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The Seekers of Fire: Book One of The Masters That Be Paperback – April 1, 2012
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Top Customer Reviews
I think one of the hardest things to do in epic fantasy books is introduce the reader to the new world that an author has created. Sure it's hard coming up with that world as an author, but introducing it to the reader is really the key, if the reader doesn't understand the principles behind how your world works, it won't matter how good your plot is.
Merrill dives right in with her book in introducing the reader, and quite effectively. The reader is really introduced to the world by one of her main characters, Lindon, and through her thoughts. This is accomplished largely because Lindon is at the age where her place in society is going to be determined. Because of this, as a reader, you are to get an explanation as to how this society works as well as be taken through how Lindon feels about what is going to happen to her.
A plus of the book is that it is a unique idea, which is refreshing especially for the fantasy genre as things can easily get repetitive. The books starts with the explanation that fire has become a direly needed commodity, and is only provided by the Bers (this society's highest people and they have the magical skill). This is unique, at least for me, because when you think of things you need to live, you think water and food. But in this world, they have water, but fire is limited.
Another reason I find epic fantasy books to be so fascinating is that they tend to focus on societies, and how they work and often times the question of those societies.Read more ›
The story revolves around a reluctant youthful heroine, Linden; a commoner with a scientific mindset who has just become aware of her magical powers ... and her unlikely protector and mentor, Rianor, the young High Ruler of Qynnsent. Their chance meeting sparks a volatile friendship, which in turn unexpectedly kindles the danger of igniting a worldwide revolution.
From the first chapter, it is obvious that the author understands her characters and has a secure grasp on the universe of her creation. Drawn into the main characters' world through their thoughts, hopes, dreams and actions ... the reader experiences both Linden's and Rianor's bewilderment of the past, mixed with the uncertainty of the present; and most importantly their aspirations for a better future ... no matter what the cost may be.
I could excuse many of these issues, but the most annoying relates to the obsession of the women with their weight. Linden becomes a lady and suddenly we start hearing conversations about how skinny she is and other women on a diet of just eating cabbage or not eating at all. This is a world where people walk, run, and ride in carriages and other than the nurse no one appears to have any issue with their weight, yet the women compare themselves to other women. This so detracts from the story. I could understand if I were reading a romance novel about nobles for which the women spend their time looking for husbands, but this is supposed to be a science fiction/fantasy novel and I am being bombarded with women obsessing over their weight? A famine is coming, so dieting should not be the priority of the characters.
I started the second book as I had downloaded it prior to reading the first book and put it down. I really don't want to know what happens as the author continues to introduce conflicting items without bothering to better develop the items that have been introduced. In closing, there are much better books out there that combine science with magic. This book, to me is on a highway to nowhere.
Linden, a young commoner, defies the Bers, who had ruled her world for as long as she had known it, and alongside Lord Rianor, she begins to explore the principles of science as opposed to magic. Early on in the book, Linden had questioned the "correct path." When a friend of hers speaks of a marriage, which is an expected path, Linden reacts sharply and suddenly, which tells a keen reader immediately that Linden is not a character that backs down easily.
Her spark with Rianor, both as intellectual explorers and as individuals is apparent, and Merrill keeps things crackling from the get-go as they both go on the journey of questioning what they know. And truly, that is one of the things that people forget to do: question what they learned. This is what makes this book so relatable; Linden, Rianor, Dominick, and the others looked at what they knew, and questioned what it was. Tapping into that principle of thought makes for a fresh, insightful book as the characters seek their truths.
I look forward to the rest of the series.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This series has potential but is so disjointed that it is a very hard read. It's almost as if there are two different writers that switch out randomly and you never know which one... Read morePublished on June 23, 2013 by James
The characters worked well and seemed defined, but I had a hard time following the turns in the plot. Read morePublished on January 20, 2013 by James L Drake
My daughter loved this book. I didn't know if she would read it or not but to my delight she enjoyed it.Published on January 11, 2013 by Lisa Key
Horrible, just horrible. I had to skip through over half the book to get to interesting parts that were never there. its confusing, what the heck is up with the shower heads?? Read morePublished on August 23, 2012 by zadariel
This book was a surprisingly enjoyable read. The author has a vivid writing style and a great grasp of plot. Read morePublished on July 31, 2012 by Ben Anderson