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The Heir of Night (The Wall of Night #1)

3.72  ·  Rating Details  ·  923 Ratings  ·  141 Reviews
“A richly told tale of strange magic, dark treachery, and conflicting loyalties, set in a well realized world.”
—Robin Hobb, author of Dragon Keeper

An award-winning poet and acclaimed author of Young Adult fiction, Helen Lowenow brings usThe Heir of Night—the first book in her four-volume Wall of Night series, a brilliant new epic fantasy saga of war, prophecy, betrayal, hi
Mass Market Paperback, 447 pages
Published September 28th 2010 by Harper Voyager (first published January 1st 2010)
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The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick RothfussA Dance with Dragons by George R.R. MartinThe Name of the Wind by Patrick RothfussPrince of Thorns by Mark  LawrenceThe Desert Spear by Peter V. Brett
2011 DGLA Fantasy Book Nominees
39th out of 102 books — 430 voters
Graceling by Kristin CashoreThrone of Glass by Sarah J. MaasShip of Magic by Robin HobbThe Invisible Library by Genevieve CogmanCirkeln by Mats Strandberg
Fantasy books with female leads
55th out of 61 books — 11 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,801)
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Maria Dimitrova
Apr 04, 2016 Maria Dimitrova rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Epic and High Fantasy lovers
Shelves: young-adult, fantasy
While technically this qualifies as young adult fantasy it doesn't read like a YA. And it's one of it's strongest pros for me. There's no angst and hormone-induced stupidity. The main characters - Malian and Kalan - act appropriate for their ages most of the time with and air of wisdom and maturity that can be expected from an alien warrior race that has been at war for thousands if not millions of years.

I liked how the story progressed and it's pacing. The world building is a problem however.
Jun 28, 2012 Tim rated it it was ok
It is rare that I will pick up a book based on the promotional 'guff' that is used on front covers, especially as I work within publishing and know exactly what goes into that process. However, because I worship to the goddess that is Robin Hobb, I bought it (thankfully on offer).

There are some interesting concepts at work here. I like the mythology behind the story and good characterisation of different races.

That is pretty much where the praise finishes.

For a start, the protagonists are too
Jul 07, 2011 Courtney rated it it was ok
Oh boy do I have a lot to say about this book. First off, if you're not a huge Lord of the Rings trilogy fan, then it most likely will not bother you. However, I found so many allusions to the trilogy that made the novel lose most of its originality, at least for me. This is the biggest factor as to why I rated it 2/5. The story itself was pretty well-written and the author does have potential to being a great author. I'm probably very nitpicky about this but I personally find it frustrating whe ...more
Aug 31, 2010 Mark rated it liked it
Robin Hobb says 'The Heir of Night by Helen Lowe is a richly told tale of strange magic, dark treachery and conflicting loyalties, set in a well realised world’.

And she is quite right, it is.

It is a beautifully crafted novel, the world is vibrant and so are the characters, although I must admit the characterisation sometimes left me scratching my head. I had a lot of questions as to maturity - in Malian's case - and what seemed to me to be leaps of logic. But this didn't spoil my enjoyment of w
Jul 13, 2013 Simone rated it really liked it
I read this book in short time on the recommendation of my sister. However, when I read the back of the book I knew that I wanted to read it. My favourite books are the type that have a strong female lead and generally fall into either science fiction or fantasy. This book is definitely fantasy, though it does have some flavourings of science fiction.

Malian, the Heir of Night, is an intelligent but duty bound young girl. Her position within the keep depends on her father and her ability to lead
Feb 23, 2011 Mark rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Out at the garrison overlooking the Wall of Night, the House of Night is attacked and its inhabitants slaughtered by a Raptor of Darkness. Our hero and heroine of this tale - Malian, the teenage heiress being groomed to inherit the House of Night, and Kalan, her male Temple trainee friend, escape the massacre and find themselves hunted by the Swarm of Dark. In doing so, Malian and Kalan both find they have magical powers. A mystery assistant from the Derai’s past comes to their aid:

“First you m
Anne Hamilton
Nov 16, 2015 Anne Hamilton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, ya, australia-nz
Four and a half stars.

