This week I continued reading the Odriel’s Heirs series with the second novella “Night of Ash”. If you didn’t catch my posts from the last couple weeks, 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 novella in the series, here are the links to my reviews of books 1, 1.5, and 2:
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publication Date: September 27, 2022
The night buries all Shadows…
After healing from the last battle with Idriel’s Children, the young Shadow Heir, Aza Thane, once again finds herself at a magus’s door looking for answers. There, she and her companions learn of a dark plot to raise an ancient demon necromancer in the corpse of a soul-eating monster and rush to the once great city of Austerden to stop it.
Racing toward a city on the brink of a massacre and still haunted by her past mistakes, Aza will have to learn to trust again if she wants to save anyone at all… including herself.
What I liked about the book:
1. Similar to the first novella, this book picked up effortlessly from the groundwork Chow did in its predecessor novel. These novellas truly feel like lovely little glimpses into the world of the MCs just after the events in the previous book; an extension of the characters we love, before jumping to new MCs. I love these little shorts we get between the main books and the more time we get to spend with our favorite characters!
2. The characters were awesome as always!
- Similar to Kaia’s growth shown in “Burning Shadows” it was amazing to see how Aza had grown from a woman of logic and saving those who were more “useful” first, to being willing to sacrifice herself for everyone and anyone. Her fierce spirit and love for those around her, especially in what she thought were her last moments, was phenomenal to watch!
If this was her fate, so be it, but she’d send a hundred of these things to the grave before she followed them.
- Of course, Makeo, was downright loveable as always, constantly reassuring Aza at every turn and giving her the mental support she needed to continue.
Makeo: *put a reassuring hand on her back* “You need to stop second-guessing yourself.”
Aza: “If I’m that obvious, perhaps I should start third-guessing instead.”
– Giiiirl, that is a slippery slope. Trust me!
Makeo: “You’ve asked for everyone’s forgiveness, Aza, more than once. But you might want to consider asking it of yourself.”
Aza: “How could I ask that, when I’m the reason we’re here?”
Makeo: “Oh Aze.” *his gaze shone with a bittersweet warmth* “That’s where you’re wrong. You were only one stone in an avalanche of hundreds that got us here. If we’re going to stop the chain now, we need to look forward, not back.”
– I mean, how do you NOT fall in love with this guy???
- I loved seeing a more in depth look into Zephyr, including his “new” romance with Hoku. He seemed less arrogant and more likable when she was around, and she was another badass woman in this series!
Zephyr: *turns to Hoku* “And-”
Hoku: “Don’t even think it. I may not be an Heir, but I have a keen mind. A sharp blade. An unbreakable will.” *lifts her chin, defiance glinting in her eyes* “Surely we’ll need all three.”
Zephyr: *runs a hand through his hair, his brows sloped with worry* “But what if-”
Hoku: “Besides, I’m the fastest rider here and the only one of you lot that’s even been to Austerden.” *she takes a step closer, a dangerous ferocity in her slow movements* “I’m coming.”
– Well, she just put him in his place…
- And I loved getting to see the Shadow Heir and Dragon Heir get to fight in the same plane!
- I loved the small bit we got of Dorinar and Marloa, who are DEFINITELY together. Just check this out:
Dorinar: “You can be certain Ivanora (Dorinar’s evil sister) has sent her monsters after us even now. While we’re alive, we’re a threat to her.”
Zephyr: “And you’re sure you won’t come with us, Dorinar? We could use your help.”
Dorinar: “And leave Marloa to travel on her own? With my most precious books?” *sniffles* “I can’t risk it.”
– Definitely not leaving his woman behind, and DEFINITELY DEFINITELY not leaving his books behind. I get it man, I get it.
- I also loved the old guardsman, Samar Bhalla, at the end who gave Aza strength when she needed it most.
Samar: “It’s not about what you’ve done or haven’t, it’s about what you can still do. It’s your potential. I’m afraid, my lass, for better or for worse, as the Shadow Heir, you don’t just belong to yourself. But to all of Okarria. You hold our hope in your hands. You shoulder our fears. And you are the kindling for our bravery.”
Aza: “What if it’s already over?”
Samar: “That is a decision, lass. It’s never over as long as the brave are willing to fight on. And like it or not, it is your fight to lead. Your decision to make. Is this over? Or are you willing to fight for what was taken from us?”
3. I liked the progress shown in this book, including the history behind maybe why Ivanora is the way she is.
I also loved the fact that they didn’t come out on top! This novella definitely heightened the need for the elusive Time Heir and will feed beautifully into his/her story that’s up next! I really hope the next book doesn’t follow the same formula as books 1 and 1.5, meaning Aza and Zephyr won’t have much of a role in book 3 because of a time jump. I can’t bear to lose any more heirs! I just want my Time Heir and the whole story to end nicely!!!
4. This was the perfect amount of action, new plot development, and page count for a novella. I could not put it down and was able to finish it in about an hour or two.
What could have been better:
1. I was a bit bummed that we didn’t get more Makeo, Zephyr, and Hoku, especially since if the formula from books 1 and 1.5 does continue, they will have a small role going forward, much like Klaus and Kaia in books 2 and 2.5. Let’s hope that’s not the case because I need all the Maldibor babies up in this world, or at least the freaking curse broken and HEAs all around!
Such a great addition to this series!
Final Rating: 4.5 stars
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