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Idriel’s Children by Hayley Reese Chow

Hi All!

I hope everyone’s week is going well!

This week I continued reading the Odriel’s Heirs series with the second full-length book “Idriel’s Children”. If you didn’t catch my post from last week, I was provided with ALL 3 FULL-LENGTH AND 2 NOVELLA-LENGTH books in this series, including an ARC of the third book “Time’s Orphan”, by the author Hayley Reese Chow!

I’ll be reviewing one book per week until the third book’s release date of February 8, giving you all my thoughts and feelings along the way!

Before we hop to my review for this second full-length book in the series, here are the links to my reviews of book 1 and book 1.5:

Odriel’s Heirs

Burning Shadows

Genre:  Young Adult, Fantasy

Publication Date: May 1, 2022

Goodreads Blurb:

Reaping darkness, the Shadow slicked steel with judgment and danced with death…

Sixteen-year-old Aza inherited the power of shadow to rid the land of evil as Odriel’s cold-blooded assassin. With her growing strength, Aza discovers the Shadow Plane—a realm of wraiths where screams haunt the winds, calling to her. Although her father forbids her from entering the dark realm, Aza can’t ignore the beckoning whispers.

When a dangerous new breed of monster attacks, Aza believes the Shadow Plane holds the answers they need to defeat them. With the unwanted help of a snarky cat and a cursed beast, Aza seeks out the monastic Wraith-Called for answers. But the deeper Aza delves into the dark realm, the further she drifts from the world she knows.

As Aza uncovers evils new and old, she must decide if the ends really do justify the means… and how many lives she’s willing to pay.

What I liked about the book:

1. The worldbuilding continued, letting us step into a whole other dimension: the Shadow Plane  – the space between the living and the dead. From creepy creatures to an alluring voice calling our FMC, it was hard to resist the pull to the Shadow Plane as a reader as well. So much mystery and so much darkness had me rooting for Aza to learn to control her time in the Shadow Plane so we too could see what it was all about. And when we did learn about it, as well as more history about the Heirs, I loved it!

I don’t want to spoil anything, so I’ll just say, some of the scenes that happened in the Shadow Plane were my favorite scenes in the entire book.

2. I thought the characters in book 1 were good, but they had NOTHING on these new characters!

Aza, our FMC, was a supreme badass! She literally came out swinging and she was just really cool (as dumb as that sounds coming from a 30-year-old woman). She understands her mission as the Shadow Heir completely, being able to separate her emotions from her logic as easy as the crow flies.

The path of the Shadow Heir was dark for more reasons than one. Sometimes, you had to take a life to save one. It set them apart from the Dragon and Time Heirs, and it was one of the reasons the Dragon Heirs never accompanied them [Klaus and Aza] on these tasks. Odriel had forged the Shadows with a different metal.

She was adventurous and inquisitive, often going against the grain and doing things her father (the other Shadow Heir) told her not to for the sake of learning and growth. Because of this, we were introduced to some fantastic side characters and the Shadow Plane you all know I love from item 1 above.

I also loved how even though she was outwardly confident, she was well aware of her reputation and responsibilities as the Shadow Heir and she didn’t want to bring anyone down with her. If she had it her way, she would never involve anyone else unless the situation was dire, in an attempt to keep everyone safe from the issues at hand and herself.

You’re Odriel’s Assassin. You’re full of harm, whether you mean it or not.

Aza’s smile melted away. She missed that girl she had been. Back when the shadows were just a fun trick to make Makeo laugh. Now the shadows seemed to be all she was. Just darkness lined with good intentions…fleeing the dull ache of memories long gone and the echo of her mother’s voice reciting The Heir’s Way. And forever more, the Shadow Heir only danced with death.

Also, she was SUPER protective of those loyal to her, especially Makeo. Gods, the way she defended him and got totally pissed off when people judged him unfairly was just EVERYTHING! When the book opened and I thought it was posing Witt to be the Klaus in this story and then Makeo entered the story, I thought we were going to get a love triangle situation and I was shouting “IT BEST BE MAKEO!”.  