It's kinda YA and kinda not. The main protagonists are barely out of their tweens and, while much of the story is told from their perspective, there's lots that isn't. Solid epic fantasy that has political complexity, integrity under the hammer, honour caught in a web of intrigue, ambiguous 'good guys' and dark malevolence aplenty.

Malian is the duty-bound daughter of the Earl of Night. She spends the days when her father is out hunting the Darkspawn investigating the mazes
Aug 03, 2015 Mike rated it really liked it
Helen Lowen’s Wall of Night series was recommended in a recent by Courtney Schafer here as a series that improves after book one. Having read the first book of that series, Heir of Night, I’m excited to see if that truly is the case. Malian, the heir of Night, is set to inherit her father’s title and take over the long watch for the Darkswarm; the abominations that her people are pledged to fight against. Before she can even dream of ascending however it is revealed that the Darkswarm is rousing ...more
Reviewed on my blog - Books by Proxy

4.5 Stars

I first came across The Heir of Night whilst perusing a bookshop and bought it purely based on its cover... which happened to have a sale sticker on it at the time. Having now read both The Heir of Night and its sequel, The Gathering of the Lost, I am very glad I gave into impulse. Ignore your misgivings. Yes, this is another coming of age fantasy. Yes, the protagonist is a thirteen year old girl. And yes, this book is setting the scene for the rest o
Wow, this was quite good. Classic Epic fantasy, well written, a freshening of standard fantasy fare. A great change from teenage angst, fantasy love triangles and often hopeless urban fantasy. This book 'cleansed' my palate and reminded me why I have been a fantasy fan since my 1st reading of Mr Eddings back in 1983.

Minor Spoilers

First glance this looks like your basic fantasy story, Ms. Lowe's writing style carefully lays out a story that I can see growing to Game of Thrones-like magnitude. Thi
Feb 24, 2012 Ruth rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf
2010: Cheated is how I feel about this book. Marketed as the author's first foray into Adult fantasy, I was enticed to give it a try. To then find out that the protagonists are 12/13 years old. No, I cry and wail to the Heavens - how can this be? I don't particularly care that there are so called adult themes and the promise of growth throughout the trilogy. This is not what I wanted to read. This is not the author's fault and I lay the blame on her advisors, agents and publishers. This is NOT a ...more
Laura Summers
Reviewed for (7 out of 10 on the blog)

'The Heir of Night' is the first in a new four part fantasy series. The Derai live on the edge of the world, charged with guarding 'The Wall' against the ancient and terrifying Swarm. A ferocious, demonic race.

The Derai are an uncompromising people, ruled by tough rules and routine. But their task is such a hard one, they dare not deviate from the way of life that has been followed for hundreds of years. For, legend claims that if the H
Feb 26, 2013 Jared rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: epic-fantasy
While the world is interesting, the protagonist was not. The story and the characters in it are problematic, both from a reader's (mine) and a plot point-of-view.

The eponymous protagonist: Malian is a 12-13 yr old child, the daughter of the Earl of Night (ruler of the House and member of the Alliance). That age is not, in and of itself, a black mark. In this book, however, Malian alternates between the attitude of a 13 yr old and that of an adult. Some of this is appropriate for someone of that
Aug 05, 2012 Abhinav rated it it was amazing
Shadowhawk reviews Helen Lowe's debut novel that won her the David Gemmell Morningstar award this year, Heir of Night, the first in the Wall of Night series by Orbit Books.

"A fantasy novel written as a grand mythology epic, Heir of Night hits all the right buttons and is another must-read of the (last) year." ~The Founding Fields

Read lots of different stuff this year, I thought back in January. Step out of my comfort zone, I thought. Honestly, nothing could have prepared me for Helen Lowe's debu
Pam ☼Because Someone Must Be a Thorn☼ Tee
4 Stars!

Those who like epic fantasy novels are going to probably like this new one from Helen Lowe. The magic is well integrated into the world and her command of language is exceedingly good. More Tolkien-esque than trendy and modern.

