Seventeen year-old Zelene has never believed in magic or been one to trust fate. Prophecies about princesses and long lost families were the stuff of fairy tales and had no place in her life. But then magic-wielding assassins attack claiming she is one of the five Duillaine Ainnir, the next generation of the most powerful women who rule over the worlds. Together, the five girls are prophesized to save the worlds from the war that has been raging for years.
As their enemies strike, the girls are taken back to their world and discover the ties binding them together. Rhaya has always had an uncanny knack for reading people, but can’t seem to unravel the mystery tying her to Isauria, the new friend she bonded with instantly. For years, Isauria has been dreaming of Terrena, a girl living her life on the run in a magical world ripped apart by the tragedies of war, but Isauria is completely unaware that she is psychically linked to the world she was born in.
Zelene views them all, especially the elders, with a distrustful eye, familial bonds or no. When she learns that her long-lost twin Ariana has been captured by the rebels, Zelene’s attitude changes. She doesn’t know what she can do when her own magic is still locked within her, but can she trust the elders to rescue Ariana when it seems their medieval politics are what brought about the war in the first place? With all that is at stake, the answer becomes clear to Zelene.
Mara Valderran is an author of young adult and new adult books, but she's more than just a madwoman with a writing box. She is an avid reader and fan of all things sci-fi and fantasy. She loves roller skating and movies, though typically not together. She hopes to one day meet Daniel Jackson from SG1, or at least the actor who played him. When she’s not writing, you can find her reading, playing video games, or counting down the days until DragonCon.
Book Info: Genre: Urban/Epic Fantasy Reading Level: Upper Young Adult/New Adult Recommended for: Fans of fantasy Book Available: October 13, 2013 Trigger Warnings: child abuse, murder, torture
My Thoughts: I think my favorite thing about this book is the way Celtic mythology is woven into it. It's not overt, but subtle things, and also the naming conventions. Which means pronunciation will drive you crazy, since Gaelic is the closest thing to Celtic and the way things are spelled vs. how they are pronounced is nowhere near the same.
There are a lot of characters to keep track of, and so the book goes back and forth between the point of view of the five girls: Zelene, Ariana, Isauria, Rhaya, and Terrena. It goes by chapter, though, so there is no head-hopping. I had an ARC and have heard that there have been some changes made for the final copy, but the essential storyline remains the same.
The abuse that Zelene and Sheridan both experience is heartbreaking. It's unfortunately also all-too-common, especially in the foster-care system like Zelene experienced. I suspect we're in for a big reveal about Sheridan at some point in one of the next books.
This is the first book in a proposed series. It ends on a bit of a cliffhanger, so I'm hoping that the author will hurry up and write the next book so I can learn what happens next. The book is a real page-turner and I found myself completely engrossed in the story. If you like fantasy, and have been looking for something that sort of mixes urban fantasy with epic fantasy with tough heroines, than definitely check this story out. It's really enjoyable.
Disclosure: I received an ARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Zelene doesn't believe in magic or prophecies. When she's told she is part of the prophecy foretelling five powerful girls bringing peace to the war-torn worlds, she scoffs. The idea of other dimensions layered on top of the world she lives in is almost as ludicrous as the idea that she might be able to save them. After she is attacked by magic-wielding assassins, she finds she can't argue with reality.
As their enemies strike, the girls are taken back to their world and discover the ties binding them together. Rhaya has always had an uncanny knack for reading people, but can’t seem to unravel the mystery tying her to Isauria, the new friend she bonded with instantly. For years, Isauria has been dreaming of Terrena, a girl living her life on the run in a magical world ripped apart by the tragedies of war, completely unaware that she is psychically linked to the world she was born in.
