Beatriz Lins's Reviews > Shadow Heir

Shadow Heir by Richelle Mead
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Dec 28, 11

it was ok
bookshelves: badly-developed, crush-worthy-guys, disappointing, fantasy, ebook, great-writing, romance, sarcastic, unexpected-endings, urban-fantasy
Read from December 27 to 28, 2011

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. I was so angry, frustrated and sad at the end of this book that I almost cried.

Eugenie Markham, after 4 books and plenty of adventures, fights, etc etc, still managed to act like a teenager sometimes. And yes, I get it that Richelle Mead wanted her main character to feel and act like a human, and have flaws, but to me, she just looked immature. Most of the time, I don’t really bother with this particular characteristic of the main character, but oh, this got on my nerves as the book progressed.

To be quite honest, I didn’t notice much development in the characters throughout the series except, maybe, Jasmine and Dorian. They were awesome, especially in Shadow Heir. Dorian simply made his feelings and wishes pretty clear, putting aside his greed for power. I loved him for it.

But one huge disappointment is the plot itself. Or maybe I should ask, what plot? Shadow Heir didn’t feel like a final book. First, there’s a villain that didn’t add anything to the story, let alone help conclude it. It was obvious who this villain was since the beginning, and their whole journey to stop this evil, evil character was just unnecessary. There were so many other things that Richelle Mead could’ve explored in Shadow Heir, and a new issue with the seasons in the Otherworld is not one of them. The bigger things, like the Storm King’s prophecy and consequences in the human world, and her own fate regarding whether she’d choose one world or the other, was simply put aside.

Yes, Eugenie’s pregnancy did play a big role, and I enjoyed it, mostly because Eugenie’s feelings about her children were so raw and real, it was obvious the author was putting her own thoughts there, since she just had a baby. But after that was resolved, everything was so rushed I felt lost. If Shadow Heir were two books instead of one (and I know that at first, it was supposed to be), things could’ve get worked out a lot better. There were so many things thrown at us just to finish the series and wrap everything up, that it all felt convenient.

I was particularly anxious to see how the Storm King’s prophecy would be dealt with. And, big surprise, there was a hell of a twist in the end, that just solved the problem for Eugenie. But that’s not all. Another big discovery in the very end, and the paternity problem was also resolved. A little convenient, it seemed.

Like I said, there was so much in this book going on, and in the end, I had the feeling nothing had changed at all. Prophecy, a new villain, the babies, personal issues, the romance developing, character growth… it’s too much for just, what, 350 pages? And when I finished Shadow Heir, I just sat there, on my bed, at 3 o’clock in the morning, thinking, what?

By all of this, my frustration is perfectly justified, right?

No, it’s not, because the part that actually bothered me and drove me over to the edge was the ending. Even now, I can feel my blood boiling in anger. How, oh GOD, did my favorite series came down to this? One of the big discoveries in the end left me so happy I almost began to cry in joy. And then, in the next chapter, I couldn’t believe what I was reading.

Eugenie, my dear, you find out that the bloody fox was actually lying about being the father of your children, and reveal that, actually, Dorian is Ivy and Isaac’s dad, and you decide not to tell him that? You decide to hide this from him, because, according to you, it’s safer for the kids if they don’t live in the Otherworld?

Oh, please, please, don’t do this. This decision, this particular and peculiar decision, angered me so much I almost stopped reading right there. Not two chapters ago, Eugenie was thinking about how her relationship with Dorian could be rebuilt, how she wanted to trust him, and base the aforementioned relationship on love and trust… and then she does this? It’s hypocrite, it’s ridiculous!

First of all, she made this decision alone, because she thought that telling Dorian he had kids would result in a very protective father trying to stay with his children in the Otherworld. And, even though Dorian would lift a city and do anything to protect Ivy and Isaac, it’d still be dangerous for them. Of course he would want to protect his own children! This is the man whose biggest dream is being a father and, let’s not forget, with Eugenie at his side. And yet, she hides this from him?

Again I say, hypocrite! This is the world’s worst decision ever made. It couldn’t disappoint me more. I remember I almost burst in tears when that old woman revealed Eugenie’s pregnancy in Dorian’s castle, and Dorian couldn’t even breathe, thinking her children was his. And how, over and over, he said to her that it would mean the world to him if Eugenie was the mother of his children. And then, in Shadow Heir, Eugenie just decides to hide it from him?

