Friday, September 21, 2012

Shadow Heir [Mead]

Book: Shadow Heir [Dark Swan #4]
Author: Richelle Mead

Review: After discovering she is pregnant with twins, Kiyo tries to kill Eugenie when she refuses to abort the fetus'. She initially seeks refuge with Dorian, who offers to adopt and raise the children as his own, as well as do everything in his power to protect them. But Eugenie is frightened for their safety in the Otherworld, and hides in the human world for the remainder of her pregnancy. After her children are born, she discovers a blight in the Otherworld (imagine never ending winter) and teams up with Dorian and Kiyo to save their kingdoms. 

**spoilers** I don't even know where to start with this. This series started off great and this final book was such a mess. First of all, Eugenie decides to hide in the human world because Kiyo is trying to track her down and kill her (and the babies). Roland puts her with a (conveniently) childless couple in the south and they have no idea who Eugenie is or why she is in danger. Considering someone is trying to assassinate her (someone who spends half his time in the human world), they should have known what they were dealing with. She also didn't appear to use a fake name. I'm not a private detective but it shouldn't be too hard to locate a mid-20s woman named Eugenie who gave birth to twins. I know a lot of people had a hard time with Eugenie leaving the twins in the NICU to travel back to the Otherworld to save her kingdom, but I am fine with that particular decision. What I was disappointed in was the lack of emotion written into her final scene with the twins before she left the hospital. It fell flat.

Next up-the big bad in the final book in the series is some queen we have never heard of before. I wish Mead would have given this role to Queen Maiwenn (Kiyo's baby momma, who plays a small part in all the books but quickly changes from friend to foe when she tries to kill Eugenie and then the twins). It was disappointing another new character was introduced when Maiwenn could have been used.

Next-I'm sure most readers were thrilled, THRILLED to find out that Dorian is actually the father of the twins. For the whole series we are told how it is so difficult for the gentry to conceive. We know Dorian wants a child more than anything in the world and the guy even wants the twins not knowing they are his. He has proven over and over again what a great guy he is. Then we are dealt the ultimate betrayal. Eugenie goes back to Dorian and proclaims her love...but she DOES NOT TELL HIM HE IS THE FATHER. She also decides to leave the kids hidden in the human world (to be raised by the couple she stayed with while pregnant). Mead did include an ambivalent sentence something along the lines of Eugenie probably wouldn't be able to keep it a secret from Dorian but hello-she could have included a three paragraph epilogue or something (I read that she purposely left it open ended yet she has no plans to write a sequel or a spin off series...frustrating). 

Next-at the end of the book Maiwenn is still trying to kill the twins and Kiyo appears to still be with Maiwenn (it's not clear if they are friends or more) and they just go off to her kingdom. WHAT? I'll tell you what should have happened. Eugenie should have used the Iron Crown to strip Maiwenn of her kingdom and she should have given it to Jasmine. 

Finally-where was the editor with this book? Kiyo and Maiwenn's baby name wasn't even correct. Also-if Dorian was the twins father, it means they are 75% gentry and they would not be able to tolerate the iron in the human world. 

Very frustrating conclusion to an otherwise fun, creative series. 

Grade: 2/5

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