It’s finally here! Happy Pub Day “Time’s Orphan”!
This week I continued reading the Odriel’s Heirs series with the third and final book in the series, “Time’s Orphan”. 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 this third book, by the author Hayley Reese Chow!
I’ve be reviewing one book per week up until now, the third book’s release date. I’ve laughed, I’ve fallen in love with another fictional family, and I’ve given you all my thoughts and feelings along the way. But alas, all good things must come to an end. Good thing Hayley saved the best for last!
Before we hop to my review for this last book, here are the links to my reviews of all the prior books and novellas in the series:
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publication Date: February 8, 2023
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.
What I liked about the book:
1. In book 1, we got our feet wet in the world of Okarria. In book 2, we got to step into the Shadow Plane. In book 3, we got time travel baby!
I absolutely loved how this book brought yet another new “location” into play in the series. I loved figuring out who was who and where certain people would have been at this point in their lives. It brought that same air of mystery Hayley has woven in the other stories, with its own unique twist.
Similar to book 2 and the Shadow Plane scenes, a lot of my favorite scenes happened when Emara was 100 years in the past, so this was a big win for me!
It was especially fun to see how the areas acted before the Lost got really bad and it was still a relatively happy and functioning society; this definitely gave me hope that it could look like that again!
2. I really went into this book thinking that no one could top Aza, and DEFINITELY no one could top Makeo. I’m happy to announce that I was wrong on both fronts!
Emara at her core was a FIGHTER! No, she may not have been exceptionally talented with weapons or her fists, but she NEVER gave up. She was super resilient, was wicked smart, and was all for helping others. Even though she had been told to hide her abilities her whole life, at the first sign that she could help she brought that magic to her fingers and dug in! She also had no qualms about letting herself be captured in order to get closer to the bad guys. She was truly a team player and I loved her.
Speaking of her having to hide her abilities, I loved that she was so different from the other heirs. As someone who had never been told of her true identity and wasn’t trained properly for it, was constantly on the run from battle to battle, and was told to hide her magic growing up, she definitely wasn’t raised like the other heirs. Don’t get me wrong, they all had hard lives, but hers was just a little less cushy and it really made you want her to succeed that much more. In a series full of underdogs and badasses, she had so much to offer the entire group because of her differences! This line in reference to Emara’s thoughts on Aza really showed her difference to me:
This wasn’t just any woman in front of her, this was a legend.
It’s so strange in this world for an heir to think this of another heir; to think them as legendary and above all others. But I loved seeing this small but significant detail with Emara.
I loved her love interest so much for her, always wanting to be near her and seeking her out to take care of her when you can tell no one had really taken care of him. I also adored their back and forth. Their chemistry was so palpable from the beginning that I just kept eating it up page after page.
Jai was everything I thought Klaus was going to be in book 1 and more! He was this little street urchin, pickpocket with a quick mind, delicious smirk, and a deep loyalty for those in his circle.
Shadmundar was so much more caring in this one, really taking the Time Heir under his wing. I loved their connection and how he always had her best interest at heart. I can’t give too much away, but we finally find out why Shadmundar has been around for all these dang heirs and I loved every detail of it!
3. Speaking of Shadmundar, he had a much larger role in this story than the others. I loved how he acted as her historical guide as she came to terms with her identity. A lot of the things that I had questions about and made peace with not knowing in books 1 and 2, he explained to her in this book! We got to know all about why he was turned into a cat, we got to know all about Ivanora’s and Everard’s backstories, and we finally found out who the heck Bellaphia really was.
4. Like all the other books in the series, the action was phenomenally written. BUT, you could also fully see Hayley’s growth as a writer present in this story. From the daunting and dark first 4 novels/novellas, we finally got to see some lightness, some comedy, and some romance that was better written than all the other stories. The lightness and comedy are more than likely attributable to Emara’s personality compared to Kaia’s and Aza’s, but the chemistry between Emara and her love interest was undeniably a level-up compared to the others.
5. By now you know I’m a fan of these gorgeous covers!
6. I loved that we got to see a lot of Aza in this one! I also loved how her life had developed in the last 10 years and getting to be part of that with her ❤
7. We have finally reached the end of the series, but definitely have only scratched the surface of Hayley’s wisdom. Here were some of my favorite lines for this story:
Both sides always lost in war; one just lost more than the other.
She’d never let them take her alive, even if it meant making the final cut herself.
So many cogs had already been set in motion. And she was only one.
Shad: “The world was never perfect. And even if we succeed, it will never be perfect. The only thing we can do is try to make it a little better with the time that we have.”
Emara: “I should’ve-”
Shad: “Don’t second guess the past. The paths are many, but we can never know where any of them lead. Once chosen, we can only go forward. No use carrying the weight of past mistakes when you still have so many to make in the future.”
Emara: “There’s…too many. I’m going to lose him!”
Aza: “You are not. You are a Time Heir of legend, gifted with the strength of Odriel himself to heal the injured, strengthen the weak, and be the wall between life and death. To the tireless, he gave the hardest task. To the gentle he gave the most power. That is you, Emara Alik, Ioni Rao, survivor of the blood-soaked west.”
– I loved seeing Aza pay the speech of strength forward!
“Secrets weigh lighter when spoken aloud.”
“…in matters of the mind I feel a needle may be more helpful than a club.”
What could have been better:
1. NOTHING! It was complete and total perfection!
Bottom line, this series is a must read for any fans of YA Fantasy!
Final Rating: 5 beautiful stars
Want to check out what else Hayley is working on? Hop on over to her social media accounts using the below.
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