Seer of Souls: (The Spirit Shield Saga Book One) (Volume 1) Paperback – October 29, 2016
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Seer of Souls
This piece is incredibly well-written. The vivid exposition and intrigue, engaging plot design and heightened stakes all exposed in the opening chapter acted as clear evidence to the writer's skillful abilities in the fantasy genre. This narrative felt as though it had the potential to reach the heights of an epic fantasy series like LORD OF THE RINGS while at the same time adding something new and fresh in the midst of familiar tones and fantasy elements. Immortals being born as human beings and a magic system that finds its roots in established fantasy works added with the maturity of a well-established voice all came together with the potential of creating an excellent fantasy-adventure. There is no doubt that the writing employs the use of large cinematic descriptions that would translate very well to screen and if this narrative's execution proves as provoking as the writing style, it could very well attract producers and studios interested in finding the next epic fantasy film. - Book Pipeline Competition (2016)
SEER OF SOULS is the Dante Rossetti Grand Prize winner for 2016 - Best Young Adult Fantasy - Chanticleer Reviews.
- Publisher : Susan Faw (October 29, 2016)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 300 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0995343802
- ISBN-13 : 978-0995343801
- Reading age : 13 - 18 years
- Grade level : 7 - 12
- Item Weight : 12.3 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 0.68 x 8.5 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #5,586,104 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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For one. I think the author had a great plot. The plot was sound the setting was sound. However the dialogue, the way it progressed was severely lacking. I found that the book was moving entirely too fast. The character development was like lightning. Once second Cayden is a farm boy who realizes his sister and him have unique gifts then the next second he’s a god-king who is responsible for all mortal souls. He goes from confusion to acceptance of the situation in a single chapter. It was too fast.
The love storyline between cayden and Ziona was way too cheesy and unrealistic. One second she’s his guardian then all of a sudden he feels such strong and intense love out of nowhere. I was so much going on at one time. The author didn’t really give us a chance to catch up or get acquainted with the new developments as they came.
Then his sister Avery was just forgotten about in her quest. I assume that was a way to get us to read a second book but I’m not sure if I want to continue. To be honest the author has a solid plot. The book has potential to be an amazing story but she needs to work on the pace and timing of developments.
Cayden Tiernan has lived in a small village with his twin sister Avery, far away from an evil Queen who is scouring the land for the one person with the power to depose her, the one person who can foil the plans of an even darker force that threatens to plunge their land into darkness.
While magic and sorcery did have a part to play in the plot, I like that the story didn't use it as a crutch. For all intents and purposes, Cayden was just ... a guy. A guy doing what he must to survive against incredible odds, unaware that fate has a particularly interesting surprise for him.
I really truly enjoyed this book. I cannot wait for the next chapter in the story!
Seventeen-year-old Cayden Tiernan, a seemingly simple shepherd boy, lives on a farm with his twin sister and father in far reaches of the kingdom of Cathair near the Land of the Primordials, somewhere between the sea and the capital city. These demi-god twins are blissfully unaware of their true identities and their pre-ordained destiny. They take their supernatural gifts and abilities for granted, never questioning their purpose or station in life – or the prophesy proclaiming a savior will appear to free the kingdom from the unholy grasp of Queen Alcina. They only know they have a special bond, a psychic connection, and perceive their differences from other people in their world – although, the perception is small at this point, and not clearly defined.
The spurious Queen Alcina seeks to circumvent the prophesied appearance of the savior destined to free the Cathairians from her onerous rule by drafting all young men from seventeen to twenty-five to serve in her legions. Her edict loosens the winds of change. Unrest and rumors of treason begin to blow across the land.
The story takes off when Cayden volunteers for the army to deflect being arrested for the justified murder of an evil soldier. By doing this, he triggers events that take him on a hero’s journey into a dangerous world where mystical beings and abounding magic rub shoulders with the familiar world of his youth.
