*Non-spoilery full series review*
Now I’ll be blunt straight off the bat: Chima isn’t known for crazy complex magic systems or the most unique world building- but what she *does* do is create characters you can root for and dramatic high stakes plots. And mannn does she do that amazingly well here. This is definitely her less popular series, yet I truly believe it deserves more attention. I don’t feel like there are nearly enough companion-novel style fantasy books like this out there and ahhh it was just so good!
Okay, enough shrieking, let’s get into the whys and wherefores of the Heir series, book by book, starting with…
The Warrior Heir
I’ll be honest, this one took me a while to get into, making it not-the-strongest start. Once it got going though I loved it! Despite the slow opening, the plot picked up; the story was direction as they travelled from Ohio to the Lake District (inadvertently fuelling my wanderlust and reminding me why I adore that country).
As it went on, I became increasingly invested in the characters, admiring them in all their shades of morally grey- with everyone from hero to villain given depth (even the side characters!)
By the end, the seemingly random prologue started to make sense. And, thankfully from a book that had offered me such a sluggish beginning, the dramatic finale and complex world that had been created made it all worth it!
Rating: 4/5 bananas
If I sounded a tad lacklustre about the first instalment, then you might want to prepare yourself, because you are in for some serious GUSH.
The obvious reason why I dug this book considerable more than the first was that I was much more invested in the characters. We love who we love- and I instantly connected to Seth. His story distinctly more intriguing and, even if it was a bit obvious in terms of the “twist”, it worked for me because it had all the *feels*. It honestly doesn’t get much better than that for me.
I also love that feeling of being transported all over the world when I read- and this did that by the bucketload- more even than Warrior Heir. In short, this book gave me MORE and was a MASSIVE hit with me.
Rating: 5/5 bananas
Firstly, in terms of world building, I quite liked how this book did dragon-type creature and references- though it wasn’t my favourite (I’ve mentioned before, I have high standards). I did, however, like how ghosts were used.
What I had the most trouble with, however, was that being a companion series it can be hit and miss how connected you are with the characters. The issue with this one was I thought the focus would be one already-established character (Jason) and it turned out to be about another bordering-on-Mary-Sue (Madison). I’ve got to admit I was disappointed in that and consequently failed to be totally into it because of that.
I did feel like the plot motifs were very similar to the Demon King– basically “descendants” doing what you never could, having love you couldn’t, righting the wrongs of the past- which made me compare the two a lot. And while I will say Demon King pulled that off more successfully, this one had individual moments that were better. Ultimately, this did have a satisfying ending, yet it also hinted at more to come– which made it slightly different to Chima’s other series, as it meant those themes wouldn’t be the be all and end all of the story. It was therefore up to the next book to take it up a notch.
Rating: 4½/5 bananas
And boy did it do that! Primarily, this was cos the concept for this was awesome! And when it came to the question of hit and miss characters, these ones were a complete hit– and the great thing is this focused on them for two whole books, meaning it got round the “will I/won’t I be invested”- RESULT!
Reading some tips about the series before I started, I saw that this book had a negative reception. Some claimed it was twilightesque- I couldn’t disagree more (after reading, I determined the only reason for such a comparison must have been that it was popular to compare everything to Twilight at the time of publication). In terms of romance, they actually have things in common, and there are actually reasons for the direction their romance takes. I loved the little tussles at the heart of their relationship– and all the drama managed to leave me reeling.
I also totally disagree with the people on goodreads who don’t think this is its own book- have they never read a cliffhanger before? Protip though: if you do read this, make sure you have the next one close to hand when you finish, or you’ll be going “nooooo!” like Vader in the Lucas insert in Star Wars Episode VI- and no one wants that 😉
(Heck you might do that anyway)
Regardless of what people say, this book was inventive, different and had a great mystery behind it. Too great of a mystery to be resolved in just one book.
Rating: 5/5 bananas
I had a HUGE dilemma with this book. On the one hand I couldn’t put it down; on the other the tension was so intense and got to me so much that I *had to* put it down. That’s right, this is an unputdownable book that you must put down at points for the sake of your own sanity!
As with the last one, I was absolutely crazy for the musician element, the characters, their relationships, the raw emotion of the story and- literally- *everything*.
One thing that held the series back a little in the previous books was the villains- but here they were so many complex baddies and that led to a ridiculous amount of “WHAT THE HELL IS GONNA HAPPEN” intrigue.
And as much as I didn’t want to know and yet needed to know how it would all go down, it ended up being painful and beautiful and wonderful. It was the perfect conclusion to the series. It was just AHHH-M-A-Z-I-N-G. Words can’t even express it.
Rating: 5/5 bananas
Overall, I loved this series MUCH MORE than Demon King– and that’s saying something, cos y’all know I frickin adored that series. At this point I’ll read anything Chima puts out and if you’re a YA fantasy fan, you should too 😉
Have you read this series? Do you plan to? Let me know in the comments!