The Heir of Ariad
Elm Hill Publishing
Published August 13, 2019
About The Heir of Ariad
The weight of a vanished father’s legacy and the secrets of the past have forced Kyrian to carve a place among his people at the price of his own sweat and blood. Ariad is withering. The Skies seem a strange place to die of thirst, but no one can fetch the Rains against the tyrant king’s will, and no one but the Creator who has vanished into legend can kill an invisible king.
But there is a force at work beyond Kyrian’s sight. A powerful, masterful will. Suddenly there is blood on his hands, the Skies are filled with enemies, and the only way to escape a dark end is to flee the clouds forever. But there in the Lands waits a powerful prophecy, along with a powerful weapon, and now as Ariad withers to dust all hope may rest with the one young mortal who fled his home a fugitive and must return to it a king.
THE HEIR OF ARIAD pretty much hooked me as soon as I realized it was a retelling of the biblical story of Moses but set in an unusual fantasy world. Each chapter begins with a Bible verse linking to the next scenes. I thought framing the “chosen one” story as a retelling of the story of Moses was a clever idea. I haven’t seen that done before.
I also enjoyed the story world in which people are divided into races– referred to as colors like Green, Grey, and Silver– based on where they live. Kyrian and his people live on clouds. Other, lesser humans live on earth.
The plot does require some willing suspension of disbelief. Some of the things that happen don’t get explained right away– like why the king still holds such power over his people if he hasn’t been seen in twenty years. Other things don’t get explained at all. Characters sometimes held grudges long past what seemed to make sense to me. Sometimes the plot got bogged down in what felt like a side quest.
Over all, though, I really enjoyed the unique, rich story world, and Kyrian and his sister Salienne were easily my favorite characters. I’m glad I read the book. THE HEIR OF ARIAD makes a good pick for readers who are looking for a more classical Christian fantasy novel.
Recommended for Ages 12 up.
Main characters have pale skin.
Profanity/Crude Language Content
Characters use swear-like expressions such as “Oh, skies.”
Lots of biblical and Christian symbolism or allegory. There’s some reference to a Jesus-type character, an innocent man killed as a sacrifice for the sins of others. The original king of Ariad is said to be the Creator. Many characters still believe he’s the rightful king and he appears in different forms throughout the story.
One soldier holds another at knife point. A soldier torments an elderly man. A young man beats a soldier to death. Some description of the fight. Some descriptions of a group of children attacking another child and severely beating him. A monstrous creature attacks Kyrian and his allies. Tree-like creatures attack Kyrian and his ally.
Some references to adults drinking an alcohol-like substance.
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