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The Shadow's Heir

(The Risen Sun #1)

3.57  ·  Rating details ·  359 ratings  ·  40 reviews
Laela Redguard was born with the black hair of the Northern kingdom and the blue eyes of the Southern people, forever marking her as a hated half-breed child of both. When her only family tie is severed, the fierce and strong-willed Laela decides to leave her adoptive father’s home in the hopes of finding acceptance in the North, where the ruthless King Arenadd and the dar ...more
Paperback, 408 pages
Published July 1st 2012 by Harper Voyager
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Average rating 3.57  · 
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 ·  359 ratings  ·  40 reviews

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Jan 23, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, library
Me and The Shadow's Heir got off to a rough start.

We're given a description of the heroine, Laela, when she looks at herself on the surface of a bucket of water. Her appearance plays a role in how she's treated, but I've still read reflection descriptions often enough that they yank me right out of any growing curiosity about what's going on. And then there was screaming and frustration and a big, emotional event for someone that I hadn't come to care much about yet.

I put the book down, watched
Jun 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Okay, so this is definitely a book that has parts that I LOVE and parts that I hate. I love the fantasy world that the author has beautifully painted with her words, filled with gods and griffins and deceit. Taylor has also done a good job in creating a strong female lead character, which I always enjoy. Unfortunately, I couldn't really make a connection with Laela (the lead). Although I love some of her personality traits, and straight off the bat I could imagine what she looked like, I found h ...more
This book started rough. I absolutely hated the way the author wrote dialectal speech, and I still do. It's annoying and provides nothing for the overall story or character progression. If anything, it makes Laela seem like a moron, when she clearly isn't. Lines like "I ain't no fancy thinker" just make me angry. The story did take a long time to get really interesting, and the major plot points were obvious a third of the way in.

But at the ending, I didn't want it to be over. I absolutely like
Jan 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, loveit, sci-fi
When I picked up this book this afternoon, I essentially expected a fluff novel. I'm not sure why but I did. What I go instead was this amazing piece of fiction that is full of betrayal and choices. I can't wait to read the next one. ...more
J.F.R. Coates
Apr 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
For the most part, a certain improvement on the quality from the first series. There were still a few little annoyances - mainly with the phonetic dialogue which sometimes made understanding tricky, but otherwise a solid start to this fantasy series.
With Arenadd, it was sometimes hard to know whether we were actually meant to sympathise with him or not, but now that he's been relegated to a supporting character (with occasional POV), I think the series is able to breathe a bit better with Laela.
May 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
The story revals around Laela and king Arenadd, laela looking for her father and arenadd is trying the fill the hole in the heart while fallowing the night god,The people are divied as the land into the northern and sothern kindom.
May 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Cant believe it took me so long to discover this series! Great book
Aug 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Very enjoyable . I think I will love the daughters series even more than her fathers.
Eveie Hickman
Dec 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was good, though I struggled at times with the dialect used. Laela was a strong heroine and her story was slowly revealed as the book went on.
Even so good writing .
Mar 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Jun 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-not-on-shelf
I began reading The Shadow’s Heir almost as soon as I finished The Griffin’s War, so I didn’t have a long wait to get back to this world like many other fans did. It was great seeing all my favourite (and some of my not-so-favourite) characters twenty years on. As expected, some of them are changed but others are stubbornly the same.

Of the new characters, I found Laela to be the most likeable and loved watching her grow into herself throughout the book. The discrimination she faces as a ‘half-br
Jan 02, 2017 rated it liked it

A book involving a mythical creature
Jan 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This review has been crossposted from my blog at The Cosy Dragon . Please head there for more in-depth reviews by me, which appear on a timely schedule.

Laela's father has just died. When she is facing being thrown out of her village, she decides to make the move herself and abandon the life she has known so far. Little does she know that the wild city is waiting - and that the person she meets might not be the kind of person she assumed him to be.

