Saturday, June 18, 2011

Book Review: The Shadow Seer by Fran Jacobs

Review: The Shadow Seer
Series: Ellenessia’s Curse – Book 1
Author: Fran Jacobs
No of Pages: 337
Release Date: 2 April 2009

For generations prophets have foreseen the birth of the Shadow Seer, the oracle of dark visions and fallen kingdoms. But by the time of Sorron, King of Carnia, their warnings have mostly been forgotten and his name is known only to a handful of scholars. When Sorron's grandson, Prince Candale, falls deathly ill, the Seer's legends are brought to light once again by his saviour, a witch named Mayrila. She believes that Candale is the fulfilment of those long forgotten prophecies. She believes that he is the Shadow Seer...

My Thoughts:

The Shadow Seer was an extremely interesting read, but it was a little slow in its movement.

Candale is a prince with a secret; he is having prophecies, hearing voices, and seeing people that aren’t there. The Shadow Seer starts with Candale being gravely ill and close to death. All we hear are snippets of conversation between his relatives, arguments between his father and grandfather about how to best help him.

His grandfather sends for a woman named Mayrila, a conniving, gold-digging witch, who seems to be the only person who can help him. Mayrila saves Candale, but she also changes his life forever, revealing herself as his birth mother and him as the Shadow Seer, a dark prophet whose visions will only ever be of death and destruction.

Candale is an interesting character, if a little naive. He is intelligent and easily relatable being a quiet, odd child who fits in well enough at court, but is always dreaming and looking for something more. Candale did get a little infuriating at times when he went off by himself without thinking things through only to nearly get killed by his enemies. At times I wanted to shake him, but mostly I felt empathetic and a little sad about his situation.

The Shadow Seer was well written and completely engaging because it didn’t seem like you were racing to the finish line. Each new event in the timeline was well paced and flowed seamlessly into the plot.

The only problem with The Shadow Seer was that we never really get answers to our questions, the world of Carnia that Jacobs created was superb, but there was so much groundwork to lay that we only got to see snippets about the myths behind the shadow seer and those myths were relentlessly repeated.

The Shadow Seer was an excellently written story with an engaging main character who kept me entertained and continuously coming back for more. The mystery behind who Ellenessia is and how she is going to affect Candale in the long run has me itching to get my hands on the second book in this promising fantasy series.


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