SUSAN FAW – SEER OF SOULS – BOOK 1 –
ON THE SPIRIT SHIELD SAGA – 2016
This novel has a magical feel and taste that makes it
appealing I guess to young people who still have some imagination and can still
accept the world is not only what they have been told at school or on
television. The world has secret passages, dungeons at times very deep under beautiful
chateaux and mansions. Appearances may have to be kept but they are only
appearances and nothing else, and Mrs. Bouquet is nothing but a Mrs. Bucket. Reality
is always deeper. The author works on that depth in different directions.
First there is the depth of beyond the borders, of the
foreign country over there where people are different in a way or another,
darker or of a different religion. They are called Primordials and as such have
a dimension that is slightly magic. The next dimension of this depth is to make
the Prince of the kingdom in which the action takes place fall in love with a
Primordial Princess and they get married and have twins, but before or at the
time when the twins are born another depth appears: the sister of the king
eliminates her own brother to seize power and become an absolute and violent
monarch that is going to start or multiply the conflict with Primordials to the
death if possible.
But Susan Faw wants to dig deeper and she makes the world of
gods and goddesses a very contradictory world with a dark goddess behind the murderous
sister and a goddess of light behind the twins, a boy and a girl who are now in
the present of this novel a man and a woman, about 17 years old. The union of a
man from here and a woman from over there produce a supernatural couple that are
entrusted with the possibility to communicate and protect the souls of dead
people who are waiting to be reincarnated again.
And go farther again and have wizards behind that young man,
Cayden, the new king and that wizard, and there will soon be more, is able to
help the young man to recapture his throne and to reunite his people. Unity in
a country is not imposed by force but must be emerging from the people
themselves when the proper incitation is provided by the proper leader.
That’s where I have a reserve. I do not see why the new king
has to be a king and the evil queen has to be a queen. When you cut the vision
of the world in two, with good on one side and evil on the other side, since
there are only two sexes, you have to choose which sex is evil and which sex is
good. Women are kept in secondary position too much and what’s more the only
evil leader is a woman. The Charuns are understood as being male for sure but
they are serving the evil queen. And around Cayden, you have a lot of men and
only two female characters, one Primordial Seeker and one female wolf, plus his
sister that has been taken away from the action.
Yet you will like the novel because it is positive since
evil forces are defeated, because they are not evil enough: they kept one
wizard alive and they do not execute Cayden as soon as they realize he is
dangerous: even if he were not the son of the late king, to assassinate him
would not have been that bad a crime among the thousands of other crimes they
committed. And why on earth did they keep the King’s guards alive even if they
banned them from the capital city? It is obvious if they had been evil to the
highest level possible, it would have been difficult to bring the evil queen
down since there would have been no one to oppose her. So that evil queen is
not that evil after all.
That’s just what makes this novel fit to young people or old
teenagers. Boys or girls alike, though women are in a rather secondary
position. I like the female wolf particularly. A good idea.