Time’s Orphan by Hayley Reese Chow {Odriel’s Heirs; 3}

“I LOVED this book. It was my favorite of the series by a landslide.”

Review by Renae Powers

Speak of pain, and I’ll tell you of the Time who stole it away…

Besieged by war, ravaged by monsters, and crawling with the undead, the land of Okarria is dying. Seventeen-year-old Emara survives by using her modest healing gift to save as many as she can while eluding the invaders who thirst for her enchanted blood.

So when a cursed cat saves her life and reveals Emara is the legendary Time Heir the necromancer king’s been searching for, she agrees to act as bait in a plot to destroy him. But when the plan goes horrifically awry, Emara must discover how deep her powers go, what she can change…

And what she cannot.

Unfortunately, Time Heirs have a history of getting killed, and with Okarria’s future on the line, Emara may have no choice but to follow in her ancestors’ footsteps.

Release Date: 3/1/2020

Genre: YA Dark Fantasy

Pages: 198

Read Renae’s Review

Release Date: 7/20/2021

Genre: YA Dark Fantasy

Pages: 203

Read Renae’s Review

Release Date: 2/8/2023

Genre: YA Dark Fantasy

Pages: 282

Renae’s Review Below

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

When I start writing a review I always ask myself two questions: What did I like/love about the book? And what did I not like or love about the book? Here’s exactly how that went for me:

What did I love? Is “everything” a suitable answer? Because seriously, this one rocked.

What didn’t I love? Hayley kinda played me at the end. That’s literally the only “critique” I have here. And honestly, that is tongue-in-cheek, because I even enjoyed the tears of indignation.

So, if you didn’t gather from that very brief, TL;DR version of things, I LOVED this book. It was my favorite of the series by a landslide. I’m SO glad I’ve stuck with the series, because the book is the crowning jewel in my opinion. I loved all of the protagonists (though I had moments of being annoyed with Chipo, despite her being adorable 98% of the time), adored the way this story tied together several generations of Odriel’s Heirs, and was kept on my toes wondering how things were going to work out until the very end. 

True to the world she’s created, Hayley includes gore and rot like no other author I’ve seen, and manages to do so in a way that avoids making me want to vomit (with the exception of Idriel’s rotting mass, because gross). But this book in particular stands out by taking the characters to a world that so perfectly juxtaposes the dark of the Okarria readers know with light and freedom and innocence. It’s so hard to write this review without spoilers because I feel so passionately about how beautifully Hayley tied this all together. I don’t know if she intended this, but for me the story pointed to the way sin causes our souls to rot, while the power of Jesus’ Blood washes us clean and restores us to new Creations. 

(Side note: The song ‘Rot’ by Lacey Sturm is a great one to listen to and look back over the series when you wrap things up.)

The characters in this one are just absolutely precious cinnamon rolls, too (even the ones who pretend not to be). I can’t go too deep here without spilling spoilers, but there was a moment toward the beginning of the book where I made a hopeful but fairly baseless prediction about one of the characters, and I was SO FREAKING EXCITED when it turned out to come true! Oh, and if you’ve already read the rest of this series, allow me to put your fears to rest (and give new life to your hopes): we FINALLY get a resolution to Shadmundar’s story!!! That might be my favorite part of the series, to be honest. Who knew a silly talking cat would become so important to me?! 

Anyway, I’ll stop fangirling and get to business here. The story is awesome. The world is one of the most unique I’ve ever read. This series needs to be in more readers’ hands (that means you)! It’s definitely a 5 out of 5 for me!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Content Ratings:

Action & Gore:

Rating: 6 out of 10.
6. Strong action/gore (most action sequences describe blood loss and the injury to a clear picture, albeit brief or infrequent). 

Romance & Spice:

Rating: 0 out of 10.
0. None.

Cursing & Vulgarity:

Rating: 3 out of 10.
3. Infrequent mild cursing (less than 10 "h*ll"s etc. includes British words "Bloody" etc.)

Other Trigger Warnings:

Spice: None (There is, however, an implication that two very horrid characters plan to rape the FMC and her friend. It doesn’t happen, but the implication is obvious.) Gore: 4 out of 5 (The MC is a healer and injuries are required for a healer to work. Also, there are literally man-hunting, rotting zombies everywhere. It sounds gross, but I promise it works in the context of the story!) (Oh, and they’re not ‘keep you awake at night’ scary zombies. I’m a baby about such things and I was fine.)

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