Amélie Zhao's Reviews > Blood Heir

Blood Heir by Amélie Wen Zhao
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(Review from the author)

Update: So, the cover is live! Andddd it's time for me to hide and never come on Goodreads again! Just kidding. Sort of?

I wanted to share the Dear Reader letter that we included in the ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies) of BLOOD HEIR. It touches upon why I wrote BLOOD HEIR, and who I wrote it for.

Dear Reader,

Four years ago, I began writing a story about a corrupt empire steeped in winter, filled with morally gray con men, deadly assassins, twisted villains, and above all, a girl named Anastacya, who has the power to manipulate blood and who believes she is a monster.

It took me two years to realize that the monster in the story is me.

I am an immigrant. I am a woman of color. And I am an “Other.” In my time in the United States, I have never experienced the sense of crushing fear about my identity that I have recently. “Get out of my country, communist!” is only one of the slurs I’ve had screamed at me from across the street. What I’ve experienced personally and seen across social media outlets and national television broadcasts has all amounted to a hyperawareness of my foreignness, my Otherness, and the possibility that because I am different, I am not worthy of belonging.

Blood Heir explores the demonization of the Other and this experience of not belonging. Ana’s journey examines how one can internalize hatred and fear, how that can warp one’s core and turn it into something cruel and twisted. But ultimately, her story is one of self-acceptance, and of the realization that we cannot change who we are nor what we are born with, but we can choose what we do with what we are given. And like me, Ana chooses to fight for a better tomorrow.

So I gave magic to my girls who were told they were monsters. I gave my children of color the ability to fight oppression. Because in a world where there is so little I can control, I want to put hope and power in their hands for once—and in a world where those deemed “different” are often cast out and made to be monsters, I want them to win.

Thank you for reading.

Amélie Wen Zhao
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
January 31, 2018 – Shelved

Comments Showing 1-50 of 95 (95 new)


Mahnoor ⚯͛ I can not wait to read this book!!!!❤️✊🏼


Candlewick Books Oh wow, this is beautiful. I cant wait to get my hands on this!!!


message 3: by Crazy4Books (new) - added it

Crazy4Books Sounds incredible. Cant wait.


message 4: by Reshil (new) - added it

Reshil Dukes So excited to read this!!! 😁


message 5: by Joelene (new) - added it

Joelene Weeks I wish there was a "love" button for this! Blood Heir already sounds like an awesome story on it's own, but knowing the motivation and meaning behind it takes it to a whole other level. Thank you for sharing this! I look forward to reading what will certainly be an amazing book! ❤️


message 6: by Audrey (new) - added it

Audrey i am totally adding this to my tbr now more then ever


Maggie, a Novel This sounds epic ! Definitely on my TBR


message 8: by Louise (new) - added it

Louise Holy crap, that is an amazing cover. It's been on my TBR list for a while now, 2019 is looking epic.


Neha This was so moving. And having read the book and also being a woman of colour, this really resonated with me.


Kei ♥bibliophile♥ Amazing Cover, I wanted to read this story but I would have put it on my TBR list and got to it whenever I could (probably no time soon). After reading this message from Amelie Wen Zhao I want to read this story asap and Im off to Amazon to preorder this book now... Im excited.


message 11: by Kristi (new)

Kristi Amélie Wen Zhao wrote, “‘Get out of my country, communist!’ is only one of the slurs I’ve had screamed at me from across the street.”

Wow. Just, wow.

Some people are real bullies. We should all support you by reading this book. What is your nationality?


message 12: by M. (new) - rated it 5 stars

M. I hope it gets published.


message 13: by Rachel (new) - added it

Rachel I'm sorry it's been pulled! I hope you can re-work it and see this through.


message 14: by Hannah (new) - added it

Hannah Moody-Goo Please do not let people censor you!! Publish this work and I will happily read it and give you an honest opinion, instead of bullying you and assuming that writing about a topic = endorsement by an author. 💕


message 15: by Joelle (new) - added it

Joelle This book sounds absolutely amazing. I hope that it does end up being published someday. I'm sorry that people (many of whom I bet didn't even read your book) were such bullies :(


message 16: by Dawn (new)

Dawn Please do not give in to the hate crowd. Your voice deserves to be heard. Do not bow to the pressure from progressives to stop writing.


message 17: by Chris (new) - added it

Chris I hope you reconsider. It's a shame some bad apples had to ruin it for everyone else. It shouldn't matter if your book has fictional racism (or not, I have no idea of what the contents are). It is your creative and imaginative work, and if you shouldn't have to apologize for it. It's the reader's problem if they can't handle the contents of your book. If these people seriously think your creative work or characters 100% reflect you as a person, they have issues. NOT YOU. I hope you find success in whatever you decide to pursue, whether it be this or something else. I hope these haters don't dissuade you, though.


message 18: by Kelvin (new)