Zelene views them all with a distrustful eye, familial bonds or no, and can think of a place or two she’d like to shove the crown she supposedly inherited. When she learns that her long-lost twin Ariana has been captured by the rebels, Zelene’s attitude changes. She doesn’t know how she is supposed to go against an army of magic-wielding rebels when her own ability to manipulate the elements is still locked within her. But can she trust the elders to rescue Ariana when it seems their medieval politics are what brought about the war in the first place? With all that is at stake, the answer becomes clear to Zelene.
From the moment you start to read it you can not put the book down. You are drawn into a land that you recognize as Earth (Dhara) with five equally brilliant female characters. Zelene, Rhaya, Isauria and Ariana all live on Earth with their fathers, except for Zelene who is fostered to a couple of drunks. Their 18th birthday is upon them and their lives will change forever, everything they know will no longer be as they knew it. Terrena has been hiding out in the magical land but knows exactly who she is and want their futures hold.
These five girls are very different between each other but are also as one the most powerful girls who can use the elements and bring the worlds to peace. Each has their own struggle to overcome, their fears to face and their powers to learn how to use and get used too.
They also come together not only as princesses but as sisters and cousins, forming relationships of trust and union of family. They have each other now as the world they have to save has many challenges including their aunt's, the elders.
*Received from the author in exchange for an honest review*
This book was just, wow. Straight away you are sucked into a world wind of mysteries and dangers. The twist on elemental powers was extremely imaginative and gained control of your mind immediately. I think the cover is very colourful and gives strong presence and aspects of their elemental and mind abilities.
Once upon a time five girls were born... and sent to a foreign dimension. Earth, where magic is not present and those who inhabit it are clueless to the truths around and above them. This is where four of the girls, Zelene, Rhaya, Isauria and Ariana have lived their whole lives until they turn eighteen, however, they have no clear idea or none at all of their powers and how strong they truly are. Except Terrena who has been on the run her whole life from those who have been ordered to kill her. Each have a guardian to help them through and protect them from harms way, but what if the danger and killings have already begun?
All these girls have very different, clear personalities and backgrounds. But, they have come together, by choice or force to bring peace to the world they were born to protect. But, they do all share one trait, they are strong and would always protect the ones they love, no matter what. However, I did find it hard to remember which characters were which and who and how they related to people and situations in the story as, I found they were all thrown in very quickly which meant you had to really concentrate and go back a bit sometimes to remember. So, it did get a little confusing at times, but, you soon came to grips with the characters and so you were able to understand them more and the great detail that went into the development of their characters which was astonishing.
I also liked the way in which we were told the story from all of the girls points of view. So, one moment you would have the attack on Rhaya and next the attack on Zelene which happened at the same time. In this book there was a mind-blowing amount of thought and imagination that went into the story, and if it was not executed so fluently it could have become very confusing very quickly. The imagery was also brilliant meaning I was able to easily imagine the characters, their world and the situations they were in.
This is a book full of dark twists and turns that will compel you to read to the very end. And then there are the scenes of the assassinations... lets just say Kyle is a total bad-ass!
Heirs of War is the first book in what promises to be an epic YA fantasy series. It's got all the good stuff--kick-ass characters, magical powers, and lots of action and drama. The story centers around 5 teenage girls who are destined to be powerful rulers of the worlds, but 4 of which are stuck in the most boring and unmagical of the worlds, ours. They all leave their various normal, and sometimes awful, lives to embark into the magical worlds where they have great power and importance.
The word that comes to mind over and over when reading this book is "EPIC." I'm glad that this is the first of a series, because the author created a rich and complex world with many characters. If I have any complaint about the book, it's that there is a LOT going on. I felt like I should have been taking notes. :)
But don't let the complexity of the story stop you from reading, because the complexity is one of the things that make the story great. The story follows the stories of five different girls, all richly created and complex. It's about discovering who you are, finding where you belong, and the strengths you never knew you had. As such, it's a perfect YA read, especially for girls. Strong female characters are in abundance, and they deal with a lot of the drama of teenage life in an authentic way, while also dealing with epic battles and magic!