Faw’s alternate world echoes the medieval period in human history and utilizes a coming-of-age plot structure with an engaging and adept storytelling sensibility. Fans will be thrilled to learn that Seer of Souls is the first book in The Spirit Shield Saga. Faw shines brightly as a keen, larger-than-life storyteller and deserves the praise and accolades she is receiving for this series. Seer of Souls’ contains epic villains and courageous heroes, hints of burgeoning young love, graphic violence, and mind-stretching magic, a promising read that will draw a strong audience from Y/A readers.
Top reviews from other countries
The introduction is intriguing, and the plot is strong. A clever aspect of the story is how the author maintained the early mystery until the final few paragraphs.
The array of characters are colourful, well-rounded and believable, as far as fantasy characters can be believable. It’s refreshing to find a tale such as this, where not all is as it first appears. Honour, bravery, respect, love and loss feature heavily, but among them are strands of deceit.
I enjoyed the detailed imagery. Strewn throughout are superbly choreographed action sequences and suspense. The pace is relentless through certain stages, but then the author slows briefly to allow the reader to catch a breath, before once again setting off into the next foray.
I look forward to reading the next in the series, and I have no hesitation in recommending this book.
There is quite a dramatic start in the birth/death of two new-born twins, which tied in nicely with the wider story further on. There are several themes to the story that have been explored elsewhere but here they are merged and given their own originality; the central character, Cayden for example, put me in mind Andre Norton’s ‘The Beast Master,’ with his animal summoning abilities, while the idea of royalty and wizards is reminiscent of the King Arthur legend. The imagery of the Kingsmen soldiers in their battle armour and royal regalia, combined with the burning of witches and banning of magic had a certain medieval feel to it with echoes of the Cromwellian era and the battle between Parliament and the Royalists. There was of course magic, mythology, and elements of fantasy but they don’t overwhelm or distract from the basic story the way a sci-fi film might with too many special effects. To this end, much of it is set amid a more-earthly setting and definite storyline, with characters supping pints and tradesmen going about their business. ‘Healers,’ Mother Nature, and Goddesses along with a mythical underworld play their part, all of which have much in common with druids and paganism, so again, there is a comfortable familiarity in the way they’ve been portrayed here.
Another aspect of the writing that made for easy readability is that it wasn’t filled entirely with weird and esoterically named characters and places; yes, some of the names were unusual enough as you’d expect in a fantasy saga but they were balanced with more recognisable ones too. The overall story, which I won’t give away plot-wise, had just as many common elements such as ambition, treachery, struggles for power, and rebellion, with human and mortal battles fought alongside the more magical ones.
The author makes clear this is the first part of a series, so readers shouldn’t be surprised or disappointed when finding there are still many questions to be answered at the end. Having said that, the story here still reads well as a stand-alone one as far it goes, but clearly with further elements to be expanded upon, i.e. that side of the story surrounding the main character’s equally gifted twin sister, Avery, and future battles to be fought. This is a well-written and entertaining addition to the fantasy saga genre, and a great introduction to it if you’ve not read anything like this before.
been "sorted" that it could be read as a stand-alone. Although the book starts off with being about twins,
the girl, Avery, soon disappears from the story and we follow Cayden's adventures. I suspect Avery will get
her turn in the next book.
The twins think they come from a normal "peasant" family, but it is obvious they are so much more than that.
Each has a special talent and I liked that Cayden could carve flutes and each one called to a different creature,
some of whom came to his aid in times of trouble.
Cayden is drawn to the castle of the evil Queen, though he doesn't understand why. During his journey he is joined
by a growing number of people until he almost has an army. Two separate lots of enemies attempt to kill him along
the way. There were a number of typos, but not enough to spoil the story for me.
HOWEVER....my main issue with this book is PROOFREADING!!!!! There are sadly quite a lot of spelling errors, duplicated words, missing apostrophes and strange sentences that look like they've been started, deleted, and rewritten without being rechecked. For example: "The royal were attached through a common door in the castle wall." Eh?? This would really have benefited from some proper editing, as the typos, random words and oddly-constructed sentences distract from the story.
If you can look past these issues and try to follow the tale over the top of them, it's an enjoyable read, if, at times, a bit unoriginal. I'm hoping book 2 will be more professionally finished, and that the twin sister might actually show up at some point!