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Shadow Heir (Dark Swan #4)

3.88  ·  Rating Details ·  11,336 Ratings  ·  1,293 Reviews
#1 New York Times bestselling author Richelle Mead returns to the Otherworld, a mystic land inextricably linked to our own—and balanced precariously on one woman's desperate courage . . .

Shaman-for-hire Eugenie Markham strives to keep the mortal realm safe from trespassing entities. But as the Thorn Land's prophecy-haunted queen, there's no refuge for her and her soon-to-b
Mass Market Paperback, 390 pages
Published December 27th 2011 by Zebra
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Charla From her website:
"Future Eugenie books?
At the moment, Shadow Heir is the conclusion to the Dark Swan series. As many of you know, there's definitely…more
From her website:
"Future Eugenie books?
At the moment, Shadow Heir is the conclusion to the Dark Swan series. As many of you know, there's definitely room for more of the story! I would like to write a fifth book, but at the moment, other commitments have taken precedence, so it may be a long time. But I'll keep you guys posted! Fingers crossed."
I really hope she finishes it!!! I hated the ending!!!!


Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Wendy Darling
3.5 stars Oh Eugenie, Eugenie, Eugenie. Throughout all four of the Dark Swan books, I feel like you could have used a good girlfriend you could call whenever you had the urge to do something silly. Unfortunately, you didn't have my number, and as much as I've enjoyed your company, I still have to fight the urge to shake some sense into you, even after all this time.

In Shadow Heir, Eugenie Markham has her twin babies but hides them away in fear of their safety. She returns to the faery world to f
Beatriz  Lins
First of all, let me tell you that there will be spoilers of the previous books in the series, and heavy spoilers of Shadow Heir. I’m sorry, but I just have to comment about the ending and why I was so frustrated.

I can’t believe I’m giving 2 stars to one of my favorite series (and favorite author). Richelle Mead’s previous series, Georgina Kincaid, and Vampire Academy, were fantastic, but just like this one, the final book let me down. The only difference, though, is the level of disappointment
ArmyGirls Read too
May 19, 2011 ArmyGirls Read too rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one with patience
Shelves: disappointment
Please excuse my french but...

What kind of Bullshit was that?! I waited 4 books just for the series to end with a CLIFFHANGER!!!!!!!! I know I am not the only one that feels that there should be a 5th book in the making. I mean how can you end the book that way. What kind of monster are you?!!! Richelle ANSWER MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!! This book was like a mega mindfuck. IF she ever writes another adult series, I can guarantee I will be highly hesitant to read it.

Note to all Writers*
Never end
Why do I do this to myself? Kiyo better die in this one!

Finally a cover! Did you read the blurb? The uneasy truce between her and her shape shifter ex-lover Kiyo is endangered by secrets he can't--or won't--reveal. What uneasy truce????

3 - 3.5 stars - Not what I expected after seeing a lot of reviews -

Updated - 1/27/12

Shadow Heir had been staring at me for a few weeks now. It’s pretty pink cover mocked me, dared me to read it. Reviews had started to come in and a lot of the reviews were not ve
*** 3.44 ***

A buddy read with my Wednesday UF fanatics at BB&B!

This book was not bad. It was well written, it had a good plot, the pacing was a bit slow in the beginning, but it did pick up eventually, and was even logical in its own, entirely unsatisfactory way.... It was not bad, but it was not what it promised us it would be either! It is what I would call "a missed opportunity to have a great ending"!!!

I am the biggest proponent of letting the author take us wherever they want to. It is
I'm absolutely disappointed with this book. I feel sort of betrayed that Richelle would choose to end it they way that she did. An ending like that would be enough for me to drop an author altogether and the only reason I won't is because I'm way too invested in her VA world to drop Bloodlines.
This is strike two against Richelle's end of series. The way LS ended was sort of disappointing but there was the excuse that things would be explained later in the spin-off. I don't fail to see the irony
I really don't know if I loved this book or if I absolutely hated it.

Rage-written review, proceed with caution

Now let me explain.

