ARC Review of Blood Heir (Blood Heir Trilogy #1) by Amélie Wen Zhao

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

Review: I had no clue what book I was asking for back in January, but I quickly learned in the next few days what a rare find I had. Let me start at the beginning, if you will. The first full day (second day really of ALA), I was trying to take everything in and had spotted a book. Yes, this book was Blood Heir, and it already had a lot of hype surrounding it. I asked if I could have an ARC and somehow got lucky enough for the person to give me one. Don’t ask me how, every time I look at the book I still have no clue.

Now, some of you may know about all the drama surrounding this book. So much so that a few days after ALA (back at the end of January of 2019), it’s release was pulled by the author. Blood Heir was suppose to be release back in June 2019, but because of a shit storm someone who read the ARC and then got a whole bunch of others who had not read the book to basically attack the author. Zhao asked for her book to be pulled and took a step back, she wanted to talk with people about the moment in the book everyone was freaking out about. After a long thought out step back, Blood Heir was going to be released in November. The November is just a few days (it could be a week from this post, days or it could have come out by now. I have no clue when I’ll be posting this, hopefully before the book comes out- if everything goes to plan). Now, I’m not sure if Zhao changed the moment in the book and releasing that version or sticking with the first. But, my full and complete review will be on the proof that was going to be published back in June. I am still getting the finished copy coming out soon, but unless there is a complete turn around. I will not be changing my review, if there is a turn around- I’ll just add to this one.

Okay, sorry for all that I just wanted to get those things out of the way because they are not the review. They are the history of the book before it being published, and free out in the world.

I promise I’m all about the review now.

Within the first few pages, and I mean like two. I was screaming and ready to draw blood for Ana, oh man was I mad on her behalf. I might have also been smack talking the book and a character in particular. This is pretty much how you will be pulled into this book, you will be seeing things from Ana’s eyes and you WILL be feeling her anger. Hell, I rooted her on, on many occasions in the book.  I know it was not the right choice to make, going to anger and attacking. But, that’s how you get into who Ana is. She’s quick to anger and doesn’t really know how to use her power in a good way, all she has known is fear and anger. Her power shows that as she tests her limits and tries to do the right thing. Though the thing about wielding power is that it is connected to your emotions, and Ana is on a bit of a roller-coaster. But we can forgive her for letting her emotions get the best of her at almost all the times, because we learn of everything she has gone through before these moments and what she is continuing going through in Blood Heir.

Alright, lets get to the characters. There is Ana of course, oh and if you haven’t put it together yet-this is a fantasy retelling of Anastasia. Then we have May, sweet powerful May. An Affinite child that Ana saves from the Affinite slavery and takes with her. Then there is Ramson Quicktongue. Well, well, well. He’s know as the best criminal to find any person and get a job done, bad news is. He’s in prison for a job gone wrong and for someone ratting him out. Just the perfect criminal Ana needs to help her gain back her name and status. Later in the book we get Lim, who you will love and want her to get her own spin off (or at least more spotlight in the next two books).

I normally love romance, but for Ana’s start to her story-I like that it was not a focal point. Its a slow burn with no real outlet, but your heart will miss a few beats with some of the burn between the two. And no I won’t tell you who, you will have to read the book now (evil laugh here!). Also, it was really sweet seeing the romance mostly from the male love interests side as he found his goodness again because of her. While on her end she felt it and noticed growing but she has bigger things taking up her mind and priorities

Affinites, who and what are they? Affinites are people born with elemental powers, ranging in strength (think Avatar: The Last Air bender, but with a bit more). Ana is a blood Affinite, which is basically unheard of. May is a earth Affinite and Lim is air/winds. In this kingdom/country Affinites are not looked to as Gods or praised or even valued. They are hated, looked down up, treated worse then all other people. They are slaves. Traded and sold like collectible cards, no matter their age. As Ana’s story is happening, she is seeing with her our eyes how the country is corrupt and a rising of unrest among Afinites.

Although many view Ana  as a monster, she is not a monster (she’s called the blood witch in some circles), but at times she will embrace it and her power (which one could say are one and the same at times) in fits of rage, sadness and to try and right the wrongs of society and those wrongs she believes she had committed too. She attacks before thinking, letting her emotions to rule her. All the while Ramson tries to get her to think thins out, to make a plan. Thankfully, he does rub off on her and the two are able to try and balance each other out (along with the rest of their gang).

Ana, May, Ramson and Lim will have you reaching for a bottle to break and going after the people who hurt them (I might have felt like doing this a few times). There were times that I was holding my breath and shaking my head no, times that I couldn’t see past the rainfall that were my tears and times my heart felt like it was in a free fall (these characters like their jumping from high places- I’m looking at you Lim).

if you don’t already have this book on preorder I will smack you.

Favorite quote(s):

You want me to be the monster? I’ll be the monster.

I did it to save May, she told herself.

But, perhaps all monsters were heroes in their own eyes.

As fluid as the river, as strong as the sea.

Keep it, and remember this. Your heart is your compass, and even the strongest wind can’t change its direction.

Darling, you’d do well to remember it’s often the criminals that are the best-dressed.

May you be free, and may you be loved.” Her voice cracked, but she kept going. “May you be blessed by the stars above…”

The world had fallen silent; Ana found that the words had died in her throat. May had been her song.

Life isn’t going to be all happiness and wonder. We have to take what we are given, and fight like hell to make it better.

When you walk into a room, you have the grace and gravitas of an empress, and I swear, even the Deities must pause to look at you.

Are you afraid? She whispered. His eyes widened. You should know that it sometimes takes a monster to destroy another.

Your heart is your compass, Jonah whispered.

And if he had a choice again, he would choose her.

She was the bearing to his compass, the dawn that his ship had been chasing for so long over an empty horizon.

My heart is my compass.

Lim lept.

Would I? Reread? YES. Get the finished copy? Yes, I have two copies in counting coming to me. Recommend to others? Yes! Read more of this series? Of course! I have to know how Ana’s story works out. Read more from this author? Yes, I like her writing style and she can pull me in fast.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

Edition: Advanced Readers Copy, 464 pages. I received this ARC n return for an honest review.

Young Adult. Fantasy. Retelling. Romance.

Expected publication: November 19th 2019 by Delacorte Press

Summary: 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.

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.

-Summary from

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