Shadow Heir (Dark Swan 4), Paperback Book

Shadow Heir (Dark Swan 4) Paperback

2.5 out of 5 (3 ratings)


New York Times bestselling author Richelle Mead returns to the Otherworld, a mystic land inextricably linked to our own - and balanced precariously on one woman's desperate courage... Shaman-for-hire Eugenie Markham strives to keep the mortal realm safe from trespassing entities.

But as the Thorn Land's prophecy-haunted queen, there's no refuge for her and her soon-to-be-born children when a mysterious blight begins to devastate the Otherworld... The spell-driven source of the blight isn't the only challenge to Eugenie's instincts.

Fairy king Dorian is sacrificing everything to help, but Eugenie can't trust the synergy drawing them back together.

The uneasy truce between her and her shape shifter ex-lover Kiyo is endangered by secrets he can't - or won't - reveal. And as a formidable force rises to also threaten the human world, Eugenie must use her own cursed fate as a weapon - and risk the ultimate sacrifice...


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Fantasy
  • ISBN: 9780553826098

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Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.

Review by

Such a disappointing end to the series. I am never a person to not finish a series no matter how bad it is, just as I can't stand not finishing a book or a movie even if it sucks. That being said, if I could go back in time, I would not read this book even though I read the fist 3 books of the series. I was so excited to read this because the beginning of the series was so promising, but you would be better off skipping this book and imagining your own ending. <br/><br/>DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY

Review by

Way to SHIT on your fans, Mead - AGAIN.<br/><br/>***No spoilers in the first half of this review - promise. Spoilers will be clearly marked in advance and I don't rehash plots. That's what reading's for.<br/><br/>I'm having trouble figuring out where to start. I guess I can just channel my Vampire Academy ending review and practically "insert here". I forgave Mead for the shitty VA ending, because I sooo loved the series and because there was the promise of the spinoff (don't get me started on that crap), but that is not the case in this series. This was really the last book and instead of finishing with a smile, I am bewildered and frikkin' PISSED. I mean, I'm really angry. <br/><br/>To be fair, I actually LOVED this book. Most of it, anyway. I was sucked in from page 1 and I was brought right back to the early Eugenie days. I didn't mind the plotline that was not part of the bigger picture. It was interesting and fun to read and again, reminiscent of early Eugenie. I even liked the twists near the end. I saw only one of them coming and while I would have liked for them to come closer to the middle of the book, I won't complain about that. It didn't detract from how much I thoroughly enjoyed the first 90% of this book. That's the only reason it got 3 stars from me. <br/><br/>So... why did I finish this book with a resounding "OH, HELL NO"? Because at the very end, Mead decided, for whatever misguided reason, to have Eugenie make the worst and most heartless decision to date. Really, Mead? REALLY?! Look, I respect the fact that an author has the right to write whatever they want, however they want, but who the fuck are you writing for, Mead? Are you writing for yourself or for your fans? Yah, FANS. Remember us? We're the ones who take time to acquire your book and put money into your pocket. We're the ones who give you that bacon that you take home. We're the ones who wait with bated breath for your next installment. How dare you entice us with these emotional rollercoasters of stories and then whack us in the face at the very end? I recommend you to everyone I know - even after the crappy VA ending, but no more. You write for YOU. I don't need things to wrap up neatly or be ideal all the time, but damn, this ending was cold. <br/><br/><spoiler>Poor Dorian. Poor sweet, funny, charming, Dorian to fall for a cold, lifeless, wishy-washy, STUPID leach like Eugenie. I have stuck with this series even after the 3rd book which was horrible and in which Eugenie made idiotic choices. I was excited for this one.<br/><br/>How are Eugenie's hands always tied? "Oh, I can't kill Kiyo here in public with a lightning bolt, because it could hurt other people." True, but you COULD suck the fluids outta his body and drop him like a sack of potatoes even if you're waaaay over there pretending to window-shop. Dumbass. How are you just gonna let everything slide, Eugenie? Are you such a useless doormat that you will allow Maiwenn to continue being a threat to you and yours? March your butt over to the Willow Land and storm that BITCH to pieces. Enough of the nonsense. We wanted some closure, Mead. A little satisfacton, but instead Maiwenn and her trusty fox waltz on outta there and live to thwart Eugenie and Dorian another day. And they will. They apparently always will. Major fail. <br/><br/>The whole hiding away with some random strangers was boring and drawn-out for my taste, but I let it slide. Of course, Eugenie had to bring it to new heights and leave her preemies there. How sad. I figured, Ok, she's gonna head to the Otherworld, handle her business, and get back to these babies ASAP, right? Not so. I get that the blight handling took time. I don't fault her for that, but how about after? Are you telling me that you have SUCH concern for those stupid cherry trees that you can't be bothered to run through the first gate you find and hop on the first direct flight to Alabama for your NEWBORN CHILDREN? Where is Eugenie's growth? Is there not meant to be any? Did Mead really start this series with the intention to write a heroine that never progresses, but rather consistently regresses? THAT'S WACK. Sooo, Eugenie, now that your children are nearly 3 MONTHS OLD and you've communed with every cherry tree and cacti on your lands for hours at a time for days (or was it weeks?), are you gonna rush to your baby's sides? No. You're gonna go to Tucson and shop for baby items and clothes and sit around at coffee shops. Those frikkin' babies can wait! At this point, I feel my brain struggling to process it all. All the good feelings I had throughout the book are dissipating and I'm thinking, "Where is this going in the last few pages?" My concern and one that caused me major anxiety was that there wouldn't be a Dorian-twins reunion, but Mead wouldn't do that to us, would she? Not after VA and all our gripes about a certain missing reunion in the end. But yeah, she does it to us - AGAIN. Not only is there no reunion, but Eugenie seriously walks away from those poor babies FOR GOOD and takes her slimy, grimy, heartless self right back to Dorian to keep sucking him dry of all the love he has and to lie to him for years to come. What a pig you are, Eugenie. Such trash you are.<br/><br/>I know this paragraph is reading a little crazy, but I'm just livid and ranting. How dare you, Mead?! You couldn't leave us with a smile? It didn't all have to work out, but at least endeavor to leave your fans with a warm feeling or SOMETHING. Anything but anger and outrage. How could you write that ending? Aren't you a new mom? Wowzers and for shame.</spoiler><br/><br/>Sooo, should you read the last book in this series? I dunno. I enjoyed the book, sure, but it left me angry and deflated. I feel betrayed by one of my once-favorite authors. It doesn't hurt to cater to your fans a tiny bit, you know. At the very least, as an author, you shouldn't keep slapping your fans in the face with every series ender. Blah.

