Quick Review: Matthew Olney’s “Heir to the Sundered Crown”

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ms olney sundered crown bookTwo days ago I finished reading “Heir to the Sundered Crown” from author Matthew Olney. I first featured an excerpt of the book here about a month and a half ago. Other commitments prevented me from reading it until now and it was worth the wait.

If you’re considering starting this epic fantasy book, then let me just get this out there — several times while reading this book I thought, “man, this reminds me of Harry Potter.” And I LOVE the Harry Potter series. Now, I’m not saying that this book is as great as Harry Potter, but out of all the fantasy books I’ve read, this one comes the closest in terms of a similar feel.

So, if Harry Potter is your kinda jam, then you’ll wanna stop reading this review so you don’t get any spoilers and pick up a copy at Amazon.

Before reading any further, note that there are some minor spoilers.

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I knew that I was in this one for the long haul when … Luxon took his tumble after the attempted levitation spell in the beginning of the book. It was a bit of comic relief. And by the time he ran head-first into the wall, it pretty much sealed the deal for me. And I couldn’t help but think of Malfoy picking on Harry at Hogwarts, which just made like this book even more.

Style snippet …

The elderly tutor rose from his high-backed chair and stepped into the candle light. His wrinkled face was covered in liver spots, his grey hair was long and straggly, and only the small pair of spectacles perched upon a hooked nose hinted that he was an intellectual, and not some scruffy beggar from off the street. He had taught Luxon and the other boys and girls for over two years in the School of the Lower Ring, and rightly had a reputation for his tough style of educating. On more than one occasion, Luxon had received whacks with the rod, either because of his wild curiosity, or because Accadus had baited him.

Ri’ges sat at the end of the bed smiling, an expression that took Luxon by surprise. He’d been expecting his teacher to raise fury at his latest stunt, not sit at his bedside with a smile.

“What happened?” he asked as he once more tried to sit up. The dizziness came again, but it was not as bad as before.

Ri’ges removed his spectacles and wiped them on his long grey robe.

“You fell,” he replied simply. “Luckily, I saw the whole thing and was able to catch you with a telekinetic spell before you cracked your head open like a grapefruit. The reason you feel so nauseous is no doubt due to you over-exerting your mind to keep the levitation spell intact – a spell, mind, you that one as young as you should never have attempted.” The old master stood and stretched his back. “One as young as you in theory should not even have been able to have gotten the spell to work at all … which is troubling.”

“I’m sorry, Master,” Luxon said miserably. “I just didn’t want to be late for classes again. Accadus hid my shoes again and …”

Ri’ges held a hand up in annoyance. “I do not care for the follies of young men. Making a foe of Accadus was not a wise move on your part.” He glared at his young student as the lad tried to talk. “Listen to me, Luxon. You are one of the most promising students I have ever seen pass through the Crystal Gates, and I will not have you ruin your chances of making apprentice because of some foolish feud.”

What surprised me about this book … was the inclusion of zombies and similar creatures. You don’t often see that in epic fantasy books. Of course, J.K. Rowling included all manner of creatures in the Harry Potter books, which is another reason this book reminds me of that series so much.

My favorite character … is Yepert. I loved this character at first because he seemed like the sort of kid who just cannot get anything right and gets picked on. Of course, he proves himself to be a lot more than that later on in the book.

Final thoughts … overall, this was a very enjoyable read. It is classic epic fantasy with a whole host of characters and kingdoms. You get dragons, witches, ghouls, mages, knights and so much more. I do feel like the ending was a wee bit rushed, but even so I’d still recommend reading this one. It is the first book in a series, though the second book is not yet available. It does not end on a cliffhanger but definitely leaves you wanting more – like what’s up with that land across the sea where Luxon wakes up? And what is the deal with the nefarious goings on in the epilogue? So many questions! 🙂

I suggest that you pick up a copy at Amazon!


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