This is a review of “Shadow Heir” by Richelle Mead. It is the fourth novel in The Dark Swan Series. It follows on from “Iron Crowned“.
Eugenie is pregnant. She’s tried not to become pregnant for so long, that the reality of her situation has left her somewhat in a state of shock. And to top it off, she’s pregnant with twins. One boy and one girl. It’s her worst nightmare. A prophecy has foretold that her Father’s (the formidable Storm King) eldest grandson will conquer the human world. Eugenie never wanted to have a son, but she cannot bear to sacrifice her unborn babies for the sake of a prophecy that may or may not come true. So she goes into hiding.
After suffering a few close calls with attacks from her enemies, and from trying to dwell in the human and gentry (fey) world, Eugenie makes the difficult choice to remain hidden in the human world until she gives birth to her children. This is an unpopular choice. Her half sister Jasmine is unhappy with Eugenie’s decision. But no one is more disappointed than Dorian, who has been offering sanctuary to the pregnant Eugenie up until this point.
Eugenie shelters with a lovely human family in remote Alabama. Her twins come early and must be placed in the NICU. But Eugenie cannot remain with them. She has learned of a terrible blight that has all but laid waste to her two kingdoms and it’s neighbouring lands. The prophecy has been all but forgotten about. Many gentry are dying and it is up to Eugenie to try and save her kingdoms. Leaving the twins has been the hardest thing she’s ever had to do.
Eugenie journeys to the Otherworld and sets out with Dorian, Jasmine and a band of warriors to restore her lands. It is suspected that the Queen of the Yew Land is responsible for the blight. But Eugenie has to travel with Kiyo. The father of her children. The same man who has tried to kill her children and Eugenie herself.
Can Eugenie survive a trip with Kiyo? Will their kingdoms and people be saved? Will her twins be allowed to live? What of the prophecy? And what about Dorian? Can he and Eugenie work things out?
A great book. Richelle Mead said that this is the last of The Dark Swan Series. If that’s the case, I wasn’t too impressed with the way it ended! But maybe Mead is just leaving space to write a spin-off series like she has done previously with her Vampire Academy and Bloodlines Series. I hope so! Eugenie seemed a bit different in this novel. But I guess that can be put down to her becoming a mother. I found her recovery from being pregnant to be a little unrealistic (having had a child myself) and although she describes how difficult it was for her to leave her children, I still think it would have been much harder to bear!
Also there was a huge mistake with Kiyo’s daughter’s name. In previous novels her name was Luisa, but in this novel her name was Marta?! Umm, how did no one pick up on that one? I liked how this book gave some back story to Volusian, and there are some really juicy twists toward the end!
I highly recommend reading this book.