SPFBO Finalist Review: Blood of Heirs by Alicia Wanstall-Burke

41063986._sy475_And with this last book, I’m all done. 🙂

Lidan Tolak is the fiercest of her father’s daughters; more than capable of one day leading her clan. But caught between her warring parents, Lidan’s world begins to unravel when another of her father’s wives falls pregnant. Before she has time to consider the threat of a brother, a bloody swathe is cut through the heart of the clan and Lidan must fight, not only to prove her worth, but simply to survive.

Ranoth Olseta wants nothing more than to be a worthy successor to his father’s throne. When his home is threatened by the aggressive Woaden Empire, Ran becomes his city’s saviour, but powers within him are revealed by the enemy and he is condemned to death. Confused and betrayed, Ran is forced to flee his homeland, vowing to reclaim what he has lost, even if it kills him.

Facing an unknown future, and battling forces both familiar and foreign, can Lidan and Ran overcome the odds threatening to drag them into inescapable darkness?

A man without fear is a man without half his mind. This place won’t kick the fear out of you, it’ll only teach you how to hide it.

This is the story of Lidan and Ranoth, both young people and both heirs in their respective cultures.

Lidan is the daughter of the leader of her clan. She’s the oldest of ten daughters, and her mother is the first of four wives. Her parents have been rather at odds as of late, and her mother has been increasingly violent towards her (and everyone else). When one of her father’s other wives becomes pregnant, Lidan has to prove her worth, because if the child is a boy, he could steal her future of leading the clan just by existing.

Ranoth is the son of a duke, and after losing an important battle, he returns home defeated, just in time to save the city from their greatest enemy, the Woaden Empire. But, in saving the city, he is revealed to possess magic, something that is anathema in his culture, and as such, heir or not, he is condemned to death. He escapes and flees into the wide world.

I quite liked this one. It was very easy to pick up and read into the wee hours of the morning. I found that once I got going, it was terribly difficult to stop going, as it were.

We see this story from two entirely different points of view. Lidan and Ranoth are from entirely different cultures. Lidan is from a clan of rangers in the south, which felt sort of reminiscent of a bronze-age warrior tribe. Ranoth is from a duchy in the north, which was much more medieval knights-and-castles feeling. It was really interesting how one book could combine two such different parts of the world into one story… well, really it’s kind of two entirely different stories that are woven together in one world. We see some chapters from both protagonists’ point of view, alternating fairly often (but not so often that I found it irritating). Both stories share similarities, but they don’t actually intersect at all, at least, not yet.

I really liked Ranoth, and found him easy to cheer for. Lidan wasn’t my favorite character, but her chapters were still engaging and easy to read… though I will admit to wanting more Ranoth through some of them. The thing that sort of confused and disappointed me about our protagonists was how young they are. Lidan is twelve during much of this story, and Ranoth is fifteen. They both give me the impression of being far older than their years, just in the way they act and speak, so I had a very hard time imagining them as they were described. Though, I still liked both characters, they were just older teens in my brainspace.

It was well written, well edited, and read very quickly. The plot had all kinds of surprises and ups and downs and it left me on the edge of my seat more than once. I enjoyed my time with Blood of Heirs quite a bit! I’m definitely planning to read the next book in the series to find out what happens next, because this one left me with lots of questions, as well as hopes for the characters’ futures. 8/10 stars!


Finalist Score:

Kristen: 8.0
Esme: 8.0

Average: 8.0

SPFBO Final Score: 8/10

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