This is the worst series ending I have ever read!!!!

Why do I prefer PNR/UF/romance? Because of the happy endings. Because I know that, not matter how good/bad a book is, it will end up on a happy note.
This book? GAHHHHH!!!
I haven't been so pissed off on a book since... forever, maybe. Or a long time, certainly. I mean, I get the open endings, if you plan on continu
Robin (Bridge Four)
Ugh….there was so much potential and then…..and then


Okay so I loved…LOVED….loved the Georgina Kincaid Succubus Blues series. It was six books and an emotional rollercoaster and the ending was pretty perfect. There weren’t HEAs for everyone but I really liked how it all sorted out in the end. So I went into this hoping for a similar experience and well….that isn’t what I got.

I overthought the whole thing and I was pretty sure that there were some clues along the way as to where everything was hea
2.8 stars and most of that is for Volusian and his awesome. Tiny review later.

* * *

The uneasy truce between her and her shape shifter ex-lover Kiyo is endangered by secrets he can't--or won't--reveal.

After everything Kiyo's done she's still making truces with that asshole? Hello, fool, HE TRIED TO KILL YOU AND (view spoiler) Not even Sassy Gay Friend could save Eugenie from herself at this point. She's a special kind of stupid.

This is most likely
Feb 28, 2011 Marissa rated it it was ok
2.5 stars, if that.
UGH! HUGE disappointment. Thats all I'm willing to say right now.

~Edited for final words above.~

If Kiyo doesn't end up a soft, pretty wall decoration in Dorian’s home, I may have to quit you, Richelle Mead. (Adrian’s story being the only exception, of course.)
Jul 17, 2011 Jessie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I dont know whether to rate it high or low because it was a great book but i was quite disatisfied with the ending . I want to know what his reaction would be - those that have read it know what i'm talking about - and i just wish it had ended different, she has to tell him or their relashioship isn't going to work. To be honest i wouldn't forgive someone if they lied about that - not that they can because i'm female.
I can kind of (a tinsy bit) see where she is coming from but i would never hav
is mee... kissa
Mar 25, 2011 is mee... kissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(view spoiler)
not one of my favourite books in the series, but i really liked the final quarte. i wanted more relationship stuff with Dorian and the poopdeck Kitsune involved, it only really started happening at the end, which is why i liked the ending so much. still, four stars is pretty good. but i really, really, really
Lindsey Rey
May 30, 2015 Lindsey Rey rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, 2015
Pamela / SpazP
Aug 20, 2011 Pamela / SpazP rated it it was ok
Originally posted at WickedLilPixie Reviews
Blurrrg. What. the. hell? That was my initial reaction upon completing Shadow Heir. As the last book in Richelle Mead’s Dark Swan series, I will tell you right now I expected more. Way more. Especially after the great steps back Eugenie made as a character and Queen in the previous book, Iron Crowned. But I hung on, I thought maybe this would just be a case of us needing to remember we can all take a few steps back, but still detour back on course. Sadl
Aug 27, 2016 Emma rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: urban-fantasy, magic
I was careful not to read the reviews for this beyond their first lines because I knew a lot of readers were disappointed by its resolution and ending. But all the way through I was anticipating the BIG LET DOWN. Right up to 95 %, I thought I had escaped it, but there it was, right at the end to sucker punch me.

I ended up disliking the main character quite a bit. The author presented an admittedly flawed character who I liked anyway. She was involved in a very frustrating love triangle throughou
Dec 01, 2011 Kim rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I am sad to see how this series,whick I had loved, ended with me feeling very let down. RM made Euguie into the biggest hypocrite I have ever read! OMG I HATED how she ended this series!

Have to say, Dorian was definitley the best part of the series,and deserves someone better than Eugiene. My wish is that he finds out THE TRUTH,gets the twins and kicks her out on her ass for not telling him he was their father!
Dec 28, 2011 Suz rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: urban-fantasy
Meh. Wanna bet there'll be a novella or short story next year? The end was sloppy. As I was reading the book I remember thinking "I should be making a note of all these plot holes." But in truth, I'm just glad it's over. By the end I wanted Kiyo and Maiwenn to die, and Eugenie too.
Stacia (the 2010 club)
3.5 stars.