I would have given the book 5-Stars except for the fact that there is this break in the storyline that I had difficulty getting past. I actually had to put the book down for three days before I could integrate myself back into it. And if I was to try to summarize w
Online Eccentric Librarian
Jan 29, 2016 Online Eccentric Librarian rated it really liked it

More reviews at the Online Eccentric Librarian

More reviews (and no fluff) on the blog

Your enjoyment of a novel is often based on your taste, so whether or not you'll enjoy this book might be influenced by a similar taste. I love:

-Both Fantasy and Science Fiction genres
-Strong female protagonist
-Lots of action
-Some romance is good (though I'm fine if it's not there - Phillip Pullman's His Dark Materials series fits all of four of the above)
-Originality (like George RR Martin's Song of Ice and Fire series,
T. Frohock
Jul 31, 2013 T. Frohock rated it really liked it
The Heir of Night is the first book of the Wall of Night series, which is a more traditional epic fantasy (think Brooks, not Abercrombie), a sub-genre that I don't normally gravitate toward; however, I wanted to challenge my reading habits in 2013 and try new novels and new authors. I never know when a novel will introduce me to a new way of thinking or bring me back to a sub-genre that I drifted away from, such as the more traditional epic fantasies that I enjoyed so much when I was younger.

Aug 05, 2011 Rosey rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, read-in-2011
2.7 Stars

The first book in my Fantasy In August event, was not as strong as I hoped. The beginning was slow until the hunt in the Old Keep. Then it slowed down, then picked back up. Some of the names are long and hard to pronounce but it didn't bother me that much. You might get lost in the world building the dream sequences. It can get confusing. It did have a ending set up for the next book. At times I wanted to give this a 5/10 and sometimes I wanted to give it a 6/10. Will read on because I
Oct 28, 2012 Alex rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The heir of night / Helen Lowe. This novel is comparable to Tolkien's The Lord of The Rings world. (There is an author interview at the back of this edition!)
This style perhaps put me off a little as the sequence of events was set over the course of a few days. To put the book down, i lost continuity. I did not identify with Malian, the heroine, either which made it harder to persevere. [Call me cynical if you like.] About 200 pages in (out of 435), I realised I was finally captivated. Helen Lo
Nov 28, 2014 hurr rated it did not like it
So I picked this up thinking it looked interesting
Then I started to read it and became rather disinterested.
It reads like a poor copy (very very derivative) of P.C.Hodgell's Kencyrath novels.
Even the name of the Priest (who is shunned for his magical abilities) starts with the same letter, Kindrie in P.C. Hodgell's works, Kalan in Helen Lowe's work. To be more broad in comparisons, in P.C.Hodgell's work the Kencyr who arrived with earthquakes and disaster upon Rathillien as the ancient enemies
Chris Shaffer
Dec 24, 2010 Chris Shaffer rated it liked it
The book started slowly and awkwardly. There were far too many artificial conversations where characters explained things they obviously already knew about the world to each other in order to explain it to the reader. Fortunately, the tale started holding together about halfway through and was pretty good by the end.

Note that this is not a complete story. It stops abruptly in the middle of the plot. A true rating will depend on how many more books are in the series and how good they are.
Jan 09, 2016 Kirsti rated it did not like it
Honestly the most surprising thing about this book was just how boring it was. After a leading statement like that for a review, I need to back it up. The huge problem I had with this book was the massive chunks of history, legends and debates on whether or not a myth was real or not. Characters spend chapters agonizing over these things, and then we have an action scene compressed down to a few sentences. Then it's straight back into talking about whether or not it's a tradition or a pride thin ...more
I had initially picked up the second book in the series and it has taken me some time to find the first book.
I was surprised by this book as it is a rich fantasy novel with a detailed world and on the whole well realised characters. I was swept easily into this tale and it held my interest.
Where I struggled with the novel was that too much detail and too much background information that really bogged the story down. The information that you are given is useful but was it really necessary? I me
Mar 04, 2016 Fran rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really wanted to like this book. I've been looking for another fantasy series to sink into like I could back when I was a kid, and the premise of the novel sounded interesting when I picked it up and read the back, and the opening paragraph sounded good too.

However, it was not to be. The characters were too black and white, saving the Earl and the Winter Woman, who were my favourites. I would have liked for the story to be more about them rather than the black-and-white guards who were oh-so-
Oct 07, 2010 Brandon rated it really liked it
Helen Lowe did an amazing job with this first book building a complex and interesting world. The characters are interesting and varied and the large amount of history and lore mentioned help give the world of sense of age and depth.

