Rites of Heirdron

Young Adult, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Romance

By Newland Moon

Publisher : Xtabyren Publishing

ABOUT Newland Moon

Newland Moon
Aaron-Michael Hall is an American Speculative Fiction author (Epic Fantasy and Science Fantasy). She uses the pen name Newland Moon exclusively for her Science Fantasy novels. Since August 2015, she has written seven full-length novels and published three. Now, when she is not interviewi More...



They poisoned his planet, massacred his people, and violated his mother. Now, they’re coming for him.

A bastard prince, born to a shunned queen, Zrahnz is the last hope of a dying world. His struggle is not only for his legitimacy as a ruler, but for his planet’s survival. As he unravels the manipulations and betrayals of the past, a debilitating malady threatens to end his life: if he can’t save himself, his planet will succumb to the factions aligning against them.

The irrepressible allure he feels for an Earth-born visitor, Itanya, threatens to overwhelm him, yet through her, Zrahnz discovers the secret that can ease the devastating agony of his illness. She could be the key to survival for them all…but if he fails to make a crucial decision, his people, and everyone he loves could be destroyed.

Derided as “the prince of nothing,” and the “unclaimed,” he wasn’t supposed to survive, he wasn’t supposed to fight, and he wasn’t supposed to receive the


“Rites of Heirdron is an intriguing sci-fi/fantasy romance with the depth of Epic Fantasy. It will titillate your senses while captivating your mind.”


As an engineer, when I read for entertainment I often turn to science fiction:  fantastic weapons, futuristic machines, interplanetary travel all seem to naturally attract and even nurture the inner geek.  Sadly, much popular science fiction seems to depend too heavily on the “technology” side of story-telling.  Devices are substituted for characters and astrophysical hypotheses for plot, resulting in reads that are fast, shallow, and ultimately not satisfying or memorable.

I found The Rites of Heirdron to be a very pleasing exception. The author, Newland, has written a complex tale of a young prince struggling to piece together the hidden history of betrayals that has almost succeeded in destroying the entire sentient population of his planet.  Without knowing why or how, he understands that once the evil is exposed he will have a means to stop and even reverse the damage, saving his world.  The young prince’s heroic efforts are complicated by a debilitating biological abnormality of his species.

Obviously, there are other actors on the stage. The queen —  disgraced by the manipulations of numerous powerful factions — and the first officer of her guard must helplessly stand by, bound by an incompletely known maze of edicts and treaties that are part of the system of betrayal that was forced on their planet.  The bad guys are galactic coalitions and plunderers from other galaxies and of course the rival planets.  There’s even a spiritual dimension with good and evil presences:  oracles and spirit whisperers and spirit wielders.  (I found it enjoyable karma when the bad guys, who tended to think very commercial thoughts supported by very concrete technology, were forced to consider the potential impacts of those unseen, unknown beings.)

The most interesting character, besides the prince, is a beautiful mahogany-complexioned Earth female, Itanya.  After arriving on the planet as a crew-member of an interstellar cargo ship she finds herself as the de facto favorite among what can only be described as the prince’s harem.  This development is not pleasing to her new-found rivals nor to the queen.  However, in addition to providing a number of well-written intimate interludes, she is ultimately revealed as a … well, why don’t you read it and find out.

Moon’s story is just that – a story, with a logical complex plot, with characters that are unique and interesting, with dialogue that moves the action and reveals the characters.  There are elements of future technology but these are parts of the scenery, not the purpose of the novel.  The author has the ability to move the story in a way that is logical and consistent with itself and the characters while frequently providing twists and surprises that make it hard to stop reading.  This was the first offering that I’ve read from Newland Moon, but I certainly will look forward to others.