Shadow Heir

Shadow Heir

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by Richelle Mead
     
 

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#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

Overview

#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. . .

Praise for Richelle Mead's Storm Born. . .

"My kind of book—great characters, dark worlds, and just the right touch of humor. A great read." —Patricia Briggs, New York Times Bestselling Author

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Mead concludes the Dark Swan quartet (following Iron Crowned) with this too tidy fantasy. If the prophecy holds true, the unborn twin children of shaman-for-hire Eugenie Markham will one day rise up against humanity to reclaim Otherworldly supremacy. Eugenie believes she wields enough power to negate the prophecy, but first she has to protect her babies from two sets of fanatics: those who want to destroy humanity, and those determined to protect it. After one close call, Eugenie decides that the safety of her offspring relies on her staying out of the Otherworld until the children are born, but the machinations of the Queen of the Yew Land draw Eugenie back to face the most desperate of quests. Eugenie dramatically faces her greatest fears and most aggressive foes before making an abrupt, out-of-character decision that leads to a ridiculous cop-out ending. (Jan.)
Library Journal
Eugenie Markham, a shaman-for-hire with a prophetic gift, battles a blight that is devastating the Otherworld in the conclusion to this urban fantasy (Storm Born; Thorn Queen; Iron Crowned) set in Middle America and the world of the fae.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781420111804
Publisher:
Kensington
Publication date:
01/01/2012
Series:
Dark Swan Series, #4
Pages:
400
Sales rank:
139,934
Product dimensions:
4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.20(d)

Read an Excerpt

SHADOW HEIR

A Dark Swan Novel
By Richelle Mead

ZEBRA BOOKS

Copyright © 2012 Richelle Mead
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4201-1180-4


Chapter One

I'm sure Ohio's a perfectly nice place, once you get to know it. For me, right now, it was akin to one of the inner circles of Hell.

"How," I demanded, "can the air possibly contain this much moisture? It's like going swimming."

My sister, walking beside me in the late-afternoon sun, grinned. "Use your magic to push it off you."

"Too much work. It just keeps coming back," I grumbled. Jasmine, like me, had been raised in the dry heat of Arizona, so I couldn't understand why she didn't have the same revulsion I did to the monsoon conditions of high summer in the Midwest. We both wielded weather magic, but hers was focused primarily on water, so maybe that explained her blasé attitude. Maybe it was just the resilience of youth, seeing as she was about ten years younger than me. Or maybe, just maybe, it was because she wasn't nearly five months pregnant and hauling around an extra ten pounds or so of offspring who seemed intent on overheating me, sucking my resources, and pretty much slowing down every goddamned thing I did.

It was also possible hormones were making me a little irritable.

"We're almost there," said a polite voice on the other side of me. That was Pagiel. He was the son of Ysabel, one of the bitchiest gentry women I knew—and she didn't even have excess hormones as an excuse. Pagiel hadn't inherited his mother's personality, thankfully, and possessed a knack for crossing between the Otherworld and the human world that rivaled mine and Jasmine's. He was roughly the same age as her, and the fact that I had to have a teenage escort to get me to my doctor's appointments only added insult to the many injuries I'd endured these last few months.

A block ahead, the Hudson Women's Health Clinic stood among its carefully pruned pear trees and neat rows of geraniums. The business was right on the line of the commercial and residential zones of the city and tried to give the appearance that it was part of the latter. It wasn't the pretty landscaping that made me keep coming back to this sauna, walking half a mile each time between the Otherworldly gate and the clinic. It wasn't even the medical care, which was fine as far as I could tell. Really, when it came down to it, this place's biggest appeal was that so far, no one had tried to kill me here.

That cursed wet heat had me dripping with sweat by the time we reached the building. I was used to sweating in the desert, but something about this climate just made me feel sticky and gross. Fortunately, a wave of air-conditioning hit us as we walked through the door. As glorious as it was for me, it was a miracle for Pagiel. I always liked seeing his face when he felt that first blast. He'd grown up in the Otherworld, where fairy—or gentry, the term I preferred—magic could work wonders. He wouldn't blink an eye at magical feats that would make a human gape. But this? Cold air produced by a machine? It blew his mind every time. No pun intended.

