Odriel’s Heirs by Hayley Reese Chow (Odriel’s Heirs; 1)

Book Blurb:

The brave, burning with fire, harnessed the Dragon’s Rage….

As the Dragon Heir, seventeen-year-old Kaia inherited the power of flame to protect her homeland from a godlike necromancer’s undead army. But after centuries of peace, the necromancer has faded to myth, and the Dragon Heir is feared by the people. Persecuted and cast out, Kaia struggles to embrace and control her seemingly useless gift while confined to her family’s farm.

But when the necromancer’s undead terrorize the land once again, Kaia runs away to join the battle.

With the help of her childhood rival, the handsome Shadow Heir, and a snarky, cursed cat, Kaia must figure out how to control both her fire and her confidence in time to save Okarria. If she fails, she will sacrifice her family, her new friends, and the enchanting world she has only just begun to see.

And time is running out.

I received this book from the author for free. All comments and opinions are entirely my own and this review is voluntary.

Renae’s Review:

Kaia Dashul is one of only a handful of Odriel’s Heirs- guardians of Okarria who have been given special powers with which to guard the realm. When her father and the other adult guardians go missing in action, Kaia strikes out with her trusty ragehound, Gus, to find them and help defend Okarria from the invading Lost (basically zombies) and Nifras, the demon necromancer. Along the way, she is joined by another young Heir, Klaus, as well as a talking cat, and several other creatures from the mind of author Hayley Reese Chow. These two young guardians must find a way to get along, work together, and rescue a world that shuns them for their power. Will they find a way to save Okarria, or will they fall in flames and shadows?

“The brave, burning with fire, harnessed the dragon’s rage. The cunning, veiled from the world, stole the shadow’s step. The gentle, blessed with life, healed like time itself.”

This book honestly deserves more attention than it’s currently getting, and I don’t say that often. Hayley did a fantastic job of building a full world, colored with its own history, creatures, and troubles! Few indie authors that I’ve read thus far have gone into as much depth and detail in creating their worlds as Hayley did with Okarria, and I really appreciated the work she put into bringing Kaia’s story to life. 

“If you ever need a light, just remember the one that burns within you never goes out.”

Hayley’s creativity was on full display with the array of brand new creatures she put into the story, all (presumably) from her own imagination. From the loveable ragehound, Gus, to the not so loveable Lost, Hayley seems to have really nailed the art of taking creatures we are already familiar with and putting a creative twist on them. I particularly loved the Maldibors and Dalteek! I do wish she had gone into a little more detail with some of the descriptions, or perhaps even had illustrations, as some of the creatures definitely require a stretch of the imagination. But even without that, the creatures came to life and colored the pages with creativity and action!

“I would rather fight beside you in the darkness than live without you in the sun.”

The characters themselves were also captivating. Kaia was a particularly emotional character, but that’s part of what I liked about her. In many fantasy books, the hero/heroine doesn’t show enough realistic emotion, but Kaia didn’t have that problem, as she dealt with even the dark emotions of rage and grief and insecurity. Klaus was more guarded with his emotions, but as the Shadow Heir, that fit his character and provided balance to the story, so it worked well! The other characters each had their quirks that made them special and charming (or, in the case of Mogens and a few others, terrifying and despicable), with a few of my favorites being Mackie, Fiola, Shad, and Tekoa. Each of the side characters added to Kaia’s growth as a character, whether in a negative or positive way, and by the end, I think you’ll be hard-pressed not to like the majority of the characters (again, with the exception of Mogens, whose guts I absolutely hated- you’ll see why!).

“Anyone can be brave, Mackie… It’s a choice we make every day.”

Hayley truly did a splendid job creating this story and I’m so grateful I was given the opportunity to experience Kaia’s story, darkness and rage and all! I hope you’ll give it a read and that you enjoy it as much as I did, because I give it a full 5 out of 5 stars!

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