Kelvin Douglas I head the so-called 'controversy' around your work and I must say, it is very unneeded. I guess people forgot the point of an author is to create art that reflects a certain aspect of our world in extraordinary spaces. We are in really polarizing times where jumping the shark on any to everything has become normalized. Do let this slow you down.


message 19: by Richard (new) - added it

Richard I've added this book to my "want to read" list because I can't stand the thought of a book not being told because of bullying. I hope Amelie reconsiders.


message 20: by Earl (new) - added it

Earl Tower I love the cover art, and was looking forward to reading this one. I am hoping the author decides to have a later publication date.


message 21: by MischaS_ (new) - added it

MischaS_ 🤗 I'm sending you love and strength! You are amazing! I was really excited for the book. Please, do not let hate push you into self-censoring! That is wrong and not what literature is about. Censoring (even self-censoring) is a sign of oppression and dictatorship.
I hope that you will find a different way to publish your book. I'll be definitely waiting for it.

Don't let hate and small-mindedness tear you down.


message 22: by Manick (new) - added it

Manick Govinda I’m appalled with the twitter-mob that has cornered you into making this decision. It’s distorted manipulative bullying. Please reconsider, many of us support you, self-Censorship is a dangerous and slippery road. I will be writing a blog about this.


message 23: by Liz (new) - added it

Liz I hate that you actually felt that you had to apologize for your own creativity. DON'T BE BULLIED!!!
P.S. AMERICA - Do we not believe in FREE SPEECH or the 1ST AMENDMENT or FREEDOM anymore????


message 24: by Seth (new) - rated it 1 star

Seth Mahnoor ⚯͛ wrote: "I can not wait to read this book!!!!❤️✊🏼"

you'll just have to keep waiting, I guess.


message 25: by PavePusher (new)

PavePusher You should put this back up for publication.

http://monsterhunternation.com/2019/0...


Yoru || ~Cyanide Latte~ Having been made aware of what has happened, please don't feel the need to apologize for your work or like you have to throw it under the bus to appease anyone.

I understand the decision to go put this on hold though. It's a difficult ordeal you've had to face, and an unfounded and unfair one. Take the time you need to distance yourself from this.

But please don't ever give up on writing. And if you ever choose to release this book in the future, I would love to read it and see the world you've built.


message 27: by Alex (new)

Alex You have no reason to apologise or feel ashamed for what you write. Just write whatever you want and pay no mind what the whiners say.


message 28: by Hope (new) - added it

Hope Zane As a (fellow) queer woman of color, yes to all of this. This letter is beautiful, and I think your book sounds wonderful. I'm so sick to read what's happened surrounding it, and as an internet stranger, I just want to say that I think your vision is beautiful. I am so glad that you were able to tell your story, and I hope you're able to share it one day. And if you do, I will look forward to reading it.


message 29: by Andre (new) - added it

Andre Don't let yourself be shamed by people. Please publish your book. Trust me, it never ends well when yougive in to people like that.


message 30: by Maryann (new)

Maryann I hope that you will reconsider and publish this book on schedule. Don't let a few online bullies keep you from sharing your work. Many people will love your book and find it uplifting; think of them and ignore the complainers. Good luck to you.


message 31: by boudour (new) - added it

boudour I'm sorry that you were bullied so, all under the guise of social justice. These people are self-righteous, stupid bullies, nothing more. You challenged their blindness and UScentrism by writing from a different place: that is *their* problem, their ignorance and lack of critical thinking and willingness to dogpile that is at fault here. I wish you the best, I hope you have good people around you to help get you through this nasty moment and that you ultimately don't let the haters win and let the world hear your voice <3


message 32: by Kelly (new) - added it

Kelly Sumner Unfortunately there is no pre order in uk 😞 I would totally pre order this book if I could 😊


message 33: by preoccu (new) - added it

preoccu I can't wait to read this, whenever you are ready to share it again.


message 34: by Carolina (new) - added it

Carolina Please publish when you are ready! I am so excited to read this book. It looks great!


message 35: by Jennifer (new) - added it

Jennifer Prescott I think you should still publish despite the horrible things being said about you & your book. I think, based on this letter, you know what you're doing with the direction of the story, and that is what I like to see: authors who think outside the box and bring new narratives to the table. I preordered a copy, just in case you change your mind about pulling, as I am genuinely interested in reading this. (And I can't really afford the price set, but I'm making room in my budget to see *for myself* what you have to say!)

Chin up, you are seeing an ugly side of the USA, and I am sincerely sorry for that. 😟 But you probably know by now that there are more that support your book and you than those that have been nasty.


message 36: by Azaaa (new) - added it

Azaaa I hope you keep writing and publishing stories. The fact that you feel pressure to pull your book is a shame. Group think and hive minds judging before reading or experiencing for themselves is a shame. Keep your head up. You belong here too.

