4 out of 4 stars
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The Seer is a beautiful fantasy novel written by JD Stanley.
The year is AD 310, thirteen years after Barry, the Red King, assumed the throne after the fall of his brother, the former king, Manfred the Good. Unlike his kind and well-loved brother, Barry is ruthless, immoral and bloodthirsty. It is for these reasons that the former king’s friend and one of the last of a dying breed, the Hibernian Seer and Druid Counselor, Bronan, vows to serve the throne above all. Together with the captain of the Royal Guard, Sir Robert William, Bronan keeps close so he could watch over and protect the orphaned Princess Brigit. Unbeknownst to even Sir William himself, Bronan keeps a secret, a secret that if revealed, may save the kingdom from the depravity of the loathsome ruler.
Before he could reveal the secret, however, Bronan has to uncover evidence of treason great enough to remove the tyrant king and place the rightful ruler to the throne. Meanwhile, the princess is growing up to be a beautiful, intelligent and kind woman. She loves the people and the people love her back. Now more than ever, Bronan needs to protect her before the Red King realizes that the princess is more than a pawn he reserves for future use.
Told in the third person perspective and with a steady pacing, this is an exciting and suspenseful book about magic, secrets, spies, greed, jealousy and envy. The author keeps the suspense by unfolding the story through flash backs and keeps the excitement with some unpredictable turn of events. The ending, though not my usual preference, is fitting and justifiable. The characters are well-developed and though given just enough back stories, are relatable. My favorite is Princess Brigit as she evolved from the sweet and naïve girl to the tough and fearless woman and leader.
To replicate the language of the period, the author maintains formality of dialogue by using archaic words. Consequently, I cannot consider the book an easy read. More than the ‘thy’ and the ‘thine,’ the use of unfamiliar words (like fustilarian and rictus) keeps me from reading fast. Moreover, I notice that the use of archaic is not consistent throughout the book but rather sporadic. I also notice that the pronouns begin in capital letters for reasons unknown to me.
Furthermore, though the lack of it does not make the story less interesting, I prefer a back story on Bronan’s training as a priest, how he became as powerful as he is, and how he came to be at the throne’s service. Lastly, I notice some errors (like he departure from and what do you of think me) which are thankfully too few to warrant a loss of star.
I, therefore, rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. It is interesting, suspenseful and an enjoyable read. I recommend it to fans of fantasy novels. It is a story of love, loyalty and brotherhood. Some sex and violent scenes, however, may not be suitable for young readers.
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