Select one of the keywords
The Heir of Night: The Wall of Night Book One    by Helen Lowe order for
Heir of Night
by Helen Lowe
Order:  USA  Can
Eos, 2010 (2010)
Paperback, e-Book

Read an Excerpt

* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Helen Lowe, author of the YA fantasy Thornspell (which does an excellent job of telling the prince's tale in Sleeping Beauty), now embarks on an engaging new adult fantasy series (though this first episode would be equally appreciated by older teens), The Wall of Night. The story is set in the world of Haarth, where the Wall of Night mountain range, held by the Nine Houses of the Derai, keeps out the Swarm of Dark.

So the Derai are heroes? Perhaps, but there is some ambiguity as it was the Derai who brought their battle with the Swarm of Dark across worlds to Haarth. As this first book opens, readers are introduced to young Malian, Heir of Night, in a typical illicit escapade, exploring the Old Keep. Minstrel Haimyr finds her just in time to prepare to greet her father and his entourage (including his consort, Winter Lady Rowan Birchmoon) in the New Keep at his Feast of Returning.

Surprising emissaries arrive - Guild heralds Tarathan of Ar and Jehane Mor, their message delayed by the festivities. Then that night, the keep is attacked by the Swarm. Malian, and unwilling priestly acolyte Kalan, hide in the Old Keep, where the Golden Fire awakens. Malian discovers she has powers and might be the One-to-Come.

After the battle for the keep is won at great cost, Malian's new powers change everything. Her father is bound by a Blood Oath that forces him to send her away - just as he did her mother. But before the Earl of Night can act, Malian, Kalan and guards pledged to them flee the keep. Pursued by the Darkswarm, they are betrayed, some falling by the wayside. Malian gains new perspectives on her people's history, and makes a pledge to defend Haarth, before she and Kalan ride into the Winter lands.

While this series incorporates traditional fantasy elements - young heroes discovering they are part of prophecy and a quest for powerful talismans - there are also unexpected aspects, like the Derai/Darswarm war moving between worlds, and the mentoring by ancient heroes out of time. I very much enjoyed The Heir of Night and am anxious for more of this very promising and fast-paced new epic fantasy in the second book, The Gathering of the Lost.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more Fantasy books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews