Review: Blood of Heirs by Alicia Wanstall-Burke (The Coraidic Sagas #1)

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The ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Blood of Heirs was a very pleasant surprise. I needed a quick read, something that wouldn’t take me weeks to finish and boy has this book delivered.

He was no different to the rabbit, no different to any game animal pursued through the woods, whether for sustenance or pleasure. He was as hunted as that rabbit, and he’d turned his power on it, despite his already superior strength. What might he do if his pursuer cornered him the way he’d cornered the rabbit? Was it only a matter of time before the walls closed in and the escape routes vanished, only a matter of time before his father’s men tracked him to a dark corner and he too stared at his death without the power to run?

The book follows two characters. Lidan is the heir of a clan chief (or daari, as they’re called) without any sons. She wants nothing more than to be trained as a ranger, ride horses, learn to fight, but her mother won’t let her, saying it’s too dangerous for a heir…then things get a lot more complicated. Ran is the son and heir of a duke. He saves his city from disaster, but in the process, his magic is discovered and he is forced to run for his life.

Their stories so far don’t converge, but I imagine they might in the sequel.

In itself, the plot is nothing revolutionary. Rebellious daughters and persecuted mages are nothing we haven’t seen before. However, it’s executed incredibly well. I found it to be a smooth, fast read, devouring it in about two days. The prose for the most part flows well (there is a bit of repetition involving bile rising in a character’s throat at the start, but it gets better), the chapters are relatively short, and I found both POV characters to be equally interesting and likable.

Though both protagonists are fairly young (12 and 15 respectively), it’s a fairly dark book. Lidan’s parents are abusive towards her and each other, there are monsters, and houses full of corpses. The worldbuilding is also quite interesting – the duchies are at the standard fantasy medieval level of development, but the clans still use stone tools for the most part. Bronze weapons are uncommon and valuable, iron and steel so rare to be nearly unheard of. I liked the coexistence of both.

All in all, can’t wait for the sequel.

Enjoyment: 4/5
Execution: 4/5

Recommended to: anyone in need of a quick read, fans of dark fantasy, those looking for younger protagonists and fresh takes on old tropes
Not recommended to: those who don’t want to read about abuse

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