The Hero Series by Moira Moore
I read the last book in this series quite a while back, before I started this blog (according to Goodreads, which may or may not be accurate pre-this blog, I finished it on March 24th). I don’t normally write a review so long after reading the book—in general, I prefer to write my thoughts down in post form right after finishing—but I’ve been thinking about this series a fair amount lately, and I wanted to get the word out a bit.
Moira Moore is quite possibly one of my favorite authors, and I feel like not enough people have read her Hero series. I’m also writing about the series rather than any one book simply because it would be such a challenge to write about any one in particular.
This is a wonderfully original world set in your traditional high fantasy country. The role of magic in Moore’s world is unlike any I have read before. There are Sources, who are people who can diffuse storms and other natural disasters before they destroy cities/towns/lives. Then there are Shields, who protect the Sources. Basically, a Source must drop his own shields to diffuse the natural disasters, and in doing so he dies unless a Shield can seal the leak, so to speak. Sources and Shields are matched (through a mystical bond much like McAffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern books) when they graduate, and they are assigned to a location by the Triple S, based on their own skill and backgrounds.
Shield Dunleavy Mallorough, the main character for the duration of the series, initially resents her Source, Shintaro Karish, but eventually they grow on each other. Because of Karish’s obvious great skill in the academy, the pair are assigned to one of the “hotspots” where he can be of the greatest use. Each book has its own set of disasters that Dunleavy and Taro must work through, not to mention the ups and downs of the political traps laid for the pair. Each book ties to the other very neatly, and it’s all wrapped up in a tidy bow by the end of the 7th book.
Aside from the originality of the world, I love the characters. Each and every one of them pops off the page and they all feel quite real. It’s particularly interesting to watch how Dunleavy and Taro develop simply by being stuck with one another through some very trying events, especially since they’re pretty much polar opposites as far as personality goes.
To top it all off, the writing is superb—there is enough detail to provide a clear picture of the setting without overwhelming you so much you’re distracted from what’s going on. I hardly ever feel compelled to skim anything, and that’s a rarity at this point.
These books were an absolutely pleasure to read, and I highly encourage everyone to read them. The series is complete (as far as I know), so it’s not a huge investment in time/emotion either. Just seven books! They’re fairly short, averaging about 300 pages each, and they were all very quick reads.