Shadow Heir by Richelle Mead

RMead-Shadow HeirI am a HUGE Richelle Mead fan. I’ll admit to having read all books in each of her 4 series.  I’ll also admit that the Dark Swan series is probably the least favorite of them all. BUT do NOT get me wrong, it is still fantastic and a great addition to anyone’s UF TBR stack.  Shadow Heir was much anticipated and once again, Richelle Mead delivers. **minor spoilers below, do NOT read if you haven’t read Iron Crowned**

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…

Shadow Heir starts off very closely to where Iron Crowned left off.  Eugie is happily pregnant but is trying to find a way to keep herself and her unborn twins alive. So many are trying to kill her to prevent her son’s birth and thus the Storm’s King’s prophecy for his eldest grandson.  Eugie finally comes up with a plan.  I guess I understand why she chooses the option she does, but that doesn’t mean I really have to like it.  In fact, the time she spends where she chooses to stay for the duration of her pregnancy…well, that portion of Shadow Heir was kinda boring. I felt the pacing was slow.  With this being the final book, there really isn’t much world building left to occur and from what I’ve read of the other 2 series that Mead has finished, the final books are usually more action-packed.  I skimmed A LOT while Eugie was pregnant.  Now, part of this may be due to my realllly bad habit of skipping to the ending of Richelle’s books to find out if I was right on the overall story arc.  So, I kinda knew what was coming.  But, I still enjoy the twists and turns that are always unexpected.

Really, that part in the middle before Eugie delivers the twins and before she heads back to the Otherworld is really my only complaint with Shadow Heir.  Once Eugie returns, she finds not only both her kingdoms in a terrible winter state (the blight), but most of her allies’ kingdoms as well.  So her and Dorian…and *gasp* Kiyo…take to the task of finding and ending the source of this horrible blight.  Now…you really don’t expect me to tell you any more than that (other than of course they have an idea of who/what is behind it, they just have to figure out *how* to end it)…did you?   This part can get kind of slow at times, but never fear, just when you get kind of bored, Richelle throws that monkey wrench into the plot and the action picks back up.

What I really liked was learning about Volusian’s past.  Yep, this is one minor thread that is resolved completely. I loved hearing his story and am so glad it was included. I didn’t have quite the issue several of my blogger friends had with the ending.  Did it frustrate me? Somewhat…but more because of why Eugie did it (it really is typical of Eugie) and how double standard it seemed.  But, many other questions are answered.  After all, Shadow Heir wraps up the Dark Swan series…or does it?  You’ll just have to read to find out what I’m talking about.  I will say that Richelle has said this is the final book; but, I’m hoping she left enough unanswered to *hopefully* come back to this world.  hint hint, wink wink…just in case anyone from Kensington reads this *G*.  

Read Order:
Storm Born

Thorn Queen
Iron Crowned
Shadow Heir

Also reviewed by: Scooper Speaks, Books & Barks, Wicked Little Pixie, Belle Books, Book Savvy Babe

About Nicole 146 Articles
Attorney by day, Publicist for Barclay Publicity and reviewer/LE (assistant) editor by night. I'm a huge book nerd and love to read. I have 2 dogs, both Labrador retriever mixed breeds, who are very rotten and think they run the house. Let's not lie, they totally do, I just can't them know it ha ha! My usual genre is romance or urban fantasy. I love all things having to do with paranormal, with the occasional good contemp/BDSM/erotica thrown in to spice it all up.