Blood Heir by Amelie Wen Zhao

Hi Everyone!  It’s Becky.  I just finished Blood Heir by Amelie Wen Zhao for my book club.  This book had a lot of potential but it didn’t quite live up to my expectations.

42359583Title: Blood Heir
Author: Amelie Wen Zhao
Note: I listened to the audiobook.

Summary: Anastacya Mikhailov was once the crown princess of the Cyrilian Empire but when she manifests an Affinity, a magic-like ability to control the people around her, Ana must give up her life and family to go on the run.  Now, Ana must team up with Ramson Quicktongue, a conman, who may be her only chance to save her family and her empire.

Review: There has been a lot written about this book online before it was even released.  I will not comment on those issues however if you would like to read that discussion a quick Google search will find you a lot of information.  As for Blood Heir I found this book to be a whole lot of wasted potential.  Zhao wrote a book that was deeply entrenched in the myth and legend of the lost Grand Duchess Anastasia which happens to be one of my favorite mystery.  I would have loved a book that took the story of the Romanovs and gave it a fantasy twist but unfortunately, the story of the Czar and his family didn’t really supply anything to the book beyond a few of the characters’ names and a vaguely Russian setting.  There was potential for this novel to be a book filled with palace intrigue but instead, the plots against the crown felt like an afterthought. I was also a little disappointed by the lack of world-building.  Zhao introduced the idea of a separate class of citizens who are regulated to a lesser place in society because of their abilities known as affinity.  The affinities were the most interesting thing about the characters but Zhao again danced around the idea instead of fully exploring what each of the characters could do.  Finally, this book had the potential to be able to create a dialog about human trafficking and how it affects people all over the world but this was yet another idea that felt underdeveloped.  Zhao created a novel filled with possibilities that just didn’t quite live up to it’s potential but was able to be a basic YA fantasy with a little bit of a mystery.

Final Rating: 2.5 out of 5

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