31 July 2012


Author: Helen Lowe
Series: Yes, #1
UK Publisher: Orbit
UK Release date:
Genre: Fantasy

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. (Goodreads)

When you start reading Heir of Night, you can’t deny that a hugely complex world and history has been built for the story. Helen Lowe has created an environment rich with different gods, heroes, magical items and even a spiritual world beyond the ‘gate’.

For me however, there were too many characters to focus on. I didn’t feel like I knew enough about each secondary character to make them substantial in my mind and I got a little confused between the characters to start with. I think this was compounded by the fact that there was a lot going on in the story - there was so much back history to learn and so many new strange things happening, like the hunt, that I really had to concentrate to keep up with the action. If fewer points of action and fewer characters had been fleshed out this might have worked a little better and I might not have struggled so much to finish. 

I also expected Malian the protagonist to be older than she was. At 13 years, I thought the story would revisit her after she had grown up, but in fact the story stayed with her at that age. As the only heir to the Night throne, Malian is vital to the clan surviving and has been brought up to know her duty, which is perhaps why she seems knowledgeable and mature. However she wasn’t treated with reverence by everyone, particularly her father, and I did feel a little sorry that other members of the household were dearer to her than him.

I liked young Kalan. No matter what he stood by Malian and protected her, and I can see a great relationship and partnership developing between them.

Heir of Night is a richly descriptive fantasy with masses of action and magical learning.

Rating: 3.5*

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