“THE SHADOW SEER”
(Ellenessia’s Curse, Book 1)
by Fran Jacobs
REVIEWED BY: Ellen Fritz
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.
Set in Carnia, a fictional medieval kingdom, “The Shadow Seer” tells the story - or rather the beginning thereof - of prince Candale who is prophesied to be the long awaited Shadow Seer. The prince had been suffering from fits and seizures for years and now - after recovering from an illness that almost killed him - he is having vivid nightmares, seeing and hearing things and starting to have visions. Together with his friend Teveriel and his female body guard, Trellany, he sets off to visit the Mage School, White Oaks, to discover for himself what exactly those ancient prophecies have to say about him; not such an easy undertaking with a secret order seeking to murder him.
“The Shadow Seer” is a comfortably slow paced read. The author takes time to build her fictional world and introduce her characters thoroughly. The characters are well-crafted and realistically flawed, and especially so the main character, Candale. Do not expect this prince to come rescue you on a white steed, as he is somewhat of a coward, preferring to keep himself safe where possible. Still, I could not help liking him and feeling rather sorry for him as he discovers some nasty truths about his own past, has to deal with ever increasing dreams and visions, and has to tolerate his somewhat overprotective father.
This book will be a treat for readers with experience in the fantasy genre as a rather wide range of paranormal phenomena are touched upon during the course of the story. Although “The Shadow Seer” is a slightly slow and sometimes long winded read, it certainly makes up for lost excitement with a horrific, shocking, cliff-hanger ending. At least we know there will be more books to follow.
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