This business of a seer is to see; and if he involves himself in the God-eclipsing activities that make seeing impossible, he betrays the trust that his fellows have tacitly placed in him. (Aldous Huxley)
Welcome to part two of a three post series on the work of self-published author, Patrick O’Scheen. In the first post, I linked back to a review I did of Dreamer and I reposted an interview done with O’Scheen. Today, I will share my review of Seer, Book Two in the Chronicles of Marithe.
Seer – A Book Review
Seer – Patrick O’Scheen’s second book in the Chronicles of Marithe is an exciting, page-turning read. I recommend it for those readers who love dragons, spell casters and wizards, demon kings and beautifully, exotic women who sing like angels or are prey to visions of what may or may not come to be.
Seer, takes us back in time from O’Scheen’s first novel, Dreamer, to tell a story of how a few of Dreamer’s main characters came into the world. The reader is given an insight into how the problems between dragons and humans came about as well as the origin of the morgith – neither human nor dragon, something in between. Being a stickler for continuity, I wondered why the two books were reversed. No worries, though. It only means I will now have to go back and enjoy Dreamer again.
In Seer, O’Scheen describes the settings of Marithe with exquisite detail. The cities and mountain villages come alive through the many sweeping word pictures.
For me, the major theme of this novel was star-crossed love. All the main characters seem to miss the boat when it comes to landing the girl or guy (or wizard, dragon, seer, or demon) of their dreams.
The book is stuffed with female characters, some more gripping than others. A couple of these women don’t seem particularly deserving of the strong passions the men carry for them. I was left to contrast the fickle princess Margo to Cassandra, a human woman who is mated with a demon and yet manages to remain true to her love in the face of great challenges. The reader is left to wonder if the author is making a point about the romantic delusions of men, or about the vacuous nature of some women. Probably a bit of both.
I fell in love with the wizard Talander and developed quite a liking for the demon wizard Bleak. Now that is good writing – when you can get the reader to like a demon! Again, as in Dreamer, O’Scheen rounds out his good characters with flaws and his not-so-good characters with endearing qualities.
The movement back and forth from the real world (mostly one long nightmare for main character, Xavier) and the game world is a little less seamless than what I experienced with Dreamer. I bonded right away with Magic but had a harder time with Xavier, though he is certainly a character (at least in the real world) who evokes great sympathy.
Since finishing the book, I’ve been thinking about the difficulty I had getting close to Xavier. In both Dreamer and Seer the reader experiences the main character’s life in the real world as it blends and merges with life in the game world. This movement back and forth between worlds becomes the perfect hermeneutic circle – reflections on the parts gives light to the whole and reflections on the whole feeds back into the parts – what happens in the real world is made real in a new or different way in the game world and vice versa. Magic takes aspects of his illness and the medication he is on into the game world. Xavier brings his wounds, his vulnerability and his distrust of others. No wonder it is hard to get close!
Questions remain at the end of Seer as to the connections between the real world characters of Dreamer and Seer. I have a few theories but will keep those to myself. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and look forward to the next time O’Scheen takes us back to Marithe with his third novel in the series – Dancer.
If you missed the first post in this series click this link to go back.
You can find Seer for purchase on Amazon.com – just click that old link.
You can also find Patrick O’Scheen’s own blog – you got it! By clicking the link.