Heir of Illaria by Dyan Chick | Too fast-paced “Princess Diaries” with fantasy elements

Do you love Fantasy? Because I do, but recently I feel like giving up on YA fantasy novels because they don’t usually bring anything new to the table and just continue redecorating stories that we’ve heard before.

I would love to say that «Heir of Illaria» was different, but unfortunately that was not the case. It was one of those stories where you don’t miss any flaws but you keep enjoying it nonetheless.

33642526In Illaria, there is a fate worse than death.

As long as I can remember, I’ve been taught to fear the Necromancer King. He controls the kingdom of Illaria with dark sorcery and the constant threat of his undead army. I never thought I’d have reason to cross his path. Everything changed the day his guards tried to kill me. That’s when I found out my whole life has been a lie. By joining a resistance group called the White Ravens, I’ve claimed new roles. Princess of Illaria, sorceress in training, and threat to the Necromancer King.

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The first thing I noticed was how quickly I  was going through the events. Here she is in the woods, here is a battle and then she is taken away, and all of that just in a mere 5% of the book (sadly Kindle doesn’t offer page count).

Fast-paced books are amazing, they keep you constantly on the edge of your seat. BUT! Too much is never the approach and it felt more like the author was rushing through plot checkpoints to meet the word count, without giving us any breathing room.

The next nose-wrinkly moment was the introduction of the Princess Diaries. A peasant girl suddenly has to learn how to walk, talk, sit and eat like a lady. The Kingdom is under a big threat, but it is always important to learn lady-like etiquette in a very short period of time. And of course, what lady doesn’t know her history and geography.

Because everything was happening so quickly, these Princess Diary moments felt absolutely unnecessary and quite silly, considering the evil that was threatening the Kingdom.

Another aspect that bothered me quite a lot was how quickly Wilona learnt some of the skills. Some effort and hard work would have been nice to see.

And finally, the main flaw for me was poor execution of main villains of the story. I can’t call them villains when I don’t even feel anything towards them. These are the characters I was supposed to loathe with my whole heart, instead I felt absolutely indifferent.

My rating:

★★☆☆☆ / 5

Originally I gave it three stars, but after sitting on my thoughts for a while, I couldn’t really find anything positive to say about it. The story wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t good either. Will I be continuing reading the next installments? Probably not.

Thank you NetGalley and Illaria Publishing for a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Do you feel like more and more YA fantasy become cliché and repetitive?

With love,



3 thoughts on “Heir of Illaria by Dyan Chick | Too fast-paced “Princess Diaries” with fantasy elements

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