Linda Xia’s Heir of Blood And Secrets is the story of 16 year old Scylla Delevan who matures into her role as an heir to the ruling class in Devovea. The dystopian world is not something I am much too keen on, basically, the futuristic sci-fi kinda flies over my head most of the time coz of which I am choosy about this genre. I’m glad though for the world created by author Linda Xia.
Devovea is a place that fits into my imagination wonderfully and I did picture it like The Titanic, where each rung holds different classes of people and the castle with the ruling class at the top and except for the high-end technology being used, the dystopian world is many ways similar to what we know.
The murder of a magistrate and the accusation pinned against her father throw Scylla’s world upside down and rather than sitting idle and believing the justice system, she decides to conduct her own investigation, little knowing how her own perceptions about her city are gonna be ripped to shreds by the time she’s done. The author’s sketch of Scylla is excellent as the reader is made to walk in her headstrong attitude at first and then as she grows into an understanding of politics and the policy of ‘greater good’ followed by the council, there is a mellowing down of her actions.
The mystery of the murder is not hard to guess for seasoned readers as there are not many culprits in the first place but I loved how the story evolves into varied subjects reflecting the conditions of the society today. Class distinction, race, child labor, poverty, lack of freedom and voice, subjugation by the rulers, all this and more gets mentioned before Scylla finds the courage to stand up for what is right.
My favorite moments in the story are those between Scylla and her best friend Ilya, the warmth of their friendship and love shines thru brilliantly in the story. The romance element unlike other YA novels is not the intense kind that we are used to, Scylla and Galen who is her connection to the Tier share a love that is quite innocent and sweet. Galen is more like Scylla’s conscience encouraging her to look for answers for herself giving her the strength to believe, and rebel against the injustices meted out against the poor.
The author’s experiences of being born in a different country to the one growing up and the questions that arise coz of it are reflected in the storyline and this was something, I feel many of us can relate to, the sense of neither here nor there always hanging on our heads. This is book #1 and is clearly like an introduction to Devovea and Scylla. There is a lack of palpable tension and thrilling elements in the story which I hope the author would bring about in the series as Scylla continues her adventures in Devovea.
Many thanks to the author for the chance to read and review this book. All opinions are expressed voluntarily.
“We’re all complicit in things we regret. Sometimes, we just do what we must.”
In the city-state of Devovea, behind the walls of the Castle, Scylla Delevan waits for a chance to prove herself. When a Magistrate is murdered and her father stands accused of the crime, she eagerly sets out to prove his innocence. As she races to find the real killer before it is too late, she begins to unearth dangerous secrets that could throw the fragile balance of her city into chaos. In too deep to turn back, Scylla is forced to question all she has ever known and choose between what is expected of her and what is right.
Family loyalty and personal beliefs collide as Scylla navigates a dystopian world divided by race and gender. Heir of Blood and Secrets will challenge you to consider how far you are willing to go—and what you are willing to sacrifice—to forge a better world.
This post contains affiliate links for products and services I recommend. If you make a purchase through those links, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.