witty dialogue, intelligent and kickass women, and tough, handsome men who are nevertheless respectful, in a distinctly alpha kind of way. It may be formulaic, and I found the mystery that unfolds in Wildfire not quite as compelling and coherent as those in the prior books, but still, the excitement rarely lets up. And I was impressed that Rogan and Nevada, when they have issues and misunderstandings, talk about it like adults and work things out… though it’s usually after Rogan hurls a few large items around using his telekinetic powers.

One of the big pluses in this series is the interpersonal relationships of the characters, particularly the delightful family dynamics of the Baylor clan. There’s a great love between all of the members of the family, even though sometimes it’s expressed through teasing and overprotectiveness. Nevada isn’t the only person in her family with Prime-level powers, but her younger sisters’ powers, though very different from hers, could put them in danger of losing their freedom if the Baylors aren’t able to become a House and control their own destinies. Fans of the series will be excited to find out more about fifteen year old Arabella’s and sixteen year old cousin Leon’s unusual superpowers, and will be charmed by a couple of new animal characters who join the cast: Sergeant Teddy, an enormous, intelligent Kodiak bear who’s an avowed pacifist, and Zeus, an arcane catlike creature from another dimension.

Bonus points for a truly funny math joke in the final pages and, well, for the whole final scene with the Baylor sisters, which ends this book in the series on a high note. The Andrews have mentioned in online posts that they originally intended Wildfire to wrap up the series with a nice happily ever after, but at their editor’s request left the ending more open-ended. There are definitely some plot elements that still need resolution, so here’s hoping for another Nevada and Rogan adventure in the near future!

Published July 25, 2017. From Ilona Andrews, #1 New York Times bestselling author, the thrilling conclusion to her Hidden Legacy series, as Nevada and Rogan grapple with a power beyond even their imagination… Nevada Baylor can’t decide which is more frustrating—harnessing her truthseeker abilities or dealing with Connor “Mad” Rogan and their evolving relationship. Yes, the billionaire Prime is helping her navigate the complex magical world in which she’s become a crucial player—and sometimes a pawn—but she also has to deal with his ex-fiancée, whose husband has disappeared, and whose damsel-in-distress act is wearing very, very thin. Rogan faces his own challenges, too, as Nevada’s magical rank has made her a desirable match for other Primes. Controlling his immense powers is child’s play next to controlling his conflicting emotions. And now he and Nevada are confronted by a new threat within her own family. Can they face this together? Or is their world about to go up in smoke?


  • Tadiana Jones

    TADIANA JONES, on our staff since July 2015, is an intellectual property lawyer with a BA in English. She inherited her love of classic and hard SF from her father and her love of fantasy and fairy tales from her mother. She lives with her husband and four children in a small town near the mountains in Utah. Tadiana juggles her career, her family, and her love for reading, travel and art, only occasionally dropping balls. She likes complex and layered stories and characters with hidden depths. Favorite authors include Lois McMaster Bujold, Brandon Sanderson, Robin McKinley, Connie Willis, Isaac Asimov, Larry Niven, Megan Whalen Turner, Patricia McKillip, Mary Stewart, Ilona Andrews, and Susanna Clarke.

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