Review: Heir to the North

Heir To The North cover

Heir To The North, by Steven J Poore.

“Caenthell will stay buried, and the North will not rise again until I freely offer my sword to a true descendant of the High Kings—or until one takes it from my dying hands!”
With this curse, the Warlock Malessar destroyed Caenthell. The bloodline of the High Kings disappeared and the kingdom faded into dark legend until even stories of the deed lost their power. But now there is an Heir to the North.
Cassia hopes to make her reputation as a storyteller by witnessing a hardened soldier and a heroic princeling defeat Malessar and his foul curse. But neither of her companions are exactly as they appear, and the truth lies deep within stories that have been buried for centuries.
As Cassia learns secrets both soldier and warlock have kept hidden since the fall of Caenthell, she discovers she can no longer merely bear witness. Cassia must become part of the story; she must choose a side and join the battle.
The North will rise again.

Disclaimer: Steven Poore is another Grimmie, and HTTN is published by Kristell Ink. That said, I’m going to be honest about what I think!

So. Kindle has informed me that the typical time taken for this book is 7 hours and 20 minutes. Hah. Haha. Nope. It took me 2 hours, which equates to two train journeys, one half-lunchtime and two snatched sessions while waiting for said train. I mean, I read fast, but I REALLY wanted to keep reading. Also, you know that “oh shit the train’s stopped is this my station WHERE THE HELL AM I?” feeling…let’s just say I’m lucky I get off at the end of the line.

I absolutely devoured this book; it’s fresh, original, and I didn’t see any of the twists coming.  I think HTTN may have even surpassed The Copper Promise and Spark & Carousel in my estimation! It’s an exciting, brilliant and entertaining read that is absolutely worth picking up.

The writing is excellent; the places and descriptions are fabulous, and the entire world has history behind it. You feel that each place has an untold story, and even the throwaway lines of brief description about a particular land give you a sense if it.

I love the way the plot turns; the baddie isn’t bad, the goodie isn’t good, the hero isn’t a hero. Having the story from Cassia’s perspective lends a nice twist to the “hero quest” trait, and is a nice POV. The plot rolls along nicely, and never feels forced; the twists are unexpected (at least to me) and I was kept interested all the way through. Cassia’s change is nicely done and we grow along with her; Meredith is an interesting character, and Baum is tangled, deep and believable. I won’t spoiler but will say that the other main character is excellently done; wry and interesting and poignant. Steven J Poore certainly managed a 180 degree shift in my feelings, apparently effortlessly!

My sentiment when finishing was…excitable?

There’s a sequel promised, and I for one am voting on sitting on @StevenJPoore‘s head and nagging relentlessly until he writes it! This is an extremely excellent half a story, but I really want to know what happens next….

Anyway. Go and get it. If you like fantasy adventure stories or excellent writing, you will most definitely not regret it!