The Heir of Night: The Wall of Night Book One
by Helen Lowe
Review by Harriet Klausner
Eos Mass Market Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9780061734045
Date: 01 October 2010 List Price $7.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
On the adopted world of Haarth, the heir to the House of Night, Malian knows intimately the eternal war between her people the Derai and the demonic Darkswarm. High in the frozen mountainous tundra is the Wall of Night that has kept the demonic horde somewhat under control, but these are dangerous times as the Nine Houses worshipping the nine gods of the Derai defend parts of the Wall but are divided since the Great Betrayal.
Malian acknowledges her blood oath to her House, but she is also considered by many as the prophesied One who will unite the Houses. Ironically though a divided house cannot stand and the Wall appears ready to be breached, many of the Derai oppose her efforts to fuse the common bond. The Darkswarm also know who she is and send their best killers to assassinate her as they believe her death would enable them to win the war that has been endless in time and place. Exiled from her House for being the Heir of the Night, Malian with another outcast Priest Kalan of the House of Blood and several natives led by Herald Jehane Mor seek the lost artifacts of a legend, Yorindesarinen the Bright who as the Child of Stars died killing the Worm of Chaos.
This is a terrific coming of age quest fantasy as the heroine would prefer to not be the prophesied One to Come, but fate will not allow her to hide from her destiny. Malian reluctantly leaves her home to begin what is her undesirable legacy. This is a critical segue as the audience knows how deeply the reluctant heroine feels about the responsibility thrust on her young shoulders. She feels overwhelmed with her role and knows that the heroine she must emulate died in combat.
The insight into the warrior culture of the Derai is incredibly deep as the reader learns that war is taken for granted as the norm and soldiers die in combat. The Great Betrayal civil war leaves acrimony between the Houses as that went against the belief system of the Derai. This distrust between the Houses and within Houses is what Malian must overcome if her species is to prevent the Darkswarm from tearing down the Wall of Night and commit genocide against her race, the indigent populace and other worlds. She knows there is only one impossible way to achieve her destiny.
Although the journey itself, which makes up much of the first entry in The Wall of Night series, is somewhat typical of the sub-genre as a harassed teen tries to achieve her destiny while deadly enemies try to prevent her. Still high school aged readers and older fans will enjoy trekking across Haarth with Malian and her companions as they seek the legacy of the late Yorindesarinen.