Blood Heir

“I thought you were dead,” Yuri choked. “The court announced…”

“I didn’t kill papa.” The words tumbled from Ana’s mouth pleadingly. “I was trying to save him, but I couldn’t.”

Ratings & Reviews

Book Grade: B+

Blood Heir is a fast-paced fantasy novel with a strong female protagonist. The plot is engaging, although, entirely predictable at times, and features characters who are simultaneously likeable and despicable. Ana often makes foolish mistakes (arguing loudly when someone tells her to be quiet, for example) which lead to her being caught, attacked, or discovered multiple times. Her actions often lead to the downfall of others which is frustrating as a reader. At the same time, I couldn’t help but empathize with her and feel that she was strong and courageous as she fought for the truth and her title. This story is very loosely based on princess Anastasia, but there is no need to know the story of the Russian royal to appreciate Ana’s journey. Blood Heir has lots of twists and turns, but ultimately, is a story about hope, self discovery, and overcoming obstacles. Clever fantasy elements support a thoughtful tale.

Movie Rating: PG-13

This book fluctuates wildly – there are very tame and sweet scenes, and then there are battle scenes that are described in vivid detail. There is some swearing, but it crops up unexpectedly and is not overwhelming. There is a bit of romance, but it is subtle and slowly blossoms over the course of the story. This rating is primarily because of injuries, wounds, or attacks that are graphically described. The author does not give excessive gore at all, but paints a realistic picture for readers. While this helps depict the scene, this book might not be ideal for younger readers.

Would I Buy This for My Library: Yes, but…

This book is a hefty read and some students will be turned away from it simply because of its size. The audio book, too, is over 13 hours long, so that can be a bit of a challenge for readers who would otherwise devour a well-written fantasy novel. Additionally, the names and the time invested in world-building might be a bit too much for your run-of-the-mill library visitor. If you have dedicated fantasy readers, though, or YA fans who are into books about strong female protagonists (while light on the romance), this is a perfect fit. Ana is fiesty and fierce, but likeable and relatable. This likely won’t fly off your library shelf, but it is a great read for the right kid.

Ana didn’t kill her father, but she was forced out of the kindgom, and now must find a way back without revealing her power or that she is still alive. Ana, the crown princess of the Cyrilian empire ran from the palace after being accused of assassinating her father – all because she wields the power of the Affinities – a group demonized for their ability to control elements and thoughts. Their unnaturalness makes them hated within the kingdom, but Ana’s Affinity is among the most terrifying – she can draw out the blood of any living human. Determined to find the man who truly killed her father, Ana must work with a renowned conman, Ramson Quicktongue, and a young Affinite friend, May, to regain entry into the palace, prove her innocence, and save her brother’s life from those trying to take over the throne. Unfortunately, Ramson has his own plans that are far from selfless and Ana finds that those closest to her may be her biggest obstacle.

Book Talk Questions:

  1. Ana is both weak and strong at different times. Give an example of each and explain which side of her is more relatable.
  2. Ana is asked a few times why she ran away if she was innocent. Explain her actions.
  3. Ramson visits the Affinite trader shortly after getting into town. What does he discover about the man that he is looking for?
  4. Why do Ana and Ramson have to go to the Playpen? What do they learn while there? What does Ramson arrange while there?
  5. What is the one advantage Ana has at the end of the book? Who is prepared to help her?

BONUS: Ramson has a difficult relationship with his father. How does that impact his actions in the story?

A Perfect Read for Fans Of…

  • Carve the Mark
  • Ash Princess
  • Red Queen
  • Three Dark Crowns

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