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. 
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


56 thoughts on “Review: The Heir of Night – Helen Lowe

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