Blood Heir

Blood Heir

This hot debut is the first book in an epic new series about a princess hiding a dark secret and the con man she must trust to clear her name for her father's murder. In the Cyrilian Empire, Affinites are reviled. Their varied gifts to control the world around them are unnatural—dangerous. And Anastacya Mikhailov, the crown princess, has a terrifying secret. Her deadly...

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Title:Blood Heir
Author:Amélie Wen Zhao
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Blood Heir Reviews

  • Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

    This book was so damn good!! (If a friend has a physical copy of the arc before the author was bullied, message me, I want the original!) The book had some major sad parts in it!!

    I’m looking forward to the next book!!

    Mel

    ********RANT BELOW ABOUT THE ASSHOLES THAT GOT THOS BOOK SHUT DOWN FOR A BIT***************

    (And don’t preach on my post or you will be deleted. I’ve put up with enough bullshit in my 40+ years!!) It

    This book was so damn good!! (If a friend has a physical copy of the arc before the author was bullied, message me, I want the original!) The book had some major sad parts in it!! 😫

    I’m looking forward to the next book!!

    Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾

    ********RANT BELOW ABOUT THE ASSHOLES THAT GOT THOS BOOK SHUT DOWN FOR A BIT***************

    (And don’t preach on my post or you will be deleted. I’ve put up with enough bullshit in my 40+ years!!) It will be back to happy days when I read another great book ❌⭕️

    I guess I should have stayed on Netgalley so I could have read this!!!! I have been wanting this book sooo bad but some assholes bullied the author into pulling her book!!!

    This is a free f*****g country people!! I would like to decide for myself whether I might like a book or not!! I have read plenty of books with slurs, rapes, genocide etc etc etc! Do you see that shit pulled? No! As well it shouldn’t! So thank you to all the bastards that can’t get a life and ruin things for other people!! Oh, and you all can kiss my ass!!

    PS! If you don’t like this post then unfriend me, you wouldn’t be any different than the dickhead boys and girls that dropped my friendship while I was out battling cancer! Yeah, you big wigs on GR that I would LOVE to call out for your uncaring asses, but I won’t - I have better things to do!!

    I’m sorry to the author and I hope you change your mind! And I’m sorry for anyone out there that might be trying to tell their story and it gets pulled as well!

    PSS - I hope I find hundreds of likes on this post to show we don’t tolerate bullying in any way shape or form! We all had the right to rate this book from dnf to 5 stars!! Just think about that! Glad I don’t have Twitter, wish that shit would shut down too!

    Signed,

    Royally Pissed!!!!!!!

    **********

    Omg!! I keep finding beautiful cover!!! They dare to be so pretty!! 😫

    I pre-ordered it too!

    Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾

  • Candace Robinson

    Update! My favorite book of the year has a new release date!

    You have no idea how disappointed I am to hear that this book will not be getting published. People need to stop getting offended over things. This is a fiction book and it was seriously my favorite so far of 2019, so I'm completely heartbroken that the author felt the need to pull her book because of bullying.

    A dark retelling version of Anastasia? I'm all in! I've read one other Anastasia retelling, Heart of Iron, which was totally

    Update! My favorite book of the year has a new release date! 🙌🏻🙌🏻

    You have no idea how disappointed I am to hear that this book will not be getting published. People need to stop getting offended over things. This is a fiction book and it was seriously my favorite so far of 2019, so I'm completely heartbroken that the author felt the need to pull her book because of bullying.

    A dark retelling version of Anastasia? I'm all in! I've read one other Anastasia retelling, Heart of Iron, which was totally different than this one but both were awesome!

    Ana was my baby monster—she could do some pretty amazing things with other people's blood! We get another POV besides her, Ramson, and oh boy, this young gent had a mind full of things—betrayals, a dark past, a dark heart with a hint of light hidden in it. I loved him!!! And the scenes with him and Ana own my life!

    The writing was so good, and the story was an incredible page turner. I was so scared of another book with a cliffhanger because I've started so many dang series that end on them, and while it is open ended because of the second book, it isn't the death cliffhanger sentence that I loathe! And I'll be ready for book two when it comes! Can I also just state that the freaking cover artist deserves a metal for the beautiful cover!

