Heir to Chaos

Fiction - Fantasy - General
329 Pages
Reviewed on 04/10/2024
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Adrian Holmes is a writer, nerd, husband and author of the new fantasy novel Heir to Chaos.
With a bachelor’s degree in english and a master’s degree in journalism, Adrian has written non-fiction for much of his early career as a journalist in the city of Galway. After a while, his love for all things fantasy and pop culture made him focus on creating a fantasy world of his own and he has accomplished this with his debut novel Heir to Chaos.
In his current day job he recruits engineers on behalf of clients within the semiconductor industry, and this affords him the opportunity to traverse the globe and meet people from a variety of backgrounds.
When not writing at his home in the west of Ireland, Adrian loves to relax on the couch with his wonderful wife where she unwinds with her Nintendo Switch and he wipes out all of Norse mythology as Kratos. Their two adorable cats, Yoda and Ahsoka, make sure to keep them company as well.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Heir to Chaos is a work of fiction in the fantasy, adventure, and action genres. It is best suited to adult readers owing to the use of strong language throughout and some scenes of mild violence. Penned by author Adrian Holmes, the story follows protagonist Deven Fortem, son of a legendary Great Spectator, as he embraces a life of revelry in Kalverif's taverns. But when Deven discovers his dormant Palm Sorcery abilities, he realizes his path may not be so carefree. As war looms and a handservant is found dead, Deven must confront his legacy and newfound powers to combat a resurrected malevolent force, forcing him to face betrayal and death while navigating the sins of his father's past.

Author Adrian Holmes has utilized every drop of his imaginative prowess to craft an enthralling experience that totally immersed me in a world of magic, mystery, and political intrigue. I loved the balance of the narrative in combining the very best elements of dark fantasy with gripping suspense, twisting these moods into a well-paced plot that is sure to keep readers on the edge of their seats throughout. Deven's journey from reluctant heir to fully-fledged hero is compelling, and I liked the way his internal struggles mirrored the external conflicts threatening Taldera. This progression is brought closer to home by the intimate speech and thought presentation as the author takes us into Deven’s head and heart. The revelation of Deven's latent abilities opens up a world of exciting possibilities for action, and Holmes doesn’t miss a trick, propelling his hero into a dangerous game of survival against a formidable foe. The excellent pacing of the story builds on ideas slowly, deftly exploring themes of legacy, sacrifice, and redemption. Overall, Heir to Chaos is a captivating and highly recommended read that leaves a lasting impression, showcasing Holmes's talent for storytelling and world-building and introducing fantasy fans to a new author they’ll be hard-pressed to forget.

Divine Zape

Heir to Chaos by Adrian Holmes introduces readers to a stunningly imagined fantasy world and a phenomenal conflict. The time of the Great Spectators, who once protected the world of Taldera, is long gone. Now, their deeds are only told as legends. Deven Fortem is the son of one of the Great Spectators who once protected the land, but he spends his days in taverns, oblivious to any responsibility that could be his. His life takes a different turn when he unwittingly discovers his latent Palm Sorcery abilities. A maidservant from Fortem Manor is found dead, and Deven becomes aware that he must face his destiny. As he embraces his gift and sets out to protect his people against the looming war, he faces betrayal at the same time that the sins of his father come back to haunt him. But does he have enough strength to face a powerful evil resurrected from the past?

Adrian Holmes offers readers a gripping journey into a meticulously crafted fantasy realm, intelligently introducing the protagonist and the conflict. The narrative has bleak and painful moments in a world where fear and violence are commonplace. The image of Alexi, held captive by the mysterious and wicked Husk, stays with readers as they turn the pages. Deven’s journey from an indifferent drunk to a man of responsibility will captivate readers. The challenges he must overcome are manifold, and there are moments of unpredictability in the plot that build the suspense and keep readers racing through the pages. I loved the immersive worldbuilding. The author has the extraordinary ability to fill this world with darkness. The writing is crisp and filled with vivid descriptions. Heir to Chaos delivers perfectly on every aspect of the epic fantasy genre.

Alicia DeBerry

What happens when destiny kicks down your door and shows that your fate lies in the palm of your hand? Adrian Holmes explores the possibilities in Heir to Chaos. After the Forever War on the continent of Taldera, the Great Spectators, charged with protecting the innocent, disbanded in times of peace. For Deven Fortem, the son of one of the last Great Spectators, a carefree lifestyle of drinking and conning is about to end abruptly. He develops latent abilities in Palm Sorcery, a gift thought to be extinct. Then, a Fortem Manor servant is found dead. A soulless evil that revels in carnage wants to start another war. Will Deven, the purposeful slack-off, be able to rise to the occasion like his father?

Adrian Holmes highlights the theme that with great power comes great responsibility in Heir to Chaos. The pace has a medium flow, providing just enough information to move the plot forward and pique readers' curiosity. When the action begins, it moves quickly and answers questions. There are excellent backstories explaining the Great Spectators and their role. When Hefrum, Byron Fortem's oldest friend, war veteran, and current household cook, reveals to Deven the reason for the Forever War, it highlights the importance of having leaders with sound mental fortitude. I learned the value of listening to the folklore and legends of communities when Deven used that information to find the villain Kallas. I would recommend this book to readers who enjoy novels with suspense, military, adventure, intrigue, and fantasy themes.