Time's Orphan

Young Adult - Fantasy - Epic
196 Pages
Reviewed on 01/17/2024
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Author Biography

Hayley is an award-winning author, mechanical engineer, Air Force Reserve officer, four-time All-American fencer, ex-ultramarathoner, avid traveler, book inhaler and super nerd with three older sisters who are way cooler than her.

Since beginning her writing journey, Hayley’s microfiction has won an honorable mention in the NYC Midnight Challenge and her books have won the 2020 YA Florida Author Project, a Readers' Favorite silver medal, and a Wishing Shelf Book Award bronze medal.

She wrote the Odriel's Heirs series because she wanted to capture a story of chosen ones who struggled with the fear, loneliness, and pressure of their responsibilities, especially in the face of a horrifying odds.

Hayley currently lives in Florida with two small wild boys, her long-suffering husband, and her miniature ragehound.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Delene Vrey for Readers' Favorite

Time's Orphan by Hayley Chow is a YA fantasy that tells the story of Emara, who lives in Okarria, a land destroyed by war and overrun by cannibals and the undead doing the bidding of the Dead King. A mage and a necromancer have resurrected Idriel, or the Dead King as he is known, but they need a Time Heir, blessed with a healing gift, to heal Idriel's broken body. Emara has hidden her gift of healing all her life and only uses it to help ease pain and heal minor wounds. When the city of Faveno falls to the enemy, she is captured and taken to Austerden, where the Dead King rules. On her way there, she is joined by a talking black cat and reunited with the Shadow Heir and Dragon Heir. Together, they can kill the Dead King and save their beloved Okaria. But just as all seems lost, something miraculous happens, and Emara is sent back in time with the order to find Bellaphia, a Magus who can help her with her gift as the Time Heir. In the past, she makes friends with a street rat and the second in line Time Heir. Together, they travel to the deadlands, face death, and find Bellaphia. As Emara's gift grows, she learns how to overcome the enemies waiting for her back in her own time. If only she could save her friends from the death she saw claim them. Only when she returns will she know what happened and if she can save her friends and her country.

Time's Orphan by Hayley Chow is a riveting YA fantasy with immersive world-building and intriguing characters. The story develops fast, and continuous action drives the plot and creates a feeling of urgency within the reader. The book touches on themes like betrayal, loyalty, fate, and bravery. The effects of war on people and the environment in which they live are highlighted by juxtaposing the war-ravaged Okaria with the peaceful and prosperous Okaria to which Emara is sent back. The characters are authentic and show growth and development throughout the events. There is a sweet element of romance. What I liked about this book is that, although it is the third in the series, you don't need to have read the previous books as it can be read as a stand-alone. This is a series I recommend to avid YA fantasy readers of all ages.

Essien Asian

The Necromancer King and his army of undead are wreaking havoc on the kingdom of Okarria. A few civilians roam around in groups searching for refuge from the man-eating Rastgol and The Lost. Emara Akil, a young girl who uses her healing powers to help those in need, is one of these people. Emara is fascinated when she meets a strange talking cat who informs her that she is the missing member of a gifted group of people known as Heirs. However, her curiosity quickly gives way to fear when she learns that the king is looking for her gift to further his evil plans. Emara teams up with the cat and some rebels to liberate the land, but will they be successful, given the obstacles in their way? Only time will tell in Hayley Chow’s Time’s Orphan.

In the plot of Hayley Chow’s novel, an orphan discovers the reasons why her parents have been hiding her gift from the world. The creatures that dominate the land of Okarria are impressively described and their motivations are clearly defined. Chow’s use of a teen as the principal character will certainly attract young adult genre readers who prefer fantasy adventures. The conversations between the characters are entertaining to follow as the feisty rapport between Emara and Shadmundar sets the tone for a mystery that is as immersive as it is intriguing. Despite her evil antics, you will feel some sympathy for Lady Ivanora when you discover why she joins forces with Idriel. With its cleverly crafted plot and exciting adventures, one can expect a satisfying reading experience from Time’s Orphan.