- Paperback: 421 pages
- Publisher: Austin & Macauley Publishers Ltd (30 Nov. 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1849630895
- ISBN-13: 978-1849630894
- Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 3.8 x 20.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,296,630 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Traitor's Heir: Volume One of The Knight of Eldaran Paperback – 30 Nov 2011
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About the Author
Anna Thayer (née Slack) graduated from the University of Cambridge with first class honours in 2005 before living and teaching in Sicily for two years. She writes and lectures internationally on the works of fantasists J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis, and has edited a volume of essays on the latter s work. Anna currently lives with her husband in southern England, where she teaches English at an independent school. The Traitor s Heir is the first in the trilogy The Knight of Eldaran , and her debut novel.
Top customer reviews
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The book is set in a medieval-like world, and it's obvious that a lot of thought has been put into the politics, militaries and landscapes, which makes for a convincing read. Some characters display abilities which blatantly defy the laws of physics, putting this firmly in the fantasy genre, though there aren't any magical creatures to speak of (e.g. elves).
Not one for the faint-hearted, Thayer doesn't shy away from the realities that ensue with an egocentric despot in control. There is lots of action, which I thought was written with a wonderfully fluid style, and plenty of moral dilemmas to chew on, which make this far more engaging than your average sword-and-sorcery fantasy.
The characters have depth (even the ones I wished would die horrible deaths) and the tension builds throughout the book, ending in a climax that I found satisfying and yet left me hungry for part two.
I strongly recommend this book, the story whisks you along without feeling rushed. The writing style is clear but lyrical - fantastic phrases sneak past, building up a rich landscape that our hero - who intrigues me no end - heroics about in whilst being wonderfully real and human.
Oh and thankfully and this is one of the shamefully few fantasy books with pronounceable names! It all contributes to the joyful - although tense - reading experience.
Oh - just buy it already! :-)
Set in a fictional realm ruled by a cruel usurper who strives to deny to the true king his rightful inheritance, the novel stands in a long tradition of the so-called "High Fantasy" genre, which, of course, ultimately goes back to Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. What makes The Traitor's Heir truly original, however, is the exceptional vivacity and realism with which it reinforces the classic conflict. Its protagonist Eamon is caught in a dense web of intrigue, seduction and thirst for power as he struggles to stay true to his allegiance to the king. Far from presenting a black-and-white perspective, the novel's central conflict is essentially one that takes place within the main character. More than anything else, it is his inner demons that Eamon has to face and fight as his loyalties are tested. This is, I think, what makes his character so likeable and so easy to relate to. Eamon seemed much more real to me than so many other heroes from more popular fantasy novels.
Depth of character portrayal is one of Anna Thayer's particular strengths, noticeable not just in the protagonist but in all minor characters as well (take, for instance, the two-faced Lord Cathair with his odd love for poetry). What I also love about her style is the rich and poetic language and the careful attention to detail when describing places or architecture.
To cut a long story short, I would recommend this book to all who like fantasy, and especially to fans of Tolkien. And even though you might think you are familiar with the basic plot pattern, don't depend on it - you might discover more than one unexpected plot twist until you reach the last page. Speaking of the last page, it is quite likely that you will find tears in your eyes as you read the truly Tolkienesque and very touching end scene. I did.