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Shadow Heir (Dark Swan Series #4)

Average Rating 4
( 234 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(112)

4 Star

(55)

3 Star

(39)

2 Star

(17)

1 Star

(11)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

Absolutely Spectacular

I've been a fan of the Dark Swan series since it came out, and I could not wait to read this last installment. I do not think Eugenie's decisions were unfounded, nor do I think the ending was poor. In fact, I think this book was the exciting and spectacular ending that ...
I've been a fan of the Dark Swan series since it came out, and I could not wait to read this last installment. I do not think Eugenie's decisions were unfounded, nor do I think the ending was poor. In fact, I think this book was the exciting and spectacular ending that the Dark Swan series deserved. The book is emotional, continuing the theme of Eugenie's constant struggles with her dual life. Her relationships with Dorian and Kiyo play out against the greater plot of motherhood and regency in a struggling kingdom. There is also a well-thought out and cleverly hinted at plot twist that will blow readers away. Do NOT miss this book. It is 100% worth reading.

posted by RavynKatt on December 28, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

Like others, it was the ending that really ruined this book

I've liked the series up until the last book. I honestly can't believe that Mead is leaving us with that as the "end"...What end??? Way too many questions at the end for my liking. I mean I don't know about other readers, but when I think of the last book in a series ...
I've liked the series up until the last book. I honestly can't believe that Mead is leaving us with that as the "end"...What end??? Way too many questions at the end for my liking. I mean I don't know about other readers, but when I think of the last book in a series I think of closure. This book provided anything but.
I seriously could've given this book a better rating like 4 or 5, ignoring some of the annoying character traits that wound up getting portrayed by the character in this book. I just kept reading hoping that things would be resolved or at least more solid in certain aspects, only to realize that I was at the last page and left hanging. This big disappointment is reflected in my rating.

posted by KrisES on January 22, 2012

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  • Posted January 22, 2012

    Like others, it was the ending that really ruined this book

    I've liked the series up until the last book. I honestly can't believe that Mead is leaving us with that as the "end"...What end??? Way too many questions at the end for my liking. I mean I don't know about other readers, but when I think of the last book in a series I think of closure. This book provided anything but.
    I seriously could've given this book a better rating like 4 or 5, ignoring some of the annoying character traits that wound up getting portrayed by the character in this book. I just kept reading hoping that things would be resolved or at least more solid in certain aspects, only to realize that I was at the last page and left hanging. This big disappointment is reflected in my rating.

    9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2012

    THIS BOOK IS TRASH. And not trashy/fun--just garbage.

    I have to admit, reading these other reviews I still had hopes for a semi-good ending. NOT SO. Eugenie is a hypocritical, lying, cold-hearted, selfish you-know-what. Why, do you ask? I'll tell you, but with this warning first:

    SPOILER ALERT******

    Throughout the entire book you're rooting for her to finally get over her moral highground about being betrayed by Dorian and his plans involving her and the Iron Crown. She whines about his decietful nature and drags her feet when it comes to admitting she still has feelings for him. All the while Dorian is being supportive, truthful, thoughtful, and surprisingly selfless. While the action part of the story is decent, the end of the book makes you want to shout every four letter word out there. Long story short: the babies are not Kiyo's--they're Dorian's. She decides to lie and not tell him this fact, claiming she's trying to protect the babies. However, she still wants to continue their relationship. LYING B****. She is denying a father is God-given rights. I honestly can't believe that Richelle Mead could be so low and sleazy with this last book. Read the book if you don't believe me, and then throw it at the wall. As a mother and a wife, this book disgusts me. I read to escape the world and have some light-hearted fun, NOT to be forced into what's wrong with our society today. Richelle Mead seems to be like the type to get divorced and use the kids as leverage, turn the father into the bad guy, deny his rights to see them, manipulate the events leading up to the disintigration of the marriage to sway the judge into giving her sole custody, pretend she's the victim, and then go out to party while the kids are at some other relations house.

    Terrible book. Shame on the author.

    6 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 13, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Lackluster conclusion to the series

    Book four in Richelle Mead’s Dark Swan series is supposedly the final installment, but it leaves room for so much more. The events of books one through three are finally ready to unfold and Eugenie has some major decisions to make.

    While dealing with her major life issues, namely her babies and trying to stay alive, Eugenie is confronted with a blight that is threatening the land of the fae. The entire story is a personal journey. Sure Eugenie has to protect her people, but she also has to protect her children and grow as a ruler and mother.