That said I was a bit disappointed in how the book ended and how it felt like most things were handed to the main characters right when they needed them or that everything aligned so well because it was destiny.

Jun 15, 2013 Faye rated it it was amazing
Shelves: library-books
Really enjoyed this fantasy/scifi cross.... In face couldn't put it down. Was up till the early hours of the morning reading till I couldn't keep my eyes open, then after just 5 hours sleep had to finish it. Plenty of magic, swords and prophecies to satisfy me... Reminded me a bit of Dune crossed with Krull... Absolutely loved it. Have ordered the next book at my library but I will probably buy these anyway. Can highly recommend it, brilliant!!!
Feb 11, 2016 Robert rated it liked it
Good old sword & sorcery — what's not to like? I did feel a few characters had a habit of speaking a bit too portentously — as though they were speaking in the late Terry Pratchett's CAPITAL LETTERS voice, but it was an enjoyable story and I have volume 2 on order. I did feel the main characters got an awful lot of help, but, although it seems to be forgotten at times, my impression was that they were supposed to be barely thirteen.
May 03, 2013 Lida rated it it was amazing
The story starts a bit slow, gradually introducing all the various colourful characters...

But it doesn't lack in tension or interesting diversions.

I found this book highly entertaining and looking forward to reading the sequel to continue to Malian's pursuit in discovering the extent of her powers, the true identity of the powers behind the Darkswarm and the roles of all the many people around her will get to play.

Charon Lloyd-Roberts
And I need to get my hands on book two at somepoint, yeah I'm in no hurry to get it either but hey this was an okay book and I wanted to read something a little different for once in the fantasy genre and a majority of the books I've read this year have been YA books so yeah trying to get into more adult fantasy books and there aren't that many that have caught my attention to be honest.


A summery for The Heir of Night:

A dark enemy. An ancient war. A new champion.

Young Malian is being trai
Feb 01, 2016 Tonya rated it liked it
First I have to say I was given this book by Harper Voyager to read and review.
Okay, here we go again, another book I should probably really like but for some reason I don't. Obviously this book has done well as there are two more after it. And I can see why people like it. I get it.
The book has this Dune/Lord of the Rings/Game of Thrones thing going for it. Plus another book that I can't put my mind to but it has to do with space travel. Something I read a long time ago, maybe in a galaxy far
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 12, 2015 08:59AM  
  • Songs of the Earth (The Wild Hunt, #1)
  • The River Kings' Road (Ithelas, #1)
  • Roil  (The Nightbound Land, #1)
  • Dog and Dragon
  • City of Dreams & Nightmare (City of a Hundred Rows, #1)
  • A Guile of Dragons (A Tournament of Shadows, #1)
  • The Return Part II & The Last Story (Remember Me, #2-3)
  • The Sentinel Mage (The Cursed Kingdoms, #1)
  • King's Wrath (Valisar, #3)
  • The Alchemist of Souls (Night's Masque, #1)
  • Never Knew Another (Dogsland, #1)
  • The Thief-Taker's Apprentice (The Thief-Taker's Apprentice, #1)
  • Tymon's Flight (Chronicles of the Tree, #1)
  • The Winds of Khalakovo (Lays of Anuskaya, #1)
  • Blood's Pride (Shattered Kingdoms, #1)
  • The Last Page (Caliph Howl, #1)
  • The King's Bastard (King Rolen's Kin, #1)
  • Firebrand (Rebel Angels, #1)
I am a novelist, poet, blogger, interviewer, and lover of story.

My first novel "Thornspell", (Knopf) was published to critical praise in 2008, and in 2012 "The Heir Of Night", The Wall Of Night Book One, won the David Gemmell Morningstar Award for Best Fantasy Newcomer and the Sir Julius Vogel Award 2011 for Best Novel.

"The Gathering of The Lost", (The Wall Of Night Book Two), was shortlisted fo
More about Helen Lowe...

Other Books in the Series

The Wall of Night (3 books)
  • The Gathering of the Lost (Wall of Night, #2)
  • Daughter of Blood (The Wall of Night, #3)

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