I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.Blood Heir by Amélie Wen Zhao
Series: Blood Heir Trilogy #1
Published by HarperVoyager on 21st November 2019
Genres: Fantasy, Love & Romance, Magic, Supernatural, Suspense, YA Fantasy, Young Adult
Length: 13 hours and 57 minutes
Format: Audible, eARC
Source: from Netgalley
Amazon Kindle, Audible
In the Cyrilian Empire, Affinites are reviled. Their varied gifts to control the world around them are deemed unnatural--even dangerous. And Anastacya Mikhailov, the crown princess, is one of the most terrifying Affinites.
Ana's ability to control blood has long been kept secret, but when her father, the emperor, is murdered, she is the only suspect. Now, to save her own life, Ana must find her father's killer. But the Cyrilia beyond the palace walls is one where corruption rules and a greater conspiracy is at work--one that threatens the very balance of Ana's world.
There is only one person corrupt enough to help Ana get to the conspiracy's core: Ramson Quicktongue. Ramson is a cunning crime lord with sinister plans--though he might have met his match in Ana. Because in this story, the princess might be the most dangerous player of all.
I requested this book on Netgalley but sadly never got round to reading it. I also have the Illumicrate edition and I was trying to decide if I should buy the sequel special edition too (I did in the end). Amélie was doing a re-read before book 2 came out and I thought this would be a good time to catch up. Annoyingly I got really behind on the read-along and it took me forever to finally finish this book. I read about 60% on my netgalley version and the other 40% I listened to the audiobook.
While it took me forever to read this book it was not because I disliked it. It was because I had blog tour commitments which mean I would pick it up in between and read a chapter or two before moving on to the next tour book. In the end, I saw the audiobook on offer and grabbed it so I could finish it that way and not keep interrupting it with tour books.
I LOVED Ana. She is a fighter. She will stand up for those that are being oppressed. After being forced out of her family, her home into the streets she is more determined than ever that the world knows the truth. She is an easy character to like and to get behind. I can’t wait to see where her story goes in book 2.
Ramson, Ramson, Ramson. This man has a line for everything. His brain is a quick as his mouth, most of the time. He’s cunning, he’s manipulative but with Ana, he might have just found someone he can’t outwit. I loved the relationship between these two. Ramson had me laughing at his responses to Ana.
There is quite a bit of world-building but it’s not sluggish like in some books it felt more natural to me. I didn’t find that it slowed the pace of the book too much. Amélie chucks you into the action but quickly explains what is going on without interrupting the flow. This is something that is quite difficult and for a debut author, it’s really quite something. This book read like Amélie was a seasoned author.
This was an excellent YA fantasy story about magic, oppression and human trafficking. This has some loose retelling elements from Anastasia and is set in an alternate Russia. Amélie’s writing style is something magical and I know she will be up there as one of my go-to fantasy authors.
I know this book was nearly never published and this thought breaks my heart. What this author when through when this book had its first ARC copies sent out was truly horrific and I think that Amélie is extremely brave and strong to go through that and not only keep writing but keep up a social media presence. I am in awe of her strength and the positivity I see on her Instagram stories. She is a true inspiration.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: