Blood Heir by Amélie Wen Zhao – Spoiler Free Review

Title: Blood Heir
Series Name: Blood Heir Trilogy
Author: Amélie Wen Zhao
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: November 19th, 2019
Pages: 496 (Paperback)
Publishers: Random House Children’s

Goodreads Synopsis

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.

So there has been some ‘drama’ for this book. So I want to address that first.
I don’t know everything but from what I can tell some people read this book out of context and went ape shit at the author on Twitter. This was written with the authors own culture/heritage in mind but apparently some people viewed it differently/from a different cultural view and called it Racist & “anti-black”. Originally this book was meant to release in I think April. But the author decided to cancel the release due to all the hate she was receiving. We thought it was all over for this book but then the author decided to release the book but go in and do edits and to add emphasis to the culture she is trying to represent. Now it will be released on the 19th of November, 2019.
So this review is based on the original eARC that I received from Delacorte Press through NetGalley which is before any of these edits. And I wanted to say straight up that I do not see anything wrong with this book! I guess I can kinda see where someone could see it as Racist if took out of context. The character death that I think all the racist comments are behind was described to have “bronze skin” & “Brown Curls” which in a not ASIAN inspired book could be assumed is a ‘black’ character however this is an ASAIAN inspired book.. There are a few Asian cultures who have these features too and that is what the author was going for as opposed to placing a single (FOR EXAMPLE) African character in and ASIAN inspired fantasy.
I really enjoyed this book and I quite simply don’t see what the issue is… But anyway, I won’t mention any of this again, this is just a normal review from here on out and here it is!

**All quotes were taken from the eARC edition of this book & may differ from the final copy

“Your Affinity does not define you”

“What defines you is how you choose to wield it.”


I really enjoyed the writing in this book. The flow of this book was awesome. There was the right amount of action and adventure but also some slower areas where we got to focus on the characters too which I enjoyed. I really enjoyed the action/fight scenes! They were written in a way that felt quick, but you were given all the details so it made sense. I feel like some authors try and write it fast paced but then leave out details, so when you actually break it down, it doesn’t make sense and the movements don’t flow. This was definitely not the case with this book!

“Papa had once told her, after Mama’s death, that there were two types of grief. One was the type that crushed you, that broke your soul and shattered your heart, and left you an empty shell. The other was a grief that made you stronger. You rose from it, you sharpened it, and you carried it with you as a piece of your armour. And you made yourself better.”


This book is absolutely full of twists and turns. It’s also not afraid of being brutal and ripping apart this calm world. This plot was completely unpredictable! There wasn’t a single thing that I guessed correctly and I loved that! Fast paced and kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time!

“Ana had no weapon and no plan, but she also had nothing more to lose.
And that, perhaps, was the most dangerous type of an opponent to have.”


I really enjoyed both Ana & Ramson! The banter, the sarcasm, the treats, etc. LOVED IT ALL!

Ana is such a badass character and I loved her. Even with everything that goes down in this book she never lets it stop her from following through with her plans. I love that you see all the struggles she goes through and she pulls through all of it and is such a strong character.

“In the face of fear, one could choose to run, or to rise.”

Ramson I really liked too! He was mysterious, funny and super interesting. I loved learning about him & can’t wait for more of him in book 2!

We also had a heap of side characters and all of them were amazing and well fleshed out! None of them felt one dimensional. You learn to love all of them and then your heart gets wrenched out of your chest, soooo there is that. But the characters are amazing! All of them.

“Figure out what you want to do in this life. Live for yourself. You might be the world’s strongest battleship, but you can’t navigate without a compass.”


I loved this book so much! Everything flowed, the world was thought out& the characters were well developed. I really can’t fault this book! I can’t wait for this to release and the rest of the world can read this amazing book!

“The smallest, weakest ones are often the most underestimated and tend to be much stronger than we anticipate.”

Also, this is the alternate cover & it is GORGEOUS!! This cover seems to be more common when you look at places to pre-order.

Thank you to NetGalley & Random House Children’s/Delacorte Press for providing me an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review!

You can Pre-Order a copy for yourself at any of the links below.

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11 thoughts on “Blood Heir by Amélie Wen Zhao – Spoiler Free Review

    1. Same here! I really don’t see what all the crap was about. There are books out their with a lot worse themes that people aren’t talking about and by popular authors.. But people decided to attack this author?! I don’t get it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. There are. I honestly think it started with a few people that assumed instead of asking. And they were vocal about it on twitter and it took off. I think it’s almost dangerous for people to just make assumptions on things like slavery since there is a history of it in multiple countries/cultures. And the blue/green eyes did not scream black to me at all. Everyone just had varying skin tones. I personally liked that the indentured servants were from all colors and classes. It was just about magic.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Agreed! Word of mouth on social media can be detrimental!
        And enjoyed it too! There was the overlying theme of the indenturing related to the Asian culture but all different colours within that were affected by it if they had abilities. It was all don’t in my opinion!

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Great review! I actually hadn’t heard about this drama haha, i thought the release was just pushed back! I think I will definitely pick this up once it is released!


    Liked by 1 person

  2. I didn’t even know there was all of this drama over the book! Thank you, for addressing this. People really need to stop “assuming” things and imagining things that aren’t there. At least the book is still coming out, which is great!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Agreed! Find out the details before attaching someone! Apparently even after the author explained on Twitter that it was all based on Asia they still kept going. 🤦🏻‍♀️
      Pathetic but I’m so glad it’s coming out. Will be curious to read a finished copy to see what changes she actually made. Hopefully it’s nothing too drastic as the book is amazing as it is.


  3. I have been looking forward to this book all year, and I was very upset that it got cancelled due to people being jerk-faces on Twitter, and I’m so excited to hear that it is back on! I’ve heard nothing but great things from people who have *actually read* it, Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Same here. After looking at reviews basically all of them seem to be positive. Which makes me so happy! It’s such an amazing book and I’m glad everyone gets to experience it!

      Liked by 1 person

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