Review: The Seer and the Sword

The Seer and the Sword, Victoria HandleyPrincess Torina’s life has always been perfect. Her father is king of Archeld, the mightiest of the kingdoms, and brings home many conquests of war — including a mysterious crystal sphere that shows Torina the future…and Landen, the son of a fallen king.

But as in any perfect kingdom, not all is as it seems. Greed, lust, and treason lurk around every corner, and soon Torina and Landen are caught up in a plot that goes far beyond the borders of Archeld.

A fun read

This nifty little adventure—first in a trilogy—was written by Victoria Hanley, which explains how it ended up next to Merrie Haskell’s The Princess Curse on the library shelf. And I’m a sucker for cover art like that (even if Torina does have a slight “man-face” issue on the edition of the book I have).

After a bit of a rocky start (i.e., “I’m a princess and I’m supposed to be all prim and proper but I want to ride horses and shoot a bow and arrow!” blah blah blah), The Seer and the Sword turned into a nicely done novel, with some unexpected twists and turns.

That said, this one didn’t wow me. It’s something I would have read in middle or early high school and loved, but it pales in comparison to Rothfuss’ The Name of the Wind and Pratchett’s Wee Free Men.

I’d recommend The Seer and the Sword to young people who are just dipping their toe into the fantasy genre. It’s a great place to start, and can be read as a standalone.

What’s your favorite fantasy novel?

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2 Responses

  1. Jenny May 17, 2012 / 4:39 pm

    It sounds cute. I got a kick out of your description of the beginning. Isn’t that such a cliche these days?

    • amypeveto May 18, 2012 / 11:57 pm

      It is, and I must admit that I often enjoy that kind of story. I guess it bothered/stuck out to me in this case because it was so quick; a lot of time passes within a chapter or two, and it seemed to me like the author was starting to head that “cliche” direction and then abruptly decided that she wanted to do something different.

      A lot of that can be attributed to the character’s growth—the novel starts when Torina is 10 or 11, and ends 7 or 8 years later. That spans some big times of growth. But it was still jarring.

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