Review: Heir of Novron (Riyria Revelations, #5-6)

Heir of Novron (The Riyria Revelations, #5-6) - Michael J. Sullivan

If you've followed the journey this far, chances are you're gonna enjoy this last installment. It's still fun, funny, and fast paced. The only minor difference is there's less character development. Since all the main players have already been introduced, the story is more plot driven, which is kind of the point since we all want to get to the end and solve the heir of Novron mystery, as well as a string of other mysteries introduced in the first book.


I enjoyed the journey up until near the end of Percepliquis, aka the mad-dash explanations concerning the Horn of Gylindora, Novron's true lineage, how Gaunt and Modina play into the conspiracies, and the set-up leading to the final battle. Oh, and the all-knowing Patriarch's true identity and how he plays into the conspiracy. Everything is all tangled up in a huge interconnecting wad of conspiracy.


The true heir of Novron is finally revealed to be Royce and we find out that Novron himself was elvish. It turns out the heir and the heir's protector--Hadrian--have been together all this time, working odd jobs to prepare themselves for the final clash to save humanity. So that whole time, while everybody was running around trying to find him, the heir was right in front of them. Well played, Sullivan. Gaunt, as it turns out, is just a Nationalist diversion, Modina an Imperialist pawn, Mercy Arcadius' crazy backup plan. And the Patriarch hears all and knows everything because he himself is all-powerful.


Although the story lines tie up well at the end, there are a few things that still (sort of) bother me.


Things that didn't make sense:

  1. Why Royce's origin story is not explored, even after we learn he is the true heir. No explanation of parentage? Is he really the twin who lived?
  2. Sending Royce on all those errands that almost got him killed seems pointless and unnecessary in retrospect, doesn't it?
  3. The purpose of Gwen's death. This seems a contrived plot point (aka needless diversion?). Why did she have to be assassinated? So Royce would kill Marius? He would have done that anyway, eventually.
  4. Arcadius bringing the Imperialists' attention to Mercy, even though he'd been trying to hide her all these years. Of course they'd be suspicious of this seemingly peculiar random nomination. Why wouldn't they be?
  5. Alric died for nothing, didn't he? Sacrificial lamb.
  6. How humanity and the elves will go back to living "peacefully" on their respective sides of the river. The elves came close to decimating humanity, so I can't see how both races will return to their respective side of the river. Go back to the way things used to be? I don't buy it.
  7. Marius's involvement in previous books only served as another (needless?) diversion to move the plot forward and/or to stretch the story/plot out? I don't know, but it seems rather pointless in the end.
(show spoiler)


All of these unnecessary diversions are red herrings to drag the series out. Once I can see the author's hand at work, much of the fun of reading is gone.