The Heir of Night by Helen Lowe
How many times have you heard the phrase “never judge a book by its cover”? It's a fair question, but I think that sometimes, as readers, we need to go further and never judge a book by its premise. I'm beginning to find that just because a book has what appears to be a stereotypical premise does not necessarily mean that the book itself will be stereotypically dull.
'The Heir of Night' is the first in a four book series being written by Helen Lowe that, the moment I plunged into its first chapters, had me asking a simple question; why do we love reading books about children performing tasks we would normally deem tough for adults? It's an oft-used stereotype and one that is doomed to fail as often as it is to succeed.
This time, however, I was pleasantly surprised to watch as Lowe didn't succumb to any of the clichéd stereotypes. While the two main characters are thirteen and fourteen apiece, they are positioned in a world where childhood is not necessarily that which we have experienced. Lowe skilfully justifies their roles and the expectations on them by writing them as simply more mature and sure-minded. It works too, and I never felt juxtaposition between their age and their responsibilities or deeds.
Similarly, it appears as if no character is overly precious to the author, which is not to say we can expect to see our two main characters killed off anytime soon. Nevertheless, I was surprised at the fleeting lifespans of characters brought in to fill some perspective or to interact with our main characters. The world is brutal, harsh, and deadly, and as a result the lives of those within this world are held close to the candle.
The magic in this world, the history and mythology, all play a greater role than in many other novels that attempt a sprawling epic. We are continually learning new aspects to the world, to the magic that is there, and the depth of thought that has gone into making the metaphysical aspects of this book is thoroughly impressive.
Everything plays out, in the end, as well. While there is a lot of suspicion to be cast around amongst the players orbiting around our two main characters, at least for me, there is no real clue as to who to mistrust and who to trust. It appears as if everyone could have their own agenda, but whether they play to that supposition or assumption or are true to their spoken word is something that will only be told through time.
I'm not saying that Lowe writes with the same skill and depth of thought as some like Sanderson or Erikson, nor with the same breathtaking quality as the likes of Barclay and Gemmell of old, but in a world where fantasy books are often decried as a dime a dozen, Helen Lowe's The Heir of Night is a bright jewel unlooked for, but greatly appreciated.
This The Heir of Night book review was written by Joshua S Hill
All reviews for: Wall of Night
The Heir of Night
Wall of Night: Book 1
A thrilling excursion into a richly imagined realm of strife and sacrifice, where the fate of a dangerously divided world rests in the hands of one young woman,...
The Gathering of the Lost
Wall of Night: Book 2
Sure to become an epic fantasy classic, Helen Lowe’s magnificent Wall of Night series is big, ambitious, and gorgeously drawn—a story of bravery, treachery, and...
Daughter of Blood
Wall of Night: Book 3
Malian and Kalan are coming home, but already it may be too late. The Wall of Night, dangerously weakened by civil war among the Derai families that garrison it, is on the ...
Have you read The Heir of Night?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
The Heir of Night reader reviews
Katy from UK
Over all a good tale and it kept me going to the end. The world setting is interesting and I would like to know more of that. However, I found myself frustrated as the pacing seemed disjointed and on many occasion there would be several pages of highly detailed description of what a character was doing that could have been cover in a few well formed sentences. This broke the flow and I found it hard to loose myself in the world as a result.
Mark from London, UK
Same idea as Paul Edwin Zimmer's Dark Border series (1983). Lacks his feel of foreboding doom. Too many miraculous last minute magical escapes from powerful saviours who parachute in from nowhere. Characters to a bit too blase about devastatating news. Otherwise good with some nice touches.
6.4/10 from 3 reviews
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on this book, it really makes a difference and helps readers to find their perfect book.
More recommended reading in this genre
For a thousand years the ash fell and no flowers bloomed. For a thousand years the Skaa slaved in misery and lived in fear while the Lord Ruler reigned with absolute power ...
Half a King
Prince Yarvi has vowed to regain a throne he never wanted. But first he must survive cruelty, chains and the bitter waters of the Shattered Sea itself. And he must do it al...