    Dorian has plenty of page play in Shadow Heir. I loved every minute of it. In addition to Dorian are other secondary characters who just might surprise you. Heck when some of the facts come out I think y’all will be just as shocked as I was. Oh yeah, if you wanted to know more about Volusion your wish has been granted.

    I thoroughly enjoyed most of the story…until I got to the end. I’ll admit that Eugenie stayed true to character. She showed the character that I hated in book three. You know the character who made me swear to not read book four because she made silly decisions that weren’t fair to those around her. It took a year, but I overcame my anger from book three and devoured Shadow Heir. Warning!!! Don’t expect a clean ending to the story. Expect an ending which will most likely anger you with its spin to the worst traditional romance plot line ever. Despite its ending, I did like most of the story.

    Do yourself a favor and cave like I did. Pick up Shadow Heir and conclude the series you started in Storm Born. Most of the plot lines are explored and closed. It’s no where near the story I fell in love with in book two, Thorn Queen, but it is IMMENSELY better than book three.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 28, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Absolutely Spectacular

    I've been a fan of the Dark Swan series since it came out, and I could not wait to read this last installment. I do not think Eugenie's decisions were unfounded, nor do I think the ending was poor. In fact, I think this book was the exciting and spectacular ending that the Dark Swan series deserved. The book is emotional, continuing the theme of Eugenie's constant struggles with her dual life. Her relationships with Dorian and Kiyo play out against the greater plot of motherhood and regency in a struggling kingdom. There is also a well-thought out and cleverly hinted at plot twist that will blow readers away. Do NOT miss this book. It is 100% worth reading.

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2012

    So disapointed

    I would give 4 or 5 stars to any of Richelle Mead's stories- and I have read them all...but this was a real let down. All the build up with the prophecy and she finally has her babies and just leaves them for 3 months, then after a 2 week visit leves them again- possibly for years? Who knows because the story ends with no resolution! AND this is the end of the series??? If Eugenie and Dorian are so freaking powerful they should be able to handle Maiwen and any other threat. If you are a fan if the series skip this one. Now; I need to go wash this bad taste out of my mouth!

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 5, 2012

    A Must Read!

    I was hesitant of this final book based on the reviews, but I am now so glad I read it. Having been team Dorian from the beginning I could not fathom Eugenie ending up with Kiyo, but the love triangle and the heartache and angst created were unshakable. I was with her the entire way on the edge of my seat, rooting for Dorian and wishing Kiyo to the Underworld! It was so worth it and I can't say I wouldn’t have done the same as Eugenie. There are so many twists in this plot that you honestly don’t know who it’s going to be and what’s going to happen until the very end.

    Now with that said...there are plenty of opening for another book...come on Richelle...don't leave us hanging. Jasmine needs a man :) and it wouldn't hurt to update us on Eugenie and the twins either!

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 18, 2012

    horrible ending

    I really loved this series, but I wish I hadn't read this final book. It was artfully written, but the plot choices baffled me. I don't understand what Ms. Mead was going for. This book completely destroyed my perception of Euginie and I couldn't get past the asinine choices she made. I was seriously angry at her character and could not get past it at all. The plot twist with Dorian was the single highlight of the book, (but honestly, it just made me that much angrier with the ending). Mead leaves a lot of issues unresolved, and as a reader I was left with no true sense of closure. I felt like this book didn't wrap up the series so much as it just destroyed any desire I had for the series to continue. Before I read this book I was rooting for Euginie to get her Happily Ever After and I would periodically think of the first three books and smile. After reading this book, I could honestly care less what Euginie finally makes of herself, I just hope all the *other* characters can get past her selfish stupidity. And maybe that's what Ms. Mead was going for. I don't know. I'm too annoyed to give any more thought to it.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2012

    Cant believe it!

    I have never loved a book so much and hated it so much...I cant believe she chose to end the series like she did...I have never in my life been so disaapointed in the ending of a book...I cant believe there were soooooooo many key parts left open and unfinished....as muc as I loved this series and this book...the ending really ruined it for me...so please be prepared for the ending to upset you!

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 5, 2012

    Controversial ending, but still loved it.

