The Heir of Night (Wall of Night, #1)

The Heir of Night (Wall of Night, #1) In The Far North Of Haarth, The Derai People Garrison The Mountains Known As The Wall Of Night Against Their Powerful Enemy, Keeping Darkness From The Rest Of Their World But The Derai S Houses Are Divided Warrior Against Priest, And House Against House, And They Have Been Further Weakened By The Loss Of Their Great Magical Powers

I am a novelist, poet, blogger, interviewer, and lover of story My first novel Thornspell , Knopf was published to critical praise in 2008, and in 2012 The Heir Of Night , The Wall Of Night Book One, won the David Gemmell Morningstar Award for Best Fantasy Newcomer and the Sir Julius Vogel Award 2011 for Best Novel The Gathering of The Lost , The Wall Of Night Book Two , was shortlisted fo

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  • Paperback
  • 464 pages
  • The Heir of Night (Wall of Night, #1)
  • Helen Lowe
  • English
  • 05 March 2019
  • 9780356500003

10 thoughts on “The Heir of Night (Wall of Night, #1)

  1. says:

    It is rare that I will pick up a book based on the promotional guff that is used on front covers, especially as I work within publishing and know exactly what goes into that process However, because I worship to the goddess that is Robin Hobb, I bought it thankfully on offer There are some interesting concepts at work here I like the mythology behind the story and good characterisation of different races That is pretty much where the praise finishes For a start, the protagonists are too young for epic fantasy and yet seem to have retained the emotional and mental maturity of much older teenagers In addition, Ms Lowe has a nasty habit of explaining EVERYTHING The key to successful world building is to research thoroughly, define firmly, and explain sparingly She seems unable to differentiate between a world with a strong backstory and giving us the entire backstory in unrealistic chunks of conversation I also felt that the characters were all a little bland They were all equally as witty, equally as intelligent, equally as friendly, equally as blah blah blah Yeahthey weren t compelling enough She set up what could have been some great mysterious secrets and then gave them away too easily It was definitely not a stand alone book either, but part of a trilogy or The ending was unsatisfying and anti climatic I won t be buying the sequel and I would only recommend to readers who don t normally go for fantasy and want something light to break them in.

  2. says:

    Welcome to Haarth, a world where a northern border is guarded by the Derai from the ancient enemy known as The Swarm I have to say for a debut this was quite impressive but I very much felt it to be a set up novel for those later in the series.The first novel centres around the two main protagonists, Malian, daughter of The Earl of Night, and Kalan, a novice priest born into the House of Blood Together they must defend against the darkness of the swarm, which yet again threatens their land In some ways the plot reminded me of the Others and The Nights Watch in A Song of Ice and Fire, but at a much lighter and less brutal level than George RR Martins writes.The story grips you right from the start as Helen Lowe throws her characters into the firing line almost as soon as they arrived on the page, and there were a few casualties along the way It is packed full of adventure, mixed with a degree of intrigue, dark and bloody histories and nice few enjoyable fight scenes.I really enjoyed the characters crafted by Lowe, but again I couldn t help but notice similarities between them and those in A Song of Ice and Fire Specifically, these included The Earl, who reminded me of a cross between Ned Stark and Stannis Baratheon, Korriya with Melisandre, and Malian herself with Arya Stark Maybe this is just my perception though.A novel I would recommend to fans of George RR Martin and Robin Hobb who gave this novel high praise , albeit not with complete originality I am happy to award The Heir of Night and solid 4 stars and look forward to reading The Gathering of the Lost.