"Eugenie," said the receptionist. She was middle-aged and plump, with a kindly, hometown air about her. "Back with your family I see."

We'd taken to passing Pagiel off as our brother, for simplicity's sake. Really, though, it wasn't a stretch to imagine us all being related. Jasmine's hair was strawberry blond, mine a light red, and Pagiel's a true auburn. We could have done advertising for the National Redhead Solidarity Group, if such a thing existed. No one at the clinic ever seemed to think it was weird that I brought my teenage siblings along, so maybe that was normal around here.

We took seats in the waiting room, and I saw Pagiel shift uncomfortably in his jeans. I hid a smile and pretended not to notice. He thought human clothes were crude and ugly, but Jasmine and I had insisted he wear them if he wanted to be part of my obstetric security detail. Normally, the gentry favored silks and velvet in their clothing, with flourishes like puffy sleeves and cloaks. Maybe he could have gotten away with that on the West Coast but not here in middle America.

Both he and Jasmine stayed behind when the nurse came to get me. Jasmine used to go in with me, but after an embarrassing incident when Pagiel had tried to attack someone with a Milli Vanilli ringtone, we'd decided it was best if he wasn't left alone. Although, I admit, it was hard to fault his actions.

I went to see an ultrasound tech first. As the mother-to-be of twins, I was knocked into a high-risk category and had to have more ultrasounds than someone with a "normal" pregnancy would. The tech situated me on the table and slathered gel on my stomach before touching it with her paddle. And just like that, all my crankiness, all my sarcasm—all the feelings I'd so haughtily walked in with—vanished.

And were replaced with terror.

There they were, the things that I'd risked my life—and the fate of the world—for. To be fair, the images still didn't look like much to me. They were only sketchy black-and-white shapes, though with each visit, they became increasingly more babylike. I supposed this was a marked improvement, since for a while there, I was certain I'd be giving birth to aliens and nothing human or gentry at all.

"Ah, there's your son," said the tech, gesturing to the left side of the screen. "I was pretty sure we'd be able to spot him this time."

My breath caught. My son. As she moved the paddle to get a better angle, his profile flashed into stark relief, small arms and legs and a rounded head that looked very human. This tiny creature, whose beating heart was also clearly visible, hardly seemed like a conqueror of worlds. He seemed very small and very vulnerable, and I wondered not for the first time if I'd made a mistake in continuing this pregnancy. Had I been tricked? Had I been taken in by this innocent façade? Was I even now nurturing the man who prophecy said would try to enslave humanity?

As though sensing my thoughts, his sister stirred on the other side of the screen. She had been a large driving force in my decision to keep this pregnancy. If I'd terminated it in an attempt to save the world from my son, I would've been responsible for ending her life. I couldn't do that to her. I couldn't do that to him, even. It didn't matter what the prophecy said. They both deserved a chance to live their lives, free of what destiny had allegedly dictated for them.

Now, if only I could convince all the people who were trying to kill me of that.

"Everything looks great," the tech told me. She put the paddle away, and the screen went black, shrouding my children in shadows once more. "Perfectly normal."

Normal? Hardly.

Yet, when I was ushered into an exam room to speak to the doctor, her opinion was the same. Normal, normal, normal. Sure, twins required extra watching, but otherwise, everyone seemed convinced I was the model of a perfect pregnancy. None of them had any idea, not even the tiniest clue, of the daily struggle I went through. None of them knew that when I looked at my stomach, I was tormented with the image of violence done in my name and the fate of two worlds hanging in the balance.

"Do you feel them move yet?" the doctor asked me. "It's around that time."

Images of Alien came to mind. "No, I don't think so. How will I know?"

"Well, it'll be pretty obvious in later pregnancy. This early, you start to feel fluttering sensations. Some people say it's like a fish swimming around. You'll know when it happens. Don't worry—they won't be trying to kick their way out. Not at first."

