cover image Shadow Heir

Shadow Heir

Richelle Mead. Kensington/Zebra, $7.99 mass market (352p) ISBN 978-1-4201-1180-4

Mead concludes the Dark Swan quartet (following Iron Crowned) with this too tidy fantasy. If the prophecy holds true, the unborn twin children of shaman-for-hire Eugenie Markham will one day rise up against humanity to reclaim Otherworldly supremacy. Eugenie believes she wields enough power to negate the prophecy, but first she has to protect her babies from two sets of fanatics: those who want to destroy humanity, and those determined to protect it. After one close call, Eugenie decides that the safety of her offspring relies on her staying out of the Otherworld until the children are born, but the machinations of the Queen of the Yew Land draw Eugenie back to face the most desperate of quests. Eugenie dramatically faces her greatest fears and most aggressive foes before making an abrupt, out-of-character decision that leads to a ridiculous cop-out ending. (Jan.)