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Heir to the Sky

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As heir to a kingdom of floating continents, Kali has spent her life bound by limits—by her duties as a member of the royal family, by a forced betrothal to the son of a nobleman, and by the edge of the only world she’s ever known—a small island hovering above a monster-ridden earth, long since uninhabited by humans. She is the Eternal Flame of Hope for what’s left of mankind, the wick and the wax burning in service for her people, and for their revered Phoenix, whose magic keeps them aloft.

When Kali falls off the edge of her kingdom and miraculously survives, she is shocked to discover there are still humans on the earth. Determined to get home, Kali entrusts a rugged monster-hunter named Griffin to guide her across a world overrun by chimera, storm dragons, basilisks, and other terrifying beasts. But the more time she spends on earth, the more dark truths she begins to uncover about her home in the sky, and the more resolute she is to start burning for herself.

293 pages, Hardcover

First published April 26, 2016

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Amanda Sun

18 books910 followers

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5 stars
219 (15%)
4 stars
372 (27%)
3 stars
489 (35%)
2 stars
221 (16%)
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74 (5%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 247 reviews
Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,468 reviews9,630 followers
June 30, 2016
I was hoping this book was going to be better than it was but it was okay.


I was so interested in this book because I love Hayao Miyazaki and his movies, one being Castle In The Sky (although my all time favorite is Spirited Away) and I thought maybe this was going to be a cool adventure what with all of these continents being in the sky.


I found the actual continent part very boring. The main character Kali learns of a rebellion and tries to tell her father who is like the King of Ashra, but she gets um... lets just say she falls to the Earth below to keep out the spoiler.

The Earth isn't supposed to have any humans on it, only monsters. But. There are a lot of things that they were told that are not true. Some really bad things. Kali finds the monsters all right, there are some really weird ones on Earth. I can't even begin to go into some of them, but there are dragons too.


Luckily Kali meets Griffin who is a monster hunter. I mean that's about all you can be down on Earth since there are tons of monsters always trying to eat you! Kali finds out some things that she refuses to believe about her world above. In the end she has to own up to it and tries to help.

I loved the character of Griffin and I thought Kali was a good character after she got out of lala land, or rather fell out of la la land. I liked the side characters of Aliyah and Sayra, they were very kind to Kali and were pretty much monster hunters too. There were other humans here and there in different hide outs as well.

Griffin takes Kali to the mountain to see if one of the sky ships will see her to take her back home. They do and all kinds of stuff hits the fan and people and monsters and what not die.

I think I went into the book with high expectations and got myself let down. I still think it's okay because I love the idea and some of the characters, but there seemed to be something missing.

I really hope many more readers can love this more than me ♥

MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List
Profile Image for Weaving Fiction ( Sj ).
377 reviews55 followers
May 29, 2017
Actual rating: 3.5/5

A fun quick read for lovers of fantasy and monsters.
okay so this book wasn't PHENOMENAL but it was pretty decent. I loved Kali and Griffin and their relationship as she began to learn how to survive in a monster ridden land and how paitent he was with her. I think because this was a standalone, not alot could be crammed in so the plot felt rather rushed and I found myself not caring what happened to the floating cities and the people on it, I was more interested in the friendships Kali had made on earth.
Overall I'm keeping this quick because my feelings are quite eh about this book but if you want a quick fantasy standalone with some great relationship building and an easy to follow plot, this is the one for you.
Profile Image for joey (thoughts and afterthoughts).
139 reviews142 followers
May 9, 2016

Heir to the Sky is a quick read with vivid action sequences...aaannnnd that's all I got for positives.

The rest features an annoyingly entitled main character who gets led around by competent tour guides proudly donning their "Doormat" name tags; one of whom is a male carbon copy of Prince(ss) Mononoke (and for further Studio Ghibli fun: I couldn't unsee Howl's Castle after I thought about the setting. Derp.). The antagonist is a bust, the consequences were nonexistent, and the world held high promise with paranormal/steampunk-ish elements but lacked execution to make it compellingly believable -- although that might not be the right word.

1-star? 2-star? Idontknowyet.
--Full review pending.
Profile Image for Jessica G.
788 reviews51 followers
Want to read
November 10, 2015
...she reappears!!! It's the girl from The Accident Season, hahaha!
Profile Image for Zoeisbookhooked.
233 reviews197 followers
May 14, 2021
I feel comfortable rating this book a solid 3 stars because that’s how I literally imagined it the whole time. And felt confident with giving it a three.

