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Book Review: Heir of Novron by Michael J. Sullivan

Posted by Ben

Heir of Novron was amazing. So much so that I waited a full month before writing my review just to see if the effect would wear off. It didn't.

If you haven't read the first two (Theft of SwordsRise of Empire), do it now so you can feel that same sense of epic completion at the end of this one that I felt. This series attains something you don't see much in Epic Fantasy: the characters feel very personal while the plot revolves around a changing world. I was actually a little sad at the end. Don't get me wrong: I rushed through the story, hardly putting it down. But, at the end, I just wished there were another three books waiting for me, or something. This is not a bad thing, it's something else the series accomplishes wonderfully: a sense of closure with just a hint at the fact that the story is still being told.

I recommend this for anybody who likes Fantasy, character-driven stories, humorous dialogue, or just a well-developed, yet epic plot. I just about cried at the end, it was so satisfying.

You can really tell that the whole story was thought out (or fully written) before ink went to paper. I love when stories do this (see: Avatar: the Last Airbender), and the world was fleshed out and interesting enough to make me want to visit (I wonder if writing fan fiction would help?). I think Michael J. Sullivan is the master of developing characters I might be scared to meet in person, or would brush me off without a second glance at the beginning, but I would want to hang out with at the end. His characters progress and change so fluidly that you only really notice it when the character themselves think about how much they've changed. I'd also like to point out that the female characters are just simply amazing! It's refreshing that none of them are scantily clad warrior/rogues that, deep down, just need a man to hold them. They're strong and independent, and the male characters are just as vulnerable.

As far as setting and magic: It's mostly basic secondary world fantasy. The big difference being in the races and the politics between them. I love that elves and dwarfs are treated like animals by the humans, only to be nearly destroyed and then saved by a few members of these races. The magic was a bit lacking: no explanation of how it works, it just does (which isn't a bad thing; it keeps it mysterious).

My only complaints: Like I said, how magic works was never explained, and is just a little too powerful, making it almost Deus ex Machina. Also, one of my great joys in reading a book (especially now with a Kindle that let's me simply hi-light) is finding typos. I had to read through three entire books before finding the one typo in the whole series! And all it was was just a little "She noded" instead of "nodded". C'mon!

Overall: 5/5. I'm still kind of new to Fantasy fiction, but I still maintain that this is one of the best new series in the genre. It's a good read whether you're into this sort of thing or not. Do yourself a favor and read it. I could even see my kids reading it when they're older.

(Hear our interviews with Michael all through the month of May, and find his website here: Riyria.com.)

Category:Book Reviews -- posted at: 8:15pm EDT
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