“Heir to the Sky” by Amanda Sun
Harlequin TEEN, 293 pages, $18.99, 2016, Goodreads
Kalli, the heir to the Ashra kingdom, falls from her floating continent to the monster riddled earth below just before she can uncover a conspiracy among her own people. She miraculously survives the fall only to be saved from a beastly creature by a earth native monster hunter named Griffin, named after the first monster he ever vanquished. In this novel, Sun creates an interesting world of floating islands and a savage earth that is truly original and encapsulating.
The imaginative setting and plot is what pushes this story forward with a mythology all of its own. Readers will be interested in learning this new mythos that surrounds Sun’s main character. As the heir, Kalli has a lot of responsibilities, which include keeping her people safe and showing them hope despite the lack of space and tight resources on their floating home. It seems, however; that Kalli may not come to rule with a full basket of knowledge of exactly what’s been going on in her world. Once pushed off the continent she discovers the long lost earth and the monsters who inhabit it, but what she doesn’t suspect to find are humans who have survived the plight of the creatures and a truth of the beginning of her people she never really wanted to hear.
Though the concept is original, the characters likeable and the world enthralling the relationships she forges between her characters are a little watery at first. For me, it was a bit unbelievable that the spark between Kalli and Griffin was so instantaneous. I found that I needed to be shown the growth of affection between the two main characters, and then maybe I could accept a little easier where there relationships ends up by the end of the novel.
Something that Sun does brilliantly, however; is the voice in which she writes the character of Kalli. She comes across clear and concise and your heart aches along with hers as she learns the truth about her people and her father’s rule. Sun creates a character that is very empathetic and morally responsible. She’s very much a young woman that could be a great role model for those coming of age.
All in all, I really liked this book and the characters within it. I like the premise of the story and the mythos of the kingdom of Ashra. I was definitely transported into a different world. Though, the relationship between Kalli and Griffin was lacking to me, others may not see it that way. Overall, I enjoyed my time with these characters and their story.
Amanda Sun is also the author of the “Paper Gods Series” and can be found on Twitter at @Amanda_Sun.