  • Cindy ✩☽ Savage Queen ♔

    UPDATE: It has a new release date everyone!

    As many of you may know by now, this book has apparently been embroiled in a rather intense controversy. I say apparently because I personally have only heard of the incident through second hand sources here on Goodreads and have not in fact been following the issue on Twitter. So please understand I cannot to speak to that issue. I am just here to give my honest review

    UPDATE: It has a new release date everyone!

    As many of you may know by now, this book has apparently been embroiled in a rather intense controversy. I say apparently because I personally have only heard of the incident through second hand sources here on Goodreads and have not in fact been following the issue on Twitter. So please understand I cannot to speak to that issue. I am just here to give my honest review on the book I read.

    *Note: Not spoiler free*

    This book tells the story of Ana, the fallen princess for Cyrilia, who, due to her affinity for controlling blood, is forced to flee the palace after being accused of murdering her own father. She embarks on a journey for justice, seeking to find the man truly responsible for her father's demise, which after a long search puts her on a collision course with Ramson Quicktongue - con-man extraordinaire. An uneasy alliance is formed as these two journey through the kingdom in search of justice and vengeance.

    So I'll say this, the writing itself is rather average. There is nothing particularly stellar or memorable about the style of writing. But it gets the point across and still carries the story along just fine.

    For those who want the warning, yes this book does contain bloodshed and violence. I mean, it's called Blood Heir. It'd be more surprising if there was no bloodshed. And yes, there is mention of slavery, or, as it is referred to in this book, Affinite indenturement. That being said, it is not slavery based on race or skin color. Because in the book it did not seem to matter where the Affinites were from or what they looked liked, if they had a useful affinity they were captured by Affinite brokers, essentially slave traders, and sold to the highest bidder.

    Now I want this to be clear, although slavery does take place in the book, in no way does this book treat slavery as anything but something morally wrong. Though our protagonist Ana is certainly quite ignorant to how significant of an issue it is in her country. Due to her privilege, she has never truly come face to face with the crime and corruption that runs rampant through the cities. She initially believes the issue far and few between, blindly believing that the Whitecoats, the Imperial Guard, protects against threats such as Affinite indenturement. But it does not take too long after the book starts, for her to realize just how wrong and out of touch she is.

    I'll be honest, initially, I was a bit annoyed with Ana for being so naive, but after I read the passage above I came to realize that it was done purposefully. It is part of Ana's journey, discovering the wrongness of her world. Understanding that because of her privilege she was shielded from the horrors that everyday people had to face. Because, although she certainly suffered for being an Affinite, there were those out there who suffered just as much, if not more. Because unlike her they did not have a warm bed to go back to or a proper roof over their head. They did not have anyone, servants or family members, to take care of them after they were beaten or sold or abused.

    The first step to fixing a problem is recognizing there is a problem. And this was Ana's moment of recognition.

    For those who are upset saying that it was wrong of the author to kill off May, I just have to say that this has been a long used plot device. The killing off of a character close to the protagonist to propel them towards a greater purpose. And in no way did it feel like the author killed May simply because she was a person of color. If anything I think it more because she was a child, an innocent child who had absolutely no say in being born with an ability. But because of it she was stolen from her homeland and forced into slavery. She died after standing her ground, imploring Ana that no matter what she would not abandon her fellow Affinites to the auction house. She died protecting someone she loved, Ana. I do not consider that a pointless or meaningless death.

    ---

    I adore these two. Their threats. Their banter.

    But their serious talks were just as important. Such as the moment where Ana asks Ramson if he was ever an Affinite broker. To which he answers, no, he was not. And yet he also makes it clear that he is in no way truly innocent. Because although he never did so himself, he knew it was happening and did nothing. He continued to work for the man behind it all. And that was its own sort of wrongness. Guilt by association.

    I think what I enjoyed most about this book is in fact how gray everything was. Ana and Ramson both, at their cores, have goodness in them. But they have each done their fair share of terrible things. Killed, lied and hurt people. All in the name of justice and revenge. And while I certainly rooted for them the entire time. I know they're not innocent. They may not be the heroes the people want, but they are the heroes these people need. And I hope to, eventually, continue to follow them along their journey to fix a world so wrong.