If I had teenage girls, I would demand that they read this right away. But since I don't, I guess I'll just have to read them all myself. :)
I loved this first instalment in an exciting fantasy series. Heirs of War has no fewer than five awesome female protagonists, and although the number of characters is a little confusing at first, I was quickly swept up in the story. There's action, romance, mystery and magic, and a vivid fantasy world. All of the main characters' personalities are distinct, and I'm looking forward to seeing them develop throughout the series.
I was given a copy of “Heirs of War” by author Mara Valderran to read in exchange for an honest review. I met Ms. Valderran in a forum on www.goodreads.com where she was discussing her book. After reading a brief description and a few conversations, I was more than willing to take on her book.
“Heirs of War” centers around five teenage girls. The book begins with the introduction of Zelene. Forced to live with a pair of alcoholic and abusive foster-parents, she develops this protective shell to just help keep sane. Her only real friend in life is Varrick, who has acted as a protector and confidant. It’s through Varrick that she discovers that what she thought was her normal unhappy life, was actually a ruse. She is part of a prophetic tale and she has been sent off to another realm to protect her and her sisters from being murdered. It’s not until their birthday that they are to come into their own magical powers.
Ariana enters the story in chapter two. Ariana is your typical teenage girl. She’s boy crazy, obsessed with the upcoming school dance and her believes her parents are the strictest parents in the world. But it’s her attitude of wanting things her way and right now that get her into trouble. It’s her parent’s friend Varrick that always seems to be the savior and help her experience fun in life. It becomes an unfortunate experience though when Ariana discovers that she too is part of a magical prophecy and that she has sister and a twin, Zelene. However, she ends up abducted by what she thought was a new girl in school that she befriends, Sheridan. Being swept off to the dungeons of Sheridan’s mother, Ariana discovers who she truly is and how she is part of a powerful magical family.
Rhaya is the third sister who is introduced in chapter three. She’s always known that she had some kind of gift to where she could tell if someone was lying. It’s through these intuitions that she has learns that the man and woman who loved and raised her weren’t actually her parents. Raemann, her “father” has always treated her with unconditional love. He’s protected her and encouraged her curiosity. It’s through her special abilities to sense things; she discovers that people are stalking her. It’s her father Raemann, that she discovers that she has magical powers and is from a magical realm and most importantly, she has sisters!
The fourth sister, Isauria makes her appearance in chapter three. She becomes friends with Rhaya while at college. It’s through Rhaya that Isauria starts to open up about things that have been haunting her. Having turned all her dreams into a story, she gives her manuscript to Rhaya. Isauria has been haunting by these dreams that seem so real. The people in her dreams feel like she knows them. She dreams of the death of her mother and can sense what is going on with other people who feel as if they are her family. Afraid to tell anyone other than Rhaya about this, she feels that she is going crazy. It’s not until they are attacked and saved by Raemann that she learns that everything that had been happening to her in her dreams is actually a reality.
Terrena is introduced through the story of Isauria. She has been dreaming of Terrena and details her life in the story she’s writing. Terrena’s story plays out in chapter four. Terrena spends her days sparring with Kenward her Cyneward (protector) and surrogate father. She’s the only one of the five sisters who knows who she actually is, Ainnir Terrena.
“Heirs of War” is a classified as a YA book. Typically, I wouldn’t read this genre. I get so irritated with the characters and how immature they act. However, “Heirs of War” isn’t your typical YA story. The sisters in this book all are strong young women who are trying to figure out who they are in life. The life that they knew has been turned inside out. The parent’s, who raised them, aren’t their parents. The world they lived in, isn’t the actual realm that there from. They learn that they are part of a magical family that has some resemblance to the Celtic world.
It’s great when you find a story that the main characters are females and they all are strong individuals. Granted they all have their moments of weakness and teenage angst. I was so wrapped up in the emotional and psychological aspects of these young women’s lives. Not knowing who they could trust. Not understanding everything that they have been through and why. It’s up to the girls to create that sisterly bond that will help them find and become the powerful women they are destined to be.