The Vibe
At the beginning it felt like the Croods, which I haven’t seen in ages. But they were so used to their little world/home and didn’t go beyond it when the main girl comes across this odd guy who teaches her all these new worldly things that seem so cool but are so normal. And they eventually discover a new land full of monsters and it’s magical and all that jazz. But half way through the book it really gave me Love and Monsters (Netflix) vibes. All these dangerous weird monsters roaming the earth and monster hunters teaming up with non-monster hunters. And having to journey through the monster filled land to get somewhere.

It gave me a mix of those two movies.

ALSO I will say Kali, our protagonist, acted maybe 12-13 though this book says Young Adult. I personally believe this could be a middle grade.

The only reason I gave it three stars was because this book was just average. It felt younger, the world wasn’t that unique, but it still was like a relief from all the intense YA fantasy’s. It was like rewatching a movie you loved as a child. But in all honestly, I loved Griffin with my heart and soul. (Don’t tell Thorne👀) jokes, I would never betray my husband. I didn’t love him that much but all he wanted to do was save peoples lives and protect anyone from harm and he was described adorably and he actually felt like he was 14-15 which is better.

Overall, I say if you are into middle grade adventures or reading in between middle grade and young adult you would like this :)
Profile Image for Dark Faerie Tales.
2,274 reviews546 followers
December 1, 2016
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: An Earth ridden with monsters and a sky inhabited by humans.

Opening Sentence: The rock bridge is the most dangerous part of the climb, and so I lower myself to my hands and knees to crawl along it.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Heir to the Sky is a unique dystopian about humans living on ‘floating continents’ (in the sky), whilst monsters have taken over the earth. The story is told from Kali’s perspective; heir to the Monarch and the sky. Basically, the Princess of the world. Although she lives her life according to her father’s wishes and for the benefit of her people, she doesn’t blame them but feels like a prisoner because she’s led down a path that’s not of her own choosing. But one day she falls out of the sky and into the world of the monsters.

“What do you choose?”
What do I choose? I’ve asked myself so many times, but the choice I’ve made has always been with others in mind-my father and his respect, my people. I’ve never been forced, but guided toward a path. And I chose it because I felt like I didn’t have any other choice, because I didn’t want to let anyone down. But looking into Griffin’s gleaming eyes, I know that I can choose for myself, without worrying yet about the consequences.

When Kali meets Griffin the blossoming romance is inevitable but I enjoyed how much he had to teach her and the weird and wonderful monsters they come across on their missions. I must admit that I found it difficult to connect Griffin’s monster hunting personality to his sweet and optimistic demeanor. He has killer instinct but he runs around Kali like a lost puppy, which was cute. For a while…

“You’re going to eat another monster?”
He hums cheerfully as he cuts into its belly. “He was going to eat me,” he says. It’s his answer for everything.

I found Kali’s naivety a leeeetle annoying. She’s about to rule the world but she doesn’t seem to question anything until it’s literally in front of her. She doesn’t even wonder whether there are any humans on earth until she falls down and is face to face with one! I’m no expert but a leader needs initiative and a quick mind, but it appears that Kali has neither. Eventually her survival skills kick in but it takes several close calls where Griffin ends up saving her first for that to happen.

And me, his heir? I’m the Eternal Flame that ignites the Phoenix, the hope for the future of our floating world. All of this symbolism is etched into my headdress. It’s no wonder it weighs so much.

The middle of the book dragged for a while when Kali is trying to get back to the sky, and it feels like her way back is to walk across the world but luckily the pace picks up towards the end. There were a few surprises in the latter part of Heir to the Sky but I found that the ‘villain’ was quite predictable. It was an okay-ish read but I’m not entirely sure whether I would continue with this series.

Notable Scene:

I’ve walked that edge a hundred times. I bitterly wish for a minute that I’d left him to fall off the edge himself, instead of me. But then hot guilt curls in my stomach. I wouldn’t wish this monster-ridden landscape on anyone.
I feel tears gathering in the corners of my eyes, so I blink them back and try to think rationally. Food first, water and shelter, and then self-pity.

FTC Advisory: Harlequin Teen provided me with a copy of Heir to the Sky. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

Profile Image for Paige (Illegal in 3 Countries).
1,225 reviews391 followers
Shelved as 'abandoned'
October 9, 2016
I was around page 130, I think? Completely disinterested in the characters and unmotivated to stick around and get answers to my worldbuilding questions. I wondered if it was just me, but I started two other books and instantly clicked with them.

