The secare specialize in killing, to the point where other Kinsmen are wary of them. Fated Blades begins as Ramona Adler and Matias Baena make a temporary alliance, despite their enmity, in a race to secure their stolen technology, catch the betrayers; thus saving their families.
I’ve read little in the last few months. I’ve been watching more foreign films and television series. But when Ilona Andrews came out with a new novella in their Kinsmen universe, I knew it would be a story to bring me back to reading. Fated Blades is the third book in the Kinsmen series, the last book published about a decade ago.
The Kinsmen Universe takes place in the distant future where “genetically and technologically advanced families-control cast financial empires. They are their own country, their own rulers, and their only limits are other Kinsmen.” – Ilona Andrews Each book is a standalone space opera romance, making them fast, fun reads.
Each book takes an unlikely couple on a unique planet and pits them against incredible odds. The planet Rada is no expectation. Where Matias and Ramona face continuous attacks from all fronts and are shocked to find they can rely on each other.
Ramona is a strong, witty, empathetic heroine, all characteristics I love in a female lead. She is independent and does standalone looking after the family and the family business. But she would love to have someone she could count on, someone who wouldn’t betray her.
Matias is a controlling workaholic. Focused on the family business, he sacrifices everything else without hesitation. It is what made their alliance believable to me. They both are so focused on their families, they make a temporary alliance, risking each other’s betrayal, to save their families from ruin.
Both Ramona and Matias are heads of their secare, Kinsmen, families. When there is a betrayal to the family, it is up to them to fix it. What is worse is that it was their spouses who carried out the betrayal.
This was the perfect story to bring me back to reading. It was fast, witty, energetic, with the tension of forbidden love. As it was a novella, there is just enough setup to bring the Kinsmen universe to life, without sharing too much of the history of the Kinsmen to slow the story down. It made me realize I should read more novellas.
Below is a little spoiler, but it is chapter 1, so it sets up the story with sharp, visceral pain. Like ripping off a bandaid.
“your wife is having an affair with my husband,” Ramona said.
For a moment they shared a silence as he came to grips with Cassinda licking the inside of Gabriel Adler’s mouth.
Ramona spoke first. “That brings me to my second question. Have you experienced any security or data breaches in the last few weeks? Go ahead. Check. I will wait.”Fated Blades – Ilona Andrews
Ilona Andrews are powerful writers in the Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and in-between genres. I can always count on their books for action, wit, and romance. You do not need to read the other Kinsmen books first but can jump right into Fated Blades. But I urge you to read the others. They are fantastic. Enemies turn into frienemies as the pair, and other kinsmen, learn of the peril to New Delphi, their home.
Overall, the characters were strong from the beginning and their generation tension engaging. I liked both of the leads and the consistency of their characters throughout the novella. There is internal conflict, but externally, they both stick to their goal and their word. The world Andrews built well enough for my imagination to fill in the rest, and I would not mind checking out the cafe on the side of the cliff. It sounds amazing. A fast, fun read when it’s snowing outside or if you just need to escape from reality for a little while.
The Kinsmen Universe continued to impress me as I find most Sci-fi and fantasy I read are novels, yet these novellas continue to create an immersive universe while moving the story along with action and wit. I will now go back and reread the other books in this universe. I suggest you do the same. Happy Reading!