I normally wouldn’t want to read a second book of a YA story, but with this one, I’m honestly curious to see how things evolve. I have faith that the sisters will learn more of their past, present and future. I’m anxious to see how they start to harness the powers that have been suppressed after all these years. Plus, I’m curious to see how they handle adjusting to the fact that they are now not alone in this world…they have sisters.
If you ever were a fan of Charmed, then you will love this story despite it being in the YA genre.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Loved this book! I have been seeing more and more series where there is a cast of main characters, and this is right up there with my favorites! 4 princesses who have been prophesied have been sent to Earth (Dhara), while one stays in their home world, to escape the clutches of assassins intent on destroying them. They do not know each ot her, and are protected by Cynewards who acts as their Father figures and are, in fact, their protectors. Yanked from Earth to this unknown world, quite traumatically, they enter a new world where they are honored by their people, and ignored by the ruling powers that be (aunts, and mothers, and their fathers). While Kellen is an evil woman who tortures to get her way, she has a legitimate goal. The Duillaine have really neglected their people, and have created the need for the prophesy to happen. Ironically, it is there laziness and apathy while waiting for the prophesy to unfold that seems to cause the need for the prophesy. Hopefully the fiery Ainnear Zelene will kick their butts into action, instead of arguing while her big sister Ariana is getting tortured in a far off world! I love a good cast of characters, and I love that we get to learn the story from each point of view. Some might find that confusing, but I really enjoy it. Can't wait to read the next one!
This is a very enjoyable Fantasy book that just happens to also have the Young Adult tag. It is fast paced and has lots of politics and intrigue in it. There are five girls and their associates/friends for you to keep track of which can be a bit confusing at times, just trying to remember who's attitude is what. Once they leave earth and find out that they have gifts too, then that is an added extra to remember.
The time passes very quickly whilst you are reading the book which is always a good sign as it shows that you are enthralled in the story.
The characters are all interesting and I love how their perceptions of their 'new' world and relations allow them to see with fresh eyes. The comments about indoor plumbing, electricity and cell phone coverage was funny to read because honestly, this is how you probably WOULD react!
A wonderful, insightful and fresh Fantasy to be enjoyed by all. Looking forward to book 2, Heirs of War: Crown of Flames.
This book started off slow, but picked up a lot about a third of the way into it. The ending was so good, I immediately picked up the 2nd book and started it the next minute. The story revolves around 5 girls (sisters / cousins) who are next in line to rule their world. However, there's a Prophecy (isn't there always?) that says these girls are something special; as a result, their lives are in danger. To protect them, the girls are separated and four are sent to Earth. The story picks up just as the Bad Guys have figured out where they are and the girls are returned to their original world, where they need to figure out their Powers, fit back into the ruling class, make friends again with each other and their families, and oh yeah, fight off the Bad Guys, who aren't playing nice.
Minus one star for typos ("deja-vous", "owe" instead of "ow", "snuggly" instead of "snugly", etc.).
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
It was very enjoyable despite the amount of the work the book still needs. Though I have heard that the final version has fixed many of the mistakes. I read it for free on Wattpad. There were various spelling and grammar mistakes littered throughout and the change of POV tended to annoy me. There are six main characters plus several minor ones that took the spotlight for a chapter or two so it tended to get quite confusing at times. Once again I heard the author cleaned it up in the final version through amazon.
what I liked: the plotline and the connection that bond the girls together and the idea that the worlds are connected.
What I didn't like: again the change of POV so often. If there were markers I wouldn't have been so confused.
Thanks Mara for letting me read and review this book. I loved the book and would give it 5 stars.
The story was amazing and the world building,character/scene descriptions were grate as they made me feel like I was actually experiencing what was happening personally.