- fellow fantasy writer and person of color


message 37: by Andre (new) - added it

Andre Azaaa wrote: "- fellow fantasy writer and person of color "

Why are so many of you Americans constantly emphasizing being a "person of color" when you allegedly want to go beyond that? I always found that strange.


message 38: by Montulator (new)

Frangipani Montulator Please publish. Bowing down to ignorant bigots is never the way to go. The do not know you, but feel entitled to judge you, they have never had your experiences, but feel that their own experiences are worth more. They do not put their experience out there, they just tear other peoples experience down. Creativity would die and the worst human impulses would win if people caved to them. If they really had something to say, they would write a book and not tear you down. Please publish, I would like to read your book. I think I could learn something. And that’s why I read and you write after all.


message 39: by Jennifer (new) - added it

Jennifer Zamboni I really hope this book gets published! It looks so fantastic that I preordered a hard copy from Amazon. Chin up, Amelie, you can do this!


message 40: by Janette (new) - added it

Janette I hope your book gets published. It sounds like a great story and I really want to read it.


message 41: by Linda (new)

Linda I have only just come across this book. I have to admit through someone’s twitter rant. Publish and be damned I say. It looks like a great story. Literature, including popular literature is supposed to make people think, and feel. That you have ruffled feathers must surely mean you are doing something right. Love and Peace.


Kristina Jean Lareau Publish! Let people hear your voice! Art is supposed to inspire debate and discussion.


message 43: by Bernadette (new) - added it

Bernadette Tillmon I have not read this book, but as a black woman who loves fantasy and science fiction, I hope this novel gets published. Don’t understand the hullabaloo. A group of people who are different and “other” is a common premise in countless fantasy and super hero stories. Often they are banished, sought out to be destroyed or controlled in some way. I don’t understand what makes this novel different. Get real: on Star Trek the Klingons are very swarthy and look black and the Romulans look Asian and no one is beating them up - billions of dollars into the franchise. Again, i haven’t read this book, but I don’t get it. Good luck. I hope you can tweak it and publish soon - Bernadette


Holden (malfunctions without books) Please, publish this. Perhaps independent publishing is an option? So many people want to read your story and ignore the haters. You are doing amazing.


message 45: by Christopher (new)

Christopher I’m floored that you pulled the book. I’m so disappointed in social media and will be leaving Goodreads as a result and putting my library and views into a private library only visible to those I respect.

I am 51. I grew up in the Caribbean until second grade. I was a religious minority growing up and know discrimination. I’ve spent my adult life either in Taiwan or in a household that was mostly Taiwanese. I did a photo project for a non-profit on rescued and industrial slaves in Taiwan. I have known slaves, prostitutes, gangsters, pimps and contract killers, some as friends. And I wish I could read the section that has the self-proclaimed little American Twitter critics so up in arms.

From personal experience, I know that slavery is different than the popular American stereotype. From experience, I know that if one thing will offend the Americans, it is suggesting there is something outside of their myopic viewpoints.

On occasion, I read YA as an old fart (hey, a good story is a good story). I wish wish wish I could read your book, but support 110% your decision to pull it from publication. I don’t know the depths of your reasons, but as it’s creator you have my support and admiration for what must have been a difficult decision. But, I still wish I could read it, and I think I’d disagree with those who saw it through their own distorted delusional lenses of monoculturalism. Slavery is brutal, and I have the photographs to prove it and have talked extensively with ex-slaves.

I love the premise of your book, I really do. Creativity has been silenced by the braying is the donkeys of self-importance and self-appointed criticism.

I will remember your name, and will snap up any book I see that you write. If you created this much stir, you are a very talented young writer and I am dying to read what you write.


message 46: by Andre (new) - added it

Andre Christopher wrote: "From experience, I know that if one thing will offend the Americans, it is suggesting there is something outside of their myopic viewpoints. "

From what I read she got a good deal of that as well, e.g. some Asian-American telling her to educate herself and all because she isn't "aware" and all. Which sounds to me like "Me American, me know better than you foreigner."


Peggy A. Miller Please do not allow the ignorance of some to spoil your dream!!! How can people comment and complain without ever having read the book?? Please reconsider and publish your book there are many of us in my online book club that would love to read it. I am sure there are many who want to read your book and you have NOTHING to apologize for! ❤️❤️


message 48: by Alison (new) - added it

Alison You SHOULD publish it. Nothing it wrong with it. It's a fantasy book set in a fictional place. It sounds interesting and I want to buy it! Don't let haters and those that want to be mad at everything and make an issue with all win.


message 49: by Sarah (new) - added it

Sarah (A French Girl) From a fellow Frenchie, publish you book Amelie. Twitter isn't real life. Just because someone scream the loudest doesn't mean that he represent anyone, that people agree with him or that he's right.

AND even if mistakes were made. So what? Plenty of book were problematic content have been published...and people (even the very one jeering at you) have loved them. Don't listen to hypocrites.


Sharna Reilly, first of her name, mother of dogs Please still publish your book Amelie! Most of the people going on about your book haven’t even read it and you shouldn’t let them stop you from publishing your work. There will always be people who criticise but there will be people who love your book as well.


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