My rating: 2 of 5 stars
“You focused on the battle and lost sight of the war.”
The first three chapters were a solid 5 stars, everything after felt like reading a completely different book.
This was not it, chief.
Firstly, this review is not going to talk about or explain the controversy behind this book… If you want to know why it got pulled and then set to be re-published, there are so many great reviews and articles out there that explain the situation. All this review is going to be is just that… a review.
Sooo… it happened again. I got excited over something and ended up severely disappointed. Honestly, a lot of the issues I had with this book are similar to the issues I had with Wicked Saints. I was really just bored out of my mind.
Blood Heir is promising. Its premise and magic system is really refreshing (although it has very similar inklings of the Grishaverse), I think had the execution been much better, this would have been a great new take on YA Fantasy. Unfortunately, it wasn’t.
“My name is Anastacya Mikhailov. Except it wasn’t. Anastacya Mikhailov was the name of the Crown Princess of Cyrilia, drowned eleven moons past in her attempt to escape execution for murder and treason against the Cyrilian Crown. Anastacya Mikhailov was a ghost and a monster who did not, and should not, exist.”
I’m going to start off with what I enjoyed, because I did actually enjoy a couple things. The writing in this book was really phenomenal at times and if it weren’t highly repetitive in its nature, this might have even been a three star read. I also really enjoyed the action in this book. The main reason I kept reading though was because of the narrative dealing with human trafficking. It was the main reason why I picked it up this book. I think if anything deserved for this not to be a DNF, it was this one fact. Okay, moving on.
“This isn’t a revolution. This is a massacre.”
My first issue with this book was the characters. I did not like a single character. Everyone just felt unpleasant and unkind. Ramson started off a jerk, and although I could see how the author intended for their to be development in his character, he ended up as a jerk too. Ana was immature and often made hasty decisions – this is a trait that I absolutely cannot stand with main characters. I mean… give me a powerful female lead that isn’t a clutz, a damsel in distress or childish and you’ll have me hooked. Every character that came along irritated me in some way.
The predictability was at an all time high, folks. I mean… I made notes on my kindle on what I think would happen to certain characters or situations or “twists,” just so I could play a game with myself later on to see if I got it right. I predicted 90% of the events correctly in one way or another. Also, the fact that I took that amount of time out just goes to say how bored I was throughout reading. I wasn’t hooked or reaching for my kindle every chance I got.
The next major aspect that pissed me off was the flashbacks and character history became too much. What makes a great Fantasy for me? If an author manages to embed the character’s backstory and “reasons why” within the narrative. There were entire chapters full of only flashbacks… I didn’t find this necessary in the world building and although some of them were key to understanding the motives behind characteristics of the story, all of them were drawn out.
The pacing. This was the internet explorer of YA fantasy books that I have read this year. Was that a tad harsh? Yes. Am I going to take it back? No. Everything in this book felt like it took forever to reach there.
While the writing in this book was great, the dialogue was certainly not. There were a lot of cliche statements, tropes between characters that have been repeatedly done before. Some conversations were so jarring and uncomfortable, I visibly cringed. My last issue was the chemistry (or lackthereof) between the two main characters. I didn’t root for them, it felt forced to me.
Overall, this book was meant to be amazing to me. I was anticipating it for a while and I just could not get passed a couple things. It felt like the entire novel was a case “yeah this is okay, but….”
The images above are taken from an art account, and other than the edit, credit to this talented person.