Nope, it's not me. It's the book. I also peeked to the end to see if I would be missing much with a DNF. I was so baffled that I decided no, I wouldn't be missing anything extraordinary.
Profile Image for Glory.
350 reviews49 followers
May 27, 2016
Прочитав аннотацию, я возрадовалась. И ждала-ждала-ждала...
А теперь без зазрения совести бросаю эту историю, едва добравшись до середины. Жалко времени.
Ни вкуса, ни цвета, ни запаха. Как-то все... однобоко. И ни один персонаж не привлекает внимания. Оценку не ставлю. Надеюсь, другим повезет больше.
Profile Image for Kristin.
947 reviews100 followers
May 24, 2016

I picked up Heir to the Sky after I heard the publicist talk about it during a webinar I attended.  It's kind of interesting that I can pass by a book easily after reading a synopsis but once an editor or publisher talks about a book and it's plot or how the writer wrote the book, the story takes on a whole different life or a new depth.

And even though this is one of those instances where the story started slow and steady, I became glued to the plot as the tale unfolded with secrets and lies brought to light.  The highly imaginative idea of a "floating" world didn't hurt none either.  I think it was just a case of the author setting up a specific culture and mindset of the heroine that bogged me down in the beginning.

This completely appropriate-for-the-YA-crowd story is about what happens when everything you've been taught to believe is complete and utter nonsense, just to get you to comply for the greater good.   Of course, who gets to decide what the "greater good" is?  

Yep, there's a lot wrong in Ms. Sun's Kingdom in the sky.


Princess Kallima, better known as Kali, has been raised to play a specific role as heir in the royal court.  At just 17 years of age, she understands some politics, but she blindly follows her father's lead and believes everything she is told.  She is also horrible at seeing beyond the surface of people and she pretty much drove me bonkers throughout the book... unfortunately.  Put plainly, she's not always the sharpest knife in the drawer.  For instance, she doesn't recognize when someone is trying to kill her.  Yeah, you might want to study the key indicators on that one.


The saving grace for this story was the character of Griffin and his relationships with everyone he comes in contact with.  The guy is just such a positive person, you can't help but like the monster hunter.  And despite his crappy childhood that he can only guess at from the scars on his body, the guy can kick some serious monster butt when needed.

Supporting characters like Sayra and Aliyah kept me engaged in the story, too.  I will admit though, I might of quickly scanned a few sections when traveling long distance was involved.  I'm not a big fan of traveling dialogue ∗yawn∗.

Chin-dropping huge plot twists and reveals at the end also made Kali that much more tolerable for me, too.

Really, when can you say you were completely annoyed by the heroine but still liked the book?  I'm sure it's not that often.  It's definitely the case with this book for me, though.

 Review appears on Addicted to Happily Ever After
Profile Image for tracy thai.
138 reviews26 followers
October 10, 2016
I have a feeling it this book would've picked up its pace if I kept reading, but now by much. I choice this book after one of my friends suggested it to me, and I must admit, it was pretty boring.

Not that's it was terrible, like so bad I just stopped reading, (which is actually what I'm doing now, but...) the beginning was just slow, and when it came to the climax, I was like, "That's it?!"

I just didn't finish it cause I didn't enjoy it.
Profile Image for Jaime (Two Chicks on Books).
825 reviews400 followers
March 12, 2016
3.5 stars. It had a slow start but turned into a good story! I didn't really connect with any of the characters but the world building and the story itself was good. I'm figuring with the way it ended its a stand alone. But if she decided to write more I'd give it a go.
Profile Image for Jamie (Books and Ladders).
1,336 reviews190 followers
April 11, 2016
Disclaimer: I won a free copy of this book as one of the Goodreads First Reads giveaways courtesy of Harlequin Teen.

I'm sad to say there are no redeeming qualities in this one. The worldbuilding was horrible and extremely lacking, the characters were MEH, the plot was also meh, and the dragons didn't eat everyone at the end like I'd hoped. I should have known from reading the other reviews that I wouldn't like this one but I thought I'd take a chance anyway but I feel like it was a bit of waste.

