I've mixed feelings about this book, Cyador's Heirs. It is a wonderful story, well-written as is all L. E. Modesitt Jr.'s work, but it is published by one of the industry giants,TOR. Quite frankly, the EBook book is outrageously over-priced, and there are numerous, severe formatting and editing errors that make going the rough at times. Proof-reading may have been skimped on in the hurry to publish, because I read many Indie novels that are far better proofed and formatted than this book, every week. Despite those flaws, I loved the story, and Modesitt's handling of the young Lord Lerial's coming of age.
FIRST, THE BLURB:
Decades after the fall of Cyador, its survivors have reestablished themselves in Cigoerne, a fertile country coveted by hostile neighbors in less hospitable lands. Young Lerial, the second son of Duke Kiedron, lives in the shadow of his older brother Lephi, the heir to their father's realm. Lerial’s future seems preordained: He will one day command his brother’s forces in defense of Cigoerne, serving at his older sibling’s pleasure, and no more.
But when Lerial is sent abroad to be fostered by Major Altyrn to learn the skills and wisdom he will need to fulfill his future duties, he begins a journey into a much larger world that brings out his true potential. Lerial has talents that few, as yet, suspect: He is one of those rare beings who can harness both Order and Chaos, the competing natural forces that shape the world and define the magic that exists within it. And as war finally engulfs the fringes of Cigoerne, Lerial’s growing mastery of Order and Chaos is tested to its limits, and his own.
As always, L.E. Modesitt Jr. manages to tell a gripping tale that makes you have to think, have to guess at the motives and thoughts of the people around the main character. Lerial is the younger son of the Duke of Cigoerne, and is expected to lead the Mirror Lancers when his brother, Lephi, ascend's the throne. His grandfather was the last Emperor of Cyador, and upon the fall of Cyador and the loss of their empire in Candar, the surviving Empress escaped with their son, fleeing to the continent of Hamor where she carved out a duchy for her her son, Duke Kiedron, to inherit. These deeds and misdeeds of the ancestors loom heavily in Lerial's life.
His relationship with his brother, Lephi, is strained. Lephi openly regards him with jealous condescension. Their mother seems to care more for Lephi than Lerial, but that could be his perception. Due to the tense family currents, Lerial's younger sister, Ryalah, is his most cherished family member, followed closely by his aunt, Emerya.
Though Lerial has the talent to use both Chaos and Order magic, he tends to to Black of Order, and he must struggle to educate himself in his mastery of that craft. This really begins when he is sent away to be fostered at Major Altyrn's estate, which though it hurts his feelings as first, turns out to be the best thing. It is there, working on the family estate, that young Lerial begins to feel a part of a family, and to have a sense of who he is. His new guardian was well acquainted with his grandparents, and was the leader of the palace guard in Cyad. He made possible the Empress's dream of carving some kind of empire for her son, Duke Kiedral, to inherit, and now makes the education of Lerial his top priority.
Great things are expected of Lerial, and he feels the pressure. Being young, he sometimes tries too hard, and discovers that mistakes cost lives. Lerial's sense of Duty and his strict code of ethics keep him going when he at his lowest points. The story is well-crafted and thought provoking. Lerial is a wonderful character, and his struggle is compelling.
Again, I recommend you do not buy the EBook as it is outrageously priced at $12.99 and too poorly formatted. I suggest you buy the paperback, or wait until it is available in the 2nd-hand bookstore, as the publisher may have taken better care with formatting and proofing the print version.
This lack of respect for the author's work and for readers like me who prefer EBooks is disturbing, but it seems to be a volley in the war against progress within the industry. I'm just sorry the author is caught in the middle.