3.5 stars. Anyone who knows me by now, knows that I am a Mead fangirl. Her ability to create different worlds, races, and a variety of character types has always impressed me. Her talent for writing witty quips and exchanges keeps me bookmarking quotes in every book, so I can share them later. Her genius for drawing me into a story, making me love and hate characters and scenarios so passionately is a big reason why I know that I will continue to read anything she writes. I don't even mind the character flaws she tends to bring out in people. These are the things that humanize us and show how different we all are. Everyone reacts differently to situations and not everyone makes the right choices.Every time I give a Mead book a rating less than 4 star, it almost makes me feel guilty. The amount of thought that the author must put into every single story - from the world creation, to researching the lore, to shaping the characters, to the delightful banter - all of it is a joy to read. Reading Shadow Heir was a fun time. The ending was "good enough." Even though there were a few open ends, I think enough was hinted at that you knew a bit of what could happen. In that aspect, I was not unsatisfied. The only reason I didn't have it in me to give the book a full 4 star was because I felt like there could have been more with the Kiyo situation. I completely understand that forgiveness was not needed from Eugenie. She had every right to sever those ties completely and not go back to him as an ally. He crossed the line in trying to kill her child repeatedly. Forgiveness was never going to happen. What I would have liked to have seen though is more regret from Kiyo. Even though their friendship was beyond repair, I would have liked to have seen at least some lingering affection on his side. From as much as it was pushed on us in the first two books that he honestly cared about her to the point of sacrificing himself for her safety, it was as if a switch was flipped in him, making him cold to her for the most part because of those kids. Would it have been such a stretch for him to come to her in the end and express regret for the chasm that divided them? He didn't have to necessarily say he would have done things differently (because that would have been a lie), but at the very least, he could have said that a part of himself would always remember their times fondly. HE EFFING LOVED HER AT ONE POINT! He threw that love away selfishly for his twisted views of the greater good, but wtf was up with him going from wanting something long term with her (at the expense of saying he didn't care for Maiwenn, only Eugenie), to having little to no warmth toward her at all? We all know he came to her originally as Maiwenn's lackey, but he said that he grew to love her. Was that love never real at any point?So yeah...dropped the ball there. Either there needed to be a better transition from good to evil - something more drawn out and progressive in nature or there should have been some better closure or explanation on that front.On a side note - I laughed so hard at Dorian thinking "Thundro" was a good name for a child.