Shadow Heir by Richelle Mead
Reading level: Adult
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
Release date: December 27, 2011
Series: Dark Swan #4
Source: ARC from Kensington
Reviewed by: Tynga
#1 New York Times bestselling author Richelle Mead returns to the Otherworld, a mystic land inextricably linked to our own–and balanced precariously on one woman’s desperate courage…
Shaman-for-hire Eugenie Markham strives to keep the mortal realm safe from trespassing entities. But as the Thorn Land’s prophecy-haunted queen, there’s no refuge for her and her soon-to-be-born-children when a mysterious blight begins to devastate the Otherworld…
The spell-driven source of the blight isn’t the only challenge to Eugenie’s instincts. Fairy king Dorian is sacrificing everything to help, but Eugenie can’t trust the synergy drawing them back together. The uneasy truce between her and her shape shifter ex-lover Kiyo is endangered by secrets he can’t–or won’t–reveal. And as a formidable force rises to also threaten the human world, Eugenie must use her own cursed fate as a weapon–and risk the ultimate sacrifice…
** This review contains spoilers of Iron Crowned, I suggest you avoid reading until you are catched-up with the series **
After working so hard to avoid the prophecy saying the first male grandchild from the Storm King would invade the human world, Eugenie gets pregnant – with twins (a boy and a girl) – and decides to keep them. Of course, this decision caused a lot of unrest and factions are hunting her, to kill her, before the babies are born. She tries to be very careful about her whereabouts and keeps constant security, but it’s never enough. She’ll find herself going to extreme length to protect her babies and like it wasn’t enough, the Otherworld will have to face an unprecedented tragedy.
First of all, I have to mention that reading Shadow Heir, at the particular moment I did, was somewhat special for me. You see, at the beginning of the book, Eugenie is 5 months pregnant and so was I, which provided me with an extra connection with her I never had before. Of course I’m not pregnant with twins and trying to protect them from Gentry enemies, but the human and emotional aspect of a pregnancy were just the same.
Emotions were strong ones for this final installment, what with the pregnancy, the birth of Eugenie’s twins, her chaotic relationship with Dorian, Kiyo trying to kill her and the better part of the Otherworld suffering from a mysterious blight. Throughout the book, our hero had to take some very hard decision and assume the consequences and it was great to see her approach those matters with such maturity.
I really liked the plot and I was surprise to see the novel split into three fairly distinct parts. Part one – Eugenie’s Pregnancy & Twins Birth, Part two – The Blight, Part Three – The Prophecy. Overall, Richelle Mead managed to keep a good balance between emotions and action for a perfect mix.
I only have one major complain. While the book would’ve been a perfect part of an on-going series, it wasn’t enough –for me- to be the final book in the series. So many questions are still pending that I’m not satisfied with the conclusion. Shadow Heir is in serious need of a following book, an epilogue, an addition short story, something!
I’m really sad to see yet another series of Richelle ending has a really liked the Dark Swan series. I can’t wait to see what her next adult series will be about!