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Heir of Novron by Michael J. Sullivan — Percepliquis Book Review

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Genre: Epic Fantasy, Magic, Medieval
Author: Michael J. Sullivan
Series: The Riyria Revelations #5-6
Date Published: January 31, 2012
Publisher: Orbit
Edition: ebook
ISBN: 0316192732

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They are coming... to claim what was theirs for thousands of years before the age of men. To save mankind, The Riyria with a fellowship of ten are on the move again in a quest to find the horn, an important relic buried beneath the tomb of Novron in a long lost kingdom of ancient Percepliquis. The mystery of the Old Kingdom is going to unfold as the series draws to its final conclusion.


Review

I don't really know how to feel finishing this series. Shall I be relieved that I'm finally done with the journey? Yes, I couldn't say happy. Or shall I be sad that it's over? One thing I regretted reading this series is that I didn't come across it in its prime. It would have been better If I was there on its first day of release (or discover the series when the second book's the latest) rather than start reading it a couple of years after the series has finally ended because it feels as if I was lacking in the journey and therefore, am not part of the book. You know that when fans are so into a series, they'd feel as if they're part of the story. There's no growing anticipation as to how the story would end because I already have all the copies and it's just a matter of time before I move on from one book to the next unlike when you are waiting for an author to finish writing the book and be there on the queue on the first day of release in the bookstore (like I did for Harry Potter).

This is one pacifistic series where everything will turn out well in the end. As what can be expected from an epic fantasy story. A method I noticed by the author is that each character encountered is utilized at every turn across the whole of Apeladorn (the human territory). Or that one way or another, one character in this place will surely know a character in another place. Or that the main protagonists already know some relevant characters say within the enemies' lair from the past which I find both comical and too good to be true. That's where the author's original intentions show... that the series was intended to be read by his then 13-year old dyslexic daughter. And thus, the intimacy of all the characters ever mentioned to the readers.

Instead of being surprised at what the characters have in their sleeves, you'd be anticipating as to what they'd do in the future and be curious at what they'd done in the past. Everything has been laid out from the beginning that realizing those hunches to be true is actually surprising because of the added drama. But then more so because of the grander explanation as things are revealed in this last book of the series.

For the tiny details that will evoke some emotions, Michael Sullivan has a style of writing that would mislead you. That's why I would read slowly and carefully when a character is being described (without mentioning the name) or a coversation takes place describing something. I have to double my way back reading before I could take a guess. And if reading twice isn't enough, I had to read more before I'm confident with my "answer". That's what the author does to me, making me have my own private game to play. Of course, he deliberately did it and delivered it so effectively.

I have actually done that style in some of my short stories but not deliberately. It is only until fb users comment that I'd realized what I did. On the author's part, he has used that style smoothly. If I were to become an author one day, Michael Sullivan's writing style will definitely be one of my inspirations. This style includes humor (and I don't know how I could pull that off) which he has adapted from William Goldman, another one of my favorite authors.

Speaking of humor, this book screams funny for the first 6 Chapters and some chapters across the book of course. The book has become this whirlwind of a story where action is delivered blow by blow. It's face-paced and would keep you on the edge.

One thing I was happy about was when things are then clouded in mystery. Not the agent-with-guns kind of mystery but the dark-shadows-enveloping kind one which I never felt before in the series for the first five books were funnier and have this nationalistic approach. But this one has the ambience like that for Harry Potter. Finally, the atmosphere has shifted into the darker part of fantasy. What's more? There's a Tolkien element into it (not because of the races used— elves, men, dwarves and goblins) but because of the adventure of retrieving an important relic in a long lost kingdom which was buried beneath the earth with a band of characters with all sorts of job classes— a wizardess, a dwarf, a mir or part-elf part-human, a Teshlor knight, a sailor, a giant, a nationalist leader, a monk with photographic memory, a count renowned for swordsmanship and a king. It's like The Hobbit for the treasure hunting adventure and The Fellowship of the Ring for a pack of well-rounded adventurers yet more profound and unique in its own.
There is no way back. There is only forward. It’s impossible to imagine there’s any reason to move ahead, but that isn’t the real reason you give up. The real fear—the terror that keeps you rooted—is that you might be wrong.

Instead of passion, you have regret. In place of effort, you are mired in memory. You sink in nothingness and your heart drowns in despair. At times—usually at night—it’s a physical pain, both sharp and dull. The anguish is unbearable.
-Myron Lanaklin

I've already seen Royce's real identity in Avempartha. Somehow, instead of being happy, I was actually hurt by my realization in the second book because I was rooting for someone else. This is the part where I should deviate my mind from my heart. So four books later, when a big bomb was dropped in this book, I was not surprised. I already had that feeling when Esrahaddon taught Royce of his elven roots. I really took that hard then you know, because while it's clear that Royce is cunning, Hadrian is stupid in contrast. Both were molded to be great. I just didn't accept then that Royce's fate will be much more than Hadrian's that's why I was rooting more for the latter. What I didn't expect though was that everything will turn out to be diplomatic for my taste. Royce didn't get to see his parents afterall. He didn't suffer abuse from his absentee parents, rather he spent his childhood struggling for his life alone in the streets.

I'm not complaining or anything, rather I felt betrayed by my own emotions. I always thought I could compartmentalize my brain but this series made me realize otherwise. I should keep my state of mind in check, and make a clear room for logic. But then most of all, I should always be honest with what I think.

Then I have to admit that I'm sad that this series is over (on my part) but happy that I have become part of it (albeit two years late). The series is one great story I'm more than happy to have stumbled upon. I have to thank some blogs for mentioning it although I've never left any comment on their posts (I'm the type of person who reads pages quitely). So my next journey? The Riyria Chronicles. Michael J. Sullivan was very generous to offer more stories of Royce and Hadrian in answer to the cravings of the Riyria's fans.

Calling all fans of Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings trilogy and A Song of Ice and Fire series! If you couldn't get enough of those similar books long finished (except ASOIAF), then put The Riyria Revelations series in your journey (if you haven't done yet). You will surely NEVER be disappointed.

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