  3. says:

    While technically this qualifies as young adult fantasy it doesn t read like a YA And it s one of it s strongest pros for me There s no angst and hormone induced stupidity The main characters Malian and Kalan act appropriate for their ages most of the time with and air of wisdom and maturity that can be expected from an alien warrior race that has been at war for thousands if not millions of years I liked how the story progressed and it s pacing The world building is a problem however At places it feels as if you should be familiar with it from before to make sense so the reader feels lost and then there are almost random info dumps I had a couple of headaches start while trying to navigate the world and the complex social structure Thankfully there s a map and a glossary with all the characters in it so when I forget which one this character is and there are a lot of almost identical names for example Terebanth, Terennin and Trithis without constant reminders in the text, something you don t always get, of what the hell they are you could mistake one for the other I could check it out Adding to the confusion one thing could have several different names and or titles The problem comes from the fact that the introduction is not dome gently and slowly so I was left feeling as if this is the second book of the series instead of the first As for the story it follows the usual fantasy tropes good Derai vs evil Darkswarm with a heroine at the start of her Hero s Journey So there are a lot of similarities with other high fantasy books The storyline might be similar but it s the details that make this book different and they were compeling enough to make me seek out the rest of the trilogy.

  4. says:

    Oh boy do I have a lot to say about this book First off, if you re not a huge Lord of the Rings trilogy fan, then it most likely will not bother you However, I found so many allusions to the trilogy that made the novel lose most of its originality, at least for me This is the biggest factor as to why I rated it 2 5 The story itself was pretty well written and the author does have potential to being a great author I m probably very nitpicky about this but I personally find it frustrating whenever I see these things Another thing that bothered me was that the heroine was younger than 14, yet the way the dialogue was written, her thought patterns, and her actions were too adult and unbelievable for one so young and thus made the character not relatable Some parts of the novel were also a bit cheesy and cliche Also, the names of the enemies in this novel were pretty unoriginal, such as the Night Mare, darkswarm, or Worm of Chaos Here are some connections that I found if you care to know view spoiler 1 Color of the horses and what they re capable of great horses out of Emerbred to wear armor and carry knights into battle example from LOTR is Shadowfax, a horse of the Mearas legendary horses of Rohan 2 Armband in Heir of Night that had inscriptions on the inside of the band just like the one Ring from LOTRhow coincidental.3 Too much of the dialogue in this novel reminded me of the LOTR trilogy and some even seemed to be exactly like the script in LOTR 4 One of the minor characters towards the end shows up unexpectedly almost exactly how Gandalf re appears in the movie The Two Towers wearing all white and on a white horse and a dialogue very similar to that scene.5 One of the main characters was a token bearer who wore a special ring just like the ring bearer Frodo who bore the burden of the Ring Perhaps a different label would ve been better6 Secret weapons, of which some still needed to be found in LOTR, the sword of Narsil had to be reforged and givenThere is also the plot which seems very similar to Tolkien s in that the enemy is only looking for one person, which is the heroine, Malian, because she has the ability to wield weapons that can destroy them She gains friends along the way, including two heralds, who are seemingly pretty powerful kind of like elves and wizards wrapped up in one There is also a moment where the land itself is alive and helps to defeat the enemy though the land does not take sides , which clearly reminded me of Fangorn Forest.I could list so many , but if I keep going, I d be talking about almost every page of the book Once you read it, you ll see what I mean hide spoiler

  5. says:

    Robin Hobb says The Heir of Night by Helen Lowe is a richly told tale of strange magic, dark treachery and conflicting loyalties, set in a well realised world.And she is quite right, it is It is a beautifully crafted novel, the world is vibrant and so are the characters, although I must admit the characterisation sometimes left me scratching my head I had a lot of questions as to maturity in Malian s case and what seemed to me to be leaps of logic But this didn t spoil my enjoyment of what promises to be a very exciting new series.Old wars, lost powers, blood feuds, prophecies and the rising of an ancient evil makes on paper a pretty regular book of standard fantasy fare but I don t care if I have read a similar premise over and over again as long as the writing is good and the author does something different with it And Lowe s writing is very good and the story is original enough in nuance to be fresh The one thing i will nit pick over is the Naming of things, particular creatures and powers and the like I mean the Raptor of Darkness I was disappointed that Lowe did create a name in place of a title, she has the chops for it as the rest of her writing shows.That being said I did read it all the way through to the end, and I will pick up the next book to see how things progress There were some wonderfully rendered scenes, especially as Malian is trying to escape those who hunt her in underbelly of the Keep, and good use of pacing and some very interesting worldbuilding from a very talent new voice in the Epic fantasy field.

