"Heirs of Prophecy" is the fifth installment in the, so far, excellent "Sembia" series of stand-alone novels. I liked Smedman's earlier works (or rather later works since those books I read were written after this one), and I came into reading this novel with rather high expectations. It was not to be, though.
First something about the good things in this novel. Smedman's imagination is very colorful, and she gives some very good and vivid descriptions of Cormanthor forest and the wild elves living in it. Besides that, one of the characters, Leifander, is very interesting and well fleshed-out, which can't be said about this novel's other characters. The book also contains very few combat scenes, something I find very refreshing.
Now the bad stuff. As I mentioned, most of the characters are very shallow and uninteresting, and especially the book's main character Larajin. There is a concept about her being a priest of two goddesses at once, and while it may seem interesting, it turns out rather boring and repetitive. The author wanted to give a feeling of progress to her powers, I guess, but it turned out to be ridiculously fast. The plot is the standard "D&D adventure" plot, as I like to call it. Go there, learn that, go somewhere else, meet someone, do something, go somewhere again. There is a prophecy, a lost family member, a looming war, everything that has been written a million times over. To be honest, last forty or so pages show that there was maybe something to be done with the plot, but too little and far too late. The book also has a couple of annoying inconsistencies, such as elves despoiling their own burial grounds.
All in all, I expected far more from this novel. Read at your own discretion.
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