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The Lost Heir by Rivera Sun

Rivera Sun

The Lost Heir

El Prado, NM: Rising Sun Press Works, 2018

The Lost Heiri is a sequel to Rivera Sun’s earlier work, The Way Between, both books featuring the young Ari Ara, meaning “not this-not that” as the heroine. This story picks up where The Way Between left off, with Ari Ara in the capital city of Mariana, being groomed as the lost heir of a marriage between the King of the Desert and the deceased Queen of Mariana. 

Ari Ara is a courageous, headstrong twelve year old girl who has a magnanimous heart and is committed to justice and peaceful resolution of problems using “The Way Between,” which is a verbal and physical way of diverting an opponent’s anger and violence using a form of martial arts and mental and verbal techniques. Despite her age, Ari Ara is expert at the method, called Azar, having been taught it by the great warrior Shulen when she first arrived in the capital from her previous home in the mountains, being raised by the mysterious mountain people, the Fanten.

Not everyone in the capital wants Ari Ara to assume her rightful role as heir to the throne. A group of nobles oppose her and many others are suspicious of her. She breaks down the suspicions of the Urchin children when she befriends Everill, “Rill,’ the Queen of the Urchins. She champions the Water Workers, who are desert people who must work to gain life-giving water for their families after the water was illegally diverted years before. The House of Thorn nobles go so far as to try to assassinate Ari Ara, but she is protected by Shulen, by the young champion Emir, as well as by Brinelle, the current queen, and by a mysterious master of the haws, Malak from the desert.

Ari Ara’s will is tested as she is assaulted and insulted when The Way Between, her method of solving conflicts without violence is gradually accepted by more and more of the population and even the guards and soldiers. Her life is constantly in danger, and her fiery temper is in danger of overcoming her dedication to peace and the peaceful methods of Azar. With the help of Rill, of Malak, of Emir and of Korin, a royal friend, and Minli a crippled orphan who has become a scholar, she withstands all the challenges and, in the end, prevails.

The Lost Heiris a true adventure story, filled with action and fantasy. It takes place in a strange land, in which the population is split between different factions occupying different environments and whose suspicion and longstanding hatreds have sowed the seeds of war for years. It is also story of the wisdom of nonviolence and an inspirational tale of the ability of the good side of the human spirit to prevail over the dark side. Both young and older readers will learn about the methods of nonviolent protest and confrontation and how they can be used to oppose evil in a way that upholds the dignity of both sides on issues of difference.

Rivera Sun is a poet and her prose is poetic and full of imagery and figurative language, so that the reader is swept up in the story and his or her imagination is ignited by the  author’s beautifully descriptive and poetic use of language. She is able to paint pictures with her words. 

I’ve given my copy of The Way Between to my teenage niece and now that I’m finished reading The Lost Heir, I plan to give it to her also. I want her to learn the lessons the book teaches. And I know she will be swept up by the story the way she was with its predecessor and the way I was. 

You may purchase The Lost Heir here.

Casey Dorman, Editor, Lost Coast Review

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