I received this book for free from my own shelves in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Fated Blades by Ilona Andrews
Genres: Romance, Science Fiction
Published by Montlake Romance on November 23, 2021
Source: my own shelves
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Also by this author: Burn For Me, Magic Shifts, Burn for Me, Magic Binds, White Hot, Wildfire, Iron and Magic, Magic Triumphs, Magic Bites , Magic Burns, Magic Strikes , Magic Bleeds, Magic Slays , Gunmetal Magic, "Gerard Demille and Helen Meet", "Diamond Fire", Magic Rises , Magic Breaks, Magic Shifts , Magic Binds , Magic Triumphs, "Sweep with Me", Clean Sweep, Sweep in Peace, "Questing Beast", "A Mere Formality", Blood Heir, "The King of Fire", Blood Heir , Sapphire Flames, "A Misunderstanding", Emerald Blaze, "The Cool Aunt", One Fell Sweep, Burn for Me , Sweep of the Blade, White Hot , "Silent Blade", On the Edge, Bayou Moon, "George and Jack in School"
Third in The World of Kinsmen science fiction romance series and revolving around an enhanced group of people who dwell in city of New Delphi in the Dahlia Province on the Davenport Planet Rada. The couple focus is on Ramona Adler and Matias Baena.
There is a glancing flavor of India in this series, but the greatest emphasis is on the hatred between the Baenas and the Adlers. It’s one of those silly hatreds, similar to the Hatfields and the McCoys where most have no idea why they hate each other.
These two families have secare leading them, which gives the reader a new twist on the kinsmen. There’s an interesting bit of back history that explains how a person may become secare as well as how humanity chose planets to settle. A later history about Matias’ great-great-great-grandfather, and a more recent back history that concerns Matias’ runaway mother. He’s too good to her.
It is a simplistic story of two rival families whose spouses have no loyalty. This lack leads to a horror that could bring down three respected families. The romantic angle forces two of the family heads to cooperate, and they learn so much about what they want and would respect in a partner.
Sure, it’s fun, especially if you enjoy a good battle of one-on-one. Armstrong uses third person dual protagonist point-of-view from Ramona’s and Matias’ perspectives, so we get to listen in on their thoughts, hopes, dreams, frustrations, and more.
The exchange with the crew leader and the court clerk were confusing, although Armstrong probably intended it as a quicker way to demonstrate Ramona’s friendliness. I do wish she’d created a better connection.
Drewery’s home sounds fabulous, and Ramona and Matias’ approach to the estate could have used some finessing by the author. I did, however, enjoy Matias’ snap back at Drewery, though. Hee-hee . . . I swear Cassida’s parents are hideous. No wonder their daughter grew up so ignorant and power-mad.
These arranged marriages are just not right. Wait’ll you read about Ramona’s choices!
I do wish Andrews had given us something of the future of Cassida and Gabriel — he is so amazingly stupid, lol. I wanna wallow. And I must say the ease of this ending was followed up by the actions of the Vandal cruiser. Oy.
The pace is slowed by all the thinking Matias and Ramona do and their whining about their clans. It didn’t help that their ending was so obvious nor that Andrews left so many gaps in the story.
I’m done with the Kinsmen. I do love most everything Ilona Andrews has written, but while this series has potential, it reads more like a toss-away bit of writing . . . not their “finest hour”.
The secret of seco bioengineering of the secare has been lost until re-discovered by a salvager. Supposedly that secret was sold to one kinsmen family, who invested their all in developing a prototype.
An investment that could blow up in their faces.
Beware, for the Vandals might be impolite . . .
There are three kinsmen families in Fated Blades: the Adlers, the Baenas, and the Davenports.
Ramona “Lady Spider” Adler, a secare, is the head of the clan and Adler, Inc. Gabriel is her husband. Karion is Ramona’s older brother. Santiago is her younger, less patient brother. Both brothers are secare. Uncle Sabor is handy to know. Ray Adler, Ramona’s great-great-great-grandfather with his own “stories”, who settled on the planet.
Matias Baena, a secare, is the head of the clan and Baena Corp, and he conducts business in the Baena Tower. Cassida is his wife. Simone is Matias’ non-secare sister. Aunt Nadira had leapt to the head of the family when life fell apart. Solei is his chief security officer. Ladmina is his vice-president. Sylus. Angelo Baena had been a contemporary of Ray Adler’s.
Federal Senator Theodore Redding Drewery is Cassida’s father, but not a kinsman. His wife, Lyla, has a combat implant.
Haider Davenport, the head of the family, is married to Damien, and they’ve just had a son. Henri Davenport is the father of Haider. Derra Lee is Haider’s chief of security.
Adra is a city on the planet that celebrates a special festival. The Kamen is a small hotel in Stone City, an historic district in Adra. Park Sung Hyo is the provincial senator.
Olivia Solis is a childhood friend of Ramona’s whose children were born with the Tarim mutation. Aria Teeling is with Orbital Traffic Control. Valina is an artist who rarely takes commissions. Janus works in immigration and has a spaniel. Other clans include the Vinogradovs, the Rook Trust, the Le family, and the Escanas.
The Vandals are . . .
. . . the Star Fall Republic Pacification Brigade (SFR), hand-picked sociopaths who are literally a nightmare with no remorse, no considerations. Ronaldo Marner, Varden Plant, and Weston Lugfort offered a deal to Haider. Lukas Dunlap-Whitaker is a secare mercenary for hire.
The Opus Massacre was one of the Vandals’ operations. Kurt Summers was the commander of Matias’ outfit and the convoy leader.
The kinsmen were bred with unique abilities, to help humanity spread across the stars. The secare are a branch of the kinsmen who were genetically engineered for a particular war, to project short-range force fields from their arms, bred to slaughter, and used by the traitorous Sabetera Geniocracy. Synchronization is the recognition of one secare with another, knowing when and how they will move in battle. First Wave temples were an early form of religion. Calais V is a planet with a mercenary hub. There’s a story that there were five secare traitors: Whitney May, Hee Granados, Katia Parnell, Leland Dunlap-Whitaker, and Angelo Baena. There are twin moons surrounding the planet: Ganimede and Silver Sister.
The Cover and Title
The cover is cartoonish with its portrayal of the red-haired Ramona dancing with Matias. It’s obviously the festival at Adra with Ramona’s rainbow skirt and Matias’ three-paneled vest with a portent of the future in the faded red “sword” he carries in his left hand while Ramona carries a more solid red shield in her left. The background is a diaphanous white drape that parts to reveal a peach background of green plants. At the top is the author’s name in a red-shadowed red. The title begins at Ramona’s and Matias’ waists in a pale, pale peach that gradates diagonally across it to a darker peach. Below that is an info blurb in the same gradation.
The title is of two secares with Fated Blades.