Anyone who knows me by now, knows that I am a Mead fangirl. Her ability to create different worlds, races, and a variety of character types has always impressed me. Her talent for writing witty quips and exchanges keeps me bookmarking quotes in every book, so I can share them later. Her genius for drawing me into a story, making me love and hate characters and scenarios so passionately is a big reason why I know that I will continue to read anything she writes. I don't even mind the c
Annie (Under the Covers Book Blog)
I can't say that this is my favourite book by Richelle Mead. Mead is one of those authors who love to drive their readers crazy, both in good and bad ways that always result in the same thing: the desparate need for another book.

I think with this supposed end to the Dark Swan series, Mead was focusing more on keeping the series open-ended for possible spin-off books. And because of this, there were a lot of pointless build-up because readers didn't get that satisfied hit after reading this.

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
It's all about Dorian for me. For him, I give this three stars. Also liked the faerie aspects. Otherwise, this didn't ring my bell.

Full review will be published in the January 2012 Affaire de Coeur issue.
Mar 01, 2011 Leigh rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
2.5 stars ~ Other than being a little slow in the beginning, I enjoyed ALMOST every bit of this book...had the ending been different, it would have been 4-4.5 stars. However, the last page or two involved a decision by Eugenie that I wholeheartedly oppose and am abhorred by...for those last 2 pages, I would give it 1 star. Therefore, I am averaging the two and coming up with 2.5 stars as a final result.

Words cannot even describe the disappointment I am feeling as I write this review. I LOVE Rich
Cat Russell  (Addicted2Heroines)
***Slight spoilers. Large spoilers for anyone who hasn't read Iron Crowned***

This wasn't quite the happily ever after ending that I was hoping for, but Eugenie's life hasn't exactly been a fairy tale. Well, I suppose that isn't completely true. After all, she is a woman who discovers that she's at the center of an ancient magical prophecy and stumbles upon events that eventually lead to her rule as Queen over a fairy kingdom in the Otherworld... so maybe it is a fairy tale, but still, the happil
Eugenie's aggravating adventures finally come to an end in Shadow Heir. While I have yet to regain my former love for Richelle Mead's adult series, I didn't completely loathe this ending either.

Eugenie is just as irritating, immature, selfish, and blind as she's always been. I couldn't believe her internal dialogue at times. She continuously gives Dorian a hard time for something he tried and succeeded in making up for, but she's completely willing to give Kiyo another chance as soon as he eve
With the Winter Enchantment and the travelling and intrigue, this one had the potential to be my favorite of the series. Unfortunately, the last 15% or so killed it for me. I now understand why everyone was disappointed with the ending.

This book lost two and a half stars strictly because, well, Eugenie is a hypocritical bitch. Completely unlikeable, chock full of double standard bullshit, and ugh... I just can't even.

I could understand some parts of the end, but Eugenie's choice regarding a very
Christen *Goldilox And The Three Weres*
*Only read this review if you are caught up to Iron Crowned in the series!*

Shadow Heir is the last in Mead's magic-and-Fae-based urban fantasy Dark Swan series. If you've been keeping up with the series, you know that A LOT went down in the last one! I don't want to spoil anything for those of you who haven't read up to book if you are not up to that book, turn back now! Okay, you have been warned.

Freakin' Kiyo! He totally screwed up Eugenie's life in Iron Crowned! First he gets her p
Wicked ♥  (Wickedly Bookish Reviews) aka Bat-Jess
Reviewed for Wickedly Bookish

I'm just going to start this review by saying I enjoyed the book overall. The series was starting to lose it's momentum, but like any good author, Mead writes her series with an end in sight. I can't stand when a series goes on forever just to squeeze out some extra money, but I won't get into that here.

