Book Reviews

Red Tigress (Blood Heir, #2) by Amelie Wen Zhao

Red TigressTitle: Red Tigress (Blood Heir, #2)
Author: Amelie Wen Zhao
Rating: ★★★

Fans of Children of Blood and Bone will love the sequel to Blood Heir. The second book in an epic fantasy series about a princess hiding a dark secret and the con man she must trust to liberate her empire from a dark reign.

Ana Mikhailov is the only surviving member of the royal family of Cyrilia. She has no army, no title, and no allies, and now she must find a way to take back the throne or risk the brutal retribution of the empress. Morganya is determined to establish a new world order on the spilled blood of non-Affinites. Ana is certain that Morganya won’t stop until she kills them all.

Ana’s only chance at navigating the dangerous world of her homeland means partnering with Ramson Quicktongue again. But the cunning crime lord has schemes of his own. For Ana to find an army, they must cross the Whitewaves to the impenetrable stone forts of Bregon. Only, no one can be certain what they will find there.

A dark power has risen. Will revolution bring peace–or will it only paint the streets in more blood.

I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Red Tigress is a compelling story based on oppression, prejudice, and overcoming familial expectations. Ana is known to the world as a blood witch and seen as a monster. Her family even kept her hidden away from the rest of the world until one day she escapes and attempts to prove everyone wrong. Affinites are people who have powers and are condemned to a terrible life or are used as puppets. Seeking revenge for the death of her family, she finds a stranger along the way who is seeking to destroy the same person. But maybe something more evolves out of what they both share.

Some rulers’ reigns were forged with steel, some with gold, and some with might.
And mine, Ana thought, closing her eyes. Mine is forged by blood.

Morganya has taken over Ana’s rightful throne. Ana’s only chance to take back what is hers is to find an ancient weapon that if found in the wrong hands, will change Cyrilia as they know it and change normal people into Affinites. Once again, Ana and Ramson cross paths on their way to Ramson’s home country, Bregon, where Affinites are being trafficked.

After arriving in Bregon, things start to go haywire. Looking for an alliance with Bregon, Ana finds herself revealing the true identity of Ramson, who was actually behind the Affinite trafficking and how it was all strategically planned out, and who is controlling the puppet King of Bregon. Who can be trusted? How can everyone work together to fulfill their own agendas? Along the way, Ana starts to figure out who she is.

My one complaint is that it was hard to re-figure out the characters since it has been a while since reading The Blood Heir. I had a hard time remembering the role everyone played in the last installment and what their end goals were.

I will always choose what’s best for Cyrilia

Red Tigress was a twisted story of betrayal about one girl discovering who she really is. Readers who love loyalty, deception, and a twisted plot will love Red Tigress.

Book Reviews

Blood Heir (Blood Heir, #1) by Amelie Wen Zhao

blood heirTitle: Blood Heir (Blood Heir, #1)
Author: Amelie Wen Zhao
Rating: ★★★★

This hot debut is the first book in an epic new series about a princess hiding a dark secret and the con man she must trust to clear her name for her father’s murder.

In the Cyrilian Empire, Affinites are reviled. Their varied gifts to control the world around them are unnatural—dangerous. And Anastacya Mikhailov, the crown princess, has a terrifying secret. Her deadly Affinity to blood is her curse and the reason she has lived her life hidden behind palace walls.

When Ana’s father, the emperor, is murdered, her world is shattered. Framed as his killer, Ana must flee the palace to save her life. And to clear her name, she must find her father’s murderer on her own. But the Cyrilia beyond the palace walls is far different from the one she thought she knew. Corruption rules the land, and a greater conspiracy is at work—one that threatens the very balance of her world. And there is only one person corrupt enough to help Ana get to its core: Ramson Quicktongue.

A cunning crime lord of the Cyrilian underworld, Ramson has sinister plans—though he might have met his match in Ana. Because in this story, the princess might be the most dangerous player of all.

I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Blood Heir is a compelling story based on oppression, prejudice, and overcoming familial expectations. Ana is known to the world as a blood witch and seen as a monster. Her family even kept her hidden away from the rest of the world until one day she escapes and attempts to prove everyone wrong. Affinites are people who have powers and are condemned to a terrible life or are used as puppets. Seeking revenge for the death of her family, she finds a stranger along the way who is seeking to destroy the same person. But maybe something more evolves out of what they both share.

It is up to us to fight our battles in this world.

As many of you know, there was a lot of controversy surrounding the novel. In my opinion, it was totally uncalled for and I think the author did a great job of depicting the harsh realities of oppressive lives. Did those people even read the book?! If you want to call this “racially insensitive” then please explain to me the mass killing of people in Poland (my mom immigrated from there when it was still under communist rule and it actually wasn’t even a country on a map at one point), or any other example of oppression. It affected every race, not just one. We all know those times were bad for those involved, but the author luckily stayed true to her vision and published the novel. She was unveiling the truth behind oppression, not condoning it. The bullying of people’s free speech needs to stop. This criticism was totally unwarranted. Rant over.

But perhaps all monsters were heroes in their own eyes.

I loved Ramson the world-building, the deception, and the justice that was conducted in the story. The novel was great, but I find myself looking back and not feeling this novel to be super memorable. But I want it to be because I did enjoy reading it.

The Blood Heir was a moving, unpredictable story about the struggles facing people in oppressive countries. Reader who love a slow-burn romance, deception, and a twisted plot will love The Blood Heir.