A jealous prince. A legendary key. An enchanted forest.
In the kingdom of Silverkeep, seventeen-year-old Basil Avington is accustomed to his opulent life as a prince. That is, until the king’s unforeseen death. Now the future is approaching sooner than Basil thought. His twin—eldest by seven minutes—has stolen his first love, his dignity, and soon, will take the throne. There’s only one way for Basil to attain power: embarking on a perilous venture to find King Philip’s key, which, according to ancient lore, bestows the kingdom upon its possessor. But it’s been lost for centuries.
Armed with only a bejeweled sword and imaginative wit, Basil is not prepared for what’s to come. The magical forest of Golden Grove will pull him into a world of horse-legged satyrs, a stunning nymph, and the evil Ambrosia—a forest tyrant with baffling powers. His selfish hunt for the key will endanger his life, but failure would lead to an unbearable existence second to his undeserving brother.
Disclaimer: I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
I'm not entirely sure how to respond to this one. It was on the fence of Weird, where it was too weird to really be taken seriously, but not weird enough to pass as a parody/humor fantasy. It was very practical nonsense. Like, a character has edible leafy fingernails, which Basil Acknowledges as weird, but ends up going along with it because he's hungry. A lot of it was like that, and like ... so many things were awkward but realistic? Like, a man tries to seduce a woman but ends up spitting in her eye by accident? That's basically the style of prose throughout the whole book, and more often than not I was just laughing at how bizarre it all was.
I would probably rate the book higher if the ending didn't have some frustrating developments. There was a plot device used that I just can't get behind, and it kind of ruined the rest of it for me. I can't really say much more without spoilers though.
This book took a story as old as time, sibling jealousy, and spun it into a fantastical story about power, love, friendship, and forgiveness.
Basil, second in line to the thrown in Silverkeep despises his brother, Regis. Regis gets all his parents' love, Basil's ex, and eventually the throne. What starts as Basil hoping to distract himself from his brother's upcoming coronation leads to a discovery in the castle library that sets Basil on the quest of a life time. Running away from the castle, Basil finds himself in the enchanted, mystical forest of Golden Grove where he befriends a nymph, Scarlett and challenges the evil ruler of the forest, Ambrosia.
Ambrosia has power, the literal key to Basil's quest, and also secrets about his family he could never envision being true. Ambrosia embodies everything that a person can become when anger, jealousy, spite, and power take over - the very things that sent Basil on his journey.
With surprise twists and turns, a magical relic, nymphs and satyrs, and family drama Hudson Warm has spun a tale that will make you fall in love with the characters, break your heart, and leave you wanting more of Silverkeep, Golden Grove, and Basil's story.
**Disclaimer: I was sent an early reader copy of Not the Heir in exchange for an honest review.
This honest review was given in exchange for an ARC of the book.
We learn of the tragedy of King Regis’s untimely death and the fact of one of his twin sons becoming the heir due to a mere seven minutes, but in spite of being born second, if Basil (second son) can attain the ever-coveted key of King Philip, the throne would be his. Basil experiences various trials in his attempts to get the key, in the enchanted Golden Grove with fantastic creatures. Also here is where Basil experiences lost love.
Surprising were the adult references to infidelity. Such human frailty added a realistic dimension to the piece. The theme of brotherly love came through amidst the earlier sibling rivalry. The pacing offers a nice balance of dialogue and third-person narration. I’d recommend this to everyone, but especially to young adults. I await future stories to watch the transformation and evolution of characters.
This was a captivating and unconventional adventure story about a prince who was jealous of his twin brother for inheriting the crown. It started out a little slow and made me question whether or not it would take place in a fantasy setting. However, the story really picks up after the prince sets off on his journey and discovers a hidden enchanted forest filled with nymphs, satyrs, and a dark secret. Basil is a misguided protagonist who is easy to relate to after a life of being ignored and mistreated. The romance was captivating and beautiful even though it seemed a little fast. The book is filled with symbolism and profound messages about wants vs. needs. Once I got near the end, I couldn't put it down. It has a deliciously evil villainess, whose backstory is revealed in one of the chapters. The writing was strong and professional, making for an easy and entertaining read.
