Book review: Blood Heir (Aurelia Ryder #1) by Ilona Andrews

Book review: Blood Heir (Aurelia Ryder #1) by Ilona Andrews

Blood Heir by Ilona Andrews

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: Aurelia Ryder #1

Genre: Urban Fantasy

To be published: January 12th 2021


ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest opinion. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.

This review is part of the Blood Heir Blog Tour, kindly organized by Mihir (Fantasy Book Critic). #BloodHeirKD


Back to Atlanta.
Back among old friends.


“To the fans of Kate Daniels World who refuse to let it go.”

Aww look, I just got my first and very apt book dedication!

Joking apart, Kate Daniels’s crazy world, her dysfunctional Atlanta and her colorful friends and foes alike aren’t things I am ready to let go. If there is more, I will read it. If there isn’t, I will reread the existing stories over and over again. But Blood Heir, however, is not a book about Kate. is a book (and the first installment in a new series) about Julie, Kate’s protégé and probably my least favorite regular character. Did I care? May be a bit, may be at first, but not enough to make me consider walking away. As long as it was set in Atlanta, the mere chance of seeing some of the old cast was incentive enough to pre-order the book months in advance and pounce on the opportunity to read it early.

After a long absence, spent learning, training and fighting under the tutelage of a powerful ally, Julie is back to her natal Atlanta with a new face, new skills and a new name (Aurelia Ryder). Her mission? To solve a gruesome murder and save those she loves the most while keeping her identity secret. Get in, investigate, get out. Easy-peasy. Yeah sure.
I won’t say more about the premise. That’s basically all I knew going in. It kept me dying to know more. My anticipation to see familiar faces was off the charts.

I liked Aurelia. She was a very well rounded character. Her rigorous training and her new status honed her skills and made her sharp, disciplined and level-headed. Her transformation reminded me of Catalina’s, in the second Hidden Legacy trilogy. Admittedly I wasn’t initially convinced either would make a good lead character (both were young and immature in their respective series). I was proved wrong in both cases. While her deep-seated loyalty and devotion to her found family hadn’t budged, a closer inspection showed some of the old insecurities and scars. Which eventually made me reconcile Aurelia with Julie. If I am being completely honest, it took me a few chapters to come to terms with this new personality because I already had a good grasp of her traits and her natural reactions. But the circumstances and ordeals had changed Julie, irreversibly and for the better. I ended up respecting Aurelia and rooting for her.

All the gorgeous art was designed by Luisa Preissler.

As to the story, it stood perfectly well on its own despite being a spin-off. Mixing a well-knit murder investigation, a gritty mythology (inspired by a Canaanite deity and cleverly rewritten for the benefit of the story), magic demonstrations, cinematic fighting scenes (The Andrews EXCEL at those!), many funny situations as well as personal tribulations and drama, the story made an excellent urban fantasy intrigue. But here is the thing, it would be just that for new comers to this world. The gradually introduced background made sure anyone would get the gist of the previous story and major players. What made it into a real treat however was that it was deeply personal and that it came with a huge emotional and nostalgic baggage for every Kate Daniels connoisseur.

But enough with the praise. Blood Heir has a big flaw: it is but a tantalizing appetizer and it will leave you yearning for more. You’ve been warned! Man, but it’s been a while since I last checked the reading percentage on my kindle this frequently and this anxiously, hoping I didn’t progress too far, wondering which old friend will appear next. This book also reads like a transitional one, bridging the original story and that of the new generation (Aurelia and at least two prominent characters from the main Kate Daniels saga). And to get things even more engaging and exciting, the authors started preparing the next generation (note: they are hilarious).


This is the penultimate review in the Blood Heir blog tour. The last review will be hosted at Fantasy Book Critic on Monday. Please make sure to check the previous reviews if you haven’t already 🙂 


Ilona Andrews 

“Ilona Andrews” is the pseudonym for a husband-and-wife writing team. Ilona is a native-born Russian and Gordon is a former communications sergeant in the U.S. Army. Contrary to popular belief, Gordon was never an intelligence officer with a license to kill, and Ilona was never the mysterious Russian spy who seduced him. They met in college, in English Composition 101, where Ilona got a better grade. (Gordon is still sore about that.)

Gordon and Ilona currently reside in Texas with their two children and many dogs and cats.

They have co-authored several bestselling series, including the #1 NYT bestselling urban fantasy of Kate Daniels, rustic fantasy of the Edge, paranormal romance of Hidden Legacy, and Innkeeper Chronicles, which they post as a free weekly serial. For complete list of their books, fun extras, and Innkeeper installments, please visit their website at

Biography copied from the authors’ website. 

Author info:  Website/Blog | Twitter

4 thoughts on “Book review: Blood Heir (Aurelia Ryder #1) by Ilona Andrews

  1. Great review! It defintiely sounds good! I have not read Ilona Andrews previous series, do you think it is better to read those first?


    1. Hi Evelyn! Thank you! ^^
      Hmm, objectively it stands pretty well on its own. There are extensive explanations of the world, Atlanta’s major factions and the previous events. But what made the book very special to me and also to my co-blogger who also read it and is a big fan of KD, are the numerous references to the old characters, and the emotional impact of their appearances. I hope you enjoy it, whether you choose to read the main series first or start with this entry! 🙂

        1. I’m sure it will ^^ The first installment (Magic Bites) has received mixed reactions (I loved though hehe) but the quality increases tremendously with the 2nd book. Happy reading!

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