I shuddered, not sure how I felt about that. Despite the changes in my body, it was still easy to regard this as some physical ailment. It was only the ultrasound that reminded me there were actually people living inside me. I wasn't sure I was ready to also start feeling them squirm around.

The doctor glanced at her clipboard. "Honestly, everything looks great," she said, echoing the ultrasound tech.

"I'm tired all the time," I countered. "And I keep getting short of breath. And I'm having trouble bending. I mean, I can still do it, but it's not easy."

"That's all normal."

"Not for me." I used to banish ghosts and beat up monsters for a living.

She shrugged. "You have two people growing inside of you. It's going to get worse before it gets better."

"But I have a lot of things to do. My lifestyle's pretty, um, active."

She remained unmoved. "Then you're going to have to adapt."

Despite my whining, I was sent off with a clean bill of health and instructions to book my next appointment. In the lobby, I found Jasmine and Pagiel exactly where I'd left them. She was leafing through a copy of People and trying to explain to him both the definition and appeal of reality TV.

Maybe the office didn't bat an eye at my "siblings" because I simply had too many other weird habits. Like, for example, I always paid for each visit in cash. When you tacked on things like ultrasounds, blood work, and other medical testing, the final price tag was pretty high. I always felt like I was one step away from pulling out a Mafia-style suitcase filled with hundred-dollar bills. There was no alternative, however. I couldn't do anything that would allow my enemies to track me. Medical insurance claims would create a paper trail, as would even paying with a check or credit card. For the majority of gentry, none of that was a concern. Most were like Pagiel and could barely grasp the idea of banks or the postal system, let alone using them to track me. Unfortunately, my enemies in the Otherworld had very good connections here among humans, those who knew our systems inside and out. It was because of them I was in Ohio in the first place. Tucson had been compromised.

Another woman, far more pregnant than me, was just entering the office as the receptionist printed my receipt. A gust of wind swept in behind her, and she had to fight to catch the door and make it close. Pagiel, though inept at technology, had been trained in the gentry ways of chivalry and jumped up to help her.

"Thanks," she told him. She flashed the rest of us a cheery smile. "I can't believe how fast the weather turned on us. A cold front came out of nowhere."

The receptionist nodded sagely. "That's how it is this time of year. We'll have storms tonight for sure."

As if I needed another reason to dislike the Midwest. God, how I missed Tucson's unchanging climate. As I walked out with Jasmine and Pagiel, I knew I had an unfair attitude. I was simply feeling the woes of my self-imposed exile. I didn't really hate Ohio so much as I missed Arizona. Once we were back in the Otherworld, I could visit the kingdom I ruled and practically be in a mirror of Tucson. I'd designed it that way. And yet ... it wasn't the same. I kept blaming everything on the weather, but a place was defined by more than just that. There was a culture and a vibe, driven by its people, that was unique to every location. The Thorn Land was great, but it would never replace my hometown.

"Damn," said Jasmine, trying to pry her hair off of her face. A fierce wind had whipped it right at her as soon as she stepped outside. "That lady wasn't kidding."

I pulled myself from my self-pity enough to note that she was right. The temperature had dropped, and that thick, suffocating air from earlier was now in motion as fronts collided. The cute ornamental trees swayed back and forth, like synchronized dancers. Dark clouds, tinged with a sickly green, gathered above. A chill that had nothing to do with the cool-down ran over my skin. My asshole gentry father, aside from getting me stuck with a prophecy that said his eldest grandson would conquer humanity, had also passed on his prowess with weather magic. I was tuned in to all the elements that made up a storm: the moisture, the air, even the charged particles that heralded lightning. My senses were open to them, and the intensity of all those factors hitting me at once now was a bit overwhelming.

"So much for a candy run," I muttered, peering at the angry sky. I was out of Milky Ways and pretty desperate for some. "We'll be lucky if we don't get drenched before we reach the gate." Not for the first time, I wished I had a car during these Ohio trips, but it was pointless. The only real reason I came here was for the clinic, and it was within walking distance to the gate that led back to the Otherworld. There'd be no practical way to keep a car here. Plus, riding in one would probably kill Pagiel.

