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Blood Heir
Cover of Blood Heir
Blood Heir
Blood Heir Series, Book 1
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The first book in an epic new series about a princess hiding a dark secret and the con man she must trust to clear her name for her father's murder.   In the Cyrilian Empire, Affinites are...
The first book in an epic new series about a princess hiding a dark secret and the con man she must trust to clear her name for her father's murder.   In the Cyrilian Empire, Affinites are...
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  • The first book in an epic new series about a princess hiding a dark secret and the con man she must trust to clear her name for her father's murder. 
     
    In the Cyrilian Empire, Affinites are reviled. Their varied gifts to control the world around them are unnatural—dangerous. And Anastacya Mikhailov, the crown princess, has a terrifying secret. Her deadly Affinity to blood is her curse and the reason she has lived her life hidden behind palace walls.

    When Ana's father, the emperor, is murdered, her world is shattered. Framed as his killer, Ana must flee the palace to save her life. And to clear her name, she must find her father's murderer on her own. But the Cyrilia beyond the palace walls is far different from the one she thought she knew. Corruption rules the land, and a greater conspiracy is at work—one that threatens the very balance of her world. And there is only one person corrupt enough to help Ana get to its core: Ramson Quicktongue.

    A cunning crime lord of the Cyrilian underworld, Ramson has sinister plans—though he might have met his match in Ana. Because in this story, the princess might be the most dangerous player of all.

    Cinematic storytelling at its best.”—Adrienne Young, New York Times bestselling author of Sky in the Deep and The Girl the Sea Gave Back

    Zhao shines in the fast-paced and vivid combat scenes, which lend a cinematic quality that pulls readers in.”—The New York Times Book Review

    Zhao is a master writer who weaves a powerful tale of loyalty, honor, and courage through a strong female protagonist. . . . Readers will love the fast-paced energy and plot twists in this adventure-packed story.”SLJ

Excerpts-

  • From the cover The prison bore a sharp resemblance to the dungeons of Anastacya’s childhood: dark, wet, and made of unyielding stone that leaked grime and misery. There was blood here, too; she could sense it all, tugging at her from the jagged stone steps to the torch-blackened walls, lingering at the edges of her consciousness like an ever-present shadow.

    It would take so very little—a flick of her will—for her to control it all.

    At the thought, Ana twined her gloved fingers tighter around the worn furs of her hood and turned her attention back to the oblivious guard several paces ahead. His varyshki bull-leather boots clacked in smooth, sharp steps, and if she listened closely enough, she could hear the faint jingle of the goldleaves she’d used to bribe him in his pockets.

    She was not a prisoner this time; she was his customer, and that sweet rattle of coins was a constant reminder that he was— for now—on her side.

    Still, the torchlight cast his flickering shadow on the walls around them; it was impossible not to see this place as the fabric of her nightmares and hear the whispers that came with.

    Monster. Murderer.

    Papa would have told her that this was a place filled with demons, where the evilest men were held. Even now, almost a year after his death, Ana found her mouth running dry as she imagined what he would say if he saw her here.
    Ana shoved those thoughts away and kept her gaze straight ahead. Monster and murderer she might be, but that had nothing to do with her task at hand.

    She was here to clear her name of treason. And it all depended on finding one prisoner.

    “I’m telling you, he won’t give you nothing.” The guard’s coarse voice pulled her from the whispers. “Heard he was on a mission to murder someone high-profile when he was caught.”

    He was talking about the prisoner. Her prisoner. Ana straightened, grasping for the lie she had rehearsed over and over again. “He’ll tell me where he hid my money.”

    The guard threw her a sympathetic glance over his shoulder. “You’d best be spending your time somewhere nicer and sunnier, meya dama. More’n a dozen nobles have bribed their way into Ghost Falls to see him, and he’s given ’em nothing yet. He’s made some powerful enemies, this Quicktongue.”

    A long, drawn-out wail pierced the end of his sentence, a scream so tortured that the hairs on Ana’s neck rose. The guard’s hand flitted to the hilt of his sword. The torchlight cut his face, half in flickering orange, half in shadow. “Cells are gettin’ full of ’em Affinites.”

    Ana’s steps almost faltered; her breath caught sharply, and she let it out again, slowly, forcing herself to keep pace.

    Her disquiet must have shown on her face, for the guard said quickly, “Not to worry, meya dama. We’re armed to the teeth with Deys’voshk, and the Affinites’re kept locked in special blackstone cells. We won’t go near ’em. Those deimhovs are locked in safe.”

    Deimhov. Demon.

    A sickly feeling stirred in the pit of her stomach, and she dug her gloved fingers into her palm as she cinched her hood tighter over her head. Affinites were usually spoken of in hushed whispers and fearful glances, accompanied by tales of the handful of humans who had Affinities to certain elements. Monsters—who could do great things with their powers. Wield fire. Hurl lightning. Ride wind. Shape flesh. And then there were some, it was rumored, whose powers extended...

About the Author-

  • Amélie Wen Zhao was born in Paris and grew up in Beijing in an international community. Her multicultural upbringing instilled in her a deep love of global affairs and cross-cultural perspectives. She seeks to bring this passion to her stories, crafting characters from kingdoms in different corners of the world. She attended college in New York City, where she now lives. Amélie is the author of Blood Heir and Red Tigress.

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    Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
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Blood Heir Series, Book 1
Amélie Wen Zhao
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