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Review: Blood Heir by Amélie Wen Zhao

Blood Heir (Blood Heir #1) by Amélie Wen Zhao

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.

This hot debut 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.

Published 18 November 2019 |  Publisher: Voyager – GB  |  RRP: AUD$35

Buy it at: Galaxy Bookshop

My Blurb (3.5 / 5 stars)

This is not my favourite cover for this book… Not sure if I’d pick it up on its own merit BUT I would have picked it up when I note the Chinese name of the author. Reading the blurb, it is within a favourite range of reads for me.

I was kind of aware of the ‘controversy’ surrounding earlier review copies that went out but as I find that Twitter can be a rather toxic experience, I steered away from most of that. The only thing that I remembered was about the naming convention and that was probably because I was in the middle of reading War & Peace so I must say I agree that according to the Russian naming convention, a lady’s last name should end with an ‘a’.

However, at the end of reading this book, I find that even if the novel itself was inspired by a Russian princess or part of her story (ie. the mystery of her being missing), it is something completely different. An inspiration doesn’t mean that the author has to completely refer to the real historical figure and/or events. Even if the name of the protagonist is somewhat similar, it is different. Obviously, the author is totally fascinated with that story and weaved her own fantastic tales according to her imagination.

Blood Heir is far from perfect but it was such a fun read. With interesting characters, curious magic, and fast pacing, I could barely put the book down. I am on the lookout for the next book.

Thanks to Voyager for copy of book in exchange of honest review & Annie @Read3r’z Re-Vu for organising a fun read along 💟

About the author

Amélie (yes, like the movie!) has adored putting pen to paper since she was in kindergarten. Born in Paris and raised in a multicultural community in Beijing, Amélie has a bone-deep love for traveling and immersing herself in new worlds and cultures. She lives in New York City, working as a full-time financial professional by day, and writer at night.

She hopes to empower young readers with messages of acceptance, strength, and courage through her works, and to continue to push the boundaries of young adult literature by exploring new, cross-cultural themes.

Find Amélie on:  goodreads  |   twitter  |  website  |  instagram