• Nikky Lee

Book Review: Blood of Heirs by Alicia Wanstall-Burke

Title: Blood of Heirs (The Coraidic Sagas #1)

Author: Alicia Wanstall-Burke

Publisher: Self published

Page count: 335

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

One for fantasy fans who like their stories gritty, epic, and with a side of magic and monsters. If you love the Night Watch component of Game of Thrones mixed with the outcast prince trope and clan/family politics, you’ll find this series opener a page-turner.


This book is a dual POV that weaves the two seemingly unrelated stories of Lidan, the teenage heir to the Tolak clan, who must fight tooth and nail to retain her birthright because she is a girl, and Ranoth, a Duke’s son and heir to the kingdom of Orthia, who discovers he has magic while fighting against the Woaden Empire and is exiled from his homeland as a result.


Perhaps what makes Blood of Heirs stand out above other dual POV novels I’ve read, is that both POV characters are absolutely compelling. Despite these two stories not crossing (yet), at no point did I want to skip forward to find out what happens to one character over another. I was simply eager to rejoin with each character when the POV changed. To keep me wanting more of both POVs across the story is no easy feat and Wanstall-Burke has done a fantastic job here.


The downside of telling these two seemingly separate stories, with characters who are kingdoms apart, is it does make the unfolding of the plot somewhat slow. Luckily, there’s plenty of mystery, action, family politics, and questions to keep readers turning the pages. However, some readers may find the ending somewhat open with not much in the way of resolution. If this is something that bothers you, I suggest having the next book ready to go so you can simply continue on as Blood of Heirs does leave you a little in the lurch with the sense that you've only read a third (albeit a gripping third!) of a much larger story.


There is some wonderful character growth within the pages as Liden and Ranoth learn to navigate their equally precocious positions in their societies. We see Liden’s potential as a warrior and leader begin to bear fruit, as well as Ranoth’s privileged naivete stripped away as he uncovers ugly truths his family has allowed to go unchecked.


In all, Blood of Heirs is an excellent start to The Coraidic Sagas series. Its fresh mix of gritty epic fantasy, sword and sorcery, family politics and horror combine to a read that keeps you on the edge of your seat and rooting for our heroes to succeed in a world where everything is against them.

 

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