A review of
Blood of Heirs
This book was a finalist in SPFBO—which means it must be pretty awesome, right? It has been highly acclaimed by literally everyone, I’ve had my eye on it a while since I met Alicia at the books launch in Bristol, and perhaps more importantly, to me at least, the author is my new editor (and she is working hard to polish up A Ritual of Flesh for me too.) So, I thought it was high time I gave it a read, especially as I discovered it featured cool undead creatures, and if your reading this you probably know well that I love (and write) cool undead monsters—I couldn’t resist.
Blood of Heirs is the debut novel from Australian author Alicia Wanstall-Burke and is the first novel in her Coraidic Sagas series. It tells the story of two young characters in opposite ends of the world. The first POV character, Lidan, is the daughter of a chief. She lives in a village called Hummel in the South Lands, which can best be described as almost an Australian outback type setting. The people of the southlands are still using stone weapons and tools, and metal is a rarity. This was whole setting is quite cool, the author hails from Australia and has adeptly used the inspiration of her homeland to weave a fresh, and unique fantasy setting which I had not come across before. Lidan wrestles with the desire to train and ride alongside her people or to follow the wishes of her mother to rise as the heir of her clan. Lidan’s story is a powerful one, full of emotion and peril.
The second POV character is Ranoth, the son of the duke who rules the northern realm of Orthia. We are introduced to his story as he finds himself on the losing side of a battle after begging his father for his first command. He loses vital ground and returns in disgrace only to witnesses his army quickly overrun by the enemy. During his flight from the battle to return to the capital and raise the alarm, he has a dark and troubling encounter which unlocks something terrifying within him and leaves him haunted by the ghost of a young woman. Events transpire to find him running from not just everything he knew while he struggles for survival, but also a terrible hidden power and the ghosts of the past.
Now, earlier I mentioned cool undead creatures, and I wasn’t disappointed—there are in fact cool undead monsters—Awesome!!! I can’t reveal too much but they are super cool and grisly and terrifying and Wanstall-Burke has used them very effectively in both story arcs. The tension the create is palpable and I look forward to reading more in the sequel as I’m sure they will be an important feature in the series. Wanstall-Burke’s writing is superb, the book is fast paced with not a dull moment. It has left me intrigued and wanting more so I will be reading the sequel Legacy of Ghosts as soon as possible. I would very much recommend any fan of fantasy check this out.
Thanks for reading