    I have loved every book in the Dark Swan series by Richelle Mead. There are so many twists and turns throughout each one that a reader is sure to be kept on their toes, never knowing what’s going to happen next. Shadow Heir is no exception. I really enjoyed reading this book - its just the last few pages I am bothered by. To me, the ending felt more like it belonged to one of the other books in the series, not the FINAL book. There are certain things (can’t say too much without spoiling anybody) that do not feel completed. If I hadn’t known any better, I would have honestly thought there was another book coming out in this series! But I understand that Mead might have wanted to leave the ending where the reader can make their own future for the characters, or maybe she has plans we don’t know about. Either way, I really did love this book, and I guess I’m just not ready to leave the Dark Swan world. Eugenie is an awesome kick-butt heroine who doesn’t let her power get to her head and always works to protect those she loves and cares for.


    There were some interesting side characters in Shadow Heir, and the reader also learns more about what makes Volusion the way he is. I thought it was extremely cool to be able to find out more about him, as he’s always been a dark and shadowy feature of the story. By the end, I actually felt kind of sorry for him, and anyone who’s read these novels knows what a feat that is! There are other secrets that come out in Shadow Heir that will surprise many readers, as I know they were a surprise for me as well.

    This is a series that I recommend to all of my friends who are fans of paranormal romance and urban fantasy. Richelle Mead creates a world that is dark and exciting, with characters that are layered and fascinating. None of them are perfect, but together they make for an engrossing read that will keep you interested till the very end.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2013

    My heart is broken...

    I adored this book and devoured every page but, the ending broke my heart and left much to be desired. I felt betrayed by Eugine's decision and wanted to slap some sense into her. How could she be such a hypocrit? Ive lost most if not all of my respect for her and just feel so sorry for Dorian. Dorian has been by far my favorite in the series. His witty one liners and flirty charm made me smile and laugh throughout the book. I loved how he grew and proved to Eugine what was truly important to him. He stayed true to himself yet was always there to lend a helping hand. Dorian deserves to know the truth and one way or another he will find out...I sincerly hope Richelle Mead will gift us with at least one more book. At the same time I fear the things that would be revealed can't be forgiven. Overall this book was fantastic and fun to read but its no ending so I'll cross my fingers for more.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2011

    I love this series, just not this book!

    For the last installment in the dark swan series, all I can say is, REALLY? Eugenie didnt grow one bit.I felt she was hypocritical of Dorian. She treated him badly in the end with deciding not to be honest with him. I could go on,but I dont think I will ever waste my time with a Richelle Mead book again. She writeswonderful series,but the endings leave much to be desired.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2011

    Cant wait!

    Ive already read the other 3 books and im courious to see how this one turns out. Like i said, cant wait!!!!

    2 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2012

    Good series

    I like the series but I am confused about one thing. Kiyo's daughter is named Louisa in the first books and all of a sudden in this last book her name is Marta?

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2012

    Disappointing end to a great series

    I found this whole series incredibly addictive but am at a loss at how horrible it ended. I had it all worked out but instead of pleasant surprise, I feel like I've had something stolen from me. Never a good feeling when you feel like you could have written the story better than the author herself. Its obvious this last book wasn't a top priority. What a cruel disservice to loyal readers. Ugh.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2012

    I want more!

    I loved this series so much & this was a great book but i'm so bummed this was the last book!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2012

    The book was great but the ending did not do justice to the series.

    I have been in love with this series since the beginning and was incredibly sad to see it end. This book was great up until the end. I kept looking at the page numbers wondering how she was going to close an amazing series in the last few pages. The ending left too many questions and if i hadnt read otherwise would swear it was priming us for the next Eugenie adventure. Once again the book was amazing but the ending left a lot to be desired.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2012

    Such a disappointment

    I read this series in two days. I couldnt wait to find out how the story ended. Instead, I was left with unanswered questions. Its reminded me of sex with Kiyo. Lots of buildup but no climax.... big disappointment.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 17, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    Sadly disappointed

    I loved the series and read it in less than a week, but I was sadly disappointed by Shadow Heir and especially the ending. I understand that Eugenie in a flawed character, which made her extremely frustrating at times but also relatable. However, her family decisions throughout this book (especially the final decision at the end of the book) transformed her from a flawed protagonist to a villain. I was deeply upset when I finished reading the book and now wish I hadn't read it at all.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2012

    Shadow Heir

    I love all of Richelle Mead's books. Shadow Heir is no different, except the ending could have been 100 times better since this was the final book in the series. I have to say I was disappointed.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 8, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Is this really the last in the Series???

    I don't want to spoil it but I will say there's alot left unsaid in this book? Which makes you ask the question " is this really the end?". I loved this one and it was probably my favorite of the series, but please please please tell me there's another one on its way!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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