The Solar Realm

Ascending Heir

Fiction - Science Fiction
306 Pages
Reviewed on 05/18/2023
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Michaela Gordoni for Readers' Favorite

The saga of Empress Heir-Apparent of Alaria, Jenanine Blackwater, and the imperial orb continues in PM Black’s The Solar Realm: Ascending Heir. Kora the Silver Slayer (the universe’s most deadly assassin) was been poisoned by demons and turned into a bloodthirsty, unpredictable, and animal-like being. Meanwhile, Julian and Ulinda Vi-land, children of the evil queen Bur-lea, were left with personal battles after their kingdom was overthrown by the enemy. Weapons Master Ilka discovers she not only has a new and unwanted telepathic talent but strange romantic feelings too. Armies, devastation, deaths, ruin, and, at last, love and a flicker of hope await readers.

The Solar Realm: Ascending Heir is the sequel to The Solar Realm, the first book in the series, and is gripping and enjoyable. PM Black plays off the emotional connections that readers have established with the characters since reading the first novel. A lot is going on in this story, and there are many characters. It is fast-paced and, at times, it can be a lot to keep up with, but Black combats this by providing detailed cover art, maps, character portraits, and helpful symbols. Unlike in the first book, the attention is distributed among several characters, namely Prince Cameron, Ilka, Jena, Julian, and Ulinda. Black’s ability to juggle the characters, plot the universe, and the events within it is truly admirable. Fans of Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone books would likely enjoy the Solar Realm series.

Miche Arendse

In the wake of chaos, Jenanine Blackwater must face countless new trials and demons who feast on the blood of men. The Solar Realm: Ascending Heir by PM Black follows the Imperial realms heir apparent Jenanine and her companions as they seek to defeat their enemies, recover the Orb and save what is left of the realm. The only problem is that Kora has been infected with the demon’s venom and poses a greater threat than anyone could have anticipated.

The Solar Realm by PM Black was admittedly a bit difficult to get into at the beginning and but once I hit chapter four I was very much invested and couldn’t get enough. The story was a rollercoaster, having its ups and downs in terms of action. There were moments where characters were contemplative, reflecting on past events, while at other moments we were launched into characters making big moves toward their goals or jumping straight into battle. Ilka quickly became one of my favorites as she is so strong-willed but kind-hearted and these characteristics made me connect with her, especially through all her hardships. The author did a phenomenal job in creating such an intricate and detailed world with well-developed role players. I also enjoyed that different elements of fiction were thrown together in this world from dragons to demons and element wielders. This is a definite must-read and I would highly recommend it.

Rabia Tanveer

The Solar Realm: Ascending Heir by PM Black is the second installment in the series. This science fiction and fantasy novel tells the story of Jenanine Blackwater, a young woman who is the secret heir to the Solar Realm. With the Imperial Orb in the clutches of the Cumeran Queen and the Cumeran Shara-La army riding high on dragons, Jenanine is baffled by what is happening around her. Some might think what happened before was her biggest concern, but she knew that was only the beginning. The Kora is back, and new foes emerge from the shadows and debris. Jena isn’t sure what is happening and how it all happens simultaneously, but she knows she is running out of time before it is too late to save the Imperial Realm. Does Jena have what it takes to protect her people from impending doom? Or is it the end of the line for her?

The story features strong female lead characters and explores power, loyalty, and self-discovery themes in a unique and imaginative world. The fact that I hadn’t read the first novel in the series had no impact on my understanding of this beautifully intricate world and fantastic characters. I now want to read the first novel in the series, learn more about Jena, and reread The Solar Realm again. Jena had my attention from the get-go, and I knew she would be an incredible character to follow throughout the series. A true page-turner, the story is filled with fantastic character development, phenomenal world-building, and an epic plot that hooked me into the story. The pace was fast without being overwhelming. PM Black gave me room to breathe, catch up with her characters, and learn more about them before she took me along for a ride! I highly recommend this series and honestly cannot wait to see what happens next.