The Faithful and The Fallen
Young Corban watches enviously as boys become warriors, learning the art of war. He yearns to wield his sword and spear to protect his king’s realm. But that day will...
The Farseer Trilogy
In a faraway land where members of the royal family are named for the virtues they embody, one young boy will become a walking enigma. Born on the wrong side of the sheets,...
The World Tree rises up out of the seething clouds like a green mountain, lifting its children up to the light. All creation nestles in its gigantic branches: all take shel...
Hope and Red
In a fracturing empire spread across savage seas, two people find a common cause. Hope, the lone survivor of a village massacred by the emperor's forces, is secretly tr...
The Banished Lands are engulfed in war and chaos. The cunning Queen Rhin has conquered the west and High King Nathair has the cauldron, most powerful of the seven treasures...
In the cramped west end of Sharakhai, the Amber Jewel of the Desert, Çeda fights in the pits to scrape a living. She, like so many in the city, pray for the downfall...
The Black God's War
Moses Siregar III
Against the backdrop of epic warfare and the powers of ten mysterious gods, Lucia struggles to understand The Black One. Her father-king wants war. Her messianic brother wa...
Long ago, the evil God Torak fought a war to obtain an object of immense power - the Orb of Aldur. But Torak was defeated and the Orb reclaimed by Belgarath, the sorcerer. ...
The Emperor's Soul
Shai is a Forger, a foreigner who can flawlessly copy and re-create any item by rewriting its history with skilful magic. Condemned to death after trying to steal the emper...
Hunt for Valamon
When Crown Prince Valamon is impossibly taken from the heart of Algaris Castle, the only clue as to motive or culprit is the use of unknown sorcery. Reclusive cleric Seris ...
Four millennia have passed since the gods came to Myrillia, creating the nine lands of peace as a haven from the nightmarish, accursed Hinterlands. In all this time nothing...
A Trial of Blood and Steel
Spurning her royal heritage to be raised by the great warrior, Kessligh, her exquisite swordplay astonishes all who witness it. But Sasha is still young, untested in battle...
In a land where magic has been forgotten and peace has reigned for centuries, unrest is simmering. Three kingdoms battle for power… A princess must journey into enem...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages:
- Recommended high fantasy books/series
- Recommended books/series featuring royalty, monarchy and empire
Best of 2016
Hope and Red
In a fracturing empire spread across savage seas, two people find a common cause. Hope, the lone survivor of a village massacred by the emperor's forces, is secretly train...
The Star Touched Queen
Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of Death and Destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father's kingdom. Content to follow more ...
The Pagan Night
Ruling with an iron hand, the Church has eliminated the ancient pagan ways. Yet demonic gheists terrorize the land, hunted by the Inquisition, while age-old hatreds rage betwe...
Books of the Month
A selection of books - old and new alike - that were a joy to read.
Forget the old days. Forget summer. Forget warmth. Forget anything that doesn’t help you survive in the endless white wilderness beyond the edges of a fallen world. Lynn McBride has learned much since society collapsed in the face of nuclear war and the relentless spread of disease. As the memories of her old life continue to haunt, she...
Paris was supposed to save Hallie. Now... well, let’s just say Paris has other ideas. There’s a strange woman called The Chronometrist who will not leave her al...
A corrupted city. A dark dream of power. Luke is a prisoner, condemned for a murder he didn’t commit. Abi is a fugitive, desperate to free him before magic breaks his...
The Fifth Empire of Man
Rob J Hayes
The Pirate Isles are united under Drake Morrass’ flag, but the war has only just begun. There’s still a long way to go before he’s able to call himself Ki...
Ian C Esslemont
After the disappointments of Li Heng, Dancer and Kellanved wash up on a small insignificant island named Malaz. Immediately, of course, Kellanved plans to take it over. To ...
Age of Swords
Michael J Sullivan
Raithe, the God Killer, may have started the rebellion by killing a Fhrey, but long-standing enmities dividing the Rhunes make it all but impossible to unite against the co...
A Time of Dread
The Ben-Elim, a race of warrior angels, once vanquished a mighty demon horde. Now they rule the Banished lands. But their dominion is brutally enforced and their ancient en...