It was interesting to see how each of the girls (Ariana, Terrena & Isuraia) dealt with coming into their powers as they did so. Especially Isuraia because although it nearly cost her her life it also enabled her to find her youngest sister Ariana.
I also found it fascinating learning about the world the girls came from its culture and customs.
All in all I can't wait to read the future books in this series as this was a fantastic start to what I am sure will be a grate series.
This book was great! I could really sympathize with the characters, and feel the emotional journeys they were going through. I was even brought to tears a time or two. It was also extremely thought provoking. There were many real issues approached from a fantasy perspective, that I felt were addressed well. There were a lot of really great characters, and getting to see the world from multiple perspectives really brought it to life. All in all one of my favorite books, I can't wait for the next book in the series!!!
Wow this story was amazing i love the way you find out about the 5 major characters that are meant to save the world from destruction. You become invested in finding out about how they are connected to each other and the author did a great job of giving you little pieces of information up to the very end of the story. A great adventure.
it was a good book, well written, has not one, two but three strong female characters. The characters are well written, the story line is strong, it's a very captivating read. I enjoyed it enough to read through to the end in one sitting. That being said, my low star rating is ONLY because this book was just not my type of read.
I LOVED Heirs of War. I came across it on wattpad and couldnt put my phone down from reading. An when i came across the almost last chapter i stopped reading and almost wanted to cry knowing the book was almost over. But I regained hope when i found out it was a series. I am looking forward to purchasing the second book.
This book surprised me so much! I loved it! I wasn't expecting that at all. I absolutely loved the worlds, their powers and the story surrounding the five girls! Zelene and Rhaya are my top favourites. I can only jump to one conclusion, and in my best Thor's voice I'll say: Another one!
This is a classic fantasy in which the main characters—four "normal" human modern girls—find that they are anything but normal. In fact, they are important heroes from another world, and they have to go back there to save it. The story is sort of divided in two parts: the first happens here on Earth, while the second plays out in their own world. I found them as different as black and white. The first part, with the character introduction, was a complete mess: a thick tangle of each girl’s social connections. The second part is an exciting young adult story set in another world full of surprises, political power plays, a battle between good and evil, and, of course, love is never far away.
In the first few chapters, the five main characters are introduced. They are all young girls under the age of twenty, and do not know each other. All but one get a whole chapter to themselves, but their family and other social relationships are so complex that their personalities get completely lost. Let’s take Zele from the first chapter, for example. She has relationships with five men—two of which seem to be sort of boyfriends; one plays a strange role as a protector, and the other seems to be a potential enemy. In the next chapter, we are introduced to Arianna and her three friends, along with a man whose name appears again. However, it is unclear as to if he is the same man as the one in the preceding chapter. The next chapters are all like this, so when the plot finally started to unfold, I was completely lost as to who was who, and who knew whom. So, I had to start over and write down key words and names from each chapter just so I could follow the story. I would never have normally bothered to do this, except I had promised to write a critique. If it hadn´t been for this, I would have missed out on an exciting second half, and the beginning of a great adventure.
In the 12th chapter, some of the complex social relationships from of the first chapter are explained. This story structure would have worked well if this was a TV series or a movie, as it would have been a lot easier to differentiate the personalities. The five girls would each have had easily recognizable manner and style, and maybe even music themes. In a TV series, these unclear relationships could have been pleasantly mysterious, instead of a thick pile of complications. If the story had a prologue explaining what was going on, and defining the characters and main relationships beforehand, this story structure would have worked better.
Now, on to the second half of the story. One gets very curious about what the main characters can do with their powers, and whether they can, as well as how they will change the world. They've come to a pretty normal fantasy world without modern technology that is governed by traditions they don't understand. Concealed enemies are all around them, and the struggle between good and evil is complex enough to not be naive. I loved the sense of humor and the many funny things that happened when the different cultures collided. Example:
He cocked his head to the side, a look of amazement on his face as he stared at her. “How exactly did our roles get reversed here? Shouldn’t I be the one comforting you?” Ariana waved him off. “Nah, I was never into the whole damsel in distress thing. Personally, I think chicks kick ass. I have a t-shirt that says so.” “What is a t-shirt?” he asked with a puzzled tilt of the head. “Does it hold authority in Dhara somehow?” She opened her mouth to explain and closed it again, deciding against the idea.
