Author: Cayla Cluver.
Published: January 28th 2014 by Harlequin Teen.
Sort: Heirs of Chrior #1.
Source: Netgalley & Publisher.
Magic was seeping out of me, black and agonizing. I could see it drifting away. The magic that would let me pass the Road to reach home again. When sixteen-year-old Anya learns that her aunt, Queen of the Faerie Kingdom of Chrior, will soon die, her grief is equaled only by her despair for the future of the kingdom. Her young cousin, Illumina, is unfit to rule, and Anya is determined not to take up the queen's mantle herself. Convinced that the only solution is to find Prince Zabriel, who long ago disappeared into the human realm of Warckum, and persuade him to take up his rightful crown, Anya journeys into the Warckum Territory to bring him home. But her journey is doomed to be more harrowing than she ever could have imagined…
The first thing where this book goes wrong for me is the plot. It’s very thin and with the sickening slow pace, it’s not the most exciting tale. With a magical place where the fey live next to our land, the search for a lost prince and the hunt on fairies, I was hoping to get something more interesting. The world-building was definitely good, but the promise failed to deliver.
Anya, who is chosen to be the heir after the announcement that the Queen will die soon, loses her wings when she ventures into the human world. She hopes to find the prince before her cousin, Illumina, does. She teams up with a human girl called Mary and this is where all the problems start. Her time in Chrior was good, but things went downhill in our land. The two of them definitely know how to get into difficult situations, but I never felt any tension or excitement. Things just happened, they fixed it and they moved on. There was never a climax and with 512 pages, I would have expected more.
The next problem is my disconnection with any of the characters. I liked some, but I don’t have the idea I know them. Illumina was by far the most fascinating, with her desire to carve things into her body and her weird, almost crazy way of thinking. Anya isn’t a bad character either. She is strong and I like how determined she is. At the same time, she is a bit too rash and jumps easily into dangerous situations. Her sidekick Mary/Shae was okay. She has her way with words and I like that she did everything to protect her family.
I want to give credits for the fact that Kluver stayed away from any fairy cliches and that there is hardly any romance. Anya is already in a relationship and her tension for a human guy was a nice addition. It would have been much better with less pages and more engaging developments. The ending provided a twist and combined with the good writing-style, it might be enough to make me read the next installment.