  6. says:

    Out at the garrison overlooking the Wall of Night, the House of Night is attacked and its inhabitants slaughtered by a Raptor of Darkness Our hero and heroine of this tale Malian, the teenage heiress being groomed to inherit the House of Night, and Kalan, her male Temple trainee friend, escape the massacre and find themselves hunted by the Swarm of Dark In doing so, Malian and Kalan both find they have magical powers A mystery assistant from the Derai s past comes to their aid First you must come into the heart of my power, the voice replied, so I have some hope of protecting you, while you may draw on my strength It is imperative that we work together, for you are young and untrained and I am weaker than I used to be But together, and with the boy s help, we may do what needs to be done Also to Malian s assistance comes Nhairin, a seasoned female steward, a sort ve Gurney Halleck to our Paul Muad dib like heroine Her task, with Asantir, the Honor Guard Captain, is to find Malian and protect her from the evil monsters that wield magic and who seem to be determined to kill her Asantir and Nhairin are sent by Malian s father, Earl Tasarion, to retrieve her With the help of heralds Jehane Mor and Tarathan of Ar, they manage to get the two young protagonists guided back to the safety of the Old Keep This is not without a change, however What Malian and Kalan s newly discovered powers allow them to do is travel whilst in a dream state between the physical world and the metaphysical plane Whilst in the metaphysical realm they find both the presence of old warriors such as Yorindesarinen and old adversaries to the House of Night and the Derai Alliance There is, as you might expect, a lot at stake here, wrapped up in portents of doom Earl Tasarion s sister, the witch like priestess Korriya, foretells of prophecies and predicts that harm will befall the family and the House The Earl s consort, the Queen of Winter, Rowan Birchwood, stands as an outsider amongst the Derai from the Winter Kingdom but is secretly part of the complex conflict herein.And as the oldest House in the Derai Alliance, the old saying goes, If Night falls, all fall The last half of the book deals with Malian and Kalan embarking on a quest to obtain objects of future significance, both having being given tokens of power to do so, whilst attempting to survive Darkswarm attacks Towards the end it all becomes dream like and there s a lot of resolution in the final chapters and a lot left uncertain ready for the next tale.This is not a debut work, but the writer s first adult Fantasy novel An important point that, and one that I didn t know until after reading the novel, but helped me make sense of the style of the tale Whilst the audience being targeted may be adult , to me it felt like a novel for young adults with adult overtones not necessarily a bad thing, and in this regard much, much better than the last novel I read that tried to do the same Left Hand of God, I m thinking of you When we reduce Heir of Night to bare plot at its simplest, this becomes a little obvious For example, we have teenage protagonists clearly destined for greater things, whose magical powers appear in order to fulfil their destiny and enable revenge for the massacre of their people There s nasty enemies wielding magic for evil ends All good genre stuff, if perhaps a little too close to the clich of fatherless farm boy or in this case, motherless child of aristocracy who becomes a great King Earl and goes on a quest to save the World from destruction by great evil.There s also that movement between different worlds, something also seen recently in Kate Elliott s Cold Magic , an ancient skill, once used now seemingly lost to most Derai This allows lots of foretelling and dream sequences, which create tension or annoyance depending upon your point of view.Despite this, lest that note of caution put you off, there is a lot here to like The magic s done well, in that for every action there is a price to pay way The places of darkness and secret are quite atmospheric And the fight scenes are both exciting and well written Asantir s elite troop of soldiers is reminiscent of James Barclay s Raven, though not perhaps quite as violent Interestingly, there are hints that this story may not be as clear cut Fantasy as the tropes or my summary above suggest, with a couple of nods to Gene Wolfe s Shadow of the Torturer Urth, perhaps If you can get round the response that there s a lot here that we ve met before I kept feeling that the book wanted to be a lighter version of A Game of Thrones or The Dragonbone Chair very badly it s a good, solid read that harkens back to the High Fantasy template that we ve seen less of, of late No profanity but a tale where honour, loyalty and sacrifice are paramount Not particularly new but pleasingly well done.

