The Seer’s Curse by J.J. Faulks

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The Seer’s Curse is a fantasy MG/YA tale that takes the two main characters, Orleigh and Piprin, on a journey of self-discovery and acceptance while playing their part in Fate’s plan.

“Many paths, one fate.”

The Seer’s Curse is a story about getting fate back on track, and everyone having a role to play in that. The overarching theme that I took away was that every person has a role to play in this predestined journey called life, and that things are more complicated than meets the eye.

“Focus on what you are, not on what you are not, and be grateful for your blessings.”

The book opens with Orleigh’s birth and the death of her mother Alea. This one night changes everything for the village, and everyone believes Orleigh to be cursed. She is sent away to live in the Land of the Gods and everyone in the village believes her to be dead. But ten years later her best friend Piprin learns that she may still be alive and embarks on a dangerous journey to rescue her. Piprin is on the precipice of adulthood at 17, and his father keeps telling him that he needs to leave childish things behind and become an adult (and help on the farm). He embarks on this heroic journey as almost a passage into the next phase of his life and in the process becomes comfortable with who he is.

Exposition and worldbuilding is done slowly through the inclusion of myths, and I LOVE that the creation myth has a female god! The myths serve as a means for the author to foreshadow philosophical problems ahead of the main plot (such as the famous utilitarian Trolley Problem), and the myths also provide a sort of religious precedent for the actions of the villagers.

“Sometimes we face difficult choice and, although it is hard, we must act for the greater good.”

I really enjoyed the overall storyline, as well as the weaving of myths throughout the book, but I never really connected with the story and personally found the narrative a bit disjointed and repetitious. The majority of the Seer segments were the same thing over and over again, and while I am sure the intention was that it would add to the mystery of his agenda, it didn’t bring anything new to the narrative. The entire story is told in third person, but there are multiple perspectives that the reader encounters: Piprin, Orleigh, Scorlan, the Seer, Beighlen – and I found that the multiple narratives detracted from the story. I wish that it would have been focused on Orleigh and Piprin’s POVs, and perhaps just the beginning “curses the sands of time! fate!” Seer POV in a prologue. I am also wondering why the promise of the future favor was referred to at the end of the book but was not addressed, but it is likely to leave an opening for a sequel.

This is a book about acceptance and self discovery, both good themes for MG/YA; the writing is a little more suited to YA in my opinion. While the writing style was not really for me, I found the story to be enjoyable and it is a heartwarming story of friendship.

★★★☆☆

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher, Matador, for providing me an eARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.  You can find information about my rating criteria here.


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