Book Review – Seer of Souls by Susan Faw

To save the world, they must be born of the world. The battles between the Kingdom of Cathair and the Primordial forces at Daimon Ford are the stuff of legends. Desperate to save the world, two immortals choose to be reborn as mortals, wiping away all memory of their divine existence. But even as Cayden, and his twin sister Avery make the ultimate sacrifice, other gods are plotting against them. At the point of birth, divine intervention and powerful, ancient magic are called upon to snatch their souls from the dying flesh of a princess’s poisoned womb. The royal family of the Kingdom of Cathair has always been the physical Spirit Shield of the world. With the murder of the entire royal family, who guards the secrets within the castle walls? Can the magic of the gods, old and new, ensure the safe keeping of the immortal treasure within, and if they fail, who will choose for the unborn? Helga, the goddess of the underworld, is not amused and has set into play a diabolical scheme of her own. There is a little place called Sanctuary by the Sea and chaos is about to pay a visit… This is Seer of Souls, Book one of the Spirit Shield Saga, a fantasy read for all ages.

Some reviewers have said that this book started slow and only picked up momentum about half-way through. I respectfully disagree; the pace moves along quite nicely throughout the book, it’s just that the pace (and the tension) amp up at the end and, in comparison, make the beginning seem tame.

That’s not a bad thing.

Take your average fantasy story and you’ll see a handful of commonalities: evil king or queen, outsiders, some magic, maybe a dragon or two. Perhaps, if you’re lucky, you’ll find a damsel in need of saving and a plucky band of ne’er-do-wells out to save the day. Seer Of Souls has some of those things, which is to be expected of a fantasy novel. Other things, such as the dragons and damsels in distress, are lacking. Again, not a bad thing. There’s really only so much you can do with damsels in distress when you don’t have a train handy. Call me a traditionalist, I just prefer my damsels in distress to be tied to railroad tracks by a mustache-twirling baddie.

And don’t get me started on dragons.

What Seer Of Souls does have that a lot of the fantasy genre is lacking is a clever bit of intrigue. Instead of huge armies clashing on forlorn battlefields and wizards cracking reality square in the nose, what Faw gives us is a clever way to infiltrate. She’s taken the fantasy genre and given it a good, solid whack on the keister. Maybe it’s just because I don’t read that much fantasy (see my previous bit about damsels and trains), but the change from huge armies clashing made the story seem fresh. More than that, it made the story seem much more personal. This doesn’t have a huge cast of caricatures, it has some realistic people who aren’t certain they’re always doing the right thing. It’s got people with powers who don’t completely understand those powers. It’s also got a antagonist with questionable fashion tastes. All of that makes for a story you can fall into.

This is only book one of The Spirit Shield Saga, but it’s off to a good start. I hope Faw expands on her world – especially the Primordials – and keeps up with the intrigue in future releases.


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9 thoughts on “Book Review – Seer of Souls by Susan Faw

  1. An excellent review of what is obviously a good read Eric. Apart from being insightful, your review is entertaining in itself, which to my way of thinking can only mean you felt the desire to be up on such a level. If ‘Seer of Souls’ can take you on a high for your feedback I’m pleased to say it’s on my TBR.
    Like you, I’m not a fantasy reader, so the story has to have a bit more about it than a large beast which breathes fire and allows a guy with a sword to ride betwixt it’s powerful wings. 🙂

    • It was a fun book. There are a lot of loose threads left over when it’s done, but it’s only the first book in a series so I’m sure she’ll get around to weaving them into the rest of the tale.

  2. I’ve read mixed reviews on this book, Eric. Much like yourself, a review is neither here nor there until I’ve read the book for myself – and this one is on my kindle awaiting just that. I tend to avoid reading most review to allow me a clear head when I tackle a new book, especially a first book by someone I have yet to read. Given your standing as a clever author in his own right, someone I know can entertain with his writing (see above review) I feel swayed to make a start on this novel. Fantasy isn’t a genre I’m familiar with having read only one other in that area before. It’ll be interesting to see how I find it. A great, comical and insightful, laterally thought review from you.

    • Fantasy is such a specialized genre that it can be hard to get into it if you’re just not into it. Personally, the whole swords and sorcerers thing just isn’t really my bag, but the book was fun.

      • I’m not big on that genre, most admit. My mind won’t process wizards and dragons unless it’s in a movie. That said, the reviews keep coming for the book and I’ve an open mind to try it.

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