“Heir of Novron” is the third two volume set in the ‘Riyria Revelations’ fantasy series by Michael J. Sullivan. The first volume in this work, “Wintertide”, picks up immediately after the events in “Rise of Empire” as the plans proceed to unify the Empire using Modina (formerly known as Thrace) as a figurehead, manipulated by the vicious Regent Saldur. Hadrian and Royce (the duo which is sometimes called Riyria) have taken on the the virtually impossible task of rescuing Degan Gaunt from his imprisonment in the belief that he is the true Heir of Novron, little knowing that Princess Arista is languishing alongside him in horrific captivity. Modina has her own plans for Wintertide but so do all of those around her. The intricate game being played by all of the factions gets even more complicated when Royce’s archenemy Merrick joins the fray and makes his own gambit. The problem is, more forces are at work than ever imagined and the killer who is unleashed may wreak far more destruction than ever anticipated.
“Percepliquis”, the second tale in this volume, is the tale of the quest for the city named for Persephone, reputed to hold the Horn of Gylindora (Rhelacan) which is known by several names and purportedly will give the power to defeat the elves. An unlikely alliance is formed to search for the artifact but the very tenuous relationships threaten to fracture at the slightest provocation, especially since animosity between several of the members could end in bloodshed. The Empress must rally whomever she can to mount a last ditch defense, even as she inherits two young girls (and a raccoon) as wards to care for. The world may never be the same as more is unveiled about Novron and his legacy during a frantic race to prevent goblins or elves from annihilating mankind. Each person must search his or her core to determine what they can contribute to mankind’s defense but not everyone may be selfless enough to make the sacrifices required.
It is important to remember how much this author likes unpredictable developments. The cliffhanging endings to certain scenarios are continued, particularly the final remarkable development in “Wintertide” that I really wasn’t expecting even though I should have been. The ultimate book, “Percepliquis”, combines all of the traditional elements of the fantasy quest but certainly has its share of surprising diversions. The author’s facility for creating imaginative scenarios and entertaining fight scenes is showcased in this wonderful conclusion to the series and a number of loose threads are neatly tied off with quite a few eye-opening revelations. A fun read.
The New Empire intends to mark its victory over the Nationalists with a bloody celebration. On the high holiday of Wintertide, the Witch of Melengar will be burned and the Heir of Novron executed. On that same day the Empress faces a forced marriage, with a fatal accident soon to follow. The New Empire is confident in the totality of its triumph but there's just one problem-Royce and Hadrian have finally found the Heir of Novron and they have their own holiday plans.
And so concludes the final tale of treachery and adventure, sword fighting and magic, myth and legend.
Includes: Wintertide & Percepliquis