Series: Heirs of Chrior #1
Published by HarlequinTEEN on January 2014
Genres: Faeries, Fantasy, Young Adult
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Magic was seeping out of me, black and agonizing. I could see it drifting away. The magic that would let me pass the Road to reach home again.
When sixteen-year-old Anya learns that her aunt, Queen of the Faerie Kingdom of Chrior, will soon die, her grief is equalled only by her despair for the future of the kingdom. Her young cousin, Illumina, is unfit to rule, and Anya is determined not to take up the queen's mantle herself.
Convinced that the only solution is to find Prince Zabriel, who long ago disappeared into the human realm of Warckum, and persuade him to take up his rightful crown, Anya journeys into the Warckum Territory to bring him home. But her journey is doomed to be more harrowing than she ever could have imagined.
Anya is a member of the Faerie royal family of Chrior, a kingdom cut off from the human world. After being named as the heir to the kingdom, Anya decides to leave behind her safe haven and travel into the human lands to find her cousins, both of whom have gone missing. Her journey seems doomed from the start when she encounters a terrible threat as soon as she leaves Chrior – Fae Hunters.
Often dark, this story is essentially about a long journey in which Anya is not only searching for her cousins, but for her own identity and place in the world. Anya and her companions essentially travel from one captivity to the next, thinking they are being secretive but really being rather obvious. There are a lot of details in descriptions and the journeying itself which does slow the pace a lot. I’m fairly sure it could have been told in a lot less than the 500 pages it ended up with!
Despite its length, this is a very well-written story with great action sequences and some very interesting characters – for example, the dark, tortured Illumina and the sassy Shea. There were quite a few characters that had excellent grey alignments – you’re never quite sure who’s side they’re on. I enjoyed reading about all them even if Anya did spend a lot of the book feeling terribly sorry for herself (and who wouldn’t, in her situation?).
Overall, this story reminded me of Kristin Cashore’s Graceling – kick-arse ladies, arduous journeys and interesting magic systems. There are plenty of questions still to be answered at the end of this first book. What was Shea’s father making that caused him to be outlawed? What happened to Zabriel during his exile? And Illumina… well, spoilers. I’ll be looking forward to the next book!
– A long but enjoyable first part of a new trilogy.