*SPOILERS FOR BOOKS 1-3*
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Zebra; Original edition (December 27, 2011)
From the author's website:
Shaman-for-hire Eugenie Markham strives to keep the mortal realm safe from trespassing entities. But as the Thorn Land's prophecy-haunted queen, there's no refuge for her and her soon-to-be-born-children when a mysterious blight begins to devastate the Otherworld...
The spell-driven source of the blight isn't the only challenge to Eugenie's instincts. Fairy king Dorian is sacrificing everything to help, but Eugenie can't trust the synergy drawing them back together. The uneasy truce between her and her shape shifter ex-lover Kiyo is endangered by secrets he can't--or won't--reveal. And as a formidable force rises to also threaten the human world, Eugenie must use her own cursed fate as a weapon--and risk the ultimate sacrifice...
Shadow Heir picks up where Iron Crowned left off: Half-human, half-fae, and Queen of two fairy lands, Eugenie Markham is pregnant with twins, the boy twin has been prophecied to lead the Otherworld to overthrow the human world. Because of this, many of the Fae want her dead, others want her protected. After an attack, Eugenie decides to continue her pregnancy in the human world in order to have access to medical care and keep her babies safe from her enemies. She gets an urgent message that all is not well in the Otherworld, and knows she must go back and help find a solution before or her friends may not survive.
Dorian is still trying to make her his queen, and Kiyo is still trying to kill her, but the problems in the Otherworld are so bad that an uneasy truce has been drawn between them.
A WTH? ending to a fabulous series. I've loved this series from the first book and am sad to see it end. Shadow Heir was, for the most part, an enjoyable read. I didn't know how Ms. Mead was going to work the pregnancy into the storyline, but I shouldn't have worried... I thought the story flowed nicely through her pregnancy and after, and the storyline worked for me. We met some new characters and got to say goodbye to some old friends, but the trio of Eugenie, Dorian and Kiyo were a strong focal point to the story. I love reading about the Otherworld and it's inhabitants, so I definitely got my fairie fix.
Now, there were a few things that I didn't like: I kind of felt like the babies were born and then disappeared from the storyline completely - it was such a huge plot point in previous books that I felt like they were just pushed aside without much fanfare. The main issue for me, however, was the open ending. Ms. Mead drops a HUGE plot twist on the readers and then just ....ends. Without resolution.
So, I finished this series a little frustrated. BUT, it was such a good series I would absolutely recommend it - the Dark Swan series is full of magic, action, and a red-hot love triangle; just... be prepared for the pseudo-cliffhanger ending.
This book was received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.