Nevada knows better than to get involved in Prime politics - and doubly to keep her magic hidden from the powerful families
But when Cornelius pleads for her to find the murderer of his wife, she feels she has to get involved. When a paedophile kidnaps a young girl she feels she can’t not use her magic
And when she uncovers a magical conspiracy that may destabilise the entire city if not the whole country she is again pulled in. More and more Nevada is drawn into Prime society.
I love this world - which goes without saying. It’s Ilona Andrews: it goes without saying that the world is amazing. All their worlds are amazing. In every series. No-one beats Ilona Andrews when it comes to amazing worlds.
But I think more than the magic world building I love how the politics between the Prime families and how they interact, the rights they have, the privileges. The magic is there and underpins everything which shapes both history and politics which in turn shapes the characters and their experiences- but it’s more the maneuvering than the shiny powers that drives their actions.
Though I love how the powers are depicted, especially the subtle and horrifying impact of Nevada’s own power. As well as the comic and scary effects of her sister. Or how the power to talk to animals can render humans socially awkward. These are all excellently put together
I like the thought that has gone into magical intervention as well - how if a powerful magic user intervenes in one disaster they’re then blamed or attacked if a similar disaster strikes and they don’t step forward.
And the romance. This is generally where I say how much the romance is a distraction and how I hates it and, well, if you’ve read my reviews you know the drill of my annoyance. However, here is the mold being broken -ok i do think we, perhaps, spend a little more time on the romance than is ideal considering there is so much plot and world to get through but I can recognise that as a personal preference thing. What I do like is the conflicts between them - because they’re reasonable and sensible and don’t require one or both parties to lose their ever loving minds in order to have a disagreement.
Rogan is ridiculously rich and powerful and he decides he wants to protect Nevada - but in trying to do that he is using his vast wealthy to control her and the land and people around her. He sees this as defending her while she, rightfully, rejects this as it gives her a ridiculous amount of power over her, completely removes any chance of having an equal relationship - it’s not just that he has so much more wealth and power and influence than her but he’s willing to use it without consulting her of helping her.
Nevada is clearly right on this front - his control over her, his arrogantly deciding he knows what is best for her is clearly a problem. He’s right that she’s vulnerable and the political forces that are set to prey on her are more than she can defend against - so he’s not exaggerating or just making up a threat, but equally that measure of command and control without consulting her. There’s an excellent quote:
“For any kind of relationship to work, I have to have the choice to walk away from it”
Which is an excellent point on consent we’ve talked about before and I love to see it here.
On top of that arrogance there’s Nevada’s unwillingness to be a fling to him and his reluctance to push for an actual relationship are red lines for her. There are conflicts between them, but they are not unreasonable or foolish nor do they consume their story or make them unable to work together or co-operate. And when they start to come together it’s only after these issues have been aired and they begin to be addressed as something that matters