February 3, 2012

Review: The Shadow Seer, by Fran Jacobs

Author: Fran Jacobs
Title: The Shadow Seer
Series: Ellenessia’s Curse (#1)
ISBN: 9781921636127
Publisher: Writers Exhange E-Publishing (April 2nd 2009)
Disclaimer: Copy received for review purposes.
Buy your copy: Kindle

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
“For generations prophets have foreseen the birth of the Shadow Seer, the oracle of dark visions and fallen kingdoms. But by the time of Sorron, King of Carnia, their warnings have mostly been forgotten and his name is known only to a handful of scholars. When Sorron's grandson, Prince Candale, falls deathly ill, the Seer's legends are brought to light once again by his saviour, a witch named Mayrila. She believes that Candale is the fulfilment of those long forgotten prophecies. She believes that he is the Shadow Seer... “ GoodReads’ blurb

The thing is... I loved, loved, loved The Shadow Seer.

Not only the concept is intriguing, but the main character, Candale, was a breath of fresh air. He was not only weak, but also naive – so naive that his little sister knows more about the world than him! It was very enjoyable to read a story about a prince who didn’t ride off a white horse waving his sword... but that was seized by fits if over-exerted and was liable to trip himself if you gave him a sword.

Okay, the tripping part is not so bad but you get my meaning.

The funny part, though, is that there is a certain flavor of white horsing around. Candale loves tale and old stories, so much so that half the Court think him silly for it, so we do see them... as opposed to the hard truth.

The companions, the guard and the bard, were equally likeable. She, the guard, was loyal and no-nonsense, and she spent a good while rushing after Candale and trying to keep him out of trouble. He, the bard, was charming and kind of cute, an accomplice to Candale since, as he puts it, he had better chances of not dying if the prince wasn’t alone.

Beyond the characters, there is a very interesting plot full with dark references and signs that no one but Candale seems to take seriously. His parents refuse to believe that he might be this person who will see nothing but darkness. While we don’t really doubt it for a moment as readers, there’s a constant tension about how he’s going to prove it, if he’s going to be able to get away or be considered crazy or delusional... And once he does, well, things don’t look much brighter.

The ending was perfect – perfect to leave me wanting more! A cliff-hanger that had me checking for the release of a next title, for sure.

So, if it was so cool, why the middle rating?

On the one hand, because it was slow. I think that was my main drawback. There were a couple of moments when only the possibility of learning Candale’s sexual preferences kept me reading – I did say he was naive. He’s had his bees talk, but he’s not much more experienced than that, so... All in all, the Shadow Seer stands at about 600 pages, and I think I could work better somewhere around 450, perhaps. Otherwise, the tension was lost as some points.

There are a couple other details, like the family relationship, for example. Sorron encourages his grandson to keep secrets and lie about who he is in order to spare the pain to his parents, and I think this is not the way to go. Candale should have talked to his father, because hiding those truths can never help (and gives a bad example and a guilt complex that a kid shouldn’t have to deal with).

That said, though, I really enjoyed this story and would love to read the next title. In the last part, a lot of things were cleared and the plot moved forward in leaps and bounds, so I’m curious about where it’ll go from there.


  1. Thank you so much for reviewing my book, I'm glad you liked it, though I agree, it is a little long (it had to be split into two for the print version) Book 2 is due to be edited soon, so I will be in contact to see if you want to review that. It's not as long and you will certainly learn more about Candale's sexuality! :)

    1. Thanks so much for dropping by, Fran! I'd love to have a chance to review book two - so feel free to send that along as soon as it's ready :) Can't wait to see how it all turns out...

      PS. I didn't come across as too much of a perv, did I? *laughs* it's just, it was such a close call in both directions!

    2. No, not a perv :) And i like that people want to know, or question, his sexuality :) And i will certainly send book 2 along. I just hope you like it as much (i had issues with it so I'm very paranoid!)

  2. This sounds pretty neat. The Shadow Seer does sound intriguing and I love a book that has great plots that keep your interest. Lovely review Ron!

    1. Hi Giselle! Thanks for stopping by :) It was quite intriguing, yes. Glad you liked the review!

  3. Oh no... I hate slow books. But I'm glad that you liked it, I mean loved it even though it was slow... 600 pages??? That's a long one. And I'm wondering about Candale's sexuality... hmm... curiosity strikes again... lol.

    Great review Ron, as usual =)

    xoxo, April

    1. It was longer! :) it was 270k, cut down to 210k in the end.

    2. *laughs* Fran, you cut from your novel as much as I write for my whole novel. That's amazing... I can never bring myself to write so much!

      Thanks for stopping by, April! Yes, it was a curiosity inducing book... :)

    3. I have a waffle problem :) At university my dissertation was almost twice the length it was meant to be (200k instead of 100) I just had a lot to say! Weird thing is, book 3, i seem to have run out! I think i used up all my ideas! (i probably shouldn't say things like that publically!)

  4. Wonderful blog & good post.Its really helpful for me, awaiting for more new post. Keep Blogging!