    -

    1/31/19

    So apparently this book has been retracted from publication?

    That’s very disappointing. So far, I’m enjoying the book. Though it’s being put on hold, which I assume it is because if I remember correctly The Continent offended a lot of people and still managed to get published eventually.

    ---

    Original blurb

  • Vicky Who Reads

    I still have my original ARC. Undecided if I will read, because it appears very few significant edits were made.

    First off, something a lot of people don't know: Asian friends! Please do not get confused--the main character is not Asian. I know a lot of people think that she is (I myself thought that), but after further digging & clarification, Ana is not Asian. Nor are the people who are enslaved. Do with that as you will.

    The most recent NYT article, abridged:

    "...some readers argued that

    I still have my original ARC. Undecided if I will read, because it appears very few significant edits were made.

    First off, something a lot of people don't know: Asian friends! Please do not get confused--the main character is not Asian. I know a lot of people think that she is (I myself thought that), but after further digging & clarification, Ana is not Asian. Nor are the people who are enslaved. Do with that as you will.

    The most recent NYT article, abridged:

    "...some readers argued that Zhao’s depiction of slavery was racially insensitive"

    "...she collected herself and reread her book several times, examining the plot and characters to see if the critics were right. She decided they weren’t."

    "Zhao aimed to invoke real-world issues, including human trafficking and indentured servitude in Asia"

    ""“It was very devastating to me that the book was read in a totally different cultural context.” [said Zhao]"

    There's a full article, but I've taken care to abridge it without instilling bias in it, although the act of abridging is inherently biased. Please seek the full text if you desire.

    Ultimately, I think when you take an important issue that's relevant to a specific ethnic group, such as human trafficking and indentured servitude in Asia, and change the ethnicities in a novel (by making them black, which an enslaved character in question was cast as Amandla Stenberg as by the author), the story will be read in a different context.

    It will, if the enslaved group in question is black, be read as slavery to most American readers. Yes, it's an American-centric interpretation, definitely, and something the world should work on. But this is still something children's authors must take into account, to prevent harm to readers--such as black American teens--who might read this and interpret it differently.

    I admit that I have not read it yet. But given the facts presented to me, I do question the sensitivity of Blood Heir, new or old version, given the apparent lack of validity in what I believed had been valid criticism about the portrayal of black characters (even if it had be amplified/muddled by a large number of voices).

    Changing the race of a character will inherently make a new situation and include its own potential for harmful stereotypes.

    I hope this provides clarity to the situation. Both with respect to the main character and the Asian human trafficking influences in Blood Heir.

  • may ➹

    <3

  • Amélie Zhao

    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

    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

  • Mary S. R.

    [

    ]

    Ladies and gentlemen,

    This is not a drill I repeat

    Blood Heir will be out November 19th 2019!

    To the haters, I say:

    , this is why and how Zhao finally decided to go ahead with publishing

    (if you want to know why it was cancelled, scroll down to the Jan 31 update):

    [

    ]

    Ladies and gentlemen,

    This is not a drill I repeat

    Blood Heir will be out November 19th 2019!

    To the haters, I say:

    , this is why and how Zhao finally decided to go ahead with publishing

    (if you want to know why it was cancelled, scroll down to the Jan 31 update):

    I am so proud of this community for showing Amélie their support and for speaking out against bullying, and I am so so proud of

    for staying strong and getting something positive out of the negativity sent her way.

    And to all who might read this:

    Mic drop.

    • • • • • • •

    [

    ]

    I need to say this, because we all need a little positivity and unity:

    .

    No, not the bullies who, in the name of criticism, aggressively attack others. No, I'm proud of

    who rallied against such behaviour, to show that

    You. I'm proud of

    . I'm proud of

    . Hell, I'm proud of

    .

    Here's an article by two authors who had similar experiences, giving their two very different view points on the matter:

    To quote author Jonah Winter from the article above:

    And I do

    , and eventually gives us a chance to enter her beautiful world :)

    • • • • • • •

    [

    ]

    This reaction by people is RIDICULOUS!

