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Seabird Paperback – January 2, 2008
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"Narenta is a tangible world--mysterious, inviting, frightening. Cara completes a visible character arc, (as she becomes) a champion. A must-read for CS Lewis fans." -- Asgard, BlogCritics Magazine, April 16 2008.
From the Author
Seabird is volume one in my epic fantasy series, the Narenta Tumults.
In each book, someone from Earth is transported to Narenta, to serve their people in a unique way during a time of peril. Cara, the woman on the "Seabird" cover, is the first and she's convinced some Narentan magician made a pretty bizarre mistake.
Even if it is a mistake and Cara's not the one who was supposed to come, the daemagos have decided to kill her.
I am currently revising the first draft of "Earthbow" the sequel, for Gryphonwood. I hope to post extracts on my blog beginning in the next few weeks.
I plan at least two more books in the Narentan Tumult series. One is "Marooned". The other is an untitled book that wants to be its own trilogy. Fifty plus chapters for The Behemoth are filed on my computer under "The Gryphon and The Basilisk".
Other interests are meditation with or without walking a labyrinth, my faith, filk music, folk music, world music especially Putumayo recordings, my two cats (Khiva & Vartha). Uh, yeah. I confess, a few television shows-- CSI, CSI: Miami, Numb3rs and Without a Trace. And Bones!
Dark chocolate isn't bad either.
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Top Customer Reviews
Teenager Cara Marshall is the reluctant hero of Seabird. Plucked from a predictable life of summer vacation at the local beach, younger sibling to baby-sit and game arcade dates with her boyfriend, Cara is suddenly and inexplicably transported to the distant and less technologically sophisticated world of Narenta. And from the moment she arrives nothing is predictable. Cara finds herself alone in a weird and wonderful landscape filled with strange, exotic creatures and a race of bird-like people that call themselves the Young Ones who believe that Cara, whom they call "the Outworlder," has been sent by their God, Alphesis, to deliver them from the evil of the Daetaga, a trio of ancient life-destroying sorcerers. When all her efforts and repeated pleas to be returned to her own world fail to convince the Young Ones that she is not the hero they think she is, Cara sets out on her own to find a way home.
And so begins her great and arduous journey. On her trek across Narenta she soon discovers that not only does almost everyone she meets know more about who she is and why she is there than she does, but also that she is being pursued by forces whose only objective is to destroy her. Along the way Cara is both betrayed to her enemies, the Shadow, and aided by wise and noble enchanters and the courageous and spiritually evolved Seabirds, servants of the Light, who selflessly give themselves to her protection and guide her to an understanding of her destiny and of the mission only she can undertake and complete.
Cara learns, often as a result of great personal loss, what it means to give of oneself to serve a greater good - for almost without realizing it she comes to accept her strange destiny - and to seek victory over evil in the face of devastating odds, to face fear, death and the unknown with fortitude and courage born of faith, even though there is little hope of survival.
The first third of Seabird moves forward at a leisurely and exploratory pace, but action-loving readers shouldn't despair. As the plot begins to unfold the story picks up momentum and moves relentlessly forward with plenty of conflict. both physical and magical, as battles and inter-personal struggles are waged across Narenta until the story's powerful conclusion.
Seabird is a work of tremendous imagination and great devotion. With good humor and a light touch Ms. Thompson quietly asks the reader to consider what his/her own response might be if suddenly and irretrievably "put to the test." It is a book well worth your investment of reading time.
But it doesn't stop there. While Lewis-like in its basic premise, the allegory, while there, is with a lighter touch. The Narentian god, Alpheus, is obviously an analogy to Jesus Christ. The character only appears at key moments and doesn't devolve into a deus ex machina solution to the dangers faced, a problem Lewis had in some of his Narnia novels. Nor would the secular reader feel they were preached at.
What you do have is a modern fantasy along the lines of Lewis, Tolkien, and Williams, but with Sherry Thompson's own stamp firmly on it, making it her story. Cara Marshall is pulled into this new world, where she goes from being the scared teenager, to reluctant hero, to finding in herself the ability to sacrifice her own desires for those of others. The character arc is well built and satisfying.
The writing is well done. It has a big of a choppy feel to it at times, but this is due to the character's thought patterns being on the fragmented side. Less than a handful of times I had to stop and think where she was going, but those were far and few in between, and didn't distract me. While you might spot a typo here and there, the grammar is clean, the writing in most cases clear, and the story well-told.
The story does get a little slow at the beginning as Cara fights her calling to save these people, but it quickly accelerates and the action grows intense. There is a good touch of humor and pathos to the story. Death is a reality, and Cara faces her own doubts and deals with them in multiple ways. The struggle feels real, and I found myself rooting for her.
This is an enjoyable read with an original story, a rich world, and a solid cast of characters, both the main character and the supporting cast. The story is great for young adults, even young teens, but will be appreciated by adults as well who enjoy a solid fantasy that isn't like everything else out there.
I recommend reading this book if you enjoy a good fantasy story.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Originality - 4/5
Writing Style - 4/5
Plot - 5/5
Characters - 5/5
Aesthetics - 4/5
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