printed copy

Shadow Heir: A Dark Swan Novel #4

Richelle Mead

ISBN 9781420111804
Publish Date 12/27/2011
Format Paperback
Categories Fantasy, Zebra, Dark Swan
List Price: $7.99

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#1 New York Times bestselling author Richelle Mead returns to the Otherworld, a mystic land inextricably linked to our own—and balanced precariously on one woman’s desperate courage …

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…

Praise for Richelle Mead’s Storm Born…

“My kind of book—great characters, dark worlds, and just the right touch of humor. A great read.” —Patricia Briggs, New York Times Bestselling Author

About Richelle Mead:

Richelle Mead has an M.A. in Comparative Religion and a passion for all things wacky and humorous. She currently lives in Seattle with her husband and four cats. Late-night musings and updates about the next succubus novel can be found at

Average Customer Review

Based on 3 reviews

Customer Review

Shadow Heir is One Great Roller Coaster Ride (Tuesday, January 31, 2012)
Reviewer: NoraA

In this last book of the Dark Swan series, the author pulled out all the stops. Eugenie is forced to go into hiding to protect not only herself but her unborn children. The adventure starts in what for anyone else would be a mundane checkup at her doctor’s office. She is accompanied by her sister and Pagiel, the son of Ysabel. Thankfully her son didn’t inherit her bitch gene.
The visit with the doctor done, Eugenie, Jasmine and Pagiel noticed the changing weather and the storm that was brewing overhead. As they leave the doctor’s office to return to the gate, and return to Otherworld they all feel the magic that is the reason for this storm. Knowing they will probably be attached they prepare as best they can. The attack happens just before they reach the gate and the battle is engaged.
This action filled beginning it only the tip of a very large (think Titanic) iceberg. Eugenie will be on the run all across Otherworld, and the United States. When she finally comes to rest in a safe house chosen by her step father, Eugenie can finally stop and regain some sense of peace (albeit short) and rest up for her final battles.
Having followed our heroine’s life from the first book all the way to its conclusion, I have only one vision of it in my mind, the Cyclone in Coney Island. It was the scariest ride ever for me, and that is my vision of Eugenie and family.
FTC Full Disclosure: This book was sent to me by the publishers who only asked for a fair and impartial review.

Controversial ending, but still loved it! (Thursday, January 5, 2012)
Reviewer: J. Griffin

I have loved every book in the Dark Swan series by Richelle Mead. There are so many twists and turns throughout each one that a reader is sure to be kept on their toes, never knowing what’s going to happen next. Shadow Heir is no exception. I really enjoyed reading this book - its just the last few pages I am bothered by. To me, the ending felt more like it belonged to one of the other books in the series, not the FINAL book. There are certain things (can’t say too much without spoiling anybody) that do not feel completed. If I hadn’t known any better, I would have honestly thought there was another book coming out in this series! But I understand that Mead might have wanted to leave the ending where the reader can make their own future for the characters, or maybe she has plans we don’t know about. Either way, I really did love this book, and I guess I’m just not ready to leave the Dark Swan world. Eugenie is an awesome kick-butt heroine who doesn’t let her power get to her head and always works to protect those she loves and cares for.

There were some interesting side characters in Shadow Heir, and the reader also learns more about what makes Volusion the way he is. I thought it was extremely cool to be able to find out more about him, as he’s always been a dark and shadowy feature of the story. By the end, I actually felt kind of sorry for him, and anyone who’s read these novels knows what a feat that is! There are other secrets that come out in Shadow Heir that will surprise many readers, as I know they were a surprise for me as well.

This is a series that I recommend to all of my friends who are fans of paranormal romance and urban fantasy. Richelle Mead creates a world that is dark and exciting, with characters that are layered and fascinating. None of them are perfect, but together they make for an engrossing read that will keep you interested till the very end.

Another great conclusion for a series!! 3 for 3!! (Wednesday, November 2, 2011)
Reviewer: Toni S.

It’s been 12 hours since I finished this book and I’m still sitting here bewildered, enchanted and pleased. I always knew Ms. Mead was a great writer, but I do have to say I think she has undone herself this time. I have been left oddly satisfied with the ending, yet I am disappointed that there are still mind boggling issues left unanswered. In the scheme of things I can also see why those are left unanswered. I am oddly mystified.

Dark Swan is an action series revolving around fey and the problems with prophesy. It also covers a wide range of thought provoking issues. In the four books we have had kidnappings, rape, murder, unplanned pregnancy and even abortion, just to name a few. The subject matters are handled extremely well and Ms. Mead doesn’t back off and sugarcoat the issues. She tackles them head-on, not caring about the backlash. By the end of Shadow Heir, she does it yet again and the results are brilliant. This is not a standalone novel. Please enjoy this series as a whole.

The Iron Crowned ended with a shocking revelation. They hate and dismay for Kiyo is astounding. One of the biggest comments I have noticed that he needs to die a painful death and how in the world can Eugenie even think of a truce with him. I am going to say though I don’t like the idea; the reasoning behind the truce is understandable and tolerable. This whole book is about of compromise and understanding for me. If you are expecting a tale of butterflies, glitter and the story all wrapped up and closed with pretty bows, then you need to not read this book. Ms. Mead has written a thought provoking, deep tale of sacrifice, the choices that mold us and the high price we must pay sometimes for the ones we love.

The reason this novel gets a 5 star review from me is because of the devastating plot and complexity of its execution. I could have also easily given this book a 2 star rating. Just because it doesn’t end the way I think it should doesn’t take away from the brilliant storytelling. I will be captured and thinking of this story for a long time. Some people will be angry and disappointed and some will be thrilled and excited. This book will not please everyone. The only person who could possibly have seen the outcome of this ending is Ms. Mead and the fallout will be diverse.

I have so many assorted feelings about this novel that I’m still reeling. The last chapter had me gasping and heartbroken. I am left with the feeling of bittersweet wonder by the love and devotion. I am awe struck by the sacrifice of true love and saddened by the choice. I can honestly say that I have never finished a book that has left me with the feeling that I am being pulled in so many different directions; feelings of love and hate, wanting and fulfillment and even anger and happiness. I just feel WOW at the conclusion of Shadow Heir.

Congratulations Ms. Mead on a brilliant conclusion to an amazing series! You have left me wanting more, but yet sated at the same time. You have answered many of the questions, but I would still love a tale of the outcome of the decisions that were made. Please take pity on this devoted fan.

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