About the Book:
Title: Idriel’s Children
Author: Hayley Reese Chow
Series: Odriel’s Heir #2
Publication Date: July 20, 2021
Synopsis: 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.
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Idriel’s Children is the second book in the Odriel’s Heir series, but it takes place eighteen years after the conclusion of the first book and can easily be read as a standalone. I haven’t read the first book in the series, but I’m eager to now, as I really enjoyed this one! It’s immersive and entertaining, and I loved the world-building, the epic journey, and the characters.
The story follows Aza, the daughter of the heroes in the first book. Aza has inherited her father’s shadow abilities and wants to learn more about it. An unexpected attack and the threat of more propel Aza, with a small group of allies, to journey to find answers about the Shadow Plane, these new monsters and threats, and their connection to each other. Their quest is riddled with danger, and old and new enemies threaten them at every turn. As Aza falls deeper and deeper into the Shadow Plane, will she be able to defeat her enemies and save all that she holds dear?
Ava is a brave and determined protagonist who is relentless in her pursuits. She is a sixteen year old with a lot of responsibility, and she can be quite stubborn, especially when she is trying to protect those she cares about. She has a tendency to keep people at a distance or push them away, especially when she is feeling vulnerable. She has a twin brother Zephyr who is the Dragon Heir, and I love their relationship. They have a great sibling bond, and I’m hoping there will be more of Zephyr in the next book, as this book focused mainly on Aza’s journey, and Zephyr wasn’t part of that. The snippets of Zephyr in this book are intriguing, and I want to learn more about him and his journey as the next Dragon Heir.
Makeo is one of my favorite characters in the book and a wonderful balance to Aza. They are childhood friends, and there is a bit of a romance between the two, which I enjoyed. Where Aza is a bit impulsive, Makeo is more rational and patient. A cursed man, he has a unique perspective on life, and he is wise beyond his years.
Other characters that journey with Aza include Shadmundar and Witt, both of whom are fantastic additions to the story. I love Shadmundar’s sarcastic wit, and Witt is one of the most loyal and upbeat friends a person could ask for. His optimism and magnificent cooking are endearing, and his friendship is true. As a group, this foursome makes a great team, and they complement each other well. I have to say, I was totally invested in these characters and became so emotionally invested in their stories.
In addition to the compelling characters, the plot and setting are developed and detailed and so engrossing! The way that the author describes everything and develops the world and characters is so well done. I also love the fantasy elements – the magic, curses, unique creatures and settings, and more – it all makes for an engrossing read.
Another unique part of the novel is The Shadow Plane which is fascinating and alarming at the same time. It is so well-described and is definitely a place that I would want to avoid. However, Aza knows that the Shadow Plane is the key to everything, and she is inexplicably drawn to it. She knows if she can master her abilities and further understand the complexities of the Shadow Plane, she could end the battle between good and evil. On top of that, Ava is not only trying to defeat new evils but also ones that have returned from the dead. They are all ruthless and vicious, and between them and the dangerous terrain and journey, Aza’s life is in constant danger.
This is a suspenseful and action-packed fantasy that I thoroughly enjoyed, and I’m so thankful to Hayley Reese Chow for providing a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review. I can’t wait to read more of the series!
- The world-building.
- The romance.
- The quest.
Every predator shows it’s teeth eventually.
There’s a thin line between a walled heart and a stone one.
Draw your line in the sand, Keo, but don’t be surprised when it washes away.
In this game, a coincidence was just a riddle she had yet to solve.
When in doubt, you’re already thinking twice as much as when you were certain.
This is a great read for people who like immersive YA fantasy with epic quests, intrigue, and unique characters!