Tethtoril's Bookshelf

Heirs of Prophecy
The Sembia Series - Book 5

WotC Code:

Product Type: Novel
ISBN Number: 0-7869-2737-2
Author: Lisa Smedman
Cover Artist: Terese Nielsen
Release Date: June 2002
Format: Paperback book (312 pages).

The following is taken from a description given by WotC:


In a household where everyone has a secret, why should the maid be any different?
The unacknowledged daughter of Thamalon Uskevren, Larajin is a half-elf who finds herself embroiled in a bitter war between elves and humans. In an effort to bring peace to both Sembia and the Dalelands, Larajin will have to confront a twin brother she doesnt know and save a half-brother whose fate hangs in the balance.'

Other titles in The Sembia Series:

By: Jeremy Daw Date: 15-April-2004
Rating: GoodGoodGoodGood
I must admit I wasn't really looking forward to reading this one. Lisa Smedman's contribution to 'The Halls of Stormweather' was, I thought, the weakest of the lot, largely because the character of Larajin seemed a little... well, 'wet' to me, and the revelation of her elven ancestry seemed a little bit of an anti-climax given some of the other secrets revealed in the anthology - ex-assassin, werewolf, notorious time-travelling adventurer masquerading as a murdered relative. You know what I'm saying? Anyway, I feel like a right idiot, because Smedman's taken the simple ingredients introduced in her short story and cooked up a veritable banquet of Realms excitement in the form of a well-written rollercoaster of a novel. Wet, it ain't.

Against the backdrop of formenting war between the men of Sembia and the elves of the Tangled Trees, Smedman weaves a surprisingly personal tale with Larajin's discovery of her twin brother and her desperate desire to save her half-brother adding a poignant emotional urgency to the unfolding political drama. And Larajin is a tough cookie. She wades through sewage to mastermind her brother's escape, survives a caravan ambush and has the psychological strength and wit to end the conflict between elf and human with a minimum of bloodshed. The ending may seem a little twee, but it's nevertheless effective and, given Larajin's devotion to both Sune Firehair and Halani Celanil, not entirely unexpected.

Larajin's dual religion is perhaps the only real problem with the novel. On one hand, it makes perfect thematic sense - both in terms of Larajin's dual heritage, and also in regard to her seeking of a peaceful resolution to the human-elf animosity. In terms of the actual plot of the novel, however, there's only so much divine intervention a reader can take before the dramatic tension of the novel is gradually drained away and, towards the end of the novel, this began to happen for me. Larajin's sudden water-breathing ability in Chapter 11 seems particularly gratuitous, although her healing of the avariel elf in Chapter 9 is beautifully written and genuinely touching. I don't know. I guess it's a matter of personal opinion, but the kind of divine intervention that takes place in this novel should not come so easily. It should have a price.

That said, 'Heirs of Prophecy' remains an exciting, eminently readable novel peopled with believable, generally well-differentiated characters. Leifander, Kith and Larajin herself are all interesting characters and Drakkar is a fantastic villain, albeit somewhat belittled by the ending. Nevertheless, this is a good novel and I recommend it.

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