I'd glanced at the sky, mostly verifying that things looked as bad as they felt, when something suddenly jerked me to a standstill. If I scanned to the north, looking above a stretch of trees, I could see the edge of the storm clouds. The black ceiling above us only extended a mile, and where it ended abruptly, I could see sunshine and blue sky. I was willing to bet the air was stiflingly hot and humid there too. Looking around, I saw that was the case everywhere. Directly above us, the sky was dark, but those clouds extended in a very finite, very clearly defined way. It was like being under a perfectly round dome. All around those hard edges, sun fought to get through.

My companions came to a halt beside me, and I met Jasmine's gaze. "I feel it...." she murmured. "I didn't at first. There was too much going on...."

"Me too," I said. Along with feeling storm elements, she and I were also sensitive to magic specifically acting on them. What we were feeling now wasn't a natural occurrence. There were so many stimuli that the magic behind it had remained hidden to me initially—as was no doubt intended. There were Otherworldly forces at work. And with that realization came another: we'd been discovered. My Midwest safe house was no longer safe. "Fuck."

Pagiel's young face was grim as he glanced at me. "What do you want to do?" Pagiel had inherited his mother's magical prowess with air, so he too had probably figured out something was amiss.

I began walking again. "We've got to get to the gate. There's no other choice. Once we cross, we're safe."

"Whoever's doing this must know about the gate," pointed out Jasmine. "They could be on the other side waiting."

"I know. But that also means they would've had to defeat all the troops left behind." This gate in Hudson didn't open within the borders of my kingdoms in the Otherworld. It was close enough to my allies, however, that the journey had always seemed worth it in order to get safe medical treatment in the human world. Still, we never made the journey without a considerable and armed escort on the other side.

The wind seemed to increase as we walked, blowing against us and slowing our progress. I could've used my magic to control it but was holding back until faced with the storm's creator—or rather, creators. There were only two people in known gentry history who could singlehandedly summon and control a storm like this. One was my deceased father. The other was me. My bet was that this was the work of a number of magic users, a thought that made me grit my teeth in frustration. A lot of planning would've had to go into this, which meant my enemies had known about Hudson for a while.

Almost as annoying as being found out was having to deal with my own physical limitations. I wasn't crippled, not by any means. I wasn't even waddling. But, as I'd told the doctor, I just couldn't quite do the things I used to. A half mile was not a huge distance, not at all, especially on suburban sidewalks. In my pre-pregnancy state, I could have easily broken out into a run and covered the distance quickly. Now, my best was a half-ass jog, and I was very aware of the fact that I was slowing Jasmine and Pagiel down.

We exited off the main road, cutting through the outskirts of a vast, wooded park. Otherworldly gates were rarely found in heavily populated, urban areas, and this one lay deep within the park's grounds. The trees blocked the direct force of the wind, but the branches were shifting wildly, showering us with twigs and leaves. We were the only ones out here, since most reasonable humans would've long since taken shelter.

"It'll be here," I called to my companions, forcing my voice to be heard above the wind. From the satchel I wore across my body, I produced my wand and an iron-bladed athame. "If they're going to attack, it'll be—"

They attacked.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from SHADOW HEIR by Richelle Mead Copyright © 2012 by Richelle Mead. Excerpted by permission of ZEBRA BOOKS. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

RICHELLE MEAD is the #1 New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of the Vampire Academy series and its spin-off series, Bloodlines. Originally from Michigan, she now lives in Seattle, Washington.

