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The Oracle Sequence: The Oracle Paperback – 16 Jan 2003
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Thrilling start to an outstanding trilogy (The Times)
It will have you consumed until the very last word (Christina Dunne, aged 15 Feed Back (Plymouth))
The mythology that underpins Mirany's world is richly imagined (The Horn Book magazine)
Climactic, triumphant...with a brief, genuinely chilling denouement (Kirkus)
A crisp, quick-moving narrative and fully fleshed-out characters will keep readers hooked to the remaining installments in this trilogy. (Publishers Weekly)
Catherine Fisher is an expert at creating new worlds, and this is no exception (Planet: The Welsh Internationalist)
Fisher's uncompromising style plunges us...into a hot, arid Mediterranean landscape...the tension endures until the very last page (Books For Keeps)
A powerful and very exciting adventure story (School Librarian)
'suspense is constantly built ... rattles along at a dizzying pace ... next volume please. (School Librarian)
Catherine Fisher has captured the doubtful, devious surviving nature of people in society to perfection. I have never come across a book which shows as much understanding and deals with it as The Oracle (Hannah Latham, aged 15 Young Adult Review News)
Shortlisted for the Whitbread Award. First of a compelling trilogy, full of action, betrayals and mystery, drawing on the rituals of the ancient Greeks and Egyptians.See all Product description
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The main character, Mirany, is made Bearer-of-the-God. In her new role, she becomes one of the Nine - sacred people who are involved with the God. However, Mirany is unsure of whether the God really exists: couldn't the Speaker-for-the-God simply make up the 'messages' that they supposedly receive direct from the God? Mirany seems aware that treachery could easily happen, yet her role as Bearer means she has to keep quiet. Her fears are realised when the Archon (kind of God on earth) dies, giving her a message on his death-bed that all is not what it seems and that Argelin, a corrupt general, will appoint a new Archon who they will be able to control.
That is only a fraction of the plot. Mirany is not completely alone - she has a few accomplices who try to make sure that the real Archon will be rightly selected: one is a drunken musician and the other is a scribe, who has secrets of his own.
Fisher's book is truly unique - she explores many issues; political treachery, personal betrayal, bribery, religious uncertainty are just some. And she has triumphed in making a book which will easily be enjoyed by children and adults alike. She certainly deserves for this book, and the sequel, to receive the recognition it deserves.
The prose is workmanlike if not memorable. The characters are completely devoid of personality apart from what is usually assigned to characters playing their roles. (That is, grumpy old man drinks too much wine, scamp boy has crisis of conscience, hero maiden is timid but grows stronger.) None of this is bad, but it has been done over and over, usually with more excitement and flair.
So, this is a perfectly fine book for a new fantasy adventure reader. Not the best, but fine. But for a seasoned reader it will be old hat. And even for a new reader there are a lot of more exciting and rewarding choices.
When I was reading the book, The Oracle I noticed that Mirany, the heroine in the story was a shy girl and wasn't very brave. I loved the plot and how Catherine Fisher didn't describe the characters but let you find out on your own by the things they say. The only annoying flaw was the thoughts that Mirany had when she was saying there was no god. I thought it was annoying because it kept on repeating so I skim it all the time. I choose this book because, it was different from the other books I have read, which were more up to date, this one was date back when the Egyptians ruled, which I find interesting.
Be warned in The Oracle it does contain some bad language and some religious statements and beliefs. I would like to say that this book has some complex vocabulary, so I would say this book would be for 13 year olds and up.
Whether you love books with adventure or a bit of history in it, this book is the one for you. Two other books in the series are out The Archon which is the sequel, and then The Scarab.
Although this irritated me , "The Oracle" is still a worth-while read for all ages.
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