Raise your hand if you enjoy supernatural creatures living in the “real world” alongside classic fae characters like Queen Titania and Oberon (yes, most widely known from Midsummer Night’s Dream), and some epic battle scenes? Oh good, that’s most of you! “Heir of Doom” is the second book in the Roxanne Fosch series, and this is one of those series where you absolutely have to read the series in order. If you haven’t done that yet, go on with your bad self then mosey on back and we’ll discuss this sequel, I’ll wait. All caught up? Excellent! In book 2, we watch Roxanne try to fit in to her new life as a Hunter, a preternatural group of predators who police others of their kind regardless of which clan they belong to. After the dramatic events of the first book, Roxanne is kind of hoping that’s earned her some good will—she did save her clan leader from horrific experiments after all—but it has the opposite effect. She’s still hated by her own people and Roxanne cannot figure out why for the life of her—still. It’s frustrating, but at least with this second book we discover more as to why Roxanne is the clan’s punching bag, and new information about why the fae want her, why Remo wants her, and why Logan is so different in this book from the previous gets clarified.
Compared to the first book, the pacing of the second does slow down quite a bit for the first half. The author brings us more into Roxanne’s world, shows us more of the creatures, and introduces us to the hierarchy Roxanne had been ignorant of her whole life. At times, it could feel a bit info dumpy and, if it’s been awhile since you read the first book, there’s not really a recap to fall back on to re-familiarize yourself. You do get a little of a recap around the 15% mark of the book, so hold on, things will make sense! It just takes a while. Plus, Roxanne is supposed to be learning, but her mentors, and her clan superiors, are all really terrible at sharing. They don’t tell Roxanne vital information, and she doesn’t ask. There is so much mystery and so much trouble that follows because the animosity these predators have against Roxanne, and her own insecurity, that they hide things, or don’t share the whole truth, and it bites them in the butt later on. That’s by design, obviously, and the author does a wonderful job evoking that frustration, but I did find myself wanting to shake pretty much every single person in Roxanne’s clan. In the first book, it made sense why Roxanne didn’t ask what the heck was going on, she was busy running for her life with a stranger. But now that she isn’t running, now that she’s part of the group, I expected her to not wait for people to come to her and explain who was who, what they are, what their role was, or why Roxanne’s powers were always a bit… strange compared to others of her kind.
Once you get to about the 40% mark in the story the action really picks up and things start getting explained, which includes why Logan is a complete 180 from where he was in the first book. Given what Roxanne learns about the group, how the power structure is organized and the rules of the clan, you understand why Logan isn’t the guy we met in the first novel, and that’s fine! My frustration was bittersweet at that point, it makes sense for the character, and that makes me ache for Roxanne in all the right ways. It makes me empathize with her, and full heartedly agree with her each time she shrugs off the hierarchy and does the smart thing, the right thing, because her clan sucks! You don’t need them, girlfriend. Plus, it opens the door for Zantry who is such an interesting character, and I love that he doesn’t hide things from Roxanne; she asks a question, and he explains EVERYTHING. AND! We get more Frizz in this book, and I love him, and want one like him for myself.
There were so many threads presented in the start of the story that felt disconnected, and I was really worried I’d be left with more unanswered questions, but most weave together wonderfully at the very end. I am curious what’s up with Vicky, but I think that’ll be answered in the third book. Part of me wishes that less time would have been spent in the training montage and more time spent with a select few characters so I could have a better sense about what forces wanted Roxanne for what purpose and to what end, and to be honest, that’s still a bit unclear. But the pieces and the players are all where they need to be, so I DO know what Roxanne needs to do for the third book. And, the cliffhanger at the end isn’t so bad if you’ve read the “The Curse” before this book, but after “Heir of Ashes”, just saying. It provides some answers about Roxanne that lessen the devastation that the cliffhanger might otherwise leave you with.
Once the story really picks up, I had a hard time putting this book down. My curiosity and frustration with the people who you THINK should protect Roxanne culminated in this strong need to read the next book, to have it now, to see how Roxanne gets out of the new trap she’s in, and cross my fingers that she and her loved ones all make it to the end of the series. In a weird way, I actually like how much I dislike Roxanne’s “people”—except Diggy, he grew on me—because it makes sense with a true predatory group, but it also blinds them to the obvious as well. This series is a lot of fun to immerse yourself in, and if you like mysterious fantasy with a heavy dose of action and just a sprinkling of romance, this is the series for you! It did take me a bit longer to really get into this story and for things to start happening, but after that it became a strong, binge-worthy 4 stars! I can’t wait to see how it ends! And thanks to the author for providing me a copy for an honest review.
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