Book Review

Book Review: Crimson Reign (Blood Heir Trilogy #3) by Amélie Wen Zhao

Rating: ★★★☆ (3.5)
Audience: YA Fantasy
Length: 496 pages
Author: Amélie Wen Zhao
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release Date: March 1st, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

For fans of Children of Blood and Bone and Six of Crows comes the thrilling conclusion to the Blood Heir trilogy. A princess with a dark secret must ally with a con man to liberate her empire from a reign of terror in this epic fantasy retelling of the Anastasia story.

The Red Tigress, Anastacya Mikhailov, has lost the gift she was only beginning to realize defined her. Stolen from her during the battle in Bregon, her blood Affinity rests with Sorsha Farrald, a dangerous Affinite who is on the run, headed staright to Cyrilia and to Ana’s aunt…the Empress Morganya.

Though she is weakened, Ana’s course remains true–yet her return to her homeland reveals a Cyrilia on the brink of collapse. Morganya’s tyrannical rule has transformed into a sinister quest for unquestioned authority, and she has set her sights far beyond Cyrilia. Morganya seeks a legendary ancient power, rumored to have once belonged to the Deities themselves. If she can locate it, she can rule the world.

What’s more, Ana’s allies, the insurgent Affinite rebels known as the Redcloaks, no longer support her. For their allegiance is with the people–and there can be no equality with a monarchy.

Ana faces enemies at every turn, and every day without her Affinity brings her closer to death. Yet she is determined to liberate her people and vanquish the legacy of her own imperial bloodline–the inequality sewn into the fabric of her land. Her only hope lies in the navy she recruited in Bregon, the courage of her band of friends, and the cunning crime-lord-turned-captain she’s fallen for.

If Ana loses this fight, it will be her last. And Morganya’s reign of darkness with consume the world.

NOT EVERYTHING I HOPED FOR.

*sigh* I always hate feeling let down by the last book in a series. This was fine, but not the stellarness I was hoping for.

One of my biggest pet peeves here was the separation of the main couple. Ana and Ramson were separated for WAY TOO LONG. The first half was sooooo slow because of the gathering armies scenes. There wasn’t enough intrigue here and it felt repetitive until everyone was at last together. I just would have preferred more screen time between certain characters.

I definitely wanted to throw the book at the main character a time or two for how she was handling her relationship with Ramson too. Some very YA heroine decisions that popped up here that I generally enjoy not having around.

The second half was much better. I loved all of the action with Morganya and how those final battle scenes played out. There was a clear point to this story and I like that it didn’t waver into random territory. Ana and crew were a one track mind to help save her country and push it towards a better future. Linn was a big shine for this book and I loved her POV’s. She grew SO MUCH and it was a beautiful progression for her. I loved how she found strength within herself and made critical decisions in the end.

A mixed bag, but I would definitely still be interested in future books from this author.

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Fantasy
  • Language: a little
  • Romance: closed door
  • Violence: mild+
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: torture, loss of loved ones, battle scenes, weaponry, physical and magical altercations

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