Dorian deserved to know. He deserved to have these kids, to be a father, because he gave everything to Eugenie, and in return, she kept Ivy and Isaac from him. After everything he endured for her, after their talk about trust and love, she still made this decision alone. Dorian had the right to know, he had the right to decide along with her if Ivy and Isaac were better off in the Otherworld or in the human world. And let me be honest here: With two monarchs as powerful as Dorian and Eugenie, and three kingdoms, I think Ivy and Isaac would have a lot of protection. And oh, it would've been so beautiful, so heart-warming if Dorian knew. Can you imagine his reaction to this revelation? Knowing that his biggest dream has become true? I can, and again, I want to cry for this not happening. (view spoiler)

The fact that one of my favorite characters ever came down to this broke my heart, along with the fact that Dorian was kept in the dark, and the ones who deserved to die, or at least get their asses kicked (ahem, the fox and the bitchy queen) just went away, without a single hair out of place.

Richelle Mead has disappointed and frustrated me before. But never like this. And I’ve never felt this awful after reading one of her novels. Even now, I want to cry and scream my frustration. I just can’t believe Dark Swan’s final book was such a disappointment. I think a lot of people will love this book, but I just didn't. All I have now is the hope that Bloodlines won’t be as messed up as this series.
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Quotes Beatriz Liked

Richelle Mead
“If we could manage any sort of trust again... Well. That would make me happier than you can imagine”
Richelle Mead, Shadow Heir

Richelle Mead
“Mistress, I have never asked anything of you in my servitude. But now, I beg you this: do not make me keep passing these adolescent sentiments back and forth all night.”
Richelle Mead, Shadow Heir

Reading Progress

12/27 page 170
53.0% "Aaaaaaah, this is what I want to do with the bloody fox: Please, Dorian, kick his ass. Just a little bit, and I'll be satisfied."
03/05 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-50 of 62) (62 new)

C.D. Coffelt AMEN, Sistah!

Beatriz  Lins LOL xD Amen!

message 3: by M. (new) - rated it 1 star

M. I couldn't have put it better myself. What a joke of a book this was. I'm still pissed off!

Ohfishsticks You perfectly pegged exactly what bothered me about this book. I almost wish I never read it.

Beatriz  Lins Absolutely. I think this is Richelle Mead's worst book so far. =/

SubterraneanCatalyst This is the FINAL book in the Dark Swan series? I just finished this and thought it wasn't precisely BECAUSE of the ending. You are absolutely right..just WTF. I'm so angry about the upset that she would do that to Dorian. I'm downgrading my stars right now lol.

Beatriz  Lins SubterraneanCatalyst, it's the final book =/ Yes, there's so much that could happen with that awful ending!... and then... there's no more books. #Cry

I'm dying to know how Eugenie will tell Dorian about her decision. A hell of a conversation ahead of her, that's for sure. Not that she doesn't deserve it, LOL xD

SubterraneanCatalyst Beatriz wrote: "SubterraneanCatalyst, it's the final book =/ Yes, there's so much that could happen with that awful ending!... and then... there's no more books. #Cry

I'm dying to know how Eugenie will tell Doria..."

I swear I'm going into fanfic daydreaming about the way it should have ended. I am just verklempt. Dorian would be a fabulous loving and doting father- just..what the.
Yeah #Cry.

Beatriz  Lins LOL, me too. Just imagine Dorian holding Ivy and Isaac, and his face lighting up with joy... ARGH. Just, ARGH.

message 10: by C.D. (new) - rated it 2 stars

C.D. Coffelt @subterranean and Beatriz
Oh, stop, stop. *sniff*, BaWAAAAAHHHHHHH

Beatriz  Lins *sniff* I'm never going to forgive Richelle Mead for this.... *wipe away tears*

Erica I agree!!!!!!

Rali Ann I totally agree!!!! *sniff*
The ending just broke my heart!!