I don't really have any good things to say about this one tbh. I don't like being too negative because I feel bad: someone worked hard to make this. But this just did not turn my crank at all. There were so many plot holes because of the terrible worldbuilding that I couldn't look past them. It seemed like any time something came up that the author threw something else into the mix to fill the gap but it just came across as awkward. Like the whole prophecy at the end was just random and not well developed at all. It made me roll my eyes and laugh.

The characters were so meh. Kali was alright but everyone else was just ick to me. Griffin was like a wet paper towel, just there to try and clean up some messes but making them worse. He was also like a terrible monster hunter considering he almost died like 15 times in the book. I think every time he met a monster he almost died. And he just wasn't love interest worthy. Oh and his heritage was stupid af. Jonash was stiff as a board and pulled a which was obvious to everyone but the MC. Just. I can't even describe to you how terrible his character arc is without spoiling it but it's bad.

The pacing was so off too. So much time would pass because the author would write "this much time has passed now" and I was just left baffled. Show me time passing, show me her healing, show me them walking to the mountains -- don't just say "ah yes, this whole trip has taken 5 days and we're here." I hate travelogue as much as the next person, but I hate time gaps even more. And the whole healing thing was just sighs. She had broken ribs and was shooting a bow and arrow with no difficulty like three days later.

As much as I enjoy that there are more standalone fantasy books, I think this one either needed more pages or another whole book so I could understand the world. AKA so there could be worldbuilding. Like there was none. None.

I do not recommend this one at all. Like it's a hard pass, not even a borrow from the library. You can read my status updates to learn more about what I didn't like about it.

Books and Ladders | Queen of the Bookshelves | Books Are My Fandom | Twitter | Instagram | Bloglovin'
Profile Image for Josh Atkins.
100 reviews19 followers
November 21, 2020
“I will not be the wick and the wax any longer. I will be the flame, and I will light a new world for us all.”

Loved loved loved this book!! Even though it was a shorter one, it was fantastic. Great storyline. Crazy monsters. Action all the way throughout. Fun fun read!
Profile Image for Kristen.
979 reviews15 followers
September 5, 2016
I'm going to die here on this forsaken wasteland.
No one is coming for me.

You guys, I loved this book. I honestly cannot think of a complaint big enough to dock stars, and so I can't help but give Heir to the Sky a whopping five stars.

Kali lives on one of several floating islands. Her people have lived there for many generations, ever since the only compassionate monster, a Phoenix, took pity on the humans and raised them into the sky to save them from death by vicious, hungry monsters of all shapes, sizes, and types. Kali is the heir, the only daughter of the Monarch. She has carefully followed the teachings of the Phoenix, preparing for the day that she will become the next leader. But her life changes when she falls from the island, landing on the monster-ridden earth below, and finds out that the stories of humans being wiped out were wrong. Now aided by monster hunter Griffin, Kali sets out to find a way to return to the floating islands.

I, for one, liked Kali quite a bit. I liked how she was passionate, both in her religion and her perceived duty. I liked how even if she doesn't agree with something, she decides that she must sacrifice herself for the good of everyone. In fact, she constantly makes a metaphor, describing her duty:
I see him look at me for a moment, his eyes kind and a little remorseful. And there's nothing I can do but nod, because our lives are for the people, and I know this. We are the wick and wax, and we still burn for Ashra's freedom.

I mean, yeah, the metaphor grows old because she brings it up so much, but I feel like it's the very basis of what she was taught, and she holds onto it desperately.

I also liked that she was rather aware of her shortcomings.
My education was all about the Phoenix and how to govern with authority and grace. It was history and language and etiquette, which fork to use when. It seems ridiculous now, standing in this wild landscape. Which fork to use? Why not teach me which wild plants to eat, how to find water, how to identify crops? How far from reality have I been living?

I guess I'm just a bit of a sucker for a character that knows she's not perfect. Kali knows that she's at a disadvantage, and doesn't think that she can just get by on hard work. At the same time, she's utterly determined to do her best. And bonus: even when there are times that she wants to help, even after which she's been ordered to run away, she does as she's told. Why? Because she knows she's more of a liability than a helping hand.

Of course, I was a bit annoyed by her wholehearted belief that the things she's been taught can't be wrong, and that the people she knew and trusted couldn't go against her. But heck, I'm totally jaded (and usually expect the worst from people) so the fact that Kali doesn't just proves that she's a sheltered, innocent princess.

