Seer, Patrick O'Scheen's second book in the Marithe Chronicles, 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 and 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. 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.
The major theme of this novel would appear to be 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. 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.
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 we saw in Dreamer. I had a hard time bonding with Xavier (in both worlds), though he is certainly a character (at least in the real world) who evokes great sympathy. All of this may be the author's deliberate attempt to illustrate how Xavier's trauma in the real world follows him into the gaming world, making the transition between worlds and his character somewhat fragmented. Questions remain at the end of Seer as to the connection between the real world characters of Dreamer and Seer. I have a few theories but will keep those to myself.
The book is well edited and formatted for the Kindle. A couple of times when the Holy Knight becomes the Holly Knight, I was forced to chuckle. Proofreading is never a perfect process and we should all be so lucky as to make a few errors that get a laugh out of our readers.
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.