The story is well written, and flows comfortably without the text getting in the way. Even scenes that can be complicated to write, such as joining in other people’s dreams, come out well. The author is not afraid to mistreat her characters, so this is not just a corny, girly story, where you know that all will be well, but an awesome action-driven fantasy. After reading, you’re left with a bunch of questions, and can´t wait for the next book to see how everything goes.
I received a copy of Heirs of War through a Goodreads giveaway (thanks!). First, I just have to say that out of the countless books I've read and may or may not have listed on Goodreads, this is actually the first review I have given, so just bear with me. Here goes!
Overall, a great concept and storyline, with detailed character backgrounds and a plot to keep you on your toes. The ending was well placed and left me wanting more. The overall feel of the book felt well planned and developed.
Detailed review: spoilers!
The beginning felt a little slow, but the character backgrounds were nicely detailed and gave the reader a good sense of each main character. It was a little confusing when the perspective changed between the five main characters; not because it was a bad transition, but because there were many of them and it was a little difficult to keep track of whose story was whose (maybe I'm just bad at remembering names to backgrounds). Once the plot picked up, however, things really got moving and captured my attention.
The mix of explanations, plot twists, and intense, action-packed fight scenes was well balanced and thought out. At first, everyone from the Cynewards to other members of this society are reluctant to explain anything to the girls, which made not only the characters but the reader as well more frustrated (in a good way) and interested in the story and how the girls fit into this world (or worlds, I guess). Once the girls found out about their origins and who they were supposed to be, their reactions were realistic of their personalities and the world they grew up on. Being used to equal rights, democracy, and other modern ideals, they reacted rightfully surprised and slightly disgusted about how this world is run. I particularly enjoyed Zelene's growing relationship with her maid-turned-friend (sorry, I forgot her name, I don't have the book on my at the moment). I really look forward to how the girls further interact with the Tainted and their society's response.
The ending puzzled me a little. If you incapacitated Zelene, then why only take Kyle? I guess he's a sort of bargaining chip, but why not just take Zelene instead? She doesn't know how to use her powers yet, and you rendered her unconscious, might as well take her too. Anyway, if there is a reason for taking Kyle and not Zelene, I am excited to read the sequel to find out why. I really liked this cliffhanger (mostly because I got the second book as well and can read it right away); it keeps up the suspense and it will really bring out the true nature of the current Dullaine (spelling?) following the kidnapping of one of their daughters' good friends.
I enjoyed this book, and can't wait to start the second. The writing was sophisticated and the plot detailed and planned out. A great read, and an incredible story of worlds unknown.
While there's a lot to keep track of In the beginning, this book flows so smoothly that I couldn't put it down. I also have to say, I did not notice ONE typo or grammatical error which pleased me to no end! The only drawback for me was that I read a signed paperback and I couldn't read in bed, lol. I am anxiously awaiting the start of book two which will begin as soon as I'm done with this review! Thank you Ms Valderran for a great read!
These characters worth reading! It was very easy to start into the second book because of the way this one was written. Although there are some out of character moments that seems more to move the plot along then something they would actually do; it was easily overlooked by the settling, characters, and plot. Better yet these characters are not at all one dimensional. You cheer for them and want them to succeed. I would recommend this to others and have!
Oh my god I loved it! Perfect length to really sink into. I cannot wait to read the second one. It such a compelling and different story. It was easy to get attached to the characters and go through their emotions with them. I loved it. Another point I love a book I can fall in love with and obsess over even with emotional feels along the way.