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Six Heirs (The Secret of Ji Book 1) Kindle Edition

3.6 out of 5 stars 103 customer reviews

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Length: 308 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This gripping first book introduces a secondary world impressive in depth and believability, complete with shadowy assassin guilds and prophecies of the walking dead. Intricate religious and political beliefs lend depth to a mature sword-and-sorcery context. Grimbert revitalizes the traditional heroic quest with believable characters, political intrigue, and fizzling gender tension. This adult fairytale hides profound truths in enchanting archetypes and should satisfy fans of both epic fantasy and suspense. -Publishers Weekly (starred review)


“In a fantasy world containing magicans, gods, and mortals, telepathic communication with animals doesn’t seem to far-fetched. In this new spin on epic fantasy, Pierre Grimbert tackles a world beset with shadowy thieves and mystical empires…Grimbert looks to be one big new name to watch in the ever-expanding genre of high fantasy.”

Product Details

  • File Size: 925 KB
  • Print Length: 308 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1612184596
  • Publisher: AmazonCrossing (February 19, 2013)
  • Publication Date: February 19, 2013
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0089NUOT2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #211,115 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

A native of France and a lifelong fantasy enthusiast who numbers Jack Vance, Fritz Leiber, and Michael Moorcock among his heroes, Pierre Grimbert has been awarded the Prix Ozone, for best French language fantasy novel, and the Prix Julia Verlanger, for best science fiction novel in any language. He is the author of thirteen much beloved novels of the Ji mythos, including the series the Secret of Ji, the Children of Ji, and the Guardians of Ji. He lives in northern France with his wife, Audrey Françaix (also a writer), and four children.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a translated version of the first book in a best-selling French fantasy author's series, and I picked this up because I was curious to see how fantasy would read, coming from a French author. Would it be notably different from U.S. and British authors? Would the characters have different attitudes about their world to reflect the culture of the author? Although the answer to these questions is mostly "not that I could tell," the story itself was entertaining and drew me in to the extent that I want to read more.

Long ago, several individuals from different countries were summoned and had an experience that changed them forever. They never spoke about it to anyone but their descendants, who were also sworn to secrecy. Over the years, these individuals had many heirs who gather every few years to renew their charges. These heirs are scattered far across the Known World. Now, before the latest gathering, the heirs have started dying at the hands of a cult of assassins.

This story follows several of the heirs who struggle to survive and solve the mystery of that experience long ago, and why someone wants them dead.....

The story moves well, and the author builds in a good sense of urgency. Some of the characters feel vaguely familiar, but anyone who has read fantasy has encountered this. In the Secret of Ji, the author at least does a good job with the characters he creates.

I really enjoyed this, and it held my attention. My only concern about it is that the author has written several books in this series, and I fear that if the sales are not strong on this, the publisher may decide not to publish the remaining books, and I'll never know the end of the story that started so well.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is very much a character-driven piece. Other fantasy sagas spend a great deal of time sketching in cosmologies or brooding over epic and mythic backstories or poking about in the nooks and crannies of the setting and fully detailing every forest, lake, hamlet, and dive bar. This one adroitly dishes out just enough information about the various realms and factions for the reader to get the background flavor, and for the most part deals with the interactions of the antagonists and with their approaches to life and their motivating philosophies (which in some cases, naturally enough, boil down to "I'd really like to not get killed").

It's got an intriguing and mysterious initial premise, some interesting dollops of low-level magic, characters that are skilled without being massively invincible and invariably infallible, and a brisk and nimble prose style that moves the story along naturally and rapidly. It's entirely absent a sense of gravitas or indeed massive consequences--the fate of the world itself doesn't appear to be at stake, and because the semi-heroic band of fugitives is mostly a Bunch o' Random Guys, they're not too terrifically more powerful than anyone else and certainly have never felt THE FATE OF DESTINY. They're just mostly street-level folks, almost exclusively removed from the counsels of the great and with no real desire to do great deeds. Pitching this as a survival tale from the outset with the protagonists not being at all clear who's after them or why turns out to be a pretty compelling narrative choice.

This slender volume ends just a tad abruptly, but with that minor flaw aside, and with some reservations about one character being shaded maybe just a wee bit too far in the direction of That Lovable Rogue, it's an extremely promising kickoff to a series that evidently has at least another three or four volumes already available. Recommended.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Over 100 years ago, in a world that looks vaguely like medieval Europe, a select group of men and women embarked on a mysterious expedition to the desolate Island of Ji. They disappeared for several weeks, and a number never returned. When the survivors reappeared, battered and bedraggled, they refused to explain where they had gone or what had happened to them.

Not long after the expedition, the survivors began holding annual reunions for mutual support and to pass on the "secret of Ji" to their descendents (the "heirs"). Today, 118 years after the original expedition, almost everyone has forgotten about Ji. But not everybody has forgotten: someone has hired a fanatical sect of assassins to wipe out all of the living heirs.

Six of the heirs lucky enough to evade the assassins band together for protection and to learn why and by whom they are being hunted. These include 15-year-old Yan, a dreamer full of half-baked ideas; Yan's childhood crush Leti, a bratty and entitled girl who has an untapped reservoir of inner strength; Leti's Aunt Correnn, a wise older woman with magical powers; Grigan, an honorable soldier exiled from his homeland for opposing a bloodthirsty leader; Rey, an actor who also happens to be a disreputable, lecherous rogue; and Bowbaq, a gentle bear of a man who communicates telepathically with animals.

Once they find each other, this fractious, ragtag group sets out for the Island of Ji, using their complementary strengths to overcome obstacles and opposition. There, the youngest members of the group learn some of the secrets of Ji ... and you need to buy Book 2 to find out what happens next.

Author Pierre Grimbert competently builds mystery and tension. There's action, adolescent romance, and just a little bit of fantasy magic.
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