Book Review

Review: Odriel’s Heirs by Hayley Reese Chow

Hayley was kind enough to reach out to me about reviewing a copy of her book, and I’m glad she did – it is a short but sweet fantasy tale that achieves everything it sets out to do.

Odriel's HeirsTitle: Odriel’s Heirs
Author: Hayley Reese Chow
Pages: 178
Publisher: Self-published, Amazon
Publication Date: 1st March 2020

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.

This book gives you all the fantasy tropes that you are looking for – slow-burn romance, undead army, evil necromancer, boy who won’t call the girl by her first name, both cute and snarky animals, grumbling wizards and imaginative species and place names. All done simply and all done well.

The story itself is very Eddings-lite, with the forces of darkness threatening the land and untested heroes having to come to terms with themselves and overcome their differences in order to try and save everything, even in the face of overwhelming odds. What was a particularly welcome addition, though, was the different approach that some characters take towards fighting that evil (fighting evil with evil) – given that half of the kingdom seems to support this approach and presumably do not support the Heirs, I would love to see that explored in more detail, especially given the outcome …

One of the most impressive things is how restrained Chow has been in her writing – it can be so easy to read over-florid fantasy stories and not enjoy them. The brevity of this story meant that, even if the story itself was somewhat simple at times, it was well-told and enjoyable. There are no wasted words, although there are times when the reader would probably enjoy more detail and backstory – something that can always come in a later novel.

Best of all, for me, was a very short Epilogue that hinted at things to come, but also that victory comes at a price … I love an ending that implies that things aren’t always as clear as they seem.

3.5 stars, but rounded up to 4 stars for that ending.

I received an ARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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