There are many cliches in the fantasy genre, it is impossible to escape for some and some books become cliches all of their own! This is why approached The Heir to the North by Steven Poore with some caution, a coming of age tale about a young woman with an impossible destiny, it sounded a bit too good to be true....how wrong I was!
Welcome to my review of The Heir to the North by Steven Poore, an epic story of birthright, revenge, sorcery and fellowship. For starters, I love coming of age stories even if it is not a fantasy story, there is something about a young man or woman (dwarf, Elf, hobbit, Dark Elf, Orc) leading a normal life and discovering over time that they have a impossible or great destiny. This is arguably one of the reasons why The Legend of Zelda games are so popular and appealing, but I digress back to this review.
The story starts with a bang, we witness the destruction of a kingdom called Caenthell by a Warlock called Malessar who also curses the kingdom to stay buried. Unbeknownst to him a lone Knight called Baum steals the heir away and quite literally runs as fast as he can away from the magical destruction of the kingdom. We are whisked away to present day to the character of Cassia, the daughter of Norrow who is story teller, on a peculiar night the pair are swept up in to an adventure with a veteran soldier and determined, heroic (because he is) Princeling and discovers her destiny. I will say no more about the story as it would involve spoilers and I try very hard to keep my reviews spoiler free.
This is no average coming of age fantasy tale, this is epic work. Steven has a wonderful writing style that is descriptive and allows the reader to to really envisage the story he is telling. The landscape of this story is gradually revealed (no info dump!) and allows what is quite a complex story to develop and emerge, an epic story with hint of a historical sweep is revealed and how enjoyable story that it is.
One of the aspects of the story that Steven does really is keeping his young heroine grounded, she always aware of her place withing the world and the stakes that her fellowship fight for. Her humanity is what makes the story so wonderful to read, and make this coming of age fantasy story really worth your time, money and effort to read.
Well there we are, I must admit that I really enjoyed this fantasy novel, the coming of age story is something to really enjoy and savour, epic fantasy at it's finest and from what I can see there is more to come.
If you have read Steven Poore's The Heir to the North then please leave a comment below so we can discuss this wonderful story.