Updated: Jul 12, 2021
Rating - ⭐⭐⭐1/2
"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."
Blood Heir, the first installment in the Blood Heir Trilogy, is the YA fantasy debut of Amélie Wen Zhao.
This had a lot of potential but fell a bit flat for me. While I liked the plot and didn't mind the inclusion of indentured servitude even though this idea caused Zhao to push back her release, I felt like I was going in circles reading this book. It was a vicious cycle of getting caught and then escaping and over and over again.
The ending of the book didn't make this any better either. I would have rather this be a standalone book instead of dragging out the plot. On the plus side, I liked the banter between Ana and Ramson, even though I didn't like Ana herself. The magic system was unique as well.
I will hope the next addition in the series is more dynamic than this one.