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Shadow Heir 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 238 reviews.
KrisES More than 1 year ago
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.
ScooperSpeaks More than 1 year ago
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.
JenyH More than 1 year ago
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!
sksweet14 More than 1 year ago
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.
RavynKatt More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!
JGriffin More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this series so much & this was a great book but i'm so bummed this was the last book!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Katierod26 More than 1 year ago
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!
LadyNae More than 1 year ago
The book overall was good until got to the last of it, it just does not stay with the rest of the series and the character of Eugenie. How ultimately selfish of Eugenie the way she decided to leave her children, who have EVERY right to be with their mother AND their father now that it is not the one who tried to murder them!! Richelle Mead lost a fan with the ending of this book. Anyone thinking this ending is proper is either not a parent or not an unselfish one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I know many people didn't appreciate the way the book ended because of so many loose ends but I beleive thats what added to the appeal where one could wonder what did or didn't take place after the end.It gave ambiguity
Anonymous 9 days ago
Great book, but the ending isn't what I'd call happily ever after
Anonymous 5 months ago
Great book but the ending left me hanging
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So Mead left the ending to the reader's own imagination. How lovely. We will never know what really happen to the twins there on after, and we will never know if Dorian will ever know that the twins are his. It's all about Eugenie, her decisions, and what she wants. Even though Eugenie went back to Dorian, I wouldn't be surprised if she ended up with Kiyo again. She's just selfish and don't really care except for her own self and needs.
BlkosinerBookBlog More than 1 year ago
      I wanted to read Shadow Heir because I love Richelle Mead, as well as the first three in this series. Eugenie is charismatic, and I love her passion and energy. She is now the queen of two kingdoms in the Fae world since she defeated its king and claimed the other with the famed Iron Crown. She is gaining experience with both magic and leadership, but she still has a long way to go. I love the cast of characters, they are flawed, complex and they all bring something to the table and to Eugenie's character.       The romance has been a true and complicated triangle and I can't decide how its going to play out and how it can work out in the way that I thought it would.    Eugenie once again has hard choices to make and is stuck in her battle of worlds demanding her attention. Since she is expecting, she doesn't want to give up modern medicine especially with the high risk, but it is hard to leave her kingdoms. Attacks and threats from Maiwenn and Kiyo and their allies are picking up, and her safety is so back and forth.      A somewhat compromise was made until after the babies were born when the Otherworld, both her kingdoms, Dorian's and Maiwenn's are in crisis, causing a temporary halt to the bickering about the prophecy associated with Eugenie's son. They have to work together to save their lands and people, but Eugenie is always leaving people behind and the constant danger and changes aren't easy on a new mom. But help comes from all sorts of unexpected places, and I didn't want to put this book down, just another page or chapter. But I also knew that I was barreling towards the end of this series and characters that I have come so quickly to love.      There was a huge surprise near the end that I never expected, but it certainly changed a lot. It never crossed my mind, but the person involved was never really on my radar. It totally changed the end of the series, and made a lot simpler and then other things harder because of the unexpectedness to everyone.      These last paragraphs get kinda spoilery because I am kinda ranty... And um. I love this series, the characters and everything except the ending. I do not agree with her decision, I think that it is selfish and deceptive. I understand what she thinks her reasoning is, but I think that it goes back so much on everything she was harping on about love, trust, respect, and manipulation, everything that made her angry and want to leave Dorian and Kiyo. I hear that there will hopefully be a fifth book. And there better, because I was not cool with it.       But then I read some reviews where it talked about the ending that left questions and a lot left to mystery. And someone linked to this article.  So I read the last chapter again, and realized one sentence that turned all of that into more of a mystery because she says she didn't know if she could keep it from him... SO... I dunno...     On Richelle's site it says:  Future Eugenie books? At the moment, Shadow Heir is the conclusion to the Dark Swan series. As many of you know, there's definitely room for more of the story! I would like to write a fifth book, but at the moment, other commitments have taken precedence, so it may be a long time. But I'll keep you guys posted! Fingers crossed. Bottom Line: Amazing, 5 stars until the ending that wasn't so neatly HEA bow wrapped. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The right choice is often tough and painfull, hope a soon to be announced spinoff remedies the ending we have been presented
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Did anyone else notice that Kiyo's daughter, Luisa, was mysteriously named Marta when they were traveling to the Yew Land? I appreciate the story, but I have found similar, simple errors throughout the series. I have even noticed errors in the VA series. Get a better editor!