The other side characters were quite likeable, as well. Let's talk a bit about Griffin. He's the monster hunter that saves Kali and lends her a hand. He's sweet, and incredibly optimistic despite his life. I mean, sometimes I found myself scoffing and thinking Yeah right, he's just this selfless. But, like I said, I'm jaded. I appreciate a character like him, though, someone who can take their past tragedies and use them as fuel to make himself stronger.

There are a handful of other, smaller characters peppered throughout the novel, but very few of them play a strong role. All the same, I found myself liking them.

The plot is fast-paced and engaging. The beginning might be a bit slow, maybe, but once Kali falls from Ashra the book picks up its pace. She's constantly fending off monsters and discovering sinister plots related to her home. And she's not the type of girl that's going to sit back and let everything happen; she charges on ahead to play the role she was always trained for: a future leader.

The romance was understated. Honestly, I didn't feel like the romance overshadowed the action of the book, which I think tends to rare in YA. I mean, it's an obvious romance between Griffin and Kali, but I didn't feel like it moved too fast or was too outrageous. It feels like a romance in its beginning stages: awkward yet sweet.

I feel the resolution was decent, but still left the possibility of a second book. Now, I haven't seen anything regarding a second book. I don't know if its something that Amanda Sun has even remotely considered, or if she planned for it to be a standalone from the beginning. That being said, I'm happy with this book, but if there was a second one you could bet I would read it in a heartbeat.
Profile Image for Julie.
175 reviews12 followers
April 13, 2018
Wow! This was amazing! I am so surprised by the low ratings because i absolutly loved this book! But hey different opinions and stuff😁
Ok it was so beautifully written. Every other page I was like "oh my gosh, this is a great quote!" Loved the world building! It was one of the most unique worlds I've read about! All the monsters she created were so different and scary!
But the main thing I loved is the main character! I think this is the first book when a teenage character doesn't make stupid choices. Kallima (also such a cool name) is such a strong protagonist! She is smart, a great leader, she is not afraid to stand up for herself, she is a quick learner (i feel like I'm writing her resume, but she is just so awesome).
There were few plot twist that I saw coming from the beginning but also a lot of twists i didn't expect at all!
I wish there was a sequel because of that ending and because i want more of these characters and the world.
I will defiantly check out her other books!
Profile Image for Anya.
763 reviews168 followers
Shelved as 'dnf'
February 28, 2016
Got to 25%. The setting is initially really cool, but once she gets to earth, everything seemed overly comical with the description of the bright colors etc. The mystery seems pretty straightforward and I have fears of a love triangle. I'm sure this'll be enjoyable for many readers, but it didn't hold my interest.
Profile Image for HT.
130 reviews10 followers
April 15, 2016
This book was like biting into a luscious-looking chocolate mousse - and realizing it's actually made of clay. Dense, dry clay that left a sad taste of wasted potential in my mouth.

This book could have been great. It had the right premise. It had endless possibilities for world-building (two whole worlds to explore!), and so much political strife that could have exploded into drama. But we didn't get that. We got a shallow story about a privileged princess with unbelievably good luck, instalove, flat, uninspiring storytelling, and side characters whose sole purpose seemed to be as props to the protagonist's journey. Oh, and the odd, well-written action sequence.

That was the one great thing about this book. The action sequences of fights against mythical creatures are well-paced, energetic and thrilling. They are a mark that this is a writer who knows how to deliver. Which is why it's so bewildering and disappointing that the rest of the book fails to match this.

Midway through this book, I couldn't deal with the protagonist's utter ignorance of the world around her. It's one thing to be pampered and ignorant. It's another to see blatant clues about mutiny and untrustworthy behaviour from supposedly trusted officials and completely fail to pick up on their significance. Kali is probably the dumbest brick of a YA protagonist I've seen this year. She willfully seems to ignore glaring danger signs (like the scene right before she falls off the edge of the continent). She is content to blindly believe in what the annals of her people tell her, with little consideration for who might have written them, and it literally takes the entire novel for her to figure out something I guessed from the very beginning. She has, in short, the critical thinking skills of a kindergartner.

And yet somehow, everyone she meets on the dangerous world of Earth absolutely adores her without question. WHY? She does nothing to prove she is no threat to these people who've been living in a world where they can trust nothing. Yet, Griffin and his gang fall all over themselves to care for and accommodate her. It's almost at a point where you could envision people just supplicating themselves at her feet for the glory of being able to aid her in some way. Griffin, barely knowing her a day, goes way out of his way for her and offers to make a perilous journey to help return the spoiled princess to her home. I like to assume he does this because he, too, can't stand her.

