Title: Blood Heir
Author: Amélie Wen Zhao
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: November 19, 2019
Page Count: 459
My rating: 4 stars
About the book:
This hot debut, perfect for fans of Shadow and Bone and An Ember in the Ashes, is the first book in an epic new series about a princess hiding a dark secret and the con man she must trust to clear her name for her father’s murder.
In the Cyrilian Empire, Affinites are reviled. Their varied gifts to control the world around them are unnatural—dangerous. And Anastacya Mikhailov, the crown princess, has a terrifying secret. Her deadly Affinity to blood is her curse and the reason she has lived her life hidden behind palace walls.
When Ana’s father, the emperor, is murdered, her world is shattered. Framed as his killer, Ana must flee the palace to save her life. And to clear her name, she must find her father’s murderer on her own. But the Cyrilia beyond the palace walls is far different from the one she thought she knew. Corruption rules the land, and a greater conspiracy is at work—one that threatens the very balance of her world. And there is only one person corrupt enough to help Ana get to its core: Ramson Quicktongue.
A cunning crime lord of the Cyrilian underworld, Ramson has 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.
It’s not very often I’m reviewing a book that I’ve had to hold onto for a couple of years but the young adult book world can be a brutal place and if you hadn’t heard Blood Heir was pulled last year after the author was bullied with complaints. Well, here we are finally ready to publish and I’m here to say do NOT listen to that vocal minority as I found this another case of nitpicking where it’s not needed. Oh, and not to mention we do have rights here in America that allows people to choose what to read themselves and don’t need to be dictated to. /end rant
Now for the actual book itself… Blood Heir by Amélie Wen Zhao is the first book of the new young adult fantasy trilogy by the same name. This series is a loosely based retelling of Anastasia, darker, more intense but you can see the original within but I’m always one that enjoys the creativity of writing one’s own version that feels new and fresh so a thumbs up on that.
The story is told with different points of view as the main character, Ana, is thrust out in the world when her father is murdered and she begins to be blamed. Helping Ana along the way is Ramson who has his own secrets and reasons for heading on the quest. Both characters are likable and the story one that was fun to follow so I think most fantasy fans are really going go enjoy this one.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
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About the author:
Amélie Wen Zhao was born in Paris and grew up in Beijing in an international community. Her multicultural upbringing instilled in her a deep love of global affairs and cross-cultural perspectives. She seeks to bring this passion to her stories, crafting characters and kingdoms from different corners of the world. She came to New York for college, where she now works in finance by day and moonlights as a fantasy author.