Sunday, February 15, 2015

Seeker (Seeker #1), by Arwen Elys Dayton

Random House Children's, ISBN 9780385744072, February 2015

This is a fantasy adventure set in a near-future world with some impressive advanced technology. It's also clearly the first of a series, and though the immediate storyline is resolved, there's a greater storyline for which there is simply a huge cliffhanger.

Quin Kincaid is fifteen, and has grown up on a Scottish estate being trained in the use of ancient, modern, and futuristic weapon. She's been taught that the purpose of this is to become a Seeker, a noble fighter for truth and justice, who brings down tyrants and protects the innocent. On the night that she has completed her training and is taken on her first assignment, after which she must take her oath, she discovers the awful truth. Under the leadership of her father, Briac, the Seekers have become hired assassins, with precious little concern about who they kill as long as they get paid. She hates it, but she sees no way out. Her father seems impossible to evade, and he's already made it clear he's willing to kill even her.

Meanwhile, one of the two other apprentices who had trained with Quin, John Hart, has been rejected and sent away by Briac. John has a much larger grievance than that against Briac, though: the murder of his mother, and the theft of a rather critical tool, the athame, that is key to the Seekers' ability to travel rapidly and secretly. He's determined to get it back, and to avenge his mother's death. John is convinced he'll do the right things with the athame, only kill the right people...

Both Quin and John have a great deal to learn about their families' histories, the history of the Seekers, and their own real values. It's a pretty interesting world, and there's quite a bit of action. There is, for me, a problem with how likable any of the characters really is, though some are clearly better than others, and some improve as the story progresses.

Enjoyable, as long as you remember not to take it too seriously.

I received a free electronic galley of this book from the publisher via NetGalley.