Author: Richelle Mead
Series: Dark Swan #4
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Rating: 3/5 stars
The Overview: 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. . .
Mead is my favorite author, and I loved the adventure aspects of this book (great change of settings and all), but I felt like this particular book was missing something. Mead usually has a way of creating a giant snowball effect as a series comes to an end that has you glued to the pages, downright anxious to see what happens. As Shadow Heir is most assuredly the last novel in this series, I was left feeling like there should have been more. In fact, had I not known this was the last book, I definitely would not have been able to tell from the plot.
It did not help matters that I did not care for either of the potential love interest for personality and behavioral purposes, and that’s enough to take the wind out of any romantic’s sails. I’m certain others would find them appealing, I just couldn’t bring myself to root for either one. Come to think about it, that is probably why I didn’t find the end to be super climatic because I wasn’t emotionally invested in one of the main arcs of the story. You have to understand, her leading men in two other series are by-far my favorites of any genre (hello – Dimitri Belikov and Seth Mortensen) so to not have a love story I could personally get behind left me wanting.
Not that there was any problem with the characters themselves, I’m just picky when it comes to men (as it should be). Mead is a master of creating great characters. I love that between all the stories I’ve read, her leading ladies all have distinct and unique personalities (and they all can kick some serious butt). It would be easy for Mead to take the same cookie-cutter model for a heroine and transfer it into each series. The fact that she doesn’t speaks to her strength of an author and gives us readers something new to look forward to each time.
Overall, the book was worth reading and it does provide some sense of closure; however, if you’re never read a Richelle Mead book, start with either Vampire Academy or Succubus Blues. A warning to the wary: these books contain a great deal of sensuality, language, and violence.
Other books you might like:
(I realize I did the classic “if you like Richelle Mead… read Richelle Mead! But since I made such a big deal about her other series, I couldn’t help myself)