The Red Heir by Holden R Johnson
The Red Heir is the first fantasy novel from the ambitious World Reborn series, the debut outing from Holden R. Johnson. This tale follows the extraordinary and ice-cool assassin Vall Red as he travels through the peculiar magical doors that are mysteriously dotted around Elemor. All we know is that the doors have something to do with the power of magic which was banished from the world (the Essence) and Vall's quest to find his father who went missing twenty years ago.
A common device in novels introducing an audience to a unique, complex and multi-layered world is to use flashback chapters alongside the current day point of view perspectives. Johnson does this admirably well. The modern day events are told through the eyes of about seven well created and vivid characters including the scarred assassin legend that is Vall, Araine - an inexperienced Talim warrior and Rax - the enigmatic leader of the infamous underground network of criminals within Elemor's capital, Helforn. The flashback sequences focus on Vall's upbringing in "the care" of the mysterious Kalor after his father leaves him one day with no explanation. These segments add a great amount of depth to our anti-hero and show the transformation of Vall from a lost youth to the Essence wielding, twin blade flaunting 'Terror of Helforn'.
With the current state of Elemor, only a few people can utilise the power of the essence. From the start of the book, I thought the "magic system" was superbly thought out and some of the possibilities seem endless. Enhanced speed, power, hearing, and sight when needed are a handful of the abilities that are extraordinarily presented in a world where magic is thought by most as being an age old myth. How can certain individuals use the Essence if it has been banished from the world? Wait and see. It reminded me of a less scientific version of Allomancy from the Mistborn series.
A lot of what is presented here has been seen in fantasy before yet it never bothered me as feeling forced or cliche. Other reviewers have said the regurgitation of familiar elements is a problem for them so I am intrigued to see what other readers think. If anything when it comes to elements such as say, souls within a talking sword or unkillable ghost wolves, I can honestly say I liked the way these familiar fantasy elements were presented here more than in the stories of some of the "big-gun" authors of the genre.
This book (and hopefully the entire saga) I believe would appeal to fans of Mistborn, Lies of Locke Lamora (although it is not as complex) and to anyone who likes a kick-ass assassin roaming throughout the pages. I also think it could be enjoyed by a younger audience too however, that isn't to say that it doesn't have a fair amount of death, torturous nightmares, epic showdowns and betrayals.
I imagine we have only just scratched the surface of the possibilities and the stories that could be present in Elemor throughout this series. Although it is already presenting us with numerous histories, different races, and religious beliefs. It truly is an exhilarating action-packed tale that left me breathless for the last twenty-five percent. Even better for fans of this sort of fiction is the fact that after the thrilling finale, it seems like the real story is only just beginning.
This The Red Heir book review was written by James Tivendale
All reviews for: The World Reborn
The Red Heir
The World Reborn #1
Long ago, when the Essence of magic gave Elemor its power, the world saw prosperity, ingenuity, and wonder. Peace can only last so long, however. The darkness always seems ...
Have you read The Red Heir?
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 Red Heir reader reviews
8/10 from 1 reviews
There are currently no reader reviews for this book. Why not be the first?
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...
Wall of Night
The violence of an age-old war casts a long shadow. It falls on a world where mercy is weakness and conflict is a way of life. Young Malian is being trained to rule. Her pe...
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...
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.
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 alone. Garbled warnings from bizarre creatures keep her up at night. And there’s a time portal in the keg room of the bar where she works. Soon, Hallie is tumbling through...
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...
The Last Dog on Earth
Adrian J Walker
Every dog has its day... And for Lineker, a happy go lucky mongrel from Peckham, the day the world ends is his: finally a chance to prove to his owner just how loyal he can...