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The Seer and the Scribe: Spear of Destiny Paperback – May 1, 2011

16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

G. M. Dyrek is a former emergency room counselor and CIA graphic illustrator. She is currently a middle school librarian. She lives in Tennessee.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 - 18 years
  • Grade Level: 7 - 12
  • Series: The Seer and The Scribe (Book 3)
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Luminis Books, Inc.; 1 edition (May 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1935462393
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935462392
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,804,714 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Grace McIntosh Dyrek was born in New Orleans, Louisiana and has lived in over 30 addresses. Her father was a preacher then an Air Force chaplain. Along with her four brothers and mother, who was a missionary's daughter from Southern Rhodesia, she spent most of her growing up years traveling, adjusting to new schools, different cultures, and the usual chaos at home, while dreaming of living in a castle or aboard the Starship Enterprise.

She earned an undergraduate degree in psychology and two masters degrees, one in psychology and one in library media education. She's had many jobs, declaring a new career with each move, ranging from an emergency room counselor to a graphic illustrator for the C.I.A.. She is now the librarian at a middle school for 1200 students.

Her only son was born in Asia. He spent his youth in Central America and came of age in Europe and is now teaching in China. She has a fat grey kitty named Hildegard, "Hildy". She lives contentedly with her husband and cat on three wooded acres in Tennessee, in a home fondly christened, "Traveler's Rest".

Quite frankly her characters write the stories. She only hopes they will continue to let her eavesdrop in on their conversations and intriguing lives.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By ChaplainMac on May 4, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
What a great book! The description of this book fits. I enjoyed being taken back in time and learning about medieval Germany through the eyes of Volmar and Hildegard. The plot was exciting and towards the end of the book, I could not put it down. The illustrations are beautifully done, and I really liked the author's use of footnotes which helped in explaining monastery terms and such.

This book had a lot of good elements--good vs. evil, historical fiction, a bit of romance, the supernatural, suspense, and murder mystery.

The book left me wanting more, so I'll be waiting for the publication of book number two in this series.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Stephen on January 15, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Seer and the Scribe is an enchanting medieval mystery set in the historical monastery of Disibodenberg, bringing to life the remarkable historical figure Hildegard von Bingen.

One thing that sets apart this book is the artwork. G. M. Dyrek did the drawings herself, and the maps, especially, are well done and provide visual context. The footnotes at the bottom of the pages also are helpful by providing extra meaning to the rituals of the monastery.

Throughout the story, the characters are not simply agents of action, but people with distinct qualities. The historian, thief, philosopher, victim, healer, detective, orphan, artist, warrior, and others reveal experiences or personify qualities we find in ourselves. Rather than focus on just the protagonist and antagonist, Dyrek sheds light on the human condition through peering into the recesses of the minds and souls of many characters. It was nice to attach to the struggles and stories of more people than just Hildegard. The first half of the book builds the characters and context, and the second half unfolds some conflicts that the reader would expect along with many surprising and intriguing ones.

The Seer and the Scribe educates as well as entertains. The political and social realities of medieval Europe come to life in a fluid rather than a critical way. Subtly woven through the story are realities of medieval social classes, life in the Crusades, Papal vs. State authority, the dread of diseases, cause and effect faith, the greed for power, unrequited love, and the simplicity of life in a small community that wrestles with the powers of darkness that tempt us all.

The entire book caused me to reflect on the consequences of choices.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Victoria Wilhoite on February 21, 2013
Format: Paperback
The short days and cold of winter make nesting with a really good book all the more appealing; especially a riveting mystery or vivid history. The Seer and the Scribe by G.M. Dyrek is the best of both; a riveting mystical mystery with lavish historical detail that makes the medieval world, and its real life characters, come alive.

The characters in the book are based on people who really lived, most notably, Hildegarde of Bingen, who was a Renaissance woman before the Renaissance. G.M. Dyrek did a beautiful job of taking what could have been very dry subject matter, and giving it depth and life.

Hildegarde, Volmar, and Sophie, are fully dimensional young adult people with real fears, feelings and failures, but also curiosity, courage and compassion. There is also a strong supporting cast of both heroes and villains that provide plenty of challenges and opportunities for the main three characters to find out about themselves and their capabilities.

The setting, Disibodenberg, a German monastery early in the 12th century, provides a vivid setting for the characters and action. The anchorage, infirmary, and library and routines of monastic life are described in great detail. They never, however, become so ponderous that they take away from the story. Rather, the history and setting are skillfully woven in with the characters and plot to create a seamless whole.

The plot, like the history it covers, has many twists and turns, but the pacing never lags, or goes so fast that the reader loses track. The story, in fact, makes the real history more appealing and exciting, by reminding readers that people who lived eight hundred years ago were real people, living real lives, who made possible the world we live in today.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca Graf on December 13, 2011
Format: Paperback
Mysteries get me every time. I love to read them. Have them set in historical times, and you have me completely hooked. G.M. Dyrek has done a great job in weaving history, culture, mystery, and murder together into a story that keeps you hopping. The Seer and the Scribe is a great young readers book for entertaining and learning.

This is a story set back in the time of the Crusades but in an unusual place: a monastery. A young scribe to the Abbott is known for his keen intellect and observation skills. Team that up with a young historical figure, Hildegard, who has visions and can talk to those in the spiritual world and evildoers don't have a chance. A murder from decades earlier cries out to be solved. Mysterious thefts confuse the monks. Strange illnesses perplex them. As the bodies begin to number, they are determined to get to the truth of the matter. As they solve the murders, they begin to solve all the other mysteries that have arisen to haunt the once peaceful abbey.

To me this book began a little slow, but as it picked up speed I realized how the author was pulling the characters together for me as the reader and revealing their backgrounds which would become very important as the story unfolded. It was only after Hildegard arrives for her "marriage" ceremony to the Church that it really gets interesting. All the players in the mystery begin to arrive on the scene if they weren't there already plotting.

I have to admit that once the action began, I really had a hard time putting it down even if it was written for young readers. It was never extremely predictable which is good when I read a mystery. Figuring it out too early is not good.

One thing that really stood out that I liked about this book was the definitions in the notes.
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