Shadow Heir by Richelle Mead
Series: Dark Swan #4
Published by Kensington, Zebra on December 27th 2011
Genres: Adult, Romance, Urban Fantasy
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#1 New York Times bestselling author Richelle Mead returns to the Otherworld, a mystic land inextricably linked to our own – and balanced precariously on one woman's desperate courage…
Shaman-for-hire Eugenie Markham strives to keep the mortal realm safe from trespassing entities. But as the Thorn Land's prophecy-haunted queen, there's no refuge for her and her soon-to-be-born-children when a mysterious blight begins to devastate the Otherworld…
The spell-driven source of the blight isn't the only challenge to Eugenie's instincts. Fairy king Dorian is sacrificing everything to help, but Eugenie can't trust the synergy drawing them back together. The uneasy truce between her and her shape shifter ex-lover Kiyo is endangered by secrets he can't – or won't – reveal. And as a formidable force rises to also threaten the human world, Eugenie must use her own cursed fate as a weapon – and risk the ultimate sacrifice.
Shadow Heir picks up a few months after the ending of Iron Crowned. I was relieved to see that pregnancy hadn’t changed Eugenie’s sarcastic personality.
One of my biggest issues with Eugenie from past books is how she goes back and forth between Kiyo and Dorian. She fights and breaks up with Kiyo and goes to Dorian. She fights and breaks up with Dorian and goes to Kiyo. I wanted her to make up her mind! Or at least not go between the two so easily. Thankfully, after Kiyo’s reaction at the end of Iron Crowned, we no longer have to worry about him being a love interest…but my biggest concern was, would Dorian and Eugenie ever work things out and finally be together for good?
There were so many things that happened in this book. I thought the book would mostly center on Eugenie’s pregnancy and children, and a lot of it did, but there was also a last big quest; one that involves having to work with certain enemies. It always amazes me how many new elements and characters Richelle Mead can put into one book and not make it seem like anything important was left out.
I always love to read about Dorian, because…well, because he’s Dorian! He’s sexy, charming, deadly, and there’s nothing he wouldn’t do for Eugenie. The problem has always been whether Dorian loves Eugenie or his ambition more. I, for one, have always believed in Dorian, and in this book, he proves to be everything I knew he was and more. I also hate Kiyo with the same passion I love Dorian. The more Kiyo tries to be “reasonable” or a team-player (for the greater good, and all that jazz), the more I wanted to kick his ass. Him and Meiwenn both!! Oh, how I hate her too!!
Richelle Mead also throws some huge curveballs that I certainly did not see coming! HUGE! You may think you know how this will all play out, but let me tell you…I was not prepared. And let me also tell you that right after finishing the last paragraph, I threw the book across the room. I was SO upset! It took me a few minutes of fuming over it, some venting on Twitter, and a reread of the last two chapters after I’d calmed down, to finally appreciate the ending. I wish this one thing would have been different, but I understand why Eugenie does it.
The ending is the definition of bittersweet. I am really sad that it has come to an end. Though, Richelle Mead leaves it open-ended enough for us to imagine the future of these characters, however ideal we wish to make that future, and I know in my mind everyone lives happily ever after together.
Also! I wouldn’t be opposed to a spin-off YA series featuring the twins…just saying. :)
Iron Crowned by Richelle Mead
Series: Dark Swan #3
Published by Zebra on March 1st 2011
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Romance
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New York Times bestselling author Richelle Mead takes readers back to the Otherworld, an embattled realm mystically entwined with our world--and ruled by one woman's dangerous choice...
Shaman-for-hire Eugenie Markham is the best at banishing entities trespassing in the mortal realm. But as the Thorn Land's queen, she's fast running out of ways to end the brutal war devastating her kingdom. Her only hope: the Iron Crown, a legendary object even the most powerful gentry fear...
Who Eugenie can trust is the hardest part. Fairy king Dorian has his own agenda for aiding her search. And Kiyo, her shape-shifter ex-boyfriend, has every reason to betray her along the way. To control the Crown's ever-consuming powers, Eugenie will have to confront an unimaginable temptation--one that will put her soul and the fate of two worlds in mortal peril...
First thing first — I loooove Richelle Mead!!! Ok, on to my thoughts on Iron Crowned.
I make no secret of my preference to Dorian over Eugenie’s former man, Kiyo, but it’s really hard to pick between them, for similar reasons. See, the problem with both of Eugenie’s love interests is that they both have their own agendas, and even though they both really love her, it’s never enough to keep them from hurting her. Dorian craves power, he’s made no secret of it. He believes in “the means will justify the end” and it’s going to bite him in the butt. Then we have Kiyo, who in the last book was not able to properly stand by Eugenie’s side and avenge what was done to her, all for “the greater good”. At this point, neither of them deserve her and they both need to treat her better.
I was glad to see Jasmine, Eugenie’s half-sister, finally start to come around. I was also pleasantly surprised at 2 relationship developments between some of the side characters! Particularly the one couple in the human world, that one had me laughing because they are so adorable together.
