Book Review: Blood Heir by Amelie When Zhao

Rating: 4 Stars

Title: Blood HeirS

Series: Blood Heir #1

Author: Amelie When Zhao

Genre: YA Fantasy

Rating: 4 Stars


Blood heir is the first book in the trilogy and follows Ana and Ransom, two very different people who have both had a lot of trauma in their pasts.

Usually, when I first start a book it takes me about the first 50-100 pages to really get into it and adjust to the new world and its characters, however, with this book I was fully invested right from the first chapter! I loved that we started right in the action whilst also immediately getting to meet Anna and Ransom. We get a feel for these characters straight away with the way they react and handle the situation being very telling. We also get dual POV throughout the book which gives an insight into how they both view their experiences and what their motivations were.

Ana is a strong but young character who has been taught to hate everything that her magic is, and she struggles throughout the book with this. As she travels and sees more and more of how dire the situation is for people with magic, she becomes more invested in their plight, for that could have been her had she been lower in station. I enjoyed Ana’s characters arc and whilst she’s quite impulsive and has a lot to learn about life I really enjoyed getting to know her.

Ransom on the other hand has a lot of life experience and is hardened to the plight of others, his sole purpose is to make a better life for himself regardless of who gets in the way. This slowly changes when he meets Anna who reminds him there is more to life than self-preservation. I thoroughly enjoyed the dynamic between these two and liked seeing how it played out.

I loved the setting; the story takes place in a cold wintry Russian-esque type fantasy land and whilst it wasn’t anything particularly special it was the ideal backdrop for the story. I liked that we got to travel a bit throughout the main kingdom as well as get some insights into some of the other countries.

The plot was interesting, and I love the gang leader/ untouchable evil leader type trope which worked really well with the overall storyline and in showing how corrupt the kingdom is.

The ending set it up book 2 beautifully and I’m looking forward to the next book to see where the story takes Anna. I expect the road to where she wants to go will be hard, but she grew up a lot in this book, so it’ll be very interesting to see how she handles everything in the next one.

Overall a very enjoyable read, full of lost royals, dangerous magic, and characters running for their lives. My only comment would be that whilst the story did captivate at the beginning it felt like it stayed on the same note the whole way through, with such an exciting start it meant there was no elevation of the story. I would recommend it to people who like Wicked Saints, The Bright and The Pale, and Red Queen.


In the Cyrilian Empire, Affinites are reviled. Their varied gifts to control the world around them are deemed unnatural--even dangerous. And Anastacya Mikhailov, the crown princess, is one of the most terrifying Affinites. Ana's ability to control blood has long been kept secret, but when her father, the emperor, is murdered, she is the only suspect. Now, to save her own life, Ana must find her father's killer. But the Cyrilia beyond the palace walls is one where corruption rules and a greater conspiracy is at work--one that threatens the very balance of Ana's world. There is only one person corrupt enough to help Ana get to the conspiracy's core: Ramson Quicktongue. Ramson is a cunning crime lord with sinister plans--though he might have met his match in Ana. Because in this story, the princess might be the most dangerous player of all.

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