Seer of Souls
The Spirit Shield Saga #1
by Susan Faw, October 2016
304 pages, ebook, hardcover, paperback
I purchased this at the current price and this is an honest review for which I am not being compensated in any way.
Cayden and Avery Tiernan are twins who are growing up with some magic powers in a land where the Queen’s Guard hunts down those with magic and destroys them. The Primordial are also hunting for these two particular young people, though, and have been for seventeen years since the murder of the King and Queen and the death of the their unborn twins.
Ziona and Sharisha are the Primordials who have found Cayden and Avery. Due to some trouble caused by Ryder, one of Cayden’s friends, Cayden is headed to join the Army. So, Ziona will go off with Cayden to the Army and Sharisha will take Avery to the Primordial lands for safety. Joining the Army isn’t all fun and games, it’s brutal in fact. If it weren’t for the Army’s excellent healer and Ziona’s great healing potion, Cayden might not survive just settling in. Soon enough, Cayden runs amok of the Army and he and Ziona are on the run. Cayden has acquired a wolf. Ryder and the young men of their town are formed up and trying to help, too.
This world and its magic are very nicely put together. It’s a rather dystopian world where its queen is a poor ruler because she’s not the proper ruler. She killed her brother and his queen and their children. She’s insecure in her rule, so she’s not good at it. The people suffer under her rule. She’s trying to erradicate magic since that was from the royal family and that would mean that somehow they got away from her. Which they did. A godling is a cross between a god and a human. Each of the twins is a godling. Their souls were crossed with a god and each given to a human child. Avery is Alreda and she is the Goddess Pinesi, Goddess of Woodlands, creatures of nature and mythical souls. Cayden is the Spirit Shield and the Seer of Souls, caretaker of the souls of the deceased. They can speak mind to mind with each other. The magic is rather believable. It’s subtle, especially the healing. It’s not immediate, it does take some time to work. Ziona has a healing potion that works nicely to restore energy and heal injuries over a brief time of a couple of days.
There is another type of magic. That of the wizard, Mordecai. Mordecai is the one who transferred the souls of the dying Queen’s unborn twins into those of the twins of a human woman. Alcina, the queen who killed everyone, had his head shaved and had him thrown into a deep, dark cell under the palace. There he’s been kept for seventeen years. He’s made “friends” with his keeper sort of. His keeper was supposed to make sure that his head was kept shaved so that his magic couldn’t come back, but his keeper didn’t. So, now that Cayden and his followers are headed for the palace, Mordecai is ready and full of magic again. He’s communicating with the Kingsguard, who are now back to see the true king dethrone this false queen. The Kingsguard were marched out of the palace and told to stay away. Well, they have stayed away, but they have waited, and watched, and planned all these years for when the rightful king would return. And apparently Cayden looks exactly like his father. People keep recognizing him as he comes closer to the palace.
At one point, Ziona is injured fatally, but Cayden won’t let her go. He calls for the help of a Primordial deity, Aossi, and in the healing they are bonded. Now they, too, can speak mind to mind as he and Avery can. There is more to their bonding that just speaking mind to mind, though. They have become incredibly close during this trek from his village to the palace. They have an emotional bond as well. Now they just need Mordecai to fill them in on the gaps in their knowledge. Mordecai is the one with all the answers. For more answers, the second book is Soul Sanctuary. Six books in the series.