    People are

    What happened, in summary:

    “With a group of mostly American writers pillorying a novel few of them had read out of the misplaced conviction that the book was ‘about’ American slavery and handled that subject inappropriately; that therefore it was deeply racist; and that, further, its author was not only an offensive writer but a maniacally screenshotting danger to others.

    They spread those claims far and wide to the point where they were echoed and amplified by influential members of the literary community in question. As a result, the book, which was intended as a comment on

    slavery in

    , probably won’t be published and won’t give American readers a chance to read the perspective of an Asian writer inspired by an issue of urgent importance to many Asian people.”

    Now, here's the problem:

    There are different ways to call out a subject you want to speak against, like racism, in fantasy.

    A)

    , like it's normal for characters to be bisexual or gay, and you show the reader the rightness if it. You accustom them to the fact that it's ok.

    This is usually useful for writing for kids, whose ideas are just shaping and who you don't want to bring into too much of the fights of the world yet.

    B)

    This strategy is the most common one and the most pleasing one for readers. It's typical and understandable and straightforward and doesn't require so much thought from the lazy reader.

    So while many would say that in method A the subject was just bandied about and not a firebrand and so pointless, or say that in method C it was actually standing for it and not calling it out, method B is the easiest way which just satisfies too many YA readers.

    C) And here's the most challenging one.

    In this method, you're focusing on the destruction brought by, for example, racism. The scars it leaves. So more than a revolution or a firebrand, it's a personal fight for the character to show how you can survive that hate.

    And this strategy of calling out a trope is the most conflicting one, but also the one that leads the open-minded reader to the most thoughts and understanding.

    “Most adult readers across genres understand that representing a morally repugnant position as part of a broader narrative is not the same as

    that opinion, but

    And that is exactly what happens, repeatedly. Reading the tweets, I feel repulsed by some people and authors alike.

    A lot of people don't understand that many of the issues you have, perhaps, solved with yourself, or even ones you've never had, are still cultural issues in a huge percentage of the world.

    And everything is NOT about you. If there's ‘slavery’, it doesn't mean ‘American slavery’. It's shining light on something in another culture in past or present

    What's the

    of all this backlash and hate?

    Or, for many people, it's like if it's telling a story set in the past or in a world where it's still a patriarchy and there's no revolutionary woman or a understanding man in the story that miraculously disagrees with it all, then the story is supporting the idea of women lesser than man,

    Yes, if for example slavery or racism is a sensitive subject for you which reading its effects will only unsettle you and you are quite aware of it,

    I understand. I share those sensitivities for many things myself and just don't read the book. But that doesn't mean it's wrong in its way of calling out the trope.

    And another thing is

    .

    “But while some of the social justice concerns percolating within YA fiction are legitimate, the explosive manner in which they’re expressed within YA Twitter is another story.

    Posing as urgent interventions to prevent the circulation of harmful tropes, the pile-ons are often based on selective excerpts pulled out of context from the advance copies of books most in the community haven’t read yet.

    And that's one reason it's been a whole year since I've visited my Twitter or Instagram accounts. The social media is just unbelievably ridiculous in its harassments!

    So while I have not read Blood Heir, it's pretty clear to me it's using something between methods C and B, or perhaps starting from C and leading to B, I'm not sure, but I'm sure that IT'S NOT SUPPORTING RACISM FOR GOD'S SAKE.

    I'm so sad to read this letter by the author, I feel ashamed. *shakes head*

    The quoted sections are from the

    • • • • • • •

    [

    ]

    Let's all take a moment and raise our glasses to

    !

    Why? I'll tell you;

    Um. Thank you??

    and the exploration of what is

    and also equality has always been the strongest point of a book to me!

    So basically it's already a

    ; but that's not even the start of it...

    Keywords to focus on:

    The best part, however, is the message she wants to convey with this book! I was totally moved after reading her letter to the reader:

    I don't think there are

    that could describe how I'm feeling right now; about this book, about the author...

    I'm filled with respect, wonder, and love, and I know that I will love this book with all my heart.

    Counting the days until

    ; already added to my calendar!!!

  • Mel (Epic Reading)

    Added to post April 30, 2019

    GOOD NEWS!! Zhao is publishing Blood Heir AS IS in November!