I hate to compare, but I liked her a lot more than Kaia from book 1. She was more outwardly confident and she had more edge to her. Now, I will caveat this with we know Kaia was stoned and bullied for her gifts growing up by her peers, whereas Aza grew up in the school her parents started, where their gifts were embraced. This is likely a HUGE factor in the personality difference between two badass women.

Makeo, our MMC and a Maldibor(!), was the perfect best friend and I was rooting for him to become the perfect book boyfriend the whole time! He was stable and comforting, strong and silent without being hard and cold. He was also super astute and knew her to a freaking T!

I loved these lines of his:

Makeo: “You’re as sharp as your knives, Aza.”

Aza: “Is that a bad thing?”

Makeo: “I’ll let you know when I catch the edge.”

Aza: “Sometimes I’m afraid the shadows have stained me.”

Makeo: “In the face of pain and fear, a heart will raise walls to protect itself. But that doesn’t mean it’s not a good heart.”

Aza: “There’s a thin line between a walled heart and a stone one. You can’t know which one it is until you see inside.”

Makeo: *whispers in her ear* “I see you, Aza Thane. And I will remind you as many times as you need to hear it. You don’t have to be alone.”


Witt was the hilarious comedic relief and he did such a good job of it! He was hilarious and knew just enough to get himself into trouble. He was also the only outwardly optimistic one in the group, which gave it a lighter tone than if it were just the other three. Without him, I could legit see myself feeling this was a dismal read. I honestly didn’t think I would even like him at the start of the book, but he slowly grew on me and wriggled his way into my heart (not past Makeo, but that says more about Makeo than Witt).

Shad was his perfect, snarky self, with a few more war wounds and an extra side of surly given his elongated servitude. I totally called that this damn cat was going to be around for all these books and I love it! Will he ever be free??? I’m dying to see his reunion with Everard and how that plays out.

Dorinar was back and was just so helpful all over again. I loved that his “assistant”/unconfirmed girlfriend, Marloa did not let him get away with ANYTHING! She put him in his place and he allowed her to, only further proving she was more than just an assistant.

Of course, we got to see our MCs from book 1, but in their capacity as parents who can still throw down.

3. This book did a good job introducing us to some of the history in this world that I wanted from book 1.

I will note, because of the background set in book 1, this book didn’t seem like there was as much history I felt we were missing. I’ve made peace with the items we don’t know (yet?) and appreciated the ground we did gain as far as history went.

4. Like the other books in this series so far, the action is phenomenally written.


Witt Corser had been a knot in her hair since they were kids, but his innkeeper father did a lot for Catalede. A usefulness that bought him approximately two minutes of civility.

And this is when I knew this girl was my kindred spirit!

            Worrying brings no answers.

True, but easier said than done.

“Draw your line in the sand, Keo, but don’t be surprised when it washes away.”


In this game, a coincidence was just a riddle she had yet to solve.

As a puzzle nerd, I love this!

“The difference between dead and alive is one day.”

Well that puts things into perspective!

“When in doubt, you’re already thinking twice as much as when you were certain.”

This is something I should definitely keep in mind daily.

“Control your mind first, and your body will follow.”

UGGGGGH the wisdom Chow gives is soooooo good. I should invest in a lot of sticky notes so I can post all of these near my work computer.

6. Like book 1, that cover is fantastic! I love the green, I love the skull, I love the knives. It’s all just REALLY doing it for me.

What could have been better:

1. I always want MORE with these stories! Seriously, Chow could right these as 500-600 page books and I would read them!

Final Thoughts:

Such a great installment to this series! My favorite so far!

Final Rating: 4.5 stars

Want to check out what else Hayley is working on? Hop on over to her social media accounts using the below.

Goodreads | Instagram | Website

While you’re at it, let’s be antisocial together!

Goodreads | Instagram | Gmail


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