The Heir (The Royal Three, #1) – Benét Stoen [ARC Review]

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Rating: ⭐️⭐️✨/⭐️⭐️⭐️

Synopsis:

Three rulers.
Two sides.
One plot for revenge.
Welcome to the Kingdom of Lavdia.

In a village all but forgotten by the country’s rulers, Finn leads two lives. One of a simple country doctor, and the other of a smuggler with cargo of a rare variety: Wielders, a nearly extinct race of people born with the ability to control Magic. With their rights being threatened by the very people in power meant to protect them, the Wielders see Finn as their last chance for a better life. But when Finn is abducted and blackmailed into the service of a vengeful royal, his loyalty, and his heart, will be put to the ultimate test.

On a throne miles away, Andromeda, selected at birth to inherit the role of Mother Queen and continue her family’s royal line, has waited years for her chance to exact revenge on those who stole her freedom and tore her family apart. But she can’t do it alone. With the help of a handsome and intriguing young doctor, she will right the wrongs committed against her, and forge a path of a most gloriously scarlet retribution.

With the fate of their kingdom hanging in the balance, these two unlikely allies must navigate an intricate web of political rivalries and long-buried secrets in order to achieve their goals. But as hidden plots unfold and the true rot at the heart of the country is revealed, what starts as a quest for justice spirals into a desperate game of survival.

This first installment of an epic new trilogy from the author that brought you “His and Mine” will leave you breathless and haunted long after the final page is turned.

Review:

Huge thank you to Benét Stoen for providing me with this e-ARC in exchange for my honest review. I received an email from Benet with the first chapter of her new book, The Heir, and I was totally hooked!

This is a difficult one for me to review because I really enjoyed the concept and the story, but I didn’t love how it was written. I truly did enjoy this story! The concept behind The Heir is totally unique and definitely captivated me. This story was a quick and easy read!

My main issues with The Heir all revolve around the development and pacing of the story. The entirety of the plot felt very point A to point B . . . almost like an outline. It felt like everything that happened was very clinical. Thing A happened then thing B then C with nothing happening in between. I wanted more interaction between the characters, more daily life, and much more world-building. Now, don’t get me wrong, I think all of the plot points were exciting and super interesting. I just wish there was more in between. This caused me to feel very disconnected from the characters. I knew them in each event, but never outside of this. What does Finn get up to when he’s not helping Andromeda? Does Angelus ever explore? What were his journeys like to check on Veronica? Again, the best way I can describe The Heir is that it was like an outline . . . all the plot points laid out with none of the extra content added in between. I just wanted more!

I will say that I am very impressed with the author’s ability to write mental illness. There are characters who suffer from depression, PTSD, and suicidal ideations. Stoen wrote this in a respectful way without any judgment. There were definitely scenes that were difficult to read though. Check out my trigger warnings at the end of this post.

I also was not sold on the pacing. The plot seemed rushed. This was especially true for the ending. Everything became kind of jumbled at the end and I’m not sure if the author intended this or not. The story felt like it took a hard left into a different direction when Andromeda began to see things.

The Heir felt more like a first or second draft rather than a final finished book. I loved the author’s ideas and concepts, but I think it wasn’t executed in the best way. This is all my personal opinion and it seems like most on goodreads have absolutely loved this book!

That all being said, I did like the cliffhanger ending! I definitely want to know who was behind it and what it all means. I am curious to see what happens next. I really did enjoy this story and the unique world + concept.

The Heir TRIGGER WARNINGS: depression, suicidal ideation, sexual abuse/rape, self harm, PTSD

The Heir is set to be released July 14th!

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