Today is my stop on the Escapist Book Tour and I am honored to be reviewing Heliotrope by Palmer Pickering. Heliotrope is a story of loss and pain for our main character Teleo and the redemption arc needed to set the world right again. A slow-burn plot and pacing will be the name of the game here but if you stick with it, then you will be rewarded dozens of times over. As a standalone novel, Heliotrope stands at just over 750 pages and I have no trepidations in holding this novel in my top 3 favorite standalone books of the genre. I hope you have got your popcorn ready!
Teleo is a battered and broken war veteran who wants nothing more than to live his life in quiet and solitude. His wife and daughter were horribly murdered years before and his son taken by the enemy. After several tries to save his son unsuccessfully, he has returned home to become a farmer and stone mason. We start our journey with Teleo reparing some stone work in the training yard of the queen. Teleo sees the way the captain is training his soldiers and does not get involved despite his war background. Teleo soon discovers that he is indeed repairing a Heliotrope which is a magic place forgotten by most people because mages are a myth. Suddenly Teleo finds himself in a middle of a coup against the queen and he is forced to flee with his apprentice Jesum and the heir to the throne Kaspari. Teleo is once again the protector of these two young children just like he was with his real family many years prior. How could he look these two youth’s in the eye and guarantee their safety? With little options to choose from, Teleo and the children move to his cousin Dinsmora. From here a new journey will begin to find the other Heliotropes and discover the hidden secrets they may hold.
Palmer Pickering does an amazing job of building the world and telling a full story arc for our characters in just a single volume. The slow-burn approach to the story is done to immerse the reader into the feel of the world before it all goes to chaos. I felt both great excitement for the journey about to be taken and despair for the hardships, both past and present, our characters will be forced to endure. The world had a little bit of ancient Greek and Roman feel to it which is my bread and butter type of setting. The more history, themes, customs, and magic you can throw into a series, all the better and the author accomplishes this all in a standalone. The writting style is very smooth and any reader wil have no trouble being absorbed into the story in the first few chapters. A classical fantasy type feel is what some readers may find with this story which is always a plus with me!
Heliotrope is an amazing novel with a satisfying ending. If you are not looking to invest your time in a large series or trilogy, then Heliptrope should be the book for you. This was my first reading experience for Palmer Pickering and it most certainly will not be my last. Thanks so much to both the author and Escapist Book Tour for having me be a part of this and I’m looking forward to the next adventure.