BBNYA Finalist: Odriel’s Heirs by Hayley Reese Chow

BBNYA Finalist: Odriel’s Heirs by Hayley Reese ChowOdriel's Heirs (Odriel's Heirs, #1) by Hayley Reese Chow
on March 1st 2020
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 178
Goodreads

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.

Thanks to the Write Reads and the author for a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. This review is part of the BBNYA finalists tour.

I read an excerpt of Odriel’s Heirs in the early rounds of BBNYA and added it to my TBR. Regardless of whether the book would make the finals or not, I had to know what was going to happen next. I’m glad I did. Odriel’s Heirs definitely deserves its high spot in the rankings.

The plot might not be the most original (evil necromancer summons army of undead to take something that isn’t theirs) but what makes this book so great is the characters. Only a few characters have powers: the heirs, a few magi, and the necromancer. The rest aren’t superhumanly strong. The heirs, Kaia and Klaus, are both young and still don’t have much experience on the battlefield when war erupts. The third heir, Jago, has disappeared, so it’s up to them to defend their country. Kaia, the one we follow in the story, struggles a lot, both internally and externally with everything happening. It’s a nice build-up to who she’s meant to be. There are no shortcuts and she has to make sacrifices to get there.

Minor spoiler, but it needs to be said. Kaia’s ragehound, Gus, is still alive on the last page.

Chow’s writing weaves the worldbuilding neatly into this action-packed story. With wonderous places, curious creatures, and looming dreads hidden in the darkness. You never know what’s coming next. Don’t expect long paragraphs of exposition but active worldbuilding, with the characters reacting to the environment and creatures, which makes it easy to read.

I give Odriel’s Heirs four and a half stars. It’s a great YA epic fantasy story with great elements in it. I’d recommend it to YA readers looking for a fantasy tale with powers and grand battles. There is no shortage of magic in this book.

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