Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Shadow Heir (Dark Swan #4) by Richelle Mead

Shadow Heir (Dark Swan, #4)Shadow Heir by Richelle Mead
Release date: December 27, 2011

(from Goodreads)

#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...

*Only read this review if you are caught up to Iron Crowned in the series!*

Shadow Heir is the last in Mead's magic-and-Fae-based urban fantasy Dark Swan series. If you've been keeping up with the series, you know that A LOT went down in the last one! I don't want to spoil anything for those of you who haven't read up to book if you are not up to that book, turn back now! Okay, you have been warned.

Freakin' Kiyo! He totally screwed up Eugenie's life in Iron Crowned! First he gets her pregnant, then he decides its best to kill the babies (that pesky prophecy and all...)! When we begin Shadow Heir, Eugenie is already several months pregnant and has been hiding out in various locations in the human world in order to hide from Kiyo, Maiwenn, and their lackeys that are trying to hunt her down and kill her. She requires escorts to her doctor visits since gentry like to occasionally appear and try to off her. One of the things I really liked in this book was Jasmine's presence and the clear turn around she has done from when we first met her. She is fiercely protective of Eugenie now. We also pick up a new character, Pagiel - Ysabel's son. Even though Ysabel is evil and money-hungry (if you forgot who she is, she was a past lover of Dorian's from the previous books), Pagiel is kind and even a little meek. I enjoyed reading his growth during the book. Roland is also around much more here than in the last book, and since I adore his tough-but-loving dad-ness, I was really happy to see more of him.

As usual, Eugenie's entire world consists of hard decisions and keeping secrets. She has to undergo most of her pregnancy living with strangers in a place she doesn't know. As much as I liked this little detour in the story, I was ready for her to get back to her Eugenie-ness and get the heck out of Alabama. She does have some sweet interactions with one of the people she is staying with, a southern teacher named Evan, but he was no Dorian so I was ready to move along.

Dorian! Ahh, Dorian my love! Perhaps one of my favorite things in this book was that I read about 150 pages before Kiyo even appeared. And, although more of those pages could have had Dorian, he was in enough of them that I was happy. But we'll get back to that...

For the last two-thirds of the book, 'the gang' must go on a trek to another kingdom in the Otherworld in order to stop a devastating blight that has taken over. You didn't think the whole book would be about Eugenie's pregnancy, did you? Nope! There is actually a whole other great plot happening. When Eugenie finally returns to the Otherworld she discovers that it has been taken over by a magic spell that causes everything to freeze. It is constantly snowing, the weather is colder than any of the gentry know what to do with, and gentry and animals alike are dying off. Hence the trek! I love when an author sends a group of almost all the main characters on some kind of adventure together.

It is during this little adventure that Eugenie starts to question her feelings for Dorian...meaning that she was mad at him for deceiving her about the iron crown...buuuuuut his eyes are so green and he seems to still have feelings for her...... My favorite thing about Shadow Heir is that Mead really opens Dorian up. He shows how much he truly cares for Eugenie and you will be screaming at your book "What is wrong with you Eugenie!? Jump on top of him right now!".

And, of course, we are talking about Richelle there is a big Surprise! toward the end of the book. The series ends neatly and I was almost fully satisfied. I feel like Mead answered most of the questions her readers might have, but at the same time she didn't give us an ending that was tied with a little bow. There were no cop outs here.

I am so sad that this series is over now. This is one of the best urban fantasies out there and I am more than ready to see what Mead gives us next!

***This review is based on an advance copy of the book.


  1. Oh. My. God.
    I am soooooooo jealous. I want this book like right now!
    Please tell me she ends up with Dorian. I may have to scream and throw the book at the wall if she doesn't.
    UGH i am sooooooo impatient. Is it february yet??????

    Okay off to contact the UK publisher now =P

    Great review.

  2. nevr heard of this1
    looks great

  3. Oh wow I must read this series! I had no idea it was so well rated I really enjoyed her VA stuff. Awesome review!

    Xpresso Reads


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