I’m beginning to think that nobody writes more painful break-ups than Richelle Mead. Her break-ups are SO brutal!!! And not just in this series, in Georgina’s and Vampire Academy as well! This book has its share of heartbreak, but none was as shocking as the one toward the end. I never expected that reaction out of Kiyo!! I was also surprised at Dorian’s reaction in the middle of the book. I knew he’d be angry, but I didn’t think he’d act like Eugenie had meant nothing to him. Again, both hurting her. But regardless of that, I really do hope, after Dorian’s declaration in the end of the book, that Eugenie and Dorian end up happily together in the next (final?) book.
As for things not having to do with my precious Dorian, the impending war and such, I was glad the Rowan Queen got what she deserved. Now, with the new developments at the end of the book, I’m really wondering how it will play out, and also how we’ll know of an outcome that is years into the future.
This is probably my favorite book in this series so far. I will anxiously await a whole year :( for the next one!!
I’m doing 3 books in this week’s WoW post. They are all being released next Tuesday, February 22nd, and even though it’s only days away, the wait is still torturous!!
Darkest Mercy (Wicked Lovely #5) by Melissa Marr
Publication Date: February 22nd 2011 by HarperCollins
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The Summer King is missing; the Dark Court is bleeding; and a stranger walks the streets of Huntsdale, his presence signifying the deaths of powerful fey.
Aislinn tends to the Summer Court, searching for her absent king and yearning for Seth. Torn between his new queen and his old love, Keenan works from afar to strengthen his court against the coming war. Donia longs for fiery passion even as she coolly readies the Winter Court for battle. And Seth, sworn brother of the Dark King and heir to the High Queen, is about to make a mistake that could cost his life.
Love, despair, and betrayal ignite the Faery Courts, and in the final conflict, some will win . . . and some will lose everything.
The thrilling conclusion to Melissa Marr’s New York Times bestselling Wicked Lovely series will leave readers breathless.
1. Darkest Mercy – The conclusion to the Wicked Lovely series. I’m anticipating this book will be amazingly written, just like all the others in this series. I am so worried about the outcome of these characters that I’m giving myself heartburn…or indigestion…I can’t tell, I just know I’m worried!! :-| But I have heard from fellow bloggers that it is an epic ending, so it eases my pains a little. :-)
Iron Crowned (Dark Swan #3) by Richelle Mead
Publication Date: May 10th 2011 by Viking Juvenile
Add it on Goodreads!
New York Times bestselling author Richelle Mead takes readers back to the Otherworld, an embattled realm mystically entwined with our world–and ruled by one woman’s dangerous choice…
Shaman-for-hire Eugenie Markham is the best at banishing entities trespassing in the mortal realm. But as the Thorn Land’s queen, she’s fast running out of ways to end the brutal war devastating her kingdom. Her only hope: the Iron Crown, a legendary object even the most powerful gentry fear…
Who Eugenie can trust is the hardest part. Fairy king Dorian has his own agenda for aiding her search. And Kiyo, her shape-shifter ex-boyfriend, has every reason to betray her along the way. To control the Crown’s ever-consuming powers, Eugenie will have to confront an unimaginable temptation–one that will put her soul and the fate of two worlds in mortal peril…
2. Iron Crowned. Richelle Mead is one of my favorite authors, not because of Vampire Academy, which I love, but because of her Georgina Kincaid series…which is not this series but I just wanted to mention my love for the Georgina series. THIS series, the Eugenie Markham or Black Swan series, is also REALLY great! Like Darkest Mercy, it is a Fey book, and like all books about Faeries, there is a HOT Faerie King named Dorian who I can’t wait to read more about! Friends…Dorian is hot. Just saying. So if you haven’t checked out Richelle Mead’s adult series..do so!!
This Side of the Grave (Night Huntress #5) by Jeaniene Frost
Publication Date: February 22nd 2011 by Avon
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Danger waits on both sides of the grave.
Half-vampire Cat Crawfield and her vampire husband Bones have fought for their lives, as well as for their relationship. But just when they’ve triumphed over the latest battle, Cat’s new and unexpected abilities threaten to upset a long-standing balance…
With the mysterious disappearance of vampires, rumors abound that a species war is brewing. A zealot is inciting tensions between the vampires and ghouls, an
d if these two powerful groups clash, innocent mortals could become collateral damage. Now Cat and Bones are forced to seek help from a dangerous “ally”—the ghoul queen of New Orleans herself. But the price of her assistance may prove more treacherous than even the threat of a supernatural war…to say nothing of the repercussions Cat never imagined.
3. This Side of the Grave. Jeaniene Frost became one of my favorite authors last year with this series. Cat & Bones are one of my favorite couples. I wish Bones were in love with me instead…well, if I’m wishing for things, I guess I should first wish for Bones to be real. Cat is also one of my favorite heroines. I love her sense of humor and the fact that she can kick anyone’s butt is also pretty damn cool.