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Helen Lowe

Helen LoweHelen Lowe is a new children/young adult author from New Zealand. Thornspell is her first novel. She also has sold the series listed below. For more information, visit Helen Lowe’s website. Read the first chapter of Thornspell at the Thornspell website.

Rebecca chats with New Zealand author Helen Lowe

Rebecca, who lives in New Zealand, recently met with NZ author Helen Lowe to discuss the release of Ms. Lowe's second novel The Heir of Night (first novel in her series The Wall of Night). Read Rebecca's reviews of The Heir of Night and Helen Lowe's children's novel, Thornspell.

REBECCA: What was the first glimmer of inspiration that you had that eventually led to The Wall of Night? To be more specific, one of the book’s major ideas is that of the Wall and the Houses that live there, whose task it is to guard Haarth from the Swarm. What was the thought-process behind the concept of the Wall?

HELEN: My very first inspiration came when I was about nine years old and read Read More

Thornspell: The “true” Sleeping Beauty

Thornspell by Helen Lowe

As much as I love reading fairytales, there's always the sense that I'm only getting half of the story. There's never any character development, explanations on where those magical artifacts come from, or why the bad guys act so villainous beyond the fairly rudimentary: "they're evil." In fairytales, things just happen, with little or no back-story.

Which is why I've always appreciated authors who consider the missing pieces to any fairytale and fill them accordingly with their own ideas. Donna Jo Napoli has built her career on this technique, with wonderful fleshed-out fairytales such as Spinners and Zel, retellings of the Rumplestiltskin and Rapunzel stories, among others.

And now Helen Lowe gives similar treatment to "The Sleeping ... Read More

The Heir of Night: A carefully plotted story in a complex world

The Heir of Night by Helen Lowe

If Night falls, all falls.

Helen Lowe’s début novel Thornspell was a retelling of the Sleeping Beauty story from the Prince’s point of view. The Wall of Night trilogy is a more traditional epic fantasy, though it contains a dash of science fiction and a unique setting that sets it apart from the usual swords-and-sorcery fare.

Set in the world of Haarth, the titular Wall of Night refers to a mountain range that is garrisoned by the warlike Derai clans. Made up of Nine Houses in all, the Derai defend the Wall against that which lies beyond: the demonic Swarm. Destructive and cunning, the Swarm is only held at bay by the constant vigilance of the Houses, particularly the House of Night. But there is internal strife within the Houses that threatens to weaken the Wall: schisms between i... Read More

The Gathering of the Lost: Immensely satisfying sequel

The Gathering of the Lost by Helen Lowe

Every Avalanche Begins with One Stone Falling...

The Gathering of the Lost is the second installment in Helen Lowe's THE WALL OF NIGHT quartet, the first being The Heir of Night, in which we were first introduced to the story's protagonist: Malian, the rightful heir to the House of Night, the first of the Nine Houses that garrison the mountain range known as the Wall. Malian's people, the warlike and indomitable Derai clans, have defended the Wall of Night for generations against that which lies beyond it: the demonic Darkswarm. Though the defences have held for countless years, the Darkswarm have now breached the Wall and found their way into the world of Haarth, spreading their propensity for strife and unrest throughout each city they come across.

The previous book told of how Mal... Read More

Daughter of Blood: The third instalment in an ever-growing fantasy epic

Daughter of Blood by Helen Lowe

Daughter of Blood (2016), is the third book in Helen Lowe's four-book WALL OF NIGHT series, preceded by The Heir of Night and The Gathering of the Lost. It's been a while since I read the last book, so it took a few chapters to untangle the far-reaching web of characters and plotlines, but soon I was back on track and re-immersing myself into the world of Haarth.

The Wall of Night is a vast mountain range that is garrisoned by the warlike Derai clans. Made up of Nine Houses in all, the Derai defend the wall against the destructive and demonic Darkswarm — but internal strife and civil war has weakened the vigilance of the Houses, and the power of the Swarm grows stronger even as representatives of each House struggle t... Read More