The side-characters, if not already obvious, are basically 2D cutouts to serve as a backdrop for Kali's plot. We learn little about their personal motivations, and apart from Griffin, nearly zilch about their backstories. Elisha, for instance, is bright as dirt, with little capacity for complex thought. She seems to have little purpose in life other than to wait around for Kali.

The ending was supremely melodramatic to the point of being cheesy.. There is a lot of theatrical dialogue as the villain unveils himself. I felt like I was watching an old-school action movie, with lots of grand dialogue and haughty looks thrown askew. Think Smallville.

TLDR: Could have been so good. Could have.

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Profile Image for Laurie.
Author 19 books3,395 followers
January 1, 2017
I'm a sucker for any book with monsters (or floating continents), and enjoyed this imaginative, at times dreamlike, YA Fantasy. Creatively drawn monsters like the Dream Catchers (with their signature dream effects), Dark Leviathans and (my favorite) Storm Dragons (with their static/lighting on the air vibe and crystalline appearance) delighted me. But more than anything, I enjoyed the visual look of this world, the lovely details and passages like this (a nighttime scene) - "The entire marshland begins to glow with incandescent light. Ferns gleam with ghostly, glow-in-the-dark leaves that unfurl in great coils. Fireflies light with luminous blue green that matches the ferns, and the edges of the water glisten with schools of tiny shining fish, thousands of them. It's as if the air and the earth have reversed, as if we're walking through the glitter of luminescent starlight in the skies." An enjoyable read.
Profile Image for Sierra Abrams.
Author 2 books460 followers
Shelved as 'desperately-need-to-read'
February 4, 2016
Profile Image for Arooj .
529 reviews317 followers
July 3, 2016
I had been highly anticipating this, but it turned out to be a disappointment. Mainly because I loved Amanda Sun's Paper Gods series, and also because the synopsis for Heir to the Sky sounded so damn intriguing.

But things didn't turn out good for me.

I can't write a proper review for this book without spoilers, because I have quite alot to say.

Profile Image for Ray of Sunshine.
3 reviews4 followers
December 25, 2016
Warning, there are a couple of spoilers.

When I first set my eyes on this book:


When I read the reviews on this book:

When I said 'screw it' lets just give it a go:

When I finished this book:


Goodness..where to begin...

Now I was super excited seeing this book on goodreads. I had such high hopes, and this book (from just the blurb), sounded like it was going to have so much potential.. boy was I quite wrong.

I read the reviews, I saw many declaring what it lacked. But I thought, nah i'm going to read it myself.

So lets start from the first thing I kept telling my friends about HTTS (Heir to the Sky) after completing it. First up, It needed to be a series. Just too much information was thrown at me all at once. The main MC, Kali, was spurting all this historic background information about her world, the government, the various other floating cities and my brain just exploded into a muddle of words. By chapter four I legitimately had to put it down and just walk away.

Now i'm not for the whole dragging on journey scenes that consist of walking...walking and oh hey, more walking. But I don't appreciate the jumps either, from 'we've got to journey for a week on scarce lands' to 'oh hey we're here'

And Im just like:

Another problem was the characters themselves. They lacked character development, and frankly, Kali, bored me to tears. In fact, truth be told I didn't have much care for any of the characters in this book. I didn't care about Kali, I didn't care about Griffin, or Aliyah or Sayra. I didn't find myself remotely worried when Griffin ended up in a near death experience (and trust me, there were many). The boy seemed to have nine lives up his sleeve and then some, because he's always injured and JUST about to die ... and then woopty doo, he's back up and running again like no sperpent just made a gash in the back of his leg.

I swear Kali hardly gets one word in and he's -oh would you look at that- snatched up by a Karus (some type of flying creature...or dog...). But don't worry, he comes back... to then of course be wrapped up in a serpent. And Kali (who magically only has to shoot or mess around with a dagger a couple of times to become a master at weaponry) saves the day.

He laughs, but it comes out as a sputter "You must be thinking, 'some monster hunter he is'"

Why yes Griffin.
I was actually wondering how someone who's spent majority of their life hunting monsters, suddenly always comes so close to death and fumbles their way through trying not to get captured...again.