  7. says:

    The short review Meh.The long review There are books that you love when you re young and continue to love as an adult Then there are books that you only really like when you re the same age as the protagonist 13 in this case Unfortunately, the Heir of Night falls into the latter camp, or at least I suspect it would, since I am no longer of an age to verify this assumption It includes a number of things that would have appealed to me very strongly at that age a cool naming system for a society divided into nine Houses the House of Night, the House of Stars, the House of Blood a prophesied Chosen One a gloomy, maze like Keep melodramatic speeches galore Spiritual Advisors and a Quest to find the Magical McGuffin.I do applaud the Heir of Night for having a a female protagonist and b a relatively gender neutral world by which I mean a world where there aren t strongly defined gender roles In other words, there s no problem with women being leaders or fighters It s also inoffensive and didn t hit any of my pet peeve buttons.This book could have benefited from a severe edit The pacing is glacial The story uses the well worn trope of a dramatic event kicking off the hero s journey Step 1 of the hero s journey is, of course, leaving home, but in this book it takes three quarters of the book for our heroine to do so Too many scenes were completely unnecessary and seemed little than an excuse to have side characters discuss how Very Important This Character and Their Epic Quest were.Used judiciously, the eerie imagery of dream sequences and visions can be a way to create atmosphere and foreshadow, but when over used it bogs down the narrative This is the case in The Heir of Night these scenes come across as mere padding and bring the narrative to a near stand still at multiple points.While the Heir of Night has some interesting mythology and concepts, the world building didn t seem to have been fully thought through Some examples The Earl of Night explains the origins of the feud between Houses in an unbelievably nonpartisan way They ve been fighting about it for five hundred years, but he tells the listener how his House started it all with some heinous deeds against another House If he can freely admit they started it and were in the wrong then why are they still fighting about it The evil Darkswarm can only be defeated by use of the magical Golden Fire Magical Golden Fire is consequently revered and seen as something holy, special and wonderful But anyone who uses magical Golden Fire is immediately exiled because no one trusts magic users At its heart, The Heir of Night is wholly unremarkable The plot is predictable The characters are stock The dialogue is, it pains me to say, appalling The exposition is tedious.All this mediocrity led me to put the book down of the way through, and I doubt I ll be picking it back up to finish.

  8. says:

    2010 Cheated is how I feel about this book Marketed as the author s first foray into Adult fantasy, I was enticed to give it a try To then find out that the protagonists are 12 13 years old No, I cry and wail to the Heavens how can this be I don t particularly care that there are so called adult themes and the promise of growth throughout the trilogy This is not what I wanted to read This is not the author s fault and I lay the blame on her advisors, agents and publishers This is NOT a book for adult readers For YA absolutely Why can t the publishers be upfront and actually say YA There is a big enough market for this without tricking me into spending my hard earned money on a book that, had I known it to be YA, would not have bothered with Grrrrrrrrrrr Many of the details and devices seem to echo earlier works by well known authors so that this book seems to be a compliation of bits and bobs rather than anything original And, to boot, one of my favourite authors who is a writer par excellence describes this as a richly told tale ok it could be that any caveats were not used but still Ms Hobbb much wailing and rendering of clothes Bah after reading up to about P366 I decided that the protagonists were not going to grow up and nothing unusual was going to happen So, technically another DNF Damn it FWFTB wall, enemy, keep, hidden, magic FCN Malian, Kalan, Nerion, Teron, Rowan Birchmoon Oldest, first and greatest of all the Derai Houses on the Wall, in deeds and duty if not in numbers.

  9. says:

    I read this book in short time on the recommendation of my sister However, when I read the back of the book I knew that I wanted to read it My favourite books are the type that have a strong female lead and generally fall into either science fiction or fantasy This book is definitely fantasy, though it does have some flavourings of science fiction Malian, the Heir of Night, is an intelligent but duty bound young girl Her position within the keep depends on her father and her ability to lead the Derai, as such when she unlocks her powers she is both fearful of them and scared I happened to like this for the realism of a girl who knew her entire world would change Then she stepped up and filled her role brilliantly.Kalan I was indifferent to for a long while but I think he proved to be a good second lead and an intriguing character showing the other side of the Derai The Heralds however intrigued me the most, and I ll be interested to learn of them and Asantir as well.Overall, a good read and looking forward to the second book.

