Ted Nolan <tednolan>
2020-03-22 02:09:28 UTC
"Shadow Heir" seems to be a stopping point for Richelle Mead's Dark
Swan series, or at least the ending feels as though Mead is trying
to wrap things up sufficiently while leaving the possibility writing
books with another plot arc later.
Unfortunately, I felt that the resolution was lacking, in that it
showed Eugenie to be an idiot, and that the events building up to
it were arbitrary.
To address the second issue first, the villian in this book was
totally arbitrary. It was someone who has never been mentioned in
the series before (in fact from somewhere never mentioned before)
with a scheme which could have been executed at any time. Which
is to say that having it come to a head during Eugenie's reign was
not motivated by events of any of the previous books. I think that
by four books into a series, the players ought to be pretty well
known. The way this threat was resolved was pretty arbitrary too,
and frankly I don't believe that Mead had worked out the history
of the minor character who resolved it before she needed a plot
Finally to address the second issue: Euegenie apparently believes
that children have only one parent: the mother, and that whatever
that one parent wants is the law.
SPOILERS START HERE
Certainly we are meant to suspect that Dorian may be the twins'
father, and that is finally confirmed here. What does Eugenie do
when she finds that out?
She continues the same program which was meant to keep them away
from their presumptive father, (who seems more and more a sociopath
in this book...) Kyio.
Let's think about that. She is deliberately keeping these children
away from their father. She is doing this for her own reasons,
with no discussion, after it has been repeatedly made clear to her
that he is a good man. Furthermore, she is going back to him to
live as effective man and wife (whether there is a ceremony eventually
or not) with this poisonous secret between them. Frankly this is
child abuse, and Dorian would be completely justified in putting
out an Amber Alert. A father is not just a sperm donor.
Eugenie has no right whatsoever to happiniess with this man while
abusing him so. Dorian has put up with a lot, but this is literally
unforgivable. Eugenie's actions in "Iron Crowned" were bad enough,
but at the end of this book I felt like I had been rooting for
someone I didn't even like.