Now okay, I get it. Earth is indeed overridden with monsters beyond belief, and so its of course expected to run into some trouble while traveling. But sheesh I felt like I was in the middle of playing Pokemon. They waddle in some tall grass or water, and *insert wild Pokemon theme music*

A wild Chimera appeared!

Kali use dagger!

It was ineffective!

Ngl, I pictured Kali's face like this when she came across that Chimera.
Made me chuckle.


Another occurring issue.
I felt no connection with HTTS, no spark, nothing. The relationships between characters felt vague and borderline boring. Now its no secret that Griffin would inevitably be the 'love interest' of this book. But I just wasn't feeling it between him and Kali. There was no connection that had me raising the book in the air like 'THEY ARE DESTINED TO BE TOGETHER! I WILL DIE IF THEYRE NOT~!' ... truthfully, if they didn't (spoiler alert: they do) I wouldn't have cared all too much.

For goodness sake, I felt more of a relationship between Kali and her betrothed, Jonash (not a loving one because Spoiler Alert: He's an evil idot, but an understanding of how they felt and their connection to the story and to each other). Buuuuut in saying this, there was a momment in this book (page 240 to be exact), where Jonash turns from this


To this


Real damn quick that I had to stop reading for a second to process the change in his character. All that was really needed to complete this sudden turn of events with him was to insert an evil laugh, and he's good to go.


Le sigh*

Okay though....despite this. The plot wasn't all too bad. I understood what was trying to be portrayed, it just wasn't executed to the greatest extent that it could have been. It could have been so much better, and I think the biggest of all the issues is that this book was too fast for my liking, it needed to be expanded into a series. The world building was lacking, the characters lacked development, Griffin was too sweet for someone who'd been through a lot of crap in my opinion, and overall... I was kinda relieved when it ended.

If you do end up reading this standalone novel and liking it, then props to you. Im happy you could find the potential I obviously could not.

Thanks for reading

Profile Image for Carien.
1,271 reviews29 followers
February 18, 2019
I really enjoyed Sun's Paper Gods trilogy so had to try this book.

And although the story has its moments I was annoyed by the lack of explanation in the worldbuilding. Monsters threatened to erase humans from the earth three hundred years ago, so a phoenix created the floating kingdom. So far so good. But I wanted to know more. Had the monsters always been there? If so, what caused the scales to tip in favor of the monsters? If they hadn't always been there: where did they come from?

As the story unfolded more questions arose that didn't get a satisfying answer. Yes, apparently Kali doesn't know everything, but that's not an excuse for vague worldbuilding.

Annoyances over the worldbuilding aside the story was entertaining, but then it ended in a way that made it hard for me to believe in the outcome, so all in all this was a nice but lacking read.
Profile Image for Jessie Potts.
1,179 reviews103 followers
April 30, 2016
3.5 Stars

Jessie: Welcome to HEA, Amanda!

Amanda: Thank you for having me!

Jessie: Heroine Kali is brave and strong, yet very naïve at times. She also seems to draw people to her like a moth to a flame. What else can you tell us about Kali?

Amanda: Kali has lived a very sheltered life from the beginning. She’s bound by the limits placed on her. She wants to explore and be adventurous, but she’s been given very little opportunity. As the heir to the floating continents, she’s received rigorous training in manners, politics and showmanship. But she longs for more, and she finds it through escaping into the wilderness to be alone, and by spending hours reading in the library, living through the books she so dearly loves.

She is naïve, but living in a small town will do that to you — there are so few humans left that she can’t believe anyone would try and sabotage it for their own gain. And I think it’s her innocence, this genuine, trusting spirit that draws Griffin to her. He wants to believe in the world that she imagines. But Kali is tough, too. She doesn’t let the fear of monsters or political enemies seize her heart. She fights back and refuses to back down.

Jessie: The politics are complex. How did you create Kali’s political society?

Amanda: Despite being a writer by day, I’m secretly an archaeologist — at least, by training. I’m fascinated by the way cultures develop over time, based on their interactions with others, their landscape, their resources and their beliefs and values. I knew I wanted to craft a world where the religion is the politics — where thinking for yourself isn’t necessarily discouraged, but where there’s a huge social pressure to believe in the world surrounding you. And I really wanted to explore a religion where the revered being was a creature, not a god. Once I had the Phoenix in mind, a lot of the symbolism came down from the imagery of feathers and flames. And I tried to think how a fractured society would organize itself in a hierarchy, but in a way where people with different strengths could contribute. There is a lot of symbolism in Kali’s way of life, from the Elite Guard and their feather brooches to the Monarch and the Sargon as the “Eye” and the “Beak” of the Phoenix.

