Check out my fiction - http://www.jaletac.com
Check out my science fiction series - The Fall of the Altairan Empire

Monday, December 19, 2011

Book Review: Heir to Power, Book 1 of The Healing Crystal

Heir to Power by Michele Poague

If you like lavish fantasy novels with the setting and characters described in loving detail, this is the book for you. It's billed as a post-apocalyptic novel, and there are traces of a past technologically advanced society peeking through the current one, but with magic and a low-tech agrarian society at the center, I'd put this book on the fantasy shelves.

Kairma wants to be just a normal girl, but she is heir to the powerful Healing Crystal that her village holds secret from the rest of the world. She's also the only person known to survive the sweating sickness. Her white hair marks her as different and leads to conflicts with the other villagers. Mired in tradition and isolation, Kairma's world is about to change, whether the villagers wish it or not.

Michele (note the one L) builds a wonderfully rich world with plenty of detail and intriguing ideas. I found it a bit frustrating to read because she teases me with mysteries then spends several chapters exploring a minor character's relationship with his father and his past. I know people who love that kind of story. I'm an action movie kind of reader, though. I like things to happen with a bang and keep happening. Michele likes to spend time with her characters, exploring the nuances of their lives.

If you're a fan of books like Tolkien or Tad Williams, the big fat ones with lots of rich detail, give this one a try. Michele has given herself plenty to explore in the book series. This is book one in The Healing Crystal series, I'm sure the others will bring their own mysteries as her world unfolds.