If you are a fan of the series, but haven't had a chance to pick this one up, you are probably aware of the infamous ending. I do
Mar 25, 2011 MISS VAIN rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: richelle-mead
Oh Eugenie you stupid selfish person! Dorian should never forgive you for your secrets. I didn't think it was possible to hate Eugenie more than I have in the previous books but I do now!!!!!! Unforgivable sums up my thoughts in one word right now.

Review to come later.
C.D. Coffelt
Dec 18, 2011 C.D. Coffelt rated it it was ok
Recommended to C.D. by: Title / Author / ISBN
Buy the Book

That is my recommendation. I am glad I read it but—

Ms. Mead has a reputation for starting a great story then leaving me frustrated and angry at the end. This series is no exception.

Without giving away the ending, it is difficult for me to articulate exactly why but to put it succinctly, Eugenie is about the most unlikable MC to cross my path in a long time.

IMHO, there is an unnecessary twist in the last pages that could easily be resolved. I anticipated one of the secondary character
Aug 04, 2011 Nita rated it liked it
I finished the book about 45 minutes ago and have been sitting with the computer in front of me trying to decide what I want to rate this book. I keep going back and forth. Here's my problem - the story itself is great, from Eugenie's pregnancy to their dealings with the blight. I really enjoyed it. But, to me this book did not really feel like a final book in a series. Yes, hard decisions were made by Eugenie and unexpected secrets were revealed, but not enough things were resolved for me to be ...more
The Holy Terror
A pink cover and comes out on my birthday!


Here's hoping her gift to me is Kiyo's slow, painful death; preferably by castration, but I'll also accept a mortal gut wound.
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
The End! (Spoiler Alert) 1 3 Feb 02, 2017 11:21PM  
Alternate Endings 27 198 Dec 11, 2016 04:10PM  
Thoughts on Shadow Heir (SPOILERS) 141 348 Jan 24, 2016 09:26AM  
SOS: Serious Over...: June Buddy Read - Shadow Heir by Richelle Mead 94 67 Jun 23, 2014 05:29AM  
Vampire Book Club: Shadow Heir ending (aka WHYYYY Eugenie?!) -- with plenty o' spoilers 21 208 Feb 19, 2013 06:28AM  
  • The Shattered Dark (Shadow Reader, #2)
  • Eternal Lover (Hell on Earth, #2.5; Georgina Kincaid, #2.5)
  • A Sliver of Shadow (Abby Sinclair, #2)
  • Grave Memory (Alex Craft, #3)
  • Shadow Bound (Unbound, #2)
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  • Bad Blood (House of Comarré, #3)
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  • Sacrificial Magic (Downside Ghosts, #4)
  • Magic on the Line (Allie Beckstrom, #7)
  • Biting Cold (Chicagoland Vampires, #6)
  • Unbroken (Outcast Season, #4)
  • The Renfield Syndrome (Rhiannon's Law, #2)
  • Darkness Rising (Dark Angels, #2)
  • Blood on the Bayou (Annabelle Lee, #2)
  • Ashes of Honor (October Daye, #6)
  • The Bitter Seed of Magic (, # 3)
Scorpio Richelle Mead is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of urban fantasy books for both adults and teens. Originally from Michigan, Richelle now lives in Seattle, Washington where she works on her three series full-time: Georgina Kincaid, Dark Swan, and Vampire Academy.

A life-long reader, Richelle has always loved mythology and folklore. When she can actually tear herself away f
More about Richelle Mead...

Other Books in the Series

Dark Swan (5 books)
  • Storm Born (Dark Swan #1)
  • Thorn Queen (Dark Swan, #2)
  • Iron Crowned (Dark Swan, #3)
  • Dark Swan Bundle: Storm Born, Thorn Queen, Iron Crowned & Shadow Heir (Dark Swan, #1-4)

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“But it's not the name I'd give to a conqueror of worlds... I would've gone with Thundro or Ragnor. I might just call him Thundro anyway.” 43 likes
“My smile faded, and I suddenly felt confused. My heart leapt in my chest. "Why would you do that for me?"

"What wouldn't I do for you?”
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