Review: The Heir of Night by Helen Lowe

Heir of Night – Helen Lowe (Wall of Night #1)
2010, Orbit Hachette
480 pages
RRP: AU$24.99
ISBN: 9780356500003

Reviewed by Liz Grzyb

The Heir of Night is the first installment of Helen Lowe’s Wall of Night series, and the second novel has been released recently. The series follows Malian, daughter of Lord of the House of Night, one of the great Derai families in Haarth as she is threatened by the Darkswarm. There are prophecies, monsters, forbidden lands and magic: everything needed for a tale that lands smack bang in Fantasy land! The plot is very traditional for the genre -  young girl is under threat and finds she has a special gift of some kind; she and her friends must save the world from a terrible fate.

There were parts of this novel I really enjoyed. The worldbuilding was interesting, and some of the more fantastical elements added sparkle to the story. The strained relationship between the warriors and the magic-users was intriguing, and I loved how the gender roles in this world were completely unfettered by what our world might see as tradition.

Other parts weren’t as engaging. Some of the characterisation was confusing and didn’t seem to follow logical steps, such as Malian frequently seeming much too mature for her age, pulling the reader out of the narrative. The pacing was quite slow, especially at the beginning.

Fantasy lovers will find this novel well worth the read. Even though I felt there were some flaws in this first part of the tale, Lowe has created a world worth reading about, and The Gathering of the Lost, the second in the series, is already on my to-read pile.



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Rating: 4.5/5 (2 votes cast)
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Review: The Heir of Night by Helen Lowe, 4.5 out of 5 based on 2 ratings