Review: Blood Heir (Aurelia Ryder # 1, A Kate Daniels World Novel)

Blood Heir by Ilona Andrews
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A return to the Kate Daniels world? Count me in! A novel featuring Kate's daughter Julie, count me in even moreso! A welcome diversion from transition of power drama!

Blood Heir is set about a decade after the end of the main Kate Daniels/Magic series that culminated with Magic Triumphs. Julie has left Atlanta to travel and train with Kate's Aunt Erra. Erra has founded New Shinar out west and Julie is now considered a princess of Shinar. She is still close to her younger brother Conlan, her grandfather Roland, and her Uncle Hugh, who is a source of much mirth in one scene, let me tell you. The novel opens, however, with Julie returning to Atlanta, thanks to a terrifying vision from one of the Witch Oracle members, Julie's friend Sienna (the Maiden Oracle), in which Kate is killed by an avatar named Moloch. Julie is determined to derail the chance of this vision becoming reality. To do so she has fought with Moloch at a terrible cost- he took one of her eyes and she in turn has taken one of his. But Moloch's eye, which she now has as her own (bright green) has completely reshaped Julie. And by this, I mean quite literally. She is strong and beautiful and now looks like she is related to Kate and Erra. She still has sensate magic that makes her something of a human m-scanner, but she is possessed of other magic now and is a real force. She's a force showing up at the Order of Merciful Aid holding the Tower under the new name Aurelia Ryder. Her trip into Atlanta has seen her encounter some aggressive boudas led by one Ascanio Ferara, and a huge wolf with a very unusual magic signature, who goes by the name Darren Argent. What she's doing in Atlanta and why is a very interesting tale.

For any fan of the original Kate Daniels series, its first offshoot about Hugh d'Ambray (Blood and Iron, and some of the novellas (Andrea and Raphael, Jim and Dali, etc.), this novel is a no-brainer. But its inception makes it even more welcome- Ilona Andrews started writing it because an ICU nurse wrote to them and was looking for diversion, so they could get through the pandemic nightmare they were dealing with. The authors rose to the occasion in the best way. With their characteristic humor and deep dive into ancient and biblical mythology, I can't wait to see what's next for Julie. "Be careful what you wish for, Princess," leaves the future wide open for sequels. Silver and gold, anyone?

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