  10. says:

    This book was complete dreck I made the mistake of picking up this book for a trip interstate, based of a neat title, an interesting blurb, and the way that one of the sequels was compared to Martin s work in a prominent review quote.This book is so bad that I reactivated my Goodreads just to talk about it Firstly, I hope you can tolerate stupid fantasy names If you want to hear the term Derai about thirty thousand times, this book is for you Every character speaks in expositional terms They have to tell you their position when addressing each other They give histories at a whim, mostly self aggrandising nonsense about the central people, the Derai , a pointlessly stupid group of militaristic bozos who have a racism metaphor tangled with their Chosen One metaphor Oh, and there s literally a Chosen One, because the writer is a hack , which will no doubt be resolved by series end to teach you an important lesson about bigotry, because maybe you re discriminating against The Special It somehow makes the trite allegories of X Men and Bright seem enlightened.Our heroine does nothing active in the plot, apart from listen to stupid exposition It s a joy when she receives a psychic message telling her to GTFO because it means we can stop getting scene setting exposition for a moment Of course, it means all the pompous crap we dealt with up till that point was for next to nil Characters judgements don t make sense, they re done for plot purposes Some characters are magical, and several characters are established as bigoted against those with those powers, but that bigotry ranges from segregation and extermination to non existent depending on the plot It s shallow worldbuilding, and since the history of the world makes clear this magic was essential to their survival to this point, the bigotry makes no sense Obviously, the reader is meant to feel clever understanding that our protagonist s society is not perfect, but it s just stupid and makes you feel like your time is being wasted.Characters rarely get development, and there is a sort of real bigotry underlying the writing of this book Our heroes matter because of their noble birth and magic, everyone else doesn t because they re not the Chosen One It s the most problematic elements of Campbell s Hero s Journey, yet the book mysteriously chooses NOT to utilise the 3 act structuring of the aforementioned, leaving character agency to the wind, and having MacGuffin s established moments before they pop into the world, and into the hands of our protagonists It s crap, sheer crap, making something with a strange structure is one thing, turning from a chase to a political thriller, to a chase that turns into exposition for MacGuffins, which are then immediately bestowed, is just hideously bad writing Tension does not rise or fall, because the book can t establish things ahead of time, not build to anything.It feels like how a child might invent a story AND THEN THIS HAPPENED AND THEN THIS HAPPENED AND THEN THIS HAPPENED It could be exciting in the moment, but as nothing is established, and our characters are pretty universally stupid and unlikeable, and beholden to plot contrivance, it fails at that Also, the action lacks detail, to the point where several monsters lack descriptions, bar names like The Raptor of Darkness and Night Mare A demon horse Yes, this level of cheese and stupid is on full display But these things come and go with little to no real impact, being brought in and killed off with a lot of ceremony, but without any tension, because nothing is established THE RAPTOR OF DARKNESS Come on, please, laugh at this stupid shit The psychic realm drops in and out of our story, and it s always bad It means extra exposition and extra magic which is unexplained and unnecessary, and unestablished A lot of it references Tolkien, or English or European Folklore, and the story seems to think that you ll care because of the weight of these references They actually just drag down the story further, by adding the impression that these things should be as significant as the folkloric inspirations, but just leeching off assumed prior knowledge.All of the characters are stupid and do whatever is required by the plot, motivations and decisions aren t considered It feels contrived throughout A rescue mission is mounted that has the weight of the world hanging on it, and a handful of people are despatched, and all others are waved away as They re needed to defend elsewhere , however, nothing else is properly established, and it feels contrived to create a small group It s still not tense though because there is no expectation that they won t succeed THIS HAPPENS, AND THEN THIS HAPPENS, AND THEN THESE CHARACTERS I ONLY JUST BOTHERED TO NAME DIED Crap Complete crap.When they explain things, they re pompous, and adopt half chants , for things which clearly weren t memorised nor in verse It s poor writing Few characters act as though they lived in a world which is a consequence of the past The few times characters are likeable, is when they rip through this charade, by being irreverent, impudent, or not caring about this dreck.You will get very used to reading the word Derai reading this book because the author insists on dropping