Beatriz  Lins Thanks =P

The same, Rali Ann. That ending was heart-breaking 3

Diabledhcherrybomb Totally agree! I mean there probably even less protected in the human world where they have less protection from human dangers and magic ones. And Dorian is awesome! so didn't deserve that, a very disappointing ending to what I thought was a great series, although this was her first series yet she's finished vamp academy series and started a new one. She was probably told to tie up the loose ends in her other series since vampires are all the rage and popular

Beatriz  Lins Diabledhcherrybomb, couldn't agree more. I think VA was left with so many loose ends because of a spinoff that just wasn't necessary. I'd rather read a decent final book than an incomplete one, just because the author is writing a new series. And the same thing happened with Dark Swan - a lot of loose ends -, except that there's no spinoff... tragic, really =( Eugenie's story had a lot of potential.

message 17: by Rebecca (new) - added it

Rebecca You said it all, and perfectly. Plus, Eugenie's reasoning for keeping it from Dorian - and her reasoning about the human world being safer to begin with - is just SO RIDICULOUS.

What of the children themselves? What kind of a mother intentionally deprives her children of a father who would be loving, protective, and OVERJOYED to even adopt them, let alone know that he really was their biological father too?

Ahhhh, I'm just so ANGRY.

message 18: by Sam (new) - rated it 2 stars

Sam I agree with you. The book didn't make sense. Especially if you go by the previous books. What I find hard to swallow about this book is how Eugenie could leave her children if she thought their life was in danger. Who's to say someone couldn't cross over and find them. I thought the part with leaving the twins with strangers was a little far fetched. Maybe with an old school friend BUT STRANGERS? Come on, really? Was that the best she could come up with? I did like the paternity twist. I was surprised it wasn't questioned before. I also liked the change to who the heir was. But for a final book Richelle should have left out the part where the kids are still in danger. Unless it's not going to be her last book after all.

Experiment BL626 Sam wrote: "I agree with you. The book didn't make sense. Especially if you go by the previous books. What I find hard to swallow about this book is how Eugenie could leave her children if she thought their li..."

Nope, this is truly the final book in the Dark Swan series.

Beatriz  Lins Resonance, her reasoning didn't make sense, indeed! One shaman who's unrelated to the children is hardly the best protection that Eugenie could provide.
And you know what's ironic? She's doing exactly the same thing Roland did, not admiting and hiding Ivy and Isaac's heritage from them, just like her being the Storm King's daughter was not revealed to her. In the future, when they're older and find out about Dorian, this will anger both Dorian and the kids, and make things just that more complicated.

Sam, I couldn't agree more. The paternity twist was great, but Eugenie's decision -- and the fact that the kids are still in danger -- was not =/ Do you think Richelle will write another book? There's certainly enough story for that, but well...

message 21: by Sam (new) - rated it 2 stars

Sam I wouldn't be surprised if there was a side series. Probably with the kids all grown You know like she did with the series featuring Sydney.

Beatriz  Lins A spinoff with the kids... Now, that's a great idea! It would let us know how Dorian is as a father, and what the consequences of Eugenie's decision were.. Oh, please, Richelle Mead, get us out of this misery..... D:

Laurie I enjoyed the book very much-- until the end. It made me cry when (SPOILER) Eugenie found out the kids were Dorian's. How could Eugenie even CONSIDER hiding the kids from Dorian?? Yes, she made some poor decisions throughout the series, but this was tragic. So, I choose to extrapolate,and in my ending, she tells him shortly after she reunites with him. Does anyone think that Richelle left the ending open so the reader can fill in what they want it to be? I can't think of any other reason that she would end it like that. But in my world, Dorian and Eugenie bring the kids to live with them in the Otherworld and everyone has their HEA. That's the way it should be.

Beatriz  Lins Laurie, you're totally right, that's the way it should be. If Eugenie had changed her mind after reuniting with Dorian, the ending would be perfect. But sadly, that didn't happen D: I think it would be best if Richelle Mead had gone that far in the ending. Two more chapters, and there wouldn't be so much disappointment. =/

message 25: by Rebecca (new) - added it

Rebecca Laurie - I totally agree. Literally a couple chapters before the end, I was actually pretty satisfied with the book, although I felt like a lot of things about it were rather puzzling choices on Ms. Mead's part. The plot seemed strange for a final book and I hated that Maiwenn/Kiyo basically committed murder AGAIN at the end and went off into the sunset without a single hair out of place. Anyway, all that was covered in Beatriz's review already. The last chapter was such a shock, though. I was waiting for the whole series to finish so I could write a review, but now I'm not even sure what say. Knowing how it ends, I'm not sure I could recommend other people to read it, because I feel like the more you like the first couple of books, the more you'll be disappointed with how it all turned out.

