Time’s Orphan by Hayley Reese Chow – ARC Review!

Speak of pain, and I’ll tell you of the Time who stole it away…

Besieged by war, ravaged by monsters, and crawling with the undead, the land of Okarria is dying. Seventeen-year-old Emara survives by using her modest healing gift to save as many as she can while eluding the invaders who thirst for her enchanted blood.

So when a cursed cat saves her life and reveals Emara is the legendary Time Heir the necromancer king’s been searching for, she agrees to act as bait in a plot to destroy him. But when the plan goes horrifically awry, Emara must discover how deep her powers go, what she can change…

And what she cannot.

Unfortunately, Time Heirs have a history of getting killed, and with Okarria’s future on the line, Emara may have no choice but to follow in her ancestors’ footsteps.

Okarria is dying, and even with the Dragon and Shadow Heirs doing all that they can, the darkness is slowly encroaching over the land. But the third Heir, the Time Heir has remained ever illusive… until now. Emara thinks herself one of Odriel’s blessed, someone with a smidgen of the Heir’s powers, powers that she has to keep a secret from everyone for fear of persecution. So when a black cat turns up and, not only starts talking to her, but tells her she is the lost Time Heir, she is understandably a little reluctant to believe it. Reluctant as she is, Emara quickly gets wrapped up in the other Heir’s plans to defeat Idriel once and for all, but when their plans go horribly wrong, Emara will have to push her power to it’s fullest extent, learning all that the Time Heir can do if she, and her friends, are to make it out alive.

Ok, I’m calling it. This was my favourite of the series, and Emara is 100% my favourite MC. She is someone who, unlike the other Heir’s, has been raised to fear and hide her power, never letting it reach it’s full potential. So when she learns who she is, she is obviously wary and a little reluctant to believe it, but she quickly decides to help, despite not having the full use of her gift. I think what I liked most about her though was how she never complained, she was willing to risk her life, even when she didn’t believe she was the Heir to protect the people of Okarria. She who has sacrificed the most out of all the Heir’s, loosing the entirety of her family, but she always has a positive outlook, determined that they can defeat Idriel and save the land. She’s feisty, not too shabby in a fight, but she completely underestimates herself, and I adored seeing her come into the true potential of her power.

Though this story is 100% Emara’s, I did love the characters from previous books making an appearance, including both the protagonists from the first two books, but my favourite character had to be Shadmandur, the man cursed to be a cat for 100 years who started the cog turning on this whole journey with Kaia in book one. He is a character I have consistently enjoyed throughout the series, but he plays a much larger part in this book ( I can’t mention too much about it because of spoilers) but suffice to say, his, as well as Emara’s & the other Heir’s stories come wondrously full circle and I enjoyed seeing them all make an appearance, no matter how small or large.

Time was definitely the one Heir I was looking forward to delving into more, because I never truly knew the extent of their power. At it’s base, Emara is able to heal those around her, but as we see her power grow we learn that there is much more to the Time Heir’s power than healing a simple wound. Letting us follow Emara on her journey to learn about her past and powers was so well done. All the information came naturally because we were learning about it right along side her, and it never felt dumpy or too much at any time. There were plenty of plot twists that were just so brilliantly done and arrived at the perfect time to propel the story and made sure it never lagged in any way. And, as always, Hayley writes some truly intense and edge of your seat fight scenes, with just the perfect amount of tension.

The romance in this story was by far my favourite of the whole series, ok… maybe on par with book one! It developed really naturally throughout the story and the snark… let me tell you, I adored the snark these two characters gave each other. I can’t tell you how many times I laughed out loud at their antics, but what I really loved was that they allowed each other to be weak, to show their insecurities and grow through them. I wasn’t 100% sure we were going to get our HEA, but I was SO happy with how the story ended, and am just a little sad that we won’t get to see them grow up like we have the other characters.

Like I said, my favourite book of the series so far. It was the perfect, full circle, ending and the epilogue had me in sheds of tears. If you like your fantasy YA, with plenty of romance, tension, stakes and some truly fun stories I cannot recommend this series enough!

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