Thursday, November 3, 2011

Toni's Review of Shadow Heir by Richelle Mead ***5 Stars***



Scheduled for release December 27, 2011

#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...

********************

It’s been 12 hours since I finished this book and I’m still sitting here bewildered, enchanted and pleased. I always knew Ms. Mead was a great writer, but I do have to say I think she has undone herself this time. I have been left oddly satisfied with the ending, yet I am disappointed that there are still mind boggling issues left unanswered. In the scheme of things I can also see why those are left unanswered. I am oddly mystified.

Dark Swan is an action series revolving around fey and the problems with prophesy. It also covers a wide range of thought provoking issues. In the four books we have had kidnappings, rape, murder, unplanned pregnancy and even abortion, just to name a few. The subject matters are handled extremely well and Ms. Mead doesn’t back off and sugarcoat the issues. She tackles them head-on, not caring about the backlash. By the end of Shadow Heir, she does it yet again and the results are brilliant. This is not a standalone novel. Please enjoy this series as a whole.

The Iron Crowned ended with a shocking revelation. The hate and dismay for Kiyo is astounding. One of the biggest comments I have noticed that he needs to die a painful death and how in the world can Eugenie even think of a truce with him. I am going to say though I don’t like the idea; the reasoning behind the truce is understandable and tolerable. This whole book is about of compromise and understanding for me. If you are expecting a tale of butterflies, glitter and the story all wrapped up and closed with pretty bows, then you need to not read this book. Ms. Mead has written a thought provoking, deep tale of sacrifice, the choices that mold us and the high price we must pay sometimes for the ones we love.

The reason this novel gets a 5 star review from me is because of the devastating plot and complexity of its execution. I could have also easily given this book a 2 star rating. Just because it doesn’t end the way I think it should doesn’t take away from the brilliant storytelling. I will be captured and thinking of this story for a long time. Some people will be angry and disappointed and some will be thrilled and excited. This book will not please everyone. The only person who could possibly have seen the outcome of this ending is Ms. Mead and the fallout will be diverse.

I have so many assorted feelings about this novel that I’m still reeling. The last chapter had me gasping and heartbroken. I am left with the feeling of bittersweet wonder by the love and devotion. I am awe struck by the sacrifice of true love and saddened by the choice. I can honestly say that I have never finished a book that has left me with the feeling that I am being pulled in so many different directions; feelings of love and hate, wanting and fulfillment and even anger and happiness. I just feel WOW at the conclusion of Shadow Heir.

Congratulations Ms. Mead on a brilliant conclusion to an amazing series! You have left me wanting more, but yet sated at the same time. You have answered many of the questions, but I would still love a tale of the outcome of the decisions that were made. Please take pity on this devoted fan.

Thanks for reading - Toni

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