4 stars to Heir of Night by Helen Lowe

Published August 18, 2013 by katheryn13

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

 

Review:

Warning this  review may get complicated. 

I have not read fantasy, true fantasy, for years. Not since Garth Nix’s Sabriel, etc. I was a little wary because for years I’ve been reading YA paranormal/supernatural/dystopian, and real fantasy is heavy. And wow did I get a shock. Definitely not a light read. This book needed concentration from start to finish, and despite being ill for part of the time, I took stock of the situation and battled through. Much like the characters in this story, I did not give in.

And I actually enjoyed this. I have to admit, although I can’t skip over anything, I don’t think every word sunk in. I tended to just “get the gist” because some of the language used was…well…fantasy. Oldy-worldy language that used in complex cases was a bit hard to take in. That’s not to say there weren’t chapters that sucked me in and made me not want to stop reading, because many of the intense, plotting scenes were so good. I found myself emerged in the world and could easily imagine it clearly in my head. Which is hard sometimes when it’s so…complex.

There are soooo many characters in this that deserve their own credit, because they each contribute their own part. There are the occasional guards that you see but don’t necessarily see, but they still have their own background. And for this part, I’m afraid I need to consult the book for names because wow the writer of this must have had fun coming up with them:

Malian and Kalan, two of my favourite teens that despite their age, are far more mature than most 16/17 yr olds in general YA books. They’ve had to grow up so fast, and they’re only 13. It was actually quite sad how much responsibility was on Malian’s shoulders; she didn’t want it. But as Heir of Night, she was duty bound, and not only that, she is…I guess you could say “the chosen one” to defeat the darkness and bring back peace. Kalan I liked because he was a fairly unknown boy, and he was forced into something he probably still doesn’t understand, but he’s stuck by Malian, seeing past her title and supporting her through thick and thin. I wonder if they’ll fall in love….*wistful thoughts*

Nhairin and Asantir: two of the more prominent characters that will always stick with me. They had their battles, and they continued to fight. In the end Nhairin had issues, and she was one of those people I went back and forth on, wondering if she was good or bad. Asantir was strong, reliable, but determined. She took  “crap from no-one” as you might say.

Haimyr the Golden was probably my favourite, of all the individual people, he was certainly the comic relief from all the tension and fear that shrouded the House of Night (not to be confused with the series by P.C Cast. :P ) and I got excited when he appeared on the page.

Jehane Mor & Tarathan: These two were Heralds of the Guild but so much more. I just….*fangirls*

Then you have the Earl of Night. What an ass.

Anyway, this book is, despite being not all that long but still quite heavy in content (I could not imagine reading Game of Thrones now, knowing it’s twice the length and double the complexity) it was certainly worth the read. The worlds…the land that was imagined and created…so detailed. I admire anyone who can do that and have it make sense (most of the time, although admittedly I did get a little lost on certain details). So much goes on, and I mean SO much. There’s always something coming and you’re holding your breath because you just don’t know…what! The difference with a lot of books I’ve read: there was no holding back on deaths. This might be about two young teenagers on an adventure, but so many lives are lost and some I did not see coming. The action is great, and the powers that some wield…just extraordinary.

So overall a great read, and I look forward to the sequel, whenever that may be. If you want to know more, I say buy it! It’s definitely worth it if you love made up lands, imaginative scenery, in-depth characters and a story come to life.

 

Kat

 

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