Reaping darkness, the Shadow slicked steel with judgment and danced with death…
Sixteen-year-old Aza inherited the power of shadow to rid the land of evil as Odriel’s cold-blooded assassin. With her growing strength, Aza discovers the Shadow Plane—a realm of wraiths where screams haunt the winds, calling to her. Although her father forbids her from entering the dark realm, Aza can’t ignore the beckoning whispers.
When a dangerous new breed of monster attacks, Aza believes the Shadow Plane holds the answers they need to defeat them. With the unwanted help of a snarky cat and a cursed beast, Aza seeks out the monastic Wraith-Called for answers. But the deeper Aza delves into the dark realm, the further she drifts from the world she knows.
As Aza uncovers evils new and old, she must decide if the ends really do justify the means… and how many lives she’s willing to pay.
Thank you to Hayley for the review copy! I can confirm all thoughts and opinions are my own.
After loving Odriel’s Heirs last year it didn’t take much convincing for me to accept an ARC of book two in the series. Though Idriel’s Children doesn’t focus on the same characters, it’s still set in the same world and most characters from book one make an appearance and have a pivotal part to play in the story.
Taking after her father Aza has inherited the power of Shadow, only her power is a little different. Aza feels drawn to the Shadow realm, and once there can hear someone calling her name on the wind. Though her father tells her the Shadow Realm is dangerous, Aza doesn’t agree. She believes the shadows are calling her for a reason, and she is determined to find out what they need to tell her. When attacks start happening around the continent, Aza is sure the Shadow Realm holds the answers needed to defeat the power behind them, and with the help of some unlikely allies she sets off to find the answers she seeks. But the Shadow Realm is dangerous, and the longer Aza spends there the more she struggles to return to the world she truly inherits.
I loved returning to the same world from book one, the jump in time threw me a little, but once I worked out how the characters were related to Kaia and Klaus from book one it all started making sense. I found it extremely easy to slip back into the world, and enjoyed meeting new characters as well as having some old favourites pop up from book one… I’m looking at you Shadmundar! While Odriel’s Heirs focused on Kaia, The Dragon Heir, Idriel’s Children focuses on Aza, the Shadow Heir. I really enjoyed being able to delve into a magic system that was only touched upon in the first book. Seeing the differences not only in how they use their powers, but how they are looked at and treated for them.
Aza was a great pov to read from, hot headed, always feeling the need to prove herself. Living in the shadow of her parents has never been an easy life, and she always feels the need to be better, more powerful. She has the weight of the world on her shoulders and though she prefers working alone, she quickly realises that it’s not always the best way to solve a problem. Reliance on friends and family is not a weakness but a strength. Chow showcases all kinds of relationships from familial, friendly and romantic and I really enjoyed seeing Aza accept these people in her life.
Along with Aza we are introduced to a multitude of side characters. Some new such as Zephyr, her brother and the Dragon Heir, Witt a childhood friend & Makeo, a Maldibor who Aza was friends with as a child, as well as some returning characters from the first book; Kaia and Klaus, Shadmundar as well as a few I won’t mention for fear of spoilers. Every single character plays an integral part in the plot, and help to further Aza’s story.
Chow’s writing style ensures you stay engrossed in the novel, and the only reason I didn’t finish this in one sitting was that I had to go to work. The pacing is effortless, there’s the perfect mix of humour, action, emotional scenes, and plenty of plot twists thrown in to keep us on our toes. We also get a little more world building in this book thanks to Aza’s travels both to the Shadow Plane, and to try and understand what is happening to her. I loved travelling to previously undiscovered places and learning more about the people and creatures that inhabit the world.
The romance in this book was just so sweet and incredibly slow burn. Both know they have feelings for the other but are unwilling to acknowledge them for different reasons, Aza because she is scared she will hurt Makeo and is afraid of letting anyone in and Makeo doesn’t want to drag Aza into the life he leads thanks to the curse put on his people. You can just see how much they love and rely on one another through the story and I found the progression of their relationship really natural, while not taking away from the overall plot.
Though this is book two in the series it can easily be read as a standalone, though I would definitely recommend reading book one because it’s amazing! Chow ends this book with a slightly bigger cliffhanger than the first and I am incredibly eager to see where she will take the series with the next instalment. If you’re looking for a quick and immersive fantasy read with lovable but complicated characters and an intriguing magic system, then look no further.