Full disclosure, I was provided a copy of this book by the author or their authorized representative, however, I have voluntarily chosen to write a review. All opinions are my own.
A YA Dystopian Gem!
Scylla Delevan lives in the Castle. As the daughter of Magistrate Delevan, she has been afforded many luxuries those in the surrounding rings of Devovian society have not. But having gone to school in the Tiers, where the population is poorer and not as privileged she understands compassion in a way that most of the Castle dwellers do not. When she and her best friend, Ilya attend a political function, Scyllas’s world goes sideways as her father is accused and detained for the murder of a fellow lawmaker. Adamant that there is no way that her father would have murdered a fellow magistrate and with the “evidence” against him circumstantial at best, she and Ilya set out to recreate a timeline of events to not only clear her father’s name but also discover the true culprit. As the clandestine investigation progresses, they begin to uncover a web of lies, secrets, and tragedy, and when the culprit is finally exposed, Scylla wonders if the truth was better left buried. With the fate of more than one Magistrate of Delevan on the line, the truth will set some free but could condemn many more.
Heir of Blood and Secrets by author Linda Xia is on the surface a YA dystopian fantasy reminiscent of The Hunger Games, but if the reader looks deeper is also a commentary on the corruptness of politics and High Society. With the elite sequestered in their ultra-modern dwellings in the Castle, spanning out in waves and districts of housing areas, specific working, and commercial districts, and finally, the “Tiers” where the most destitute and dangerous of society live the caste system in place is obvious. Being a big K Drama fan, the fact that the elite resides in an area called “the Castle” was something that particularly struck me as interesting, but also helped to visualize the overly obscene opulence that those people must have been accustomed to and it also made me wonder if Ms. Xia was not also a drama fan herself. The overall world-building in this book was spectacular, from the biggest detail to the smallest, there was not a moment that I did not feel fully involved in all the characters and their stories. And I feel that this is only the beginning. With as good as Heir of Blood and Secrets is, something tells me that we have only begun to scratch the surface of Xia’s Devovea and there are many more stories to be told and adventures to be had, not only in the Castle but also in the surrounding Tiers and beyond. I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention that the thing that really impressed me was that in the acknowledgments section of the book Xia reveals that she began writing this book at the age of fourteen even if it did take several years to finalize and publish. For such a polished, engrossing, and entertaining title I for one am glad to see her dream realized and I hope it doesn’t take her another seven years to release the second book in what appears to be a possible series. But even if it does, I will be ready for Devovea’s next tale when she is ready to release it to the world.