I have received this book from The Readers Hollow as ARC in exchange for honest review.
I liked the book. I would have loved it if the first half had matched the pace and action of the second. I am waiting for the next in this series, trusting that the plot will be more gripping since there is so much more left in the story. The four bohostars rating is mostly for the second half and the nice maps.
This book is first of the series The Ap’Lydin Chronicles, leaving us hints of exciting possibilities of betrayal, hot pursuit, and good fight scenes.
Races and characters
Elves and human races are pretty much same as the usual epic fantasy novels based on Western myth and folklore, but this book introduces us to some new ones inspired by middle eastern countries, a welcome change from the usual. One such example is the Macrodonian empire which remarkably resembles the Egyptian civilization while Quarld is a sultanate of Bedouin tribes (Arabs). Ahkhtarran sounds similar to Akhtar, an Urdu/Arabic name.
I liked the character of Archmage of Macrodonia, Aelzander, an interesting old but powerful wielder of magic and Polygnar’s eccentric mentor. The characters of Bellaydin, Polnygar, Augustine are interesting. Bellaydin’s character nicely evolves from a teenage boy not fitting anywhere, into a confident, protector of the Ap’lydin house. The book leaves us with the promise of further opportunities of development for the main characters, namely the Ap’Lydin half-siblings.
I found the Goriinchian tribe particularly interesting. They worship the Horned God, whose origin and physical attributes are not very clear in this book, probably by intention. I want to ask the author about his inspiration for the Horned God, though I found plenty of gods or godlike creatures with horns from different folklores of the world (Wiccan, Neopaganism).
Ivellios, a spell weaver with a nasty streak, is a fun character, not-so-secretly causing murder and mayhem.
Some of the names were difficult to pronounce, as is usual with the epic fantasy genre. The book has an appendix at the end which is very helpful, but pronunciations would have been great too (no, seriously).
The Heirs of Lydin revolves around a theme of races following different Gods and fighting against each other for religion, power, and control of each other’s lands. After a very intriguing prolog, the story starts slow, initially too descriptive, but gradually picks up the tempo as we cross one-third of the book.
The second half of the book is fast paced, action packed. I loved the chapter when Bellaydin rescues William from the Gorinchiian clutches. The battle sequences in Castle Wishapton remind me of Peter Jackson’s LOTR, the scene on the defense of Helm’s Deep precisely.
I particularly enjoyed the writing style and language. I have read a lot of Grimdark genre lately. Hence, this book, written in a classic lucid and elegant style was a welcome change. The scenes have minimal or no gore and violence, but the description of murders and battles are clear enough to visualize. A perfect example of epic fantasy style, in my opinion. We rise and fall with our lead characters who have yet to realize their potential of heroism, we fear for and cheer our favorites as they find their magic and power.
The Heirs of Lydin is a coming of age tale epic fantasy genre, that speaks of young heroes struggling with newfound power as they take on the wild world out there, leaving their sheltered home with a kind and protective mother. There is little romance (there was just a hint, or maybe not) with some humor, and no or barely-there violence (as I said, battle scenes are exciting but not gory). Try it; you will enjoy this one and happily wait for the next.