Ten years ago, the kingdom of Jasad burned. Its magic outlawed; its royal family murdered down to the last child. At least, that’s what Sylvia wants people to believe.

The lost Heir of Jasad, Sylvia never wants to be found. She can’t think about how Nizahl’s armies laid waste to her kingdom and continue to hunt its people—not if she wants to stay alive. But when Arin, the Nizahl Heir, tracks a group of Jasadi rebels to her village, staying one step ahead of death gets trickier.

In a moment of anger Sylvia’s magic is exposed, capturing Arin’s attention. Now, to save her life, Sylvia will have to make a deal with her greatest enemy. If she helps him lure the rebels, she’ll escape persecution.

A deadly game begins. Sylvia can’t let Arin discover her identity even as hatred shifts into something more. Soon, Sylvia will have to choose between the life she wants and the one she left behind. The scorched kingdom is rising, and it needs a queen.

In this Egyptian-inspired debut fantasy, a fugitive queen strikes a deadly bargain with her greatest enemy and finds herself embroiled in a complex game that could resurrect her scorched kingdom or leave it in ashes forever.


4,5 stars

“Loss was an anchor I would always drag behind me. If I stopped moving, if I let the anchor catch, I would never summon the strength to keep going. I was not kind. I did not choose right over wrong or my heart over my head. But I was tenacious. I was spiteful.”

In this story you will find:

-a morally grey character, very antihero;

-a deadly competition à la Hunger Games;

-an enemies to lovers trope;

-a world where magic is forbidden and its bearers hunted and killed;

-a found family/friendship;

-secrets, deceits and betrayals.

I honestly didn’t expect to like The Jasad Heir as much as I did.

This is a first work and the first book of a series. Egyptian inspired says the pitch but I had more of a Hunger Games feel because of the reluctance of Sylvia to enter a deadly competition.

Now let’s rewind.

“Sylvia” whose real name is Essiya has been on the run for years. She has been nearly killed, and thought dead, in the destruction of Usr Jasad, her grand-parents kingdom.

Jasad was the last kingdom to retain magic and a conspiration had the Nihal Supreme invade the land and kill every jasadi.

Sylvia was rescued by a disgraced jasadi “commander” and was trained brutally for years in the hope that she would one day reclaim her throne.

Abused by her “savior”, Sylvia will escape and hide in a small village.

Sylvia wants to forget everything.

Her magic is contained by cuffs only visible to her and all she wants to do is remain unnoticed and lead a quiet life. She does not want to be the Jasadi heir. She does not want to lead a rebellion nor rule a kingdom.

And she’s done all that she can to keep people at arm’s length.  Yet, despite her best efforts, some were determined to become her friends and she came to care for them.

She is a traumatized heroine.

Because of all that she went through, she felt surely, prickly, bitter, resentful. She is the archetype of the anti-hero as she does NOT want to lead nor reign. Sylvia also is a morally grey character because we’ll learn that she did some unsavory things in her past that won’t endear her to the reader.


She will have a huge character growth and because of her protectiveness for those she care, she’ll end up rising to the occasion.

Enters Arin, cold extremely handsome and feared Commander of the Nihal armies.

Nihal is a “kingdom” created to police the other kingdoms and avoid the excess and atrocities of the past. Arin is known for his ruthlessness and for knowing if you possess magic just by touch. Having magic is a death sentence.

When in a twist of fate Arin will “recruit” Sylvia as his champion in a deadly competition, she expects to be doomed.

I really liked watching Sylvia train with Arin. I loved seeing her taunt him to the horror of his soldiers. For all that he is cold and aloof, Arin enjoyed Sylvia’s banter.

Something fascinating was also to discover that not everything was as it seemed and that Sylvia was in fact a very unreliable narrator of past events!

“Your mind is a maze of mirrors, reflecting only the memories you choose to save.”

It kept me wondering what really happened and who was friend and who was foe!

The competition itself was also interesting to read about, even if it’s only taking a relatively small part of the story. This story felt more like anticipation, world building and growth of character than competing to death.

We are left on a cliffhanger and I very much want to read the sequel!

Thanks for reading.


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