Laela is a plucky, if somewhat oblivious sometime
Feb 17, 2013 marked it as to-read
“The Shadow’s Heir” by K.J. Taylor is the initial title in ‘The Risen Sun’ series and continues the sometimes somber tale started in ‘The Fallen Moon’ trilogy. The North is populated by the freed slaves and ruled by Arenadd Taranisaii who has his companion, the griffin Skandar, but feels constricted by his role as ruler. Laela Redguard had always felt outcast because of her obvious similarities to the Northern people and after the death of the man who she considered her adoptive father she elect ...more
Dec 13, 2014 rated it did not like it
Simply put, this book was frustrating. The plot itself was fine and the characters were fine, nothing amazing but nothing too bad either. However the writing was a major issue, I know some authors go for trying to write accents phonetically to accentuate characters' location and culture, but its highly frustrating. It distracts me as a reader, and doesn't appreciate that as I (and a large part of the audience) likely already speak English differently from the author, writing phonetically does no ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Wayland Smith
This is a fantasy version of medieval Wales. There is magic, Griffins, and Gods. The main character here is Laela, a half breed girl from the South with features that mark her as a Northerner. When her adoptive father dies, she sets off to find out what the North is like, and try to learn more about her past.

She had misadventures along the way before meeting the King of the North, chosen of the Night God. She goes from peasant girl to adviser to the King in a series of twists and turns. It's a n
Sep 09, 2014 rated it liked it
I felt like this was a case of an author having really good ideas, but not quite being able to execute them. I wanted to like Laela, but I had a hard time doing so, and I think it's mostly just that the writing quality wasn't quite there. The story itself was interesting, but characterization was not quite there. In general, it felt like a book from an inexperienced author. I will keep reading her work, though, because the ideas are definitely there. Just not the rest of the package yet. ...more
Sep 04, 2013 rated it it was ok
I felt like I came in the middle of this story somewhat. And there were 3 book ian series set directly before this book.
Possibly it could benefit from a foreword.
It was still okay and moved along fast enough and certainly didnt strain me, a nice relaxing ride, probably a good Junior fiction title. Not sure if i will read the others (past and future)
Jul 21, 2015 rated it did not like it
I true HATE bad writers who have these glowing reviews at the front of the books. It just further proof that making money is more important that a quality product.

The writing is both unsophisticated and boring. Mostly done in insipid dialogue with poor attempts at a dialect. I would even hesitate to recommend this for children as the plot depends on a lot of abuse and violence.
Oct 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I enjoyed this book, and will read the next in the series, but I'd strongly recommend reading The Fallen Moon series first (which I didn't, and will be doing before moving onto book two in this series). Fallen Moon takes place before this series and I think would have added a lot to my understanding of the characters and some of the plot points if I had better understood what came before. ...more
Trilby Johnson
Feb 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Love K.J.Taylor's writing style - it is bold and crisp - and her characters are as well. The plot of this story begins to unfold from the first page only to come to a brutal climax out of the blue. Love the different regions and the complexity of how they interrelate. Glad I stumbled on this author's work. ...more
Lisa Brick
Oct 30, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf
This book started out very slowly for me and maybe I should have read past chapter 10, but I couldn't. The speech got on my nerves and I reareally didn't care for Laela. For someone who was practically on her own for so long, she was whining a lot and scared of everything. I just couldn't finish it. ...more
Jul 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Every time I read a book by K.J. Taylor, I wish my puppy was a griffin. And I don't even like griffins on account of them having pointy beaks and beady eyes. And being way too much like a chicken.

But still. I wish my dog was a Darkheart griffin.
Jul 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy-sci-fi
well written, good story....but - predictable...(maybe I need a new genre?)
Dr susan
Feb 10, 2013 rated it liked it
The Shadow's Heir would not have been my normal choice for reading material when I am sick. Heir is very dark, filled with betrayal, and death, and without a clear cut hero. ...more
Apr 19, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy, unfinished
Sorry. Dropped. I just lost interest.
May 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I hope this series continues, awesome to read.
Amanda (Is Not a Panda)
Jul 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A great unique storyline
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K.J.Taylor was born in Australia in 1986 and plans to stay alive for as long as possible. She went to Radford College and achieved a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications at the University of Canberra, where she is currently studying for a Master’s Degree in Information Studies.

She published her first work, The Land of Bad Fantasy through Scholastic when she was just 18, and went on to publish The D

Other books in the series

The Risen Sun (3 books)
  • The Shadowed Throne (The Risen Sun, #2)
  • The Shadow’s Heart (The Risen Sun #3)

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