Title: Heir to the Sky
Author: Amanda Sun
Synopsis: As heir to a kingdom of floating continents, Kali has spent her life bound by limits—by her duties as a member of the royal family; by a forced betrothal to the son of a nobleman; and by the edge of the only world she’s ever known—a small island hovering above a monster-ridden earth, long since uninhabited by humans. She is the Eternal Flame of Hope for what’s left of mankind, the wick and the wax burning in service for her people, and for their revered Phoenix, whose magic keeps them aloft.
When Kali falls off the edge of her kingdom and miraculously survives, she is shocked to discover there are still humans on the earth. Determined to get home, Kali entrusts a rugged monster-hunter named Griffin to guide her across a world overrun by chimera, storm dragons, basilisks, and other terrifying beasts. But the more time she spends on earth, the more dark truths she begins to uncover about her home in the sky, and the more resolute she is to start burning for herself.
Huge thank you to Harlequin TEEN and Netgalley for this ARC!
I am one of those people who adored Amanda Sun’s Paper Gods series. It was basically reading manga, with fun and over the top characters. I loved those characters. So of course I was super excited for Heir to the Sky and after reading it, I kinda wish I hadn’t hyped it in my mind. This read like a Final Fantasy plotline — begins interesting and then gets bogged down by a romance subplot and a save-the-world mentality.
I really found the majority of this book dull. The beginning had all the intrigue, the world building seemed great, but once I hit the middle I found myself slogging through, hoping I would get the spark of the beginning. It never quite happened. There’s a lot of great action, a neat use of mythology, but I couldn’t connect with these characters AT ALL. Kali was missing something for me that Katie had in Paper Gods, which is growth granted Katie had growth through three novels, but Kali never truly finds her way for me, and the romance is in a lot of ways her characteristics. She lets the other characters push her around despite being the “entitled one” which I thought was a little odd. The male characters feel really one-dimensional and if anything I didn’t get their appeal at all.
And that’s just it. The world building is SO FANTASTIC until Kali falls to earth, and then everything just feels like such a mess. The drive in this story just never felt compelling to me, and as I read on, I kept hoping for a spark — something that would redeem the rest of the novel for me. But it just never came. Which is a shame given how lovely Sun’s prose is. She has such fantastic ideas, but for me this novel just felt so flat and it never got the momentum that I was use to from her Paper Gods series. Seriously, it hurts me that I didn’t love this book. I think Amanda Sun is really talented, but this book lacked the spark for me.