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Shadow Heir

Shadow Heir

4.0 239
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


#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.)

Product Details

Publication date:
Dark Swan Series , #4
Sold by:
Penguin Random House Publisher Services
Sales rank:
File size:
1 MB

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. 239 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 5 days ago
Even though I loved this series, I was very disappointed how the book ended...or didn't. I really was disappointed with Eugenia to not tell Dorian of "his" twins!!! I really hope there is another book somewhere out there or in the process of being written... Such a disappointment.... LOVETOREAD
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book, but the ending isn't what I'd call happily ever after
Anonymous More than 1 year 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