    ———————————————————————————

    Added to post Jan 31, 2019

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Added to post late Jan 30, 2019

    Added since author Amelie pulled her book from

    Added to post April 30, 2019

    GOOD NEWS!! Zhao is publishing Blood Heir AS IS in November!

    ———————————————————————————

    Added to post Jan 31, 2019

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Added to post late Jan 30, 2019

    Added since author Amelie pulled her book from publishing...

    Folks this is just mob-style bullying. The book is fantasy, not non-fiction or even historical fiction. The book might as well be banned, burned or censored. I cannot believe that some people's opinions have persuaded the writer to pull the novel. Not only that but Blood Heir was being published by Random House for goodness sake! It's not like it hasn't been edited, proofed, etc. Saying that authors can't kill off minority characters or touch on certain subject is absurd. Creativity should be about freedom of art in any form as the creator chooses. Social media is out of control and this is a sad day for publishing and free speech.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Posted afternoon of Jan 30, 2019

    Yes I have an eARC.

    Usually I don’t read books months before they are published; however, due to controversy’s I may make an exception here and read this very soon...

    1) many people are upset that a young black girl dies in this story. Is this to say we can never have a minority killed off ever again? Cause that seems wrong.

    2) The is zero, ZERO proof that the writer is screen capping or ‘listing’ reviewers who give her poor reviews. The rumour is based one on twitter post by some random chick who won’t give provide any sources. That’s not journalism folks. It’s just flat out, ridiculous rumour. Don’t accuse someone if you don’t have at least a shred of proof (and no your word is not worth crap on Twitter, sorry but it’s not)

    3) The line from LOTR many have mentioned being used in this book has been used by a dozen or more fantasy or other genre books over the years. I don’t think you can claim that “don’t go where I can’t follow” is so iconic that it can never be used again... it’s a very symbolic phrase perhaps but I see no reason why this concept can’t be revisited many times over in literature.

  • Emily May

    The author has confirmed that Blood Heir will publish November 19, 2019.

  • MischaS_

    EDIT: Another November 19th 2019 publish? What's going on? However, seeing that the author most likely rewrote parts of the book... I'm a bit hesitant to read it. It almost feels like self-censoring. I'm very conflicted about this.

    My hopes right now? I really need a review from someone who had a chance to read the first version.

    EDIT: I made the mistake that I went back to Twitter to have a look what's new. I should not have done that. They are trying to turn this all around and make the two

    EDIT: Another November 19th 2019 publish? What's going on? However, seeing that the author most likely rewrote parts of the book... I'm a bit hesitant to read it. It almost feels like self-censoring. I'm very conflicted about this.

    My hopes right now? I really need a review from someone who had a chance to read the first version.

    EDIT: I made the mistake that I went back to Twitter to have a look what's new. I should not have done that. They are trying to turn this all around and make the two authors who tried to destroy Zhao (you know fair competition) the victims in this! Let me tell you; they are not the victims. They started this without reading this book. (Just disclaimer: I absolutely disagree if anyone is threatening them. That is a wrong thing to do. Take the high road in this. Say why you disagree with what they did; you can get angry (I'm still angry); pledge to never read anything from them (DO NOT RATE their books without reading! Be better than that) but certainly, do not attack them.)

    Original:

    Let me tell you; I was excited about this book. I still am, and I hope it will be published one day. Because even if the author did some wrong in the way she wrote about certain things I would like to see it for myself and create my own opinion.

    I wanted to write a nice summary of why I think that the backlash against this author and her unpublished book but I cannot do it without my emotions running high.

    If you want to read more, I suggest reading this review:

    I think it's absolutely spot on. And I could not do a better job!

    Or if you would like to watch a video, I recommend this one:

    . She did a wonderful job with that video.

    And now, I have only one thing to say. Only a few people read this book, and the majority of the backlash came after people read some outtakes written in a review. Let me tell you, if you go and take only part from almost any book, you can create a controversy! You are judging it without seeing the whole picture, without reading how the author addressed those scenes. You know, maybe those scenes were the moment when the MC realised the system was wrong? Maybe not. But we do not know. And now it seems like we won't find out.

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