Odriel’s Heirs – Hayley Reese Chow

*I received a free copy of this book, with thanks to the author.  The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*

Blurb: Winner of the 2020 Florida Author Project sponsored by BiblioBoard and Library Journal.

The brave, burning with fire, harnessed the Dragon’s Rage….

As the Dragon Heir, seventeen-year-old Kaia inherited the power of flame to protect her homeland from a godlike necromancer’s undead army. But after centuries of peace, the necromancer has faded to myth, and the Dragon Heir is feared by the people. Persecuted and cast out, Kaia struggles to embrace and control her seemingly useless gift while confined to her family’s farm.

But when the necromancer’s undead terrorize the land once again, Kaia runs away to join the battle.

With the help of her childhood rival, the handsome Shadow Heir, and a snarky, cursed cat, Kaia must figure out how to control both her fire and her confidence in time to save Okarria. If she fails, she will sacrifice her family, her new friends, and the enchanting world she has only just begun to see.

And time is running out.

Odriel’s Heirs is a solid fantasy adventure, for young adults upwards, full of battles, magic and romance.

17-year-old Kaia is the underappreciated Dragon Heir, who must stand with the Time Heir (kind, gentle Jago) and the Shadow Heir (difficult, prickly Klaus) and use their combined powers to hold back the undead forces of the Lost (basically, zombies). Roles that were once lauded are now despised, and Kaia must try to learn how to handle her powers and fight her battles, while facing the distrust and dislike of the very people she has sworn to protect.

Combining a coming-of-age journey for the main heroine, with some romance and some action, and some very endearing animal companions (talking cat/spy Shad and rage-hound Gus), this is a well-written exploration of the juxtapositions between fire and shadows, death and life, good and evil, light and dark. Kaia and Klaus must conquer their inner demons of fear, doubt, guilt, anger and grief, and the external demons conjured by the evil necromancer.

I took a little time to warm to both Kaia and Klaus, as they are very authentic teenagers, with all the inherent difficulties in attitude, stubbornness and argumentativeness. However, they do grow and develop as the events of the story test them, and they both won me over before too long. Other characters had my heart from the beginning – twice I cried real tears over that dog!

This is an engaging and exciting fantasy read, with a bit of everything, well-written and nicely-paced. I’m looking forward to the next book to find out what happens next for the Heirs.

An inhuman screech pierced through the air, followed by another, and another. As one, the family pivoted toward the cries. The sound froze Kaia’s already scattered thoughts and a spike of panicked adrenaline shot through her limbs. For a brief, tense moment, the clamor of the festival fell silent.
“It can’t be,” Kaia’s mother whispered. “Not this far north already.”
And in that moment, Kaia knew the Lost had arrived in Arimoke.

– Hayley Reese Chow, Odriel’s Heirs

Find more from Hayley Reese Chow at her website here, or follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Goodreads.

Odriel’s Heirs is available on Amazon right now.


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