Friday, 1 June 2012

Review: The Heir of Night - Helen Lowe


If Night falls, all fall . . .
In the far north of the world of Haarth lies the bitter mountain range known as the Wall of Night. Garrisoned by the Nine Houses of the Derai, the Wall is the final bastion between the peoples of Haarth and the Swarm of Dark—which the Derai have been fighting across worlds and time.

Malian, Heir to the House of Night, knows the history of her people: the unending war with the Darkswarm; the legendary heroes, blazing with long-lost power; the internal strife that has fractured the Derai’s former strength. But now the Darkswarm is rising again, and Malian’s destiny as Heir of Night is bound inextricably to both ancient legend and any future the Derai—or Haarth—may have.

My thoughts:
There was this constant feeling of something else in this book. Some books are fantasy, you know this, and you feel it. Then there are those that are also fantasy, but still they have this lingering feeling of something else. Here it might be because the Derai came from the stars, a portal, but still from the stars. And there is talk about hunting among the stars. The lingering feeling make it something more than just epic fantasy. There are other books that have managed this too and they do it very well. So for me it certainly feels more than just epic fantasy, it is epic fantasy infused with hints of sci-fi. Of times long gone by, of times to come. Of times forgotten and unknown.

Melian is the main character, our young heroine as she is not a child, not yet a woman. Her love of the history of her people, gives the reader an insight to the Derai people. And they have a rich and colorful history, even if a very warlike one. They do not only fight the Swarm, they also fight among themselves. They have codes of honor and seem to be a very harsh people. But they are a fascinating people, warriors and priests. And Melian is a good heroine among them; she is still young and curious and has yet truly been shaped by the ways of her people. She can still change, which brings hope to the story since the Derai are not ready for war against the Swarm.

There are of course also a bunch of other characters, but most important for the story to come is Kalan, a young priestling at the Temple of Night. He will have role to play yet and just like Melian he is young. I will be interested to see where the story takes these two and the others I have become invested in.

The story itself is about an attack at the House of Night and the things that follows. We know doom is coming and as always, can it be stopped? What will Melian do?

This book is a good start to the series. We learn about the history, and why things are like they are. We get to know the players so far and at the end of it, the story has truly begun. It ends with a cliffhanger, yet not a cliffhanger. It will make you want more, but because of how the ending is written you can survive until the next book. For which I thank the author. 

Conclusion:
Because of the rich setting and history I want more. I do need to know what happens if Night falls, or if Night can continue to keep the Swarm at bay.  The book feels unique and different, perhaps because of that lingering feeling of otherness I spoke of. 

B's Cover Snark:
Eh, but I like the red

Series: Wall of Night #1
Genre: fantasy
Pages: 464
Published: 2011 by Orbit
Source: Bookshelf


28 comments:

  1. Im not much for epic fantasy anymore. Maybe I should try again. Maybe I just need a really good one.

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    1. A really good one..like The wheel of time series ;) Oh oh no Magician by feist!

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  2. Replies
    1. It does have something to it in the end

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  3. Sounds like a unique start to a series, I like a rich setting.

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    1. She sure made me like it there :)

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  4. Not sure about stars and portal stuff but it still sounds interesting.

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  5. I have this one, but it is the blue cover. I am needing to get to it now! I'm so happy about the ending. I think those are the kind of cliffies I can handle.

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    1. It's such a good non-cliffie. It makes you want to read more, but you can survive the waiting

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  6. The red is very dramatic! AND... TGIF. :)

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  7. I like the idea of the 'otherness' you talk about - you know I like my stars and portals! :-)

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    1. Then do try this one, the otherness was so freaking cool. Made me think of Marion Zimmer Bradley. She did it well with a fantasy world which was sci-fi too

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  8. Sounds really nice, I haven't read good epic fantasy in ages.

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    1. You should just go with the flow, not think too much ;) My brain is excellent of that

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  9. This reminds me a lot of Game of Thrones - only instead of winter coming, here everyone fears the Night falling.

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    1. True, night falls or winter comes. There is always something sinister on the horizon

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  10. I agree, I hear echos of George R. R. Martin's work.

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    1. I guess something must always fall.

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  11. Unique is something great when you find it. Sometimes I worry about books all being bland and the same!

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    1. True, some books, well you can feel how alike they all are. it could be in the same universe. While this one is clearly from a galaxy far far away

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  12. Oh great. I liked the sounds of this when it first came out, and I still want to get it. But after reading your review, I like the feel of something more out there. :) Sounds like one I will have to get one of these days.

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    1. I have book 2 :D So I hope to read it soon..might have put it on the weekend I will spend 12 hours in a car. But in June :)

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  13. I think I will wait for the finale book before I start reading this book... I am not a patient reader :)

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    1. Tell me about it, I do hate a series cos of that

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  14. Nice review Blodeuedd, I have put this on my wishlist.

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