Heir of Thunder by Karissa Laurel – Book Review
Heir of Thunder by Karissa Laurel – Book Reviewed by Nia
Stormbourne Chronicles Book 1
Publisher – Evolved Publishing
Pages – 288
Release Date – 24th September 2016
ISBN-13 – 978-1622531554
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
The Lord of Thunder’s sudden death leaves his daughter, Evelyn Stormbourne, unprepared to rule Inselgrau in his place. Weeks before Evie’s ascension to the throne, revolutionaries attack and destroy her home. She conceals her identity and escapes under the protection of her father’s young horse master, Gideon Faust. Together they flee Inselgrau and set sail for the Continent, but they’re separated when a brutal storm washes Evie overboard.
In her efforts to reunite with her protector and reach allies on the Continent, Evie befriends a band of nomads who roam the world in airships fueled by lightning. She also confronts a cabal of dark Magicians plotting to use her powers to create a new divine being, and she clashes with an ancient family who insists her birthright belongs to them.
If she’s to prevail and defeat her enemies, Evie must claim her heritage, embrace her dominion over the sky, and define what it means to be Heir of Thunder.
I’m not normally one for reading YA, but when I was offered the chance to read another Karissa Laurel novel to break up the nail biting wait for the next book in the Norse Trilogy series, I obviously jumped at it without the barest semblance of dignity. As usual.
I don’t regret my choice in the least, every single characters if beautifully written and the world building is most beautiful of all. The different cities and countries in this world are comparable to our own, with alternate versions of France, Germany etc.
Evie (Evelyn Stormborn, to give her full title) is our main character, a 17 year old girl, who has lost almost everything after her father dies and her kingdom is destroyed. She flees the kingdom with her eligible and grumpy stable master, Gideon, who was enlisted by her father to protect her should anything like this happen. While trying to find a safe harbour, she realises that there’s a lot about the wider world and even herself that she has yet to learn.
She is the descendant of the god of thunder and it’s her birthright to wield his power. She knows some of this already but she doesn’t know how important this birthright is to the rest of the world. Different factions in this world don’t agree that Evie should wield this power and are determined to manipulate it to their own ends, it’s just lucky for her that her trusting personality and startling good luck win her some pretty useful friends to back her up.
This is very much a classic coming of age story but it’s a damn sight darker than your average YA novel! It reminds me of the Garth Nix Abhorsen series, a staple of my teen years, in terms of tone and more mature themes. I mean, this one covers death, rape and sex slavery in a non-graphic way. It’s not suitable for the younger end of the YA spectrum, that’s for sure! (That said, I would have read this quite happily at 13 then asked my mother some pretty harrowing questions like ‘maaaaaam, why do pirates sell young girls to brothels?’ and ‘maaaaaaam, what’s a brothel?’)
The only fault I can possibly find in this book is that Evie gives in far too quickly to the young male characters she meets, Gideon is outstandingly rude to her and barks orders without giving her any explanation as to what’s going on and she doesn’t seem to be that bothered that he takes out his bad mood on her at every turn. I know she’s meant to be naïve, but as a princess she should know when to tell a stable master to reign in his temper (pun intended. I thank you.).
As always, Laurel’s writing is gorgeous and just makes me happy to be reading her work. It brings a fresh perspective to an ancient mythology and makes you feel like a part of the proceedings. I’m more than ready to dive into the sequel of this book and follow the series to its conclusion, which now leaves me with TWO Karissa Laurel series on my watch list.
Mythology, phenomenal writing and worldbuilding to blow your socks off. This book has it all.
Book reviewed by Nia
Some of Karissa Laurel’s favorite things are coffee, chocolate, and super heroes. She can quote Princess Bride verbatim. She loves to read and has a sweet tooth for fantasy, sci-fi, and anything in between.
Sometimes her husband convinces her to put down the books and take the motorcycles out for a spin or go hunting for rusty old relics at flea-markets. Karissa lives in North Carolina with her kid, her husband, the occasional in-law, and a very hairy husky named Bonnie.