The title of Sargon is borrowed, by the way, from the ancient Akkadian king Sargon. Sargon is translated as “True King,” hinting at the divide in Heir to the Sky. I used some Sumerian myths in my inspiration for this story — even the names of the cities and the floating continents come from ancient Akkadian words for flight, wings, and fire.

Jessie: Griffin is an intriguing character and the action sequences were my favorite part! How did you capture the intensity so well?

To see more of the interview check out the HEA blog!
Profile Image for Jen.
1,436 reviews35 followers
December 7, 2020
I have mixed feelings about this book. The premise sounded so intriguing but unfortunately I thought that the execution could have been better.

Trying to cram a fantasy story into such a short number of pages would be a challenge in itself, but when most of the writing is focused on being overly descriptive, there’s not much left for the plot or world building. The first half of the book dragged for me because it just felt like not much was happening. The second half was better, but it took a very long time for the story to pull me in. For a shorter book I really expected to finish it a lot quicker than I did.

Kali annoyed me at times as well. It wasn’t entirely her fault as she grew up leading such a sheltered life. But for someone who has been “raised her whole life for leadership under pressure” she just seemed way too trusting and naïve.

I’m also unsure how I feel about the ending. The last few chapters felt rushed and while it could be considered a satisfactory ending, it also felt like there could also be a potential sequel.

Overall a decent enough read, but could have been so much better.

Dec 2020
One that I'm probably never going to reread. I'm a lot more picky with my YA choices now because I do prefer adult SFF. Unhauling.
Profile Image for Once.
2,344 reviews70 followers
April 16, 2016
Kali is a princess who would much rather be like every other person. She wants less responsibilities and she wants to live her life her way. She doesn't want to be forced to married certain people and she would much rather be a young adventurous girl. But her destiny is to be the Eternal Flame of Hope for her kingdom. When she falls off the edge of her world she is amazed at the fact that Earth is still Earth and not at all what she believed it to be.

While this book had me hooked it was a slow read. I enjoyed the story, but it took me forever to actually finish. I'm not completely sure why; I know that Sun described things in great detail so maybe that is what dragged the story for me. But sometimes the descriptions were nice and necessary.

An interesting story, for sure. A part of the world get's ripped away and flown into the air. To then have a kingdom come to be on this little piece of land in the air, where the people are taught that human's and what Earth once was is now extinct. To find out that all of that is a farce.

While the story could've been a good one, it didn't grip me. I wish she had fallen off the edge of her kingdom sooner than she had. Of course I understand why she didn't, but I really wish we had just jumped right into that part of the story.

Profile Image for Amelia.
1,533 reviews121 followers
November 14, 2018


3.5 Stars for an interesting premise that drew me in due to a faint resemblance to Kaimira, a book to which I am still awaiting a sequel (hint hint). The idea of a floating continent is fascinating and I would've liked to see the culture of this island explored in greater detail. Heir to the Sky is a fairly action-driven read which suits plenty of readers but I like a little more backstory. Apart from that, it's a decent read that successfully toes the line in so far as realism, romance and gore go, making it suitable for young readers without being overtly bland or unrealistic. It's not likely to offend anyone.

The only thing that truly aggravated me was the polarisation - monsters are just monsters with no compassion or sentience. The king is all good and any hint that he might not be is barely mentioned and then easily dismissed. The villain is just crazy and horrible, there's no sense that . This caps the rating below a four star.
Profile Image for Jeanne.
592 reviews92 followers
May 16, 2016
Made it about 40% of the way through for what it's worth but I've officially DNFed this book.

And the fact that I've enjoyed absolutely nothing about this book by this point is the reason I'm putting it down. All of the characters I've been introduced to by this point are flimsy and the world hasn't interested me enough to push past that flaw, despite the fact that you've given a lot of information on it right at the beginning.

I also wasn't a particularly big fan of the writing? Perhaps that's why I found myself uninterested in both the characters and the world. The dialogue and descriptions didn't pull me at all into the world, and left the beginning a rather slow read.

Of course I only made it about 120 pages in. For all I know it gets better at the halfway point but I have no interest in continuing on myself, and the reviews don't promise that good of an ending from what I've read. For that I'm glad that I picked this up from the library rather than going out and buying a copy for myself.
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