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.
3 Drink Me Potions
Where shall I even start?
I guess I had high expectations for Heir to the Sky. A whole community or continent flying in the sky? A gruesome and dangerous earth below? And a strange romance that’s built from the ashes of Kali’s demise?
However, none of what I had expected to love was executed as well as I would have liked.
First, the characters.
We get introduced to Kali and her best friend Elisha right from the beginning. I had so many problems with them both. Kali acts like a spoiled little princess who gets everything yet doesn’t want to shoulder the burden of responsibility for being the leader (or Eternal Flame) to her people . Instead, she likes to run off to hide in the stacks of dusty tomes in the library or to the outcrop, which is LITERALLY the edge of her floating continent. To do what? To hide. To dream of the mysterious land she can see below at her feet.
As for Elisha, I just can’t take her seriously. She giggles like HALF the time. Even when Kali came to her about something strange she overhears, what does Elisha do? She freaking giggles. And then goes to party in the festivities. Are they all really that naive? Don’t listen to their gut about something strange going on?
Anyway, back to our DEAR, dear princess. She’s also very arrogant.
I remember the feel of the grass as it slipped from beneath my fingers. All those times I spent on the edge of my outcrop, never imagining I could fall.
I almost can’t believe it.
To this point when I was reading it, I almost said, Well, that’s what you get for being such a smart-aleck. Maybe you deserve this. I almost said that. But she was just so annoying with that attitude of hers! Her recklessness, especially when she knew people were counting on her as the heir of Ashra.
She’s also pretty dumb or ignorant in thinking that because she’s the heir, people will automatically listen to her reasoning.
“I promise I won’t tell anyone you’re down here.” At least, I think, not until and unless I’m in a position to control Ashra’s reaction. And that won’t be hard, because the Monarch is my father, and he and the people will listen to their heir.
She makes a promise on earth but she doesn’t intend to keep it because she’s the HEIR . You can’t despise your position and believe in its advantages at the same time.
I think by the end of the story, she still hasn’t grown as much in her character. She finds a solution that helps delegate her responsibility for her people, a solution that Sun romanticizes by the way she writes it, but I still think it basically creates a situation in which Kali can do whatever she wants and finally “be free”.
Secondly, the world building was hard to take in at first.
The first 50 pages or so are really slow because you’re assaulted with endless information. How the people believed their little floating continent had come to be; the glorious godlike creature they revere, the Phoenix, and the spiritual worship they endow on her, the different organized communities that have separate roles on Ashra (all written in a way that reflects back on the Phoenix…somehow). The way the people say “Amen” but instead use the phrase “May we/she rise anew.” It was a lot to take in.
The pacing was also incredibly slow in places. It’s never good when you find yourself wondering how much longer until you finish this book. I literally was asking myself this question multiple times. It wasn’t until maybe the last 100 pages where the action really picked up.
I won’t say that this whole world sucked. The earth and the monsters that hunted down here were incredibly well-described. But you can’t survive on this alone to make a lovely novel.
The romance wasn’t very…..much of anything. It was kinda underwhelming. I didn’t feel much of their supposed attraction beyond the fact that they had to rely on each other to survive. Griffin was a nice enough guy, and even when we learn more about his background, it wasn’t fleshed out as much as it could be.
Actually, the whole last 100 pages where it got more epic? It could’ve been 200 pages instead and made for a more satisfactory read. Everything written there was too little. The conspiracy, the battle with the main antagonist, the conclusion in the aftermath, it was all too quick and condensed. This is where the book could’ve gotten a little better . I still give it a 3 stars because this last 1/3 was interesting but honestly, I’m just being generous.
There was a lot of potential for Heir to the Sky but the best way to describe it is underwhelming. Slow pacing throughout 2/3 of the book, ridiculous and annoying protagonist and rather quick conclusion, nothing really shouts out at you from this book. The monsters on earth were cool, the way this community in the sky was run was intriguing, and so was the conspiracy that could topple the very foundation of Ashra. I thought all these elements would’ve propelled the story to great heights, but Amanda Sun just didn’t execute it well in all the right places. With a very generous rating on my part, Heir to the Sky is a little disappointing because I can see all that it could’ve been.