Review| Blood Heir – Amelie Wen Zhao

Blood Heir is a book that I’ve been curious about since I started hearing about it. I finally got my hands on it in December and read it in January for a group read for TBR & Beyond! I definitely enjoyed this story and want to tell you what I thought. So let’s take a look!

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.


“Humans, it seemed, tended to fear things that were different.”

I know there was a lot of controversy around Blood Heir on Twitter before its release. After reading this story, I honestly don’t see it. I’m happy about that, because this is such an interesting story and deserves to be seen that way! Blood Heir is in a way a Anastasia retelling, as the author did take some of those elements and used them in this book. I haven’t really read any of these before, but it was interesting to see!

To start the review off I have to say I like that this book is a bit darker. Things aren’t really all sunshine and rainbows and don’t end that way either. Our main characters both have a lot of things to deal with and their world is definitely a complicated one. It was nice seeing an author not make everything magically okay once Ransom and Ana start working together.

“But perhaps all monsters were heroes in their own eyes.”

I loved that this book was told in dual POV. Ransom was such an interesting character that you kind of want to love and hate. He’s kind of the bad guy or so it seems. There’s more to him than meets the eye and every time I doubted him, he would do something to really make me wonder. His development in this story was so interesting! I really need more!

Ana grew up being seen as something bad. Having an Affinity is seen as bad and these people are basically being used in this world. With Ana being royal, her father does everything to keep her gifts hidden. This made Ana’s story really interesting. Seeing her fight being what she is, but also learning to embrace it. Ana is a very strong character and is really trying to fight for her brother. I have a feeling that we haven’t seen anything yet when it comes to Ana.

“Your opponent’s hatred is a sword; wield it. His hope is your shield; turn it against him.”

YA books tend to have a lot of romance and it’s something that takes up a lot of the storyline. Blood Heir didn’t do that this way and I loved it! Ransom and Ana slowly get close and it’s clear something is going on, but neither of them just give into it! They both think it can’t happen, but getting close has feelings developing. It’s like more of a slowburn element in this trilogy and I’m curious to see where it goes!

There is a lot of politics in this book and it’s something I love reading about. I love reading about the world, how it works and what evil there is. The worldbuilding was really interesting, but I think I needed just a little bit more? I would’ve liked to have learned more about her brother and Kingdom before everything plays out near the end of the story. I really hope this plays a bigger part in the next two books.

“Only loss can teach us the true worth of things.”

Last, but not least, the magic system was a lot of fun! I love the different Affinities and possibilities. I can’t wait to read more about that and see more of it! Hopefully we read more about it and I can’t wait to see what else these people can do and how it’s going to play a part in everything to come!


After everything that happened, I’m really curious to see where this goes and I hope we learn more about the magic! Have you already read Blood Heir? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!

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