worldbuilding on you at every moment It actually ruins most of the dialogue, including internal dialogue, because characters don t think of each other in terms of their relationships with each other, but in terms of their backstory, which most readers won t care about Worldbuilding is a plague some authors believe dropping unnecessary information and leaving plot threads waiting for resolution counts as storytelling It isn t Good worldbuilding means our characters should know the world they live in, and their actions in relation to it should teach us about it and build the world for us If the characters have to tell us, through internal dialogue, and through monologues, what the history is, then there just isn t worldbuilding An example Our setting is a wall on the edge of the world defending against an alien race of monsters which conquer everything before them It s manned by a warlike people with many internal disputes, who dislike outsiders, the outsiders also not understanding pretty much anything Different factions have different issues with each other, which somehow aren t overcome by the threat they face They discriminate against those with the powers needed to defend the wall, even though that s the be all and end all of their civilisation Our geography is never really given proper import, and the defence of said wall doesn t actually get much of a look into our setting Considering the way the book takes liberally here from Martin, consider the Night s Watch, who are a defensive order, with racial biases, who ve turned from the original purpose of their order, to protect the realm from the Others, to fighting Wildlings, and how they are built up as Rangers, probing beyond the wall, scouting, and Builders and Stewards, maintaining the Wall, and the supply lines The story doesn t care They take the idea of Castle Black, at face value, choose it for a setting in implication, then use a bunch of nonsense for the actual layout It s not worth considering.The author just doesn t care They thought this was a novel idea, they took it Our protagonist leaves partway through, and gets given MacGuffins, and it s obvious that eventually, this will come under attack and that will be our sign of rising tension, for our Chosen One to return and PROVE RACISM WRONG with her MACGUFFINS to defeat the enemy, but the setting just gives us nothing.Characters speak in riddles for no reason it s tiresome, they re obviously saying nothing, and the author obviously thinks they re being smarter than they are You want the characters they re lecturing with nonsense to attack them and force them to give them a straight answer, not talk shit Prophecies are dropped everywhere, and they re just straight up chosen one shite Just crap It ll turn the most patient person into a shallow, aggressive and argumentative prick, ready to shake or punch the hell out of these characters Just say what you mean THAT WASN T AN ANSWER THAT S A CONTRADICTION or worse THAT S A TAUTOLOGY It s meant to sound deep, it isn t The dialogue also has a problem where it changes from old timey and pompous Which is universally awful to a lot modern and conversational, at whim, from scene to scene It s not determined by setting, one of the most pompous scenes in the book is between lovers, it doesn t build the world, it s just the author can t handle dialogue or giving character through dialogue The Derai all have one characteristic dialogue, the Heralds have another, and the Bard has another, and none of them really build character The tale is not Richly told , nor full of strange magic or dark treachery There s not a single conflicting loyalty in it.Characters do what the plot demands, they don t have the character to have loyalties or treacheries The setting is constantly exposited to you, but it s never established to make dramatic stakes clear It s just a hodge podge of cliches and stolen ideas anyway It doesn t hew to a traditional structure, but not out of idiosyncracy, it just doesn t know better This book is basically a MacGuffin hunt where the hunt only starts most of the way through, and the protagonist is just given the item, and told to get the other ones It s slowly paced considering the tripe it puts on you, and feels patronising to read, I can t see a child enjoying something this ponderous, and I can t see anyone who could ponder the page count as being stupid enough to enjoy this.I am shocked that this got published, absolutely shocked The editor should have sent it back, with a ton of notes to make the story at least a bearable ride through An openning to a series that leaves me utterly lacking in desire to read the others to see if it improves I have a low bar for fiction I can generally read anything and get through it, and I ve had very few experiences I utterly regret bothering with The only reason I finished this book, is because I refused to let this shit beat me, because goddamn it I won t hear that I didn t understand it This crossed a line with me, it s boring, overlong, unlikeable, unstructured, and yet cliched.Don t read this book You deserve better Read The Lord Of The Rings, read ASOIAF, play Warhammer I guarantee you will enjoy yourself .

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