Heir of Blood and Secrets by Linda Xia

Book Cover

Publisher: New Degree Press

Date of Publication: August 24th, 2021

Genre: Fantasy, Dystopia, Young Adult

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N

Goodreads Synopsis:

“We’re all complicit in things we regret. Sometimes, we just do what we must.”

In the city-state of Devovea, behind the walls of the Castle, Scylla Delevan waits for a chance to prove herself. When a Magistrate is murdered and her father stands accused of the crime, she eagerly sets out to prove his innocence. As she races to find the real killer before it is too late, she begins to unearth dangerous secrets that could throw the fragile balance of her city into chaos. In too deep to turn back, Scylla is forced to question all she has ever known and choose between what is expected of her and what is right.

Family loyalty and personal beliefs collide as Scylla navigates a dystopian world divided by race and gender. Heir of Blood and Secrets will challenge you to consider how far you are willing to go—and what you are willing to sacrifice—to forge a better world.

First Line:

“So this is what hell looks like.”

heir of blood and secrets by linda xia

I am a massive fan of YA. I am also a huge fan of dystopia. So when the author approached me to read/review Heir of Blood and Secrets, I jumped on it. Why wouldn’t I? They are two of my favorite genres. But, as I started to read this book, I was also surprised to find out that the author added a mystery. All three combined made for an exciting book that kept my attention.

Heir of Blood and Secrets had an intriguing plotline. Scylla (pronounced sky-la) is the only daughter of a Magistrate in the city of Devovea. As the sole heir to the Magistrate, Scylla is expected to attend events where her father mingles with other Magistrates and the wealthy. At one of these events, another Magistrate is murdered, and Scylla’s father is arrested for doing it. Confident of his innocence, Scylla has a limited time to prove his innocence. But, as she follows leads, Scylla finds a lot more than her father’s innocence at stake. Can Scylla prove his innocence and keep the secrets she has learned from getting out? Or will she be destined to lose her father and destroy her home?

Heir of Blood and Secrets was a fast-paced book. Considering that it takes place over three-four days, I wasn’t surprised by the pacing. There was a slight lag in the middle of the book (when Scylla was shadowing the detective), but it didn’t affect how I felt about the book. It was just right.

Scylla has to be one of my favorite female main characters to date. She was spunky, and she was tenacious. She was determined to find evidence to clear her father’s name. Her loyalty was also a central focus of the book. Even when faced with truths that she didn’t want to believe, she was steadfast.

I would love to see a book with Ilya or Galen in the future!! The secondary characters were well written and added additional depth to the plotlines. I usually do not get attached to secondary characters, but I did with these.

The mystery angle of Heir of Blood and Secrets was well written and kept me engaged. I did figure out who the killer was about halfway through the book. But, and I stress but, the author made me rethink who it was. So, by the time the murderer was revealed, I was surprised (but also doing an internal fist pump because I was right).

The dystopian angle of the book had me wanting to visit there. Devovea is a city-state ruled by an enigmatic ruler called The Crown. I was fascinated by the class system outlined in the book and how everything trickled down. Up at the top was The Crown, then the Magistrates, then the guards, and everyone else. The Magistrates and The Crown lived in The Castle. Everyone else lived in an area called The Tiers. As explained in the book, the higher the address, the poorer the neighborhood.

The author weaved a little romance into Heir of Blood and Secrets, but the author kept it on the backburner. Honestly, I didn’t see it coming and was surprised at who it was.

The end of the book was a blur, but it was so good. There was so much happening that I almost couldn’t keep track of it. The author wrapped some things up but left other things up in the air. Doing that, she left an opening for book 2, which I can’t wait to read!!!

I would recommend Heir of Blood and Secrets to anyone over 16. It is a clean book (no sex or kissing or language). There is some violence, but none of it is graphic.

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