I just don't get how or why the ending was left so unfinished. There was already plenty left open for readers to fill in - and really, would anyone choose to extrapolate to think that Eugenie didn't tell Dorian until the kids were all grown up? Otherwise, that would mean she goes back to Dorian after talking about rebuilding their relationship with love and trust, but she's lying to his face every single day over the children.

Diabledhcherrybomb I thought for a moment that when she DOrian she would change her mind about Ivy and Isaac as well, but it wasn't to be and although a side story would be cool... would it be set in the future with the kids older but because eugenie is living in fey realm she'll still be near their age? It would be strange I just think Dorian needs be told truth and be happy, he's the only character that I actually still like with the ending richelle gave, well jasmine too. Ironic since they were the not so liked characters at the beginning of the series

Beatriz  Lins Rebecca, I'm starting to think there will be something... more to this series. Like a short story or a spinoff, although, like Diabledhcherrybomb said, it would be kind of weird.

But yeah, it's just impossible to understand why this ending was so open. It's like nothing changed at all. Mainween and Kiyo are still after Eugenie's babies, the prophecy is still a burden that Isaac has to carry - even is he's not the first Storm King's grandson - and Dorian and Eugenie's relationship is still based on lies and manipulations. Eugenie simply has no right to do what she did... it's ironic, really, because she's denying the babies a chance to know who they really are - and who their dad is - and giving them a childhood full of doubts, just like her own life was.

I don't think I could recommend this series to anyone, either, because I wouldn't like to see other people get as disappointed as I was once I finished it. =/

Diabledhcherrybomb, if Richelle wrote a short story of Eugenie telling Dorian about the babies, would it be enough? I think this ending just blew the whole book up - along with the lack of a good plot, etc etc -, and yes, I would be happy to see a resolution to Eugenie's poor decision, but still...

Diabledhcherrybomb I don't know if a short story would satisfy, I think Richelle needs to get time machine and rewrite Shadow heir, because as you said lack of good plot, it was far too rushed and Mainween and Kiyo definitely need a some karma headed their way, although knowing richelle mead if she did do sequal short story maybe it would involve their daughter getting involved with Isaac and all being about forbidden love blah blah... but I think Mainween definitely needs killed off, she just pisses me off, pardon the language.

Beatriz  Lins WOW. Mainwenn's daughter with Isaac? :O I never thought of that .. That's definitely something Richelle could go for. That is, after Shadow Heir is rewritten, xD
A lot of people are unsatisfied with the way the series ended. I think Richelle will do something about it, just like she promised us a short story of Dimitri and Rose in Russia, because a lot of fans were disappointed that this hadn't happened in Last Sacrifice.. o.o

message 30: by SubterraneanCatalyst (last edited Jan 03, 2012 11:15AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

SubterraneanCatalyst While I might consider reading more R. Mead I'm certainly not going to read about the progeny of Maiwenn and Eugenie. NO thanks. I wanted the goods and not in retrospect. I'm not spending more money to read the 'epilogue' of their parents. I'm positive that Kiyo's statement to Eugenie about how prophesies always worm their way into reality despite the best efforts will come into play if a spinoff occurs. But why bother writing a spin off if you haven't really done due diligence with the original series? Instead of egging us on to read further it has obviously galvanized us to be distrustful of R. Mead and anything she writes!

Beatriz  Lins SubterraneanCatalyst, I agree with. I'd rather, too, read a decent final book than a spinoff that wouldn't be necessary if the series had ended up better than it did, in the first place. That's my problem with Bloodlines.
But I think I'd be able to read a spinoff if Shadow heir hadn't turned out the way it did. If the kids stayed in the Otherworld with Dorian and Eugenie, and then, when they were older, somehow Isaac met Mainwenn's daughter, it would be... interesting. But with this ending? It would be weird.

