ARC Review, Book Review, Fantasy, Paranormal, Young Adult

Idriel’s Children (Odriel’s Heirs #2) by Hayley Reese Chow

Reaping darkness, the Shadow slicked steel with judgment and danced with death…

Sixteen-year-old Aza inherited the power of shadow to rid the land of evil as Odriel’s cold-blooded assassin. With her growing strength, Aza discovers the Shadow Plane—a realm of wraiths where screams haunt the winds, calling to her. Although her father forbids her from entering the dark realm, Aza can’t ignore the beckoning whispers.

When a dangerous new breed of monster attacks, Aza believes the Shadow Plane holds the answers they need to defeat them. With the unwanted help of a snarky cat and a cursed beast, Aza seeks out the monastic Wraith-Called for answers. But the deeper Aza delves into the dark realm, the further she drifts from the world she knows.

As Aza uncovers evils new and old, she must decide if the ends really do justify the means… and how many lives she’s willing to pay.

Idriel’s Children can be read as a standalone, but I recommend reading the first book for the richness of the world build and certain characters. Like book one, there is a lot packed in this book, but yet it did not feel overwhelming. The pacing sometimes slowed down too much, but when it was on point, it kept me on the edge of my seat.

Aza is sixteen and is next in line for the Shadow Heir. The main protagonist, Aza, is stubborn and protective of those she loves, traits picked up by both her parents, but she isolates herself when she feels vulnerable. She sometimes acts her age, whiny and sometimes more mature. I believe it could be the weight she feels on her shoulders, having to live up to her parents’ legacy. Aza is a character who wants to know more but wants to be shown the easy way and during her journey, she learns there is no easy path. I look forward to seeing more of her journey in the next book.

Makeo is a loveable, patient, and rational character. As a Maldibor, he sees life in a different perspective and possibly contributes to him acting more mature for his age. Makeo is Aza’s anchor, and knows her better than anyone, even herself. The two have known each other since childhood and even though they are not as close as they were, you can sense they may have feelings for each other. I really would like to see Makeo in the next book. He ended up being my favorite, and I felt we did not get as much time with him as we should have.

Shadmundar and Witt are the last two in our little group. Shadmundar, a friend of the family, is as witty as ever. During this journey, though, he is not at his full potential. He is recovering, but still monitors Aza like he did with her parents. Witt Corser is a friend of Aza and her brother Zephyr. Next to Makeo, Witt is another favorite. What came out as annoying to Aza, I found sweet. I felt he had a small crush on Aza but did not want to lose his friendship with her and Zephyr.

The shadow plane is a new location in this book. The journey Aza sets out on is learning what she could about her powers, beyond her father’s teaching, and the shadow plane and why it is calling her. When she finds a temple and a master to help her, I kind of got a Dr. Strange vibe. Maybe I have watched too many Marvel movies when I was reading this lol. But it was an interesting ride. There were some parts about the shadow plane that were a little confusing, but overall, it was a well-written location. Are we going to see this world again? I would think so.

I enjoyed this book about as much as the first one. I would recommend this to anyone who liked the first one and fantasy. The book was rich in both character and world development.

*I received an ARC from the author, and this is my honest opinion.

I give this book a 5/5

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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