Review by
Shadow Heir
3.5 Stars

In this final installment of the series, Eugenie takes a much needed break in rural Alabama from pregnancy woes and assassination attempts. However, just as she settles into a routine, word comes that the Otherworld is being plagued by a mysterious blight that threatens to wipe out the population. Eugenie and Dorian must rely on both allies and enemies alike in order to defeat a formidable foe.

The first 1/2 reads more like women's fiction than UF, and is excessively tedious and drawn out. Thankfully, the second half is much better with several twists and turns, some predictable and others quite surprising, that keep the reader engaged. The blight plot is good, but should have started sooner and been better developed.

In terms of the characters, Eugenie’s self-absorbed, conceited and arrogant personality have made her the least likable of all UF heroines. That said, she is not as bad in this book as in Iron Crowned and she finally seems to come to her senses, and is truthful both to Dorian and herself with regard to her feelings for him - about bloody time!

Moreover, her behavior at the end does not annoy me as much as other reviewers. In fact, while I do not agree with or like her decision, I can understand her reasoning. She is determined not only to keep her children safe but to allow them to have normal childhoods. That said, I do wonder how long she will be able to keep the secret because it is implied that she won't be able to hold out for long.

Dorian, on the other hand, is absolutely fabulous. Machiavellian machinations aside, his witty charm, undying loyalty and enduring love for Eugenie make him one of the more endearing and likable heroes in this genre. If only Eugenie actually deserved him, their romance would be perfect.

Kiyo is also on hand in this book - much to my chagrin. The man is simply horrendous with no redeeming qualities what-so-ever, and we won’t even talk about Maiwen whose true colors emerge in full force with heart-wrenching consequences.

In sum, the story is in dire need of some closure with one or two ongoing issues, namely Dorian learning he is the twins’ father and Kiyo and Maiwen getting their just reward, and I truly hope that Mead rewards her loyal readers with one more book.