Review: Blood Heir by Amelie Wen Zhao

Blood Heir

Publisher: Delacorte Press
Author: Amelie Wen Zhao
Released: June 4th, 2019
Received: NetGalley
Warnings: Slavery, abuse/torture
Rating: Kitty Rating

I received a copy of Blood Heir through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Blood Heir is the first novel in a trilogy of the same name. And man! Did this novel ever live up to my expectations! This was the debut novel of Amelie Wen Zhao, and I have to say that she is an author worth keeping an eye on.

In a world where magical abilities are well known, we find our main character, Ana (aka Princess Anastacya Mikhailov), determinedly looking for vengeance. And who can blame her? She was framed for the death of her father, forced to go on the run, and further forced to hide her abilities. This novel brings magic and the tale of Anastasia together into one lovely series. It’s complicated, political, and full of emotionally compelling moments, mystery, and declarations of revenge. In short, it was perfect.

Spoiler Warning

Warnings: This is a world where magical abilities aren’t unheard of. Unfortunately, they’re valuable and feared. The end result is that people with abilities are frequently captured and enslaved. This is a brutal system, to put it lightly.

Blood Heir was an absolutely brilliant read, and is easily one of my favorite reads this year. Part of me actually hates that this novel just came out, because of the wait for the next installment. Ana’s tale was gut-wrenching and beautiful at the same time. I just couldn’t get enough of it.

As I mentioned above, this novel reminded me a lot of the tale of Anastasia – with several twists, of course. Ana was accused and then framed for the death of her father. And while she survived the attempts on her life – despite the belief of the people thinking otherwise – she still has a lot of work ahead of her. She’s determined to get revenge for both her father’s death and for her framing. But that task is easier said than done.

The action and abilities in this novel were brilliant. The fight scenes were well described, adding a new perspective on how magical abilities could be used in a fight. And how they can be feared. And let’s not forget the politics, planning, and scheming that went on inside these pages. Because trust me – there was a lot of that. It helped to obfuscate the reality of Ana’s situation and her attempts for revenge, making the journey more daring and dramatic.

Personally, it was the romantic subplot that really pulled me in. I know, that surprised me too. But it was so compelling and so beautifully written. It gave the series a chance to have a moment of brightness in an otherwise darker tale. It balanced out the main plot perfectly for that reason.

I loved everything about Blood Heir. I didn’t end up reading this novel in one sitting – like many of the others that I fell in love with. But trust me, I was a very cranky girl at work waiting for my next break so I could get back to it! Now I just have to wait for news about the next novel in the trilogy.

About Liz (AKA Cat)

I am an avid animal lover, photographer, reader, and much more. While my photography blog is feeling a bit neglected at the moment, the other sites I'm involved in are going strong. ✧I review books, comics, and basically anything else in the literary world over at Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks (of Books). ✧I review comics and books, as well as write content for Word of the Nerd. ✧I review comics for Monkeys Fighting Robots. ✧I write content for Screen Rant and CBR. ✧I write book reviews for The Review Crew.
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