Hey, readers and writers!
It’s not a good month without an indie novel or two. Today I’ll be reviewing The Tyrant’s Heir by Kate M Colby. If you remember, I’m a huge fan of Colby’s work. I pretty much see it as a solemn duty to ensure you get a chance to be obsessed with the Desertera series, too. Shall we begin? Check out the review below and make sure to give your two cents in the comments section if you’ve already read the book, too!
Rating: 5 stars
Lionel begins his rule as king with the one goal of becoming the king his father was not. He strives to be the king that solves problems with justice and mercy. However, this lofty goal is not as easy as he thought.
As he strives to be a people-pleaser, it seems that he continues to garner more distrust or spite. His subjects watch his every move as the local zealot-prophet continues to claim he speaks for Desertera’s deity and ushers political, economic, and religious unrest.
Once tragedy strikes Desertera’s people, the blame is squarely placed on King Lionel himself. To solve the case and seek closure, his closest advisors strip him of his authority and crown. After painting himself in a corner, Lionel has to backtrack from his passive ways to figure out who framed him and who is trying to steal his crown.
With the help of Aya and his closest friends, he delves deeper into the answer to the mystery of Desertera’s origins and what it means to be a benevolent leader.
What I Enjoyed:
What did I not enjoy? I must start with the adorable romance between Lionel and Aya. Colby has mastered the art of creating the most feminist #relationshipgoals pairing I’ve seen in a long time. She does this with a string of little scenes and exchanges that are sweet and realistic—well, as realistic as you can get with a king and a cogsmith. For example, Lionel is in the library looking for clues when he finds a book that makes him smile because he knows that Aya would appreciate it. Here he is up to his eyeballs in stress and intrigue and he’s thinking of how this book would make Aya happy. It’s not pivotal to the plot, so you almost miss it.
Forget Joker and Harley Quinn, friends. Lionel and Aya are true #relationshipgoals in the way they natural express their love and respect for each other.
There are other aspects of the novel that were wonderful. Colby’s little clever jabs had me chuckling out loud, her world building continues to blossom, and her storytelling skills had you guessing and re-guessing who Lionel’s true adversary could be.
Also, there were parts that really got me in the feels and left a remarkable impression on me. There are multiple instances where Lionel allows himself to be extremely vulnerable to his friends and his subjects—he’s open about his anxieties, frustration, and fears. He’s a gotta-do-it-all kind of guy: he wants to fix all the messes his father created and he fails, of course.
In many ways, I related too deeply with his aspirations. I also want to do it all and fix it all, and Colby puts the words in characters’ mouths that stunned me. If you’re a go-getter Millennial, you might find a lesson or two in here that are expertly laid out that doesn’t sound like a lecture or a sermon. I’d share some of those messages, but I’ll let you read the book for yourself to find out.
My Final Thoughts
It’s been a long time since I’ve put off my usual bedtime to plow through hundreds of pages. Reading The Tyrant’s Heir was an enjoyable and thrilling ride—the stakes were high and I had to know how things would work out for Lionel in the end.
There were also some mysteries from the second novel, The Courtesan’s Avenger, that are answered. Colby does a great job of linking each novel together to keep you updated on how all the events tie together, rather than sharing three separate adventures.
Of course, the series is far from over. These mysterious cogs begin to accumulate and the teasing only escalates. Colby’s next novel will hopefully shed some light on what these unique cogs belong to and how they connect to Desertera’s mysterious past.
If you’d like to learn more about Kate M Colby and her work, you can catch up with her via social media:
Check out my other book reviews for the Desertera series here:
Have you read the Desertera series? Do you have your own thoughts about it? Share with me in the comments!