Diabledhcherrybomb Well of course everyone would rather read a decent final book than a spinoff, but you get what you're dealt with and Bloodlines wasn't horrible. It was a tad predictable but not bad, much better than shadow heir. Shadow heir has definitely put me off reading richelle mead, the books start off well and then it's like she gets bored, doesn't put much effort when finishing because she's already concentrating on another series. I agree that with this ending it would be weird, but something that Richelle Mead would totally do.

Beatriz  Lins Yes, Bloodlines was a decent spinoff, but still, I just couldn't accept it completely, you know? It was like a poor sequel to VA, and while I still enjoyed to see Adrian starting to "heal" from what happened with him in LS, I was always comparing Sidney with Rose, Adrian with Dimitri, etc etc =/ It's a personal thing, but well...

I hope that, if there's RIchelle writes a DS spinoff, it's at least good. I would hate to see a world that I like so much turn into something readers despise o.o

Erica Chilson Just curious if anyone thought about how the children could possibly survive in the human world. They are 3/4 fae and the world around them is filled with metal. How about how they will age differently then those around them. I found this strange. It's like Mead changed the rules for her own series to suit the needs of allowing the twins to live in the human world. Plus why would Eugenie do to her own children that which was done to her. How do you explain to the kids about their abilities? It's all bullshit! Why allow two strangers to raise your children when they have two loving parents or two loving grandparents. This was full of huge plot holes!

message 35: by Joe (new) - rated it 3 stars

Joe If you read Mead's blog she hints at a more books in this world. I feel like with VA she ends the series like this on purpose to force you into reading a spinoff series.

message 36: by Sam (new) - rated it 2 stars

Sam Joe wrote: "If you read Mead's blog she hints at a more books in this world. I feel like with VA she ends the series like this on purpose to force you into reading a spinoff series."

I feel that if Mead wants to do another series that's fine but she should really finish the series she's started. It makes for a disappointing book and an upset reader. I didn't like the way she ended VA for that same reason. That's why I liked her Succubus series. It tied up all the loose ends.

Beatriz  Lins I agree, Sam.. this is yet another thing that was left un-answered. Not only did this fell very convinient - something done to allow the children to live in the human world - but the Storm King's prophecy was so easily dealt with. I wanted to see at least a little of war over it, but no, it was all a mistake, and Isaac wasn't Storm King's first grandson. Another plot hole, maybe?

Have you guys read this post on Richelle's blog? She talks about Shadow Heir's ending =)

message 38: by Jess (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jess This review summarises my thoughts EXACTLY. I am DEVASTATED. I have read every one of Mead's books and think this end is just cruel. My heart broke reading it

Beatriz  Lins Thanks, Jess ... yep, Shadow Heir was like a bomb in our hearts, right? So many plot holes!

Debbie I did cry I was so angry at Eugenie/Mead.This book ended with Eugenie acting in such a deceitful way in spite of the way she demanded total honesty from Dorian. This was a huge disappointment.

message 41: by Superbunny (new)

Superbunny thank you for this review, because of it i won't bother wasting my time with the rest of the books in this series. book one was already seemingly dubious, bah.

Beatriz  Lins Well, Dark Swan was a good series - until this book came out. It all went to hell then =/

Shannon I feel the same way!!! She should say sorry I published the wrong book and rewrite it.

Ashley I felt the exact same way about the ending! Although Mead says this is the end, it can't be. She left it open for book 5 with the way Maiwenn wants to harm Isaac and the stupid ending that will destroy Eug's relationship with Dorian.

message 45: by Lexi (new) - rated it 1 star

Lexi I just finished this book and I was going to write a review just so I could vent some of my fusturation but you wrote it for me... and I couldn't agree with you more!!!

Stephanie I absolutely agree. This series had a lot more potential. Also, the fact that Kiyo tells Eugenie that Maiwenn will possible still try to harm her children, and she doesn't tell Dorian the children are his or deal with Maiwenn. UGH

Beatriz  Lins I know, right? It's like she just doesn't care enough to seek protection with Dorian -_-

Alexis Lee Ugh, I'm so glad other people feel the same frustration that I do, because I am really, really, really frustrated. What kinda crap ending is this to a wonderful series!??!

Beatriz  Lins You're not alone, Alexis! That ending was ridiculous!

All her decisions are bad ones. Ridiculous, Stupid, stupid ones.
So bad, I can't even re-read the series because of the ending D:

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