#SPFBO Review : Blood of Heirs (The Coraidic Sagas #1) by Alicia Wanstall-Burke

BloodofHeirsWow. That is all. Goodbye.

Okay, maybe there’s more but the abridged version of this review is that if all of the SPFBO finalists are as gripping as this then not only am I going to be one happy little reader but this is going to be a very close competition.

The story follows two different povs.  Lidan is the first born daughter and potential heir to her father’s clan. It is unknown for a woman to rule a clan but her father has conceived daughters with all four of his wives and so Lidan finds herself in an extraordinary position. Ran is a Prince and as such his future is set in stone, or so it seemed until he developed magical abilities. Magic is forbidden and Ran is forced to run from his home and family, knowing that he will be relentlessly pursued.

There is just so much that I want to say about this book that this will no doubt become jumbled.

Firstly, the writing is really good. It isn’t over the top with wordy descriptions, it isn’t trying to be major boovy brained hot shot impressive. It does exactly what it needs to do in terms of rooting you to the spot and making the book unputdownable.  Secondly, we have two different characters, separated by geography, who find themselves in danger, nothing surprising there but what was a really pleasant surprise was that these timelines don’t cross – in this instalment at least.  Which isn’t to say that I don’t want them to cross but I like an author who defies expectations.

This is, simply, a book that worked very well for me. It was like all the stars aligned, the setting was intriguing, the characters were show stealing and the plot was absolutely rife with tension.

The world here has a very early feel to it, iron is fairly rare for example, horses are the mode of transport and Lidan’s clan has an almost viking feel to it or early mediaeval perhaps – basically, I’m not really sure so don’t quote me!  Lidan’s homestead is quite small and she has led a fairly sheltered existence (comparative to Ran) although her father seems to be a wealthy chieftain and well respected.  Ran’s home is much larger and more prosperous, although it regularly comes under attack from the Empire who are keen to control the resources it holds.

The two alternating storylines are not only separate but also quite different.  Ran is trying to survive capture and death.  He has fallen from a place of privilege to become the scourge of his own people.  Magic is not tolerated and users are ruthlessly executed.  Lidan is trying to establish her position as heir, which is not easy given that her father’s fourth wife is pregnant and the baby is expected to be a boy, meaning Lidan will be ousted from her position as heir.  As this means her mother will also lose her coveted place as first wive you can imagine the strife between Lidan’s parents and how this impacts on her.  As well as the two storylines there is an additional threat in the form of looming creatures stalking the woods and dark places and killing rangers and farmers.  These strange beasts are quickly becoming more of a threat to ordinary life as they start to test and understand their own strength.

Now, to the characters – which are the foundation on which this novel really rests.  I really enjoyed reading both storylines.  Lidan would probably be my favourite simply because she’s so determined to be something more than convention dictates.  But, both are equally compelling and I was happy to switch between the two.  In some ways Lidan reminded me of the main character from the Wolf in the Whale – a female who doesn’t want to be kept down simply because she was born a girl.  She wants to try things, to train and to have opportunities and couldn’t be less interested in being ladylike and making a good match.  Ran also has a very good story arc.  Of course he’s been raised a Prince with all the expectations and privileges you would expect but these are all ripped away from him quite dramatically and he copes, not always well, but he’s learning and obviously his education and training are a great help in this respect.

In terms of criticisms.  I think the only thing was the speed at which Lidan seemed to grasp using dual blades.  I mean, she didn’t just grasp the idea but put it into practice with great success which had me cheering her on at the same time I was kind of thinking ‘really?’  It’s not really a criticism to be fair because although I had slight reservations at the progress that both characters made I was enjoying the story far too much to let it get in the way.

Overall, you may be able to guess, but I really loved this.  In fact I would read the next instalment right now if I could.

A riveting story with two relatable characters set in a brutal, cold and dark time.

Give me more

My thanks to the author for providing a copy for review.  The above is my own opinion.

Rating 4.5 out of 5 stars




18 Responses to “#SPFBO Review : Blood of Heirs (The Coraidic Sagas #1) by Alicia Wanstall-Burke”

  1. waytoofantasy

    Ahhhhh I’m so glad you loved this one, wasn’t it a fun ride? The sequel is really good too, just saying. 🙂

    • @lynnsbooks

      Haha, Yes, I definitely want, need even, to read the second book quite soon.
      Lynn 😀

  2. Tammy

    This sounds wonderful. Another strong self pub book that I may need to try😁

    • @lynnsbooks

      I went into this without any expectations and it blew me away in fact I read it in two days.
      Lynn 😀

  3. maddalena@spaceandsorcery

    At first the synopsis made me think that the two characters were destined to meet, and you can imagine my delighted surprise in learning that instead they still go their separate ways. Indeed, an author who defies my expectations is one to keep close watch on! Thank you so much for sharing this!!! 🙂

    • @lynnsbooks

      Exactly. I was definitely expecting their lines to cross but no. What a great way to do something out of the ordinary. And this was so easy to get on with. Really very impressive when all is said and done.
      Lynn 😀

  4. sjhigbee

    I love the sound of this – and as I’m always looking out for well-writen indie reads to review, then I’m making a note of this one, Lynn. Smashing review!

  5. Adam Weller

    You can read the next book right away!
    Book two is called LEGACY OF GHOSTS and it’s available in print and ebook.
    And i think it’s even better than the first!

  6. Weekly Wrap Up : 19th January 2020 | Books and travelling with Lynn

    […] Blood of Heirs (The Coraidic Sagas #1) by Alicia Wanstall-Burke – my first SPFBO book and an excellent 9* read. […]

  7. January – My Month in Review | Books and travelling with Lynn

    […] Blood of Heirs by Alicia Wanstall-Burke […]

  8. amjusticewrites

    This is one of my favorites from this year’s SPFBO, and I did read the sequel right away. Guess what? The sequel is even better! 🙂

  9. Looking Back at 2020 : The Ghost of Books Past | Books and travelling with Lynn

    […] Blood of Heirs by Alicia Wanstall-Burke – I loved this and for the life of me don’t know why I haven’t read the second instalment yet.  Apparently I’m afraid to be happy or something, something, something, blah, blah blah about time or more succinctly the lack of it.  […]

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