WOW! I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. The craft and attention to detail are astounding. I love all of the dramatic twists and turns in the plot; I never wanted to put the book down! Hudson was able to make me laugh, cry, and jump and down with excitement all at the same time. The writing and vocabulary used are very sophisticated and well put together. If you are looking for YA adult fantasy quick read, I HIGHLY recommend reading Not the Heir!
***I was given this book early in an exchange for an honest review.
I highly recommend Not the Heir for any fantasy lover or YA reader in general. Warm does a great job at making each character complicated and multidimensional in a way where you aren't sure who you should be rooting for. Her descriptive and mature language transports the reader into the majestic world she created. I am not a fantasy lover in general, but the romance, drama, and relationships formed in this novel kept me wanting more. I am so proud of this young, talented author and can't wait to read more of her work in the future.
This was a fun, easy read. Felt a little like a Sherwin Forrest book but different enough to hold my interest. I didn't realize till I came to review the book that it was under the Tween genre--the word choice was good and I never would have guessed it was written for a younger audience. It reads like the first book in the series and I'd look forward to reading more books to follow.
The reader is immersed instantly by the treacherous and vibrant world of Basil Avington, the 7-minutes-younger prince of Silverkeep. I was blown away by the history and interweaving plots. Hudson’s characters will capture you and her storytelling will make you forget your reality completely. I loved it.
First, I’d like to thank the author for sending me an ARC of Not The Heir in exchange for an honest review.
I was kind of stuck on how to rate this book, because I do think it had a lot of potential. I know the author is quite young, and I’d love to read any future works she creates.
I didn’t think the book was necessarily bad, I just felt it could have used a lot more development and maturity in the writing style, characters, and plot overall. It was creative and an interesting concept, however it didn’t feel completely ‘finished.’
Disclaimer: I received an ARC copy of Not the Heir for early review. This book did exactly what I expected it to: meet my expectations. Not that I mean that in a negative way! I was still thoroughly impressed by the author's ability to publish a readable book at such a young age, but I wasn't expecting it to be Grapes of Wrath or anything. I was entranced by the contradictory character of Basil, so unlikeable at first that you almost seem shocked that you've grown empathetic for him by the end of the book. The conflict introduced between him and Regis is deliciously tense. I really did love the world the author managed to build but I wish that it could've been described in more detail. I was slightly confused throughout the entire book because the narration seemed to be fit for younger readers, yet some parts of the book introduced some pretty adult themes. The story moved slowly at first, and it felt like it took very long to get into the actual action, making it difficult for me to stay focused on the plot. The whole tone also came out as very cartoony at times. I've noticed a few other reviews bring this up as well, but the book does tend to lean more onto the 'tell' side rather than the 'show'. My biggest issues, however, were with *minor spoiler* the villain's backstory, which did not sit right with me and seemed to end up as victim-blaming, *spoiler-ish over* and the fact that pretty much none of the conversations between women in the story pass the Bechdel test. I look forward to the author's future works, and I look forward to seeing her writing grow and develop. This novel is a promising start!
All I can say is WOW. So many different emotions while reading this story... laughs, cries, anger. Hudson brought me into a world and I don't want to leave it! Easily one of the best books I have ever read. I can't wait to see what this young adult author has in store for us for the future!
All in all, I really liked reading this novel. One of my big things this year was to read more indie authors, and so far most of the books I’ve read are really good and refreshing takes on genres like fantasy, which I love. In “Not the Heir”, we follow Basil, who is a prince. His older brother (older twin, honestly, and only by 7 minutes as is made very clear) - who has taken most things from Basil - now is in line for the throne. I really liked the family relationships going on and the emotion that so many of them portray. Warm does a really good job making you feel emotion as a reader, which I absolutely adore. Once Basil leaves the castle, I felt like the pace got a little rushed/odd, but that may be explained by this author being a newer author (it’s her debut novel, I believe) - so that may come with time! Overall, though, I really enjoyed this book. The sibling relationship is layered and in-depth. Warm also does a good job making us unsure of some character motives. My consensus: 4/5
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I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
So I felt like this book had a lot of potential but it also had several problems that kept me from rating it higher. The writing made the MC very unlikable and I never formed a connection to him, there was nothing to make me care about him or his quest. I don't know if there is a character arc complicated enough to make me connect to him which could affect responses to the next book(s) and that worries me. It also felt a bit unpolished in the character development and overall writing, which could be because it's a debut.
All in all, the concept was intriguing but it just lacked the execution needed to make a well rounded novel.
Basil captured my heart from the beginning of this exciting, coming of age fantasy. The main character goes on a journey to find a magical lost key and finds so much more than he ever expected. The story is filled with twists and turns that kept me in suspense and I could not put it down. I really hope there is a sequel. I highly recommend this book!
Basil and Regis the Fifth are two prince brothers who were close as children, but as they approach their eighteenth birthday, the prospect of Regis becoming king and Basil being left behind without a legacy develops a rift between the two. Regis seeks out a legendary magical key in order to become king and make his mark. While this story was somewhat enjoyable and had some good parts, it’s a bit under-baked throughout and didn’t enjoy it as much as I wished I did.
We follow Regis, the younger brother by seven minutes, as he’s sorting through his feelings in the several weeks before his brother Regis is to be crowned. While I connected to him somewhat for his feelings of abandonment and disconnect with his brother, I felt like there’s this distance. It’s like that for all of the characters, and I blame that partly on the prose and writing style having more telling than showing and info dumping. He, like the other characters have interesting motivations and base personalities, but they don’t feel fully formed. I couldn’t understand most of them, especially later on when certain things are revealed. As for the villain, it felt very cliched, especially their backstory, .
The pacing was off; the story spent too much time with irrelevant fluff, important moments sometimes felt skimmed over, and it felt like things sorta just happen at times, especially towards the end. I struggled at times to continue reading through, even though this isn’t a very long book, less than 300 pages. The prose also felt a bit bloated, with a voice I couldn’t fully grasp, and i think that’s what prevented me from being immersed into the world of Silverkeep, which is actually intriguing and has interesting magic, but sadly, underdeveloped.
There’s a lot of potential in Not The Heir, but sadly, didn’t bear fruit for me, however, I do see promise in Hudson Warm’s writing in the future.
*I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review*
A great YA Fantasy, full of beautiful magic and touch of romance woven together with an adventerous plot and an evil, bitter queen! Hudson does a good job at setting up the characters. You can feel sorry for Basil and simultaneously think him a selfish brat. Though perhaps the pace felt a little fast in the middle, and sometimes you got a sense of being 'told rather than shown', the plot was gripping, and the setup at the start carried momentum through the whole novel and kept you thrilled for the conclusion. Perfect for YA fantasy lovers!
What an enchanting tale! I found Not The Heir magical, regal, and mythic. With an enchanted forest, an evil queen, a prince, and a long-lost legend of a powerful key this book will give you all the fairy tale feels. It definitely gave me Once Upon A Time vibes! And can we just talk about the cover?! Thank you to the author for an advanced copy!!
Overall, I enjoyed this book. The plot was exciting and the details made it easy to picture everything in your head. I was eager to see what Basil would do next. However, I thought the pacing of the book was a bit off as it felt the same scene happened over and over again in span of just a few chapters. The love interests had great chemistry, but I didn't feel it was enough for the ending. I am looking forward to what comes next in the land of Silverkeep! *Disclaimer: I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Disclaimer: I was sent an early reader copy of Not the Heir in exchange for an honest review.
This was a really good read. I found myself wanting to turn the page and see what was going to happen. the pace was pretty steady and the plot itself had a few twist that I found fun to read. Overall the writing was pretty good and I would definitely recommend it!!
Disclaimer: I was sent an early reader copy of Not the Heir in exchange for an honest review.
Hudson crafted a really interesting story. The plot was very entertaining. In the beginning, I felt it might be predictable but it had plenty of twists and turns. It is clear that the author has a wonderful imagination. I did find the writing a bit tough to navigate but I know she is a teenage author and I'm excited to see her future works.