My Rating: 3.5 Stars
“The Lost Heir” left me with very mixed feelings at the end. On one hand, it was a great overall idea. I really liked some of the characters (one was named Cyrus and I had a total surreal moment), and I could see it as a book that I would put on my permanent bookshelf (my real life one). On the other hand, I felt that a lot of it was underdeveloped. The entire thing could have been much more effective if it had just been edited a little better.
It wasn’t necessarily spelling or grammatical errors. O’Connor was in the clear with that, as far as I could tell. As an avid devourer of fantasy, I admit that I get nitpicky, so as with every review this should be taken with a grain of salt. I felt like the plot was fine, but the author switched between “fantasy” world and “real” world in a way that was totally jarring. One moment I was smoothly sailing in fantasy land and the next some guy was hitting his alarm clock. Huh?
There were some repetition errors, both in character actions and how they presented their information. (i.e. Darrak went to get a soda twice within the space of two paragraphs).
I had a problem with the way the fantasy language was presented. There were whole sentences of spells where some were translated, but not all. When I see a series of words that look too difficult to try to pronounce I just skip over them anyway, and I don’t think that was the author’s intent. Furthermore, I had no idea what meno was, exactly, aside from some kind of magic. When I first ran across the word I wished for a brief explanation.
Although by the end of the book, I was thoroughly sick of Ipzaag’s explanations of everything. Especially within the first 50 pages, he had way too much random knowledge readily at his fingertips and he was all too happy to explain it. I renamed him The Great Cryptic Explainer, because I got tired of hearing paragraph after paragraph of explanation (What is a dreamweaver? Why am I a dreamweaver all of the sudden even though I have had normal dreams up until this point?). He got on my nerves and I tried hard not to skim through entire paragraphs of information that I felt like the author could have found a better way to show, rather than tell.
There were a few more minor notes. Mostly just on pacing (it /was/ fast paced, but that did not serve to its benefit as the characters were introduced and then given sudden importance. It left me without much empathy for them and, as a result, I was more impatient with their nuances), the over-abundant use of the word “simply”, and just small nitpicky things like that.
Overall, it IS a good starter fantasy, I just wish there had been just a little bit more to it. I think that, with some more editing, it could be fantastic and I